"The problem here is a totalitarian uniformity, a cult-like mentality such that even allies are enemies if they fail to follow the Exact Party Line. " - Phyllis Chesler

Thursday, January 24, 2008

In Memoriam Of Emily

12/01/91 - 01/24/07

I have had the blessing of many cats since the age of 12. I have loved each one in a special way. None has ever touched my heart as Emily did. I adopted her from the NYASPCA ironically on 1/25/92. I had her 15 years. I was only at the ASPCA because I had just picked up Olivia from their Vet after her spaying at six months old. I saw an orange marmalade kitten and wanted it dearly. They told me I had to come back because it wasn't ready for adoption. When I returned the exact day they told me to, I was informed they brought that cat to the North Shore Animal League. I turned to the window kittens and saw the most adorable bunch of gray kittens. One in particular, Emily, was so damn cute. She was so playful and I could just feel her abundant energy. I had to have HER! I had to sit and wait to find out if she was the one kitten a Vet on staff had already picked out for himself. Nope! She was mine. I was handed her, so tiny she fit in my tiny hand and there was still room to see my palm. She just sat there with me. She was comfortable. It was meant to be that I find
her that day.

Take a good look at her baby photos and you will see she had the most adorable and HUGE ears, that were too big in comparison for her tiny head. What you can't see is that she always had the biggest back paws. When she sat they would go sideways out from her. She just was the cutest thing you ever did see! She was so tiny that the mark you will see further down on this post, on her back paw looked like a speck of dirt and I remember trying to wipe it off her thinking that is what it was. She had one of the longest tails ever AND until about one year before she passed on, she used to chase it in circles so she could catch it and clean it. So funny to watch! She also had a mouse toy filled with catnip. I loved watching her take it in her mouth, flip it in the air to throw it and then go catch it and do it again. She just was THE most playful cat I have ever seen.

She was full of fleas and at that time (1992) they sent me home with a special shampoo to bathe her. I thought I was a dead woman with this. (Any of you who have cats will understand that!) Again, this sweet little soul, was so trusting and in love with me, she just sat in my palm as I ran her under the warm water in the tub and watched her turn from the most adorable little kitten to an ugly rat looking thing. (sorry Candace!) Her hair just dripping down and looking boney, she just let me do what needed to be done. I dried her little body off with a towel and she loved it. She ran all over my apartment and played and jumped and leaped and just loved life with me from the start. Poor Olivia, she didn't like this creature and she pounced on her. Those first few days I had to protect Emily many times. But they grew to love each other, so long as Emily knew who was boss!

Emily always wanted to sleep with me. I would put her down on my belly or next to me but she, being the soul that she was, knew how cute she was and that she could get away with anything, would always work her way to my ear. She was weaned too early and decided that she was going to suck on my ear. I used to have a video tape of this. I think sadly I trashed it by accident. The things you miss when a loved one has passed! SIGH!!!! When she started doing this she didn't have her teeth yet. She continued after they came in and I had the scabs on my ears to prove it. I couldn't stop her and it became a running joke. I would show all my friends. I just picked her up and would put her to my ear, like a baby to the momma's
teet, and she would latch on and do that thing kitties do with their paws when they are excited, rubbing her scent all over my neck.

Emily was a very social and talkative cat. Those that knew her know she really spoke. You could ask her questions and she would answer you back. If she was hungry and you asked her, "Do you wanna eat?" She would EXCLAIM back at you, "MEEP MEEP MEEP MEEP MEEP!" For this reason I often called her squeaky. Her meow sounded like Beeker from the Muppet Show. (If you are old enough to remember that show you know what I am talking about.) Everyday that I came home from school or work she would run out from where ever she was and greet me and talk to me with that MEEP MEEP MEEP. I could scoop her up and give her lots of lovin'.

Emily LOVED belly rubs and being brushed. If she was hiding somewhere and I wanted her attention, all I had to do was tap that brush and she would come RUNNING! She was really smart and apparently sneaky. I had no idea until she was almost gone just how much she got into things. Since I had two cats I never knew who did what. Emily knew what, "get down, up up, no, come here, do you want to eat?, lay down, belly rubbies, want a treat? and brushies" meant.

She had the most amazing green eyes you will ever see on a cat. I was never able to fully capture it with any of the crummy cameras I owned. Sadly I didn't own my own video camera, like I do now and I don't have those adorable memories preserved as I wish I did. I am capturing as much of Olivia as I can so I don't have the same regrets some day with her. Emily was loved by every friend that ever met her. She had this special personality you just do not see in cats. It was infectious.

She died one year ago today. I miss her and think of her every day.

The Meaning of Kaddish

Having read the translation of the Kaddish Prayer, one should realize that, although Jewish Law requires that the Kaddish be recited during the first eleven months following the death of a loved one by prescribed mourners, and on each anniversary of the death (the "Yahrtzeit"), and by custom in the State of Israel by all Jews on the Tenth of Tevet ("Yom HaKaddish HaKlali'), there is no reference, no word even, about death in the prayer!

The theme of Kaddish is, rather, the Greatness of G-d, Who conducts the entire universe, and especially his most favored creature, each individual human being, with careful supervision. In this prayer, we also pray for peace - from apparently the only One Who can guarantee it - peace between nations, peace between individuals, and peace of mind.

Paradoxically, this is, in fact, the only true comfort in the case of the loss of a loved one. That is, to be able to view the passing of the beloved individual from the perspective that that person's soul was gathered in, so to speak, by the One Who had provided it in the first place.

As Beruriah, the great wife of Rabbi Meir, consoled her husband, upon the death of their two sons, with words to this effect, "A soul is comparable to an object which was given to us - to each individual, to his or her parents and loved ones, to guard and watch over for a limited time. When the time comes for the object to be returned to its rightful owner, should we not be willing to return it? With regard to our sons, let us therefore consider the matter as 'The L-rd gave, and the L-rd took back, may the Name of the L-rd be Blessed!' "


An English Translation

Glorified and sanctified be God's great name throughout the world which He has created according to His will. May He establish His kingdom in your lifetime and during your days, and within the life of the entire House of Israel, speedily and soon; and say, Amen.

May His great name be blessed forever and to all eternity. Blessed and praised, glorified and exalted, extolled and honored, adored and lauded be the name of the Holy One, blessed be He, beyond all the blessings and hymns, praises and consolations that are ever spoken in the world; and say, Amen.May there be abundant peace from heaven, and life, for usand for all Israel; and say, Amen.He who creates peace in His celestial heights, may He create peace for us and for all Israel; and say, Amen.


Anonymous said...

I had a golden lab in the truck with me for 13 years...I still miss her ugly mug and it's been 5 years since sdhe passed away..

Lauren said...

Hi Robert, I am sorry for the loss of your baby too. :-(

Brian said...

It's always sad when a marked day like this comes along. This was a great honor to her.

It reminds me how much I miss my Amber, who passed away just over a year ago as well. This was my
blog post I made when she passed.

Be well, my friend.

Lauren said...

Brian, thank you for your kind words and thoughts. I remember when you lost Amber and how sad you were. I hope you can feel at peace that she is where she is meant to be.

DrowseyMonkey said...

Lovely post. She was such a sweetie! Love that one of her on her back....awwwwwww. {hugs}

Kasey or Karen said...

She sounds adorable.
It's so hard when a pet passes away>