Amelia died at 2:34 p.m. Monday. She was in my arms purring for her last half hour of life. She didn’t seem to be in pain. She simply stopped breathing.
She was the ultimate lap cat. For the last couple of years, she and Sonny had constantly competed for lap time. After I unexpectedly lost Sonny about a month ago, she had me all to herself again. For several weeks, so took advantage of it, jumping into my lap and purring loudly anytime I sat at my desk.
I’ve told the story of how she came to live with me 13 years ago, so I won’t repeat that. And I wrote this morning about how the animals I’ve rescued have really done more to rescue me than the other way around, so I won’t belabor that point, although it might be more true of her than of some of the others. So I’ll just say a few things about this particular little girl who has meant so much to me.
My experience is that male cats are sweeter and friendlier and that the females are more skittish and untrusting. (I’ve found something of the reverse with dogs, where females are sweeter and males can tend to be more aloof.) In this respect, Amelia was more like a male cat. She quickly trusted me and wanted a tremendous amount of attention. She was the first animal who came to live with me after I divorced 13 years ago, so she was always something of a line of demarcation between the past and the future for me. (Of my remaining cats, only William was with me when I was married.)
I was the only human Amelia really knew and trusted. Not many people come to my home. Even fewer stay for more than just a little while. When a girlfriend was visiting from out of town about five years ago, Amelia didn’t like having someone else around, so she disappeared. She hid herself so thoroughly that I couldn’t find her and I panicked, thinking she had somehow slipped out of the house.
My girlfriend and I went to a nearby store later in the day, but I decided to return home alone to check again. When I did, Amelia was stretched out on my desk. She wasn’t lost. She just didn’t want to deal with a stranger. I’ll never figure out where she had been hiding.
Amelia was a loner. Most of my cats a friend or two among the other cats. Amelia could get along with the others, but she could take them or leave them and she never developed any bonds with others that I could see. She wanted my attention, but she preferred to stay by herself otherwise.
One of her favorite things — and mine, too, if you want to know the truth — was when she slept on my left shoulder while I worked. She would sit in my lap as long as I’d let her. But when I eventually required both hands to type or do something else, she wouldn’t want to leave, so she would crawl up onto my shoulder and go back to sleep. If you’ve read this site much at all, you’ve written articles that were written with her on my shoulder.
I have quite a number of pictures and video of her doing this, one of which is below. She didn’t seem to realize it was unusual, even though none of her brothers or sisters ever did it.
Amelia was a special cat and a good friend. I was blessed to spend 13 years with her. I’m really going to miss her.