Sunday, March 11, 2012

Happy 15th birthday, Emmi Sue!

Tiny Emmi Sue.. small but full of cattitude!
Fourteen years ago today I adopted my first little girl.. my adorable, feisty, lovable, one-of-a-kind Emmi Sue.  I remember that day so clearly, which I re-tell her every single year on her birthday.  I was at a local No-Kill Shelter with my first husband and was ready to leave the cat room since I hadn't seen any cat that had caught my attention to the point of wanting to adopt him or her.  I was in my wheelchair and was been pushed towards the door when I heard a very faint "meow meow meow" over and over again, so I asked the attendant who was meowing at me.  She pointed to a tiny black kitty in a cage and said her name was "Donna."  Donna?  Why would they give her such a name?  She explained they had first thought she was male and named her Don Juan but had changed it upon discovering she was female but I knew she needed a better name than the one she had been given.
Emmi Sue thinks she's a princess because she is.
As I eased my way toward the cage and put a finger in the cage, little "Donna" began to lick and rubbed her face on it.  I simply had to hold her!  Once she was in my arms, I knew she was my baby.  She was a tiny little 5 lb. "tuxedo" cat who wouldn't stop purring and rubbing her face on mine.  I was in love.  If she had not stopped me from leaving by getting my attention with her little meows, I would have left without meeting my first daughter.  She chose me as her mother and I am forever indebted to her for this.  Another amazing thing about Emmi Sue is that she rarely meows.  The only time I hear her voice is when she brings me toys, usually in the middle of the night, and it's with a deep, growling sort of meow, so it is hardly a sweet sound.  But on that day, she KNEW she had to get my attention.

Even though I was told at the time I adopted her that she was already full grown, Emmi Sue grew quite a bit after I took her home, so I highly doubt she was already a year old.  She's not a large cat, but weighs closer to 9 lbs. than the 5 lbs. when I had first held her in my arms.
Emmi Sue's famous tongue.. she's still a licker!
A few months after adopting Emmi Sue, I was watching The Sound of Music and as I was singing along to "Eidelweiss," new words popped into my head.  Eidelweiss and Emmi Sue both have three syllables, inspiring a song all her own!  It's a sort of lullaby I sing to her all the time and I know she loves it since her name is mentioned quite a few times.. and here is the song I wrote for her:

Emmi Sue, Emmi Sue
Every morning you wake me
Small and black, little brat
You look happy to lick me.
Little baby may you run and play
Run and play forever
Emmi Sue, Emmi Sue
Bless my angel forever.

Emmi Sue tends to be the one of my kitties who most people get close to the fastest.  She is very much a lap cat, even though she sheds something fierce!  She is the kindest, sweetest kitty towards people but it pains me to say that she isn't this way with her cat sisters.  Whenever she gets the chance, she walks by them and whacks them over the head with one of her paws and looks the other way as if to say "it wasn't me!"  The good thing is that I can usually catch her before she does this and all I have to say is "be nice.. please be nice..." and she walks past her sister (s) without incidence.  Yes, I've learned to "read" what she will do before she does it, as most good mother do!
Probably staring at her sisters, planning her next attack.
I discovered rather quickly that Emmi Sue absolutely HATES water, which made teaching her the rules of the house that much easier.  If she jumped on the counter or table, I would get my squirt bottle out and get her quickly, saying "Mommy said no" at the same time.  Now, all I have to do is say "no," and she will stop whatever it is she is doing, no water required!  And the truth is that she is a very well behaved kitty, as are all my girls.  All it took was a lot of love and patience and the rewards have been astounding.

Emmi Sue is definitely my jealous girl.  If I'm holding her in my arms, or even just petting her, I'd better not even say one of the other girls' names because it greatly upsets her.  It's as if she's thinking "but MOM!  Aren't I enough for you?"  So I've learned that when I'm with little Miss Em, my time is for her alone.  And I truly love having her in my arms.  She lays back, as if she is a baby, and stays with me for sometimes up to a half hour or more.  She loves attention and if I get the kitty brush out.. OMG, she's in ecstasy!
I love you, Emmi Sue!
I can't imagine life without my Emmi Sue.  She has added so much love, happiness, security and a sense of being needed to my life that I had not known before.  Emmi Sue is my needy, jealous, clingy, sometimes bitchy.. yet so very sweet, loving, intelligent, gentle and comforting little girl.  I love you so much, Emmi Sue, and thank you for choosing me to be your mommy.
Taken the year I adopted Emmi Sue as she lays in my arms like a little baby, 1998.

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