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Monday, June 29, 2009

Tie Dye leaves home

When Alex and Zac were nine or ten, we were talking about college. Alex asked me if I would take care of Tie Dye, our 2 year old tortoise shell cat, until they got back from college. I was tickled and touched that he assumed life would resume and be the same, with all of us living together again after "college."

Sixteen years later he knows that nothing stays the same. He and Zac have been on their own, in different cities, since they finished college a few years back. And Tie Dye breathed her last yesterday, almost exactly 24 hours ago, when she was euthanized.

Zac and Alex were her "pet humans" and they gave her all the love a little cat could purr up. I'd never adopted a tortoise shell kitty and was trying to steer the boys to a tabby or a black cat at the Humane Society. They said, "Dad, it's the personality that counts!" and that was it.

As I held her lifeless bony body yesterday, I looked down at the variegated orange, rust-brown, and yellow pallette of her fur and buried my face in her side, breathing in as much of her beauty as I could.

She had an uncanny ability to know when it was exactly 6 PM. She'd come get me wherever I might be in the house and tell me it was time for wet food with the exact same meow-tones. It was her favorite time of day and as sick as she got in the final week, she only missed the call one time. Yesterday, the vet left Sally and me alone with Tie Dye for a few minutes before the euthanization, while emotions took over. I noticed a bag of treats on the desk and grabbed some. Tie Dye perked up for the first time all day and gobbled down several. Her purr was mostly wheez at this point, but it was a sweet moment none the less. And it was just a few minutes past 6.


  1. Tie Dye was an insistent and sweet femininity in an otherwise testosterone infused atmosphere; she brought a much needed layer of civility to the Emerson household. Many occasions I witnessed wild and random energy of the male occupants of that household come to a screeching halt in order to cuddle and coo her. Her purr was more like a throaty dove song than that of a little calico cat which is why I always considered her so fetching... like a feline Marlene Deitrich . Tie Dye was a patient teacher but she suffered no fools, outsiders had to learn how to arrange themselves to approach her but once we knew the path in, the rewards were undeniable. Tie Dye was sweetness personified, pure and simple. Her life was a daily reminder of the most profound of life lessons: of all the things one can do in a day, and day after day,you just cannot beat the simple act of loving.
    I will miss her too

  2. this is a sweet and moving eulogy that lets us into your feeling world, wonderful to see the pics of the boys, and to hear your eulogy too, deb