I moved to California in 1994.  At that time, not knowing where we would be living, I didn’t take Amelia with me.  At that time, I’d say we’d had Amelia for at least a year — perhaps more.  How could we not know you ask?  Well, it isn’t like we PLANNED to have a cat.

I was living with my mom then, licking my wounds from a spectacularly f*cked up relationship and trying to figure out, at the ripe old age of 25, what I wanted to be when I grew up.  I can tell you that in the winter of 1992, we didn’t have her.  I’d gone to Sydney, Australia and I have no memory of Amelia at that time.  I’m guessing that she was, perhaps, born the following spring.  I can tell you that she walked into my mom’s house and we’ve been hers ever since.

We had the misfortune to move into a house in which the previous owners’ cat sprayed.  Allegedly it was a female.  I admit I’d never heard of that.  Being ignorant to the power of urine, I wasn’t aware that, rather than having the carpets cleaned, we should have had everything ripped up and replaced.  I imagine, however, I still wouldn’t have done it.

Since that time, in varying degrees, Amelia has waged an ongoing assault against the carpet.  Some days she uses one of her litter boxes (we have FOUR for ONE cat).  Through Taed’s diligence, she has stopped defecating on the carpet and started using the boxes.  This is good.  However, she’s not as good with urination.  Some days she hits the boxes, other days… Well, let’s just say that Taed cleans the carpet OFTEN.

Amelia has also taken to howling in the middle of the night.  Any time we stir, she assumes it’s time to get up.  Some times it sounds like the howling of a lost animal.  Other times it has some chirping or some warbling.  All of the times I worry that she will wake Keb.  In honesty, I think he’s the only one who sleeps through it.

Lately I’ve been wishing that Amelia would go gently into her kitty good-night.  She has been a good pet, a loyal companion, and a caring animal.  If I’m sick, she lies on me and stays with me.  She greets us at the door and likes to be with us.  She generally is good with company, including small children.  She is still spry, she hunts, and she appears as lucid as any cat could be.  Because of that, I don’t even consider helping her.  She’s obviously not ready.

I know when the time comes, I’m going to bawl.  By all estimates, she’s probably 17 years old.  It’s hard to believe.  If she were our child, she’d be getting ready for college.  Instead she’s our cat, so she’s just living out the last her 9 lives.

As proof that she’s still in on it, here is one of the 21 pictures I managed to take of her.  She was not having any of it.  Damned cat. 🙂


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