I knew she was dying. She never got over Alexander's death, four months ago. She literally pined away for him.
Emily was six weeks old when I brought her home from the Humane Society. She died when she was thirteen. For her entire life, she had Alexander as a companion, someone to play with and boss around.
After Emily came to live with us, Alexander was royally annoyed. He was a year and a half old and in no mood for a kitten. Emily put up with this for one week, then made it clear to him that they were going to play. Emily always had her way with Alexander, who was sweetness personified. She could never get over the fact that after she provoked him, chased him around, and wrestled him, he'd win the physical battle. Sure, he was bigger. But she was Emily.
When it became clear to me that Emily was dying, a month or so ago, I decided to let her die at home, in her own good time. For weeks, I'd go to bed at night not knowing if I'd find her alive in the morning. Before going to Florida for the FAME conference, I worried she'd die right before I left, and I'd have to drive to the airport sobbing. All the time I was there, I feared I'd come home to find she'd died in my absence. A couple of weeks ago, she stayed on my bed for 36 straight hours. I was sure then she would die, but she kept on. She stayed in the places she liked, under my bed, on the bathmat, on my lap. She never seemed to be in pain, except briefly the night she died. She simply gave up on life. With the help of my friends, Marci and Bill, I buried Emily Monday afternoon. It was a beautiful October day.
I lead a very placid existence. I figured out a long time ago that my career has no steadiness and that I'm better off if things are relatively calm around it. But the past five months have been incredible highs and difficult lows. My friends, my family, my editor, my agent, have all helped me celebrate the highs and make it through the lows. I am eternally grateful to all of them.
I keep looking around my apartment, expecting to see Emily and Alexander. This morning, I woke up to the sensation of a cat jumping on my bed, curling up in the small of my back. Most likely, it was a dream.