This is Emma Luna(tic). She was born sometime in 2015 and that is about all of the story anyone really knows, for the first few months of her life. What is known is that she suddenly appeared one day, thin, hungry, terrified, cold. She had been abandoned near a cat colony in the month of December, in Cleveland Ohio, just before Christmas.
If you know anything about cat colonies, then you already know they do not tolerate cats that are not born to the colony. Non-colony cats are considered a threat to local resources and colony cats will attack and attempt to drive them off. Luckily, this particular colony was being cared for regularly by a local rescue group doing Tag and Release (T&R). A member spotted Emma, realized she was not a colony member and rescued her.
She went through the routine typical of most rescue cats, with the exception that she was still being vetted and had not yet been spayed before she was sent to foster. If you caught Sophie’s story, you may remember that Sophie walked up the driveway of a 40 year veteran of Cleveland Animal Rescue work, and introduced herself. And subsequently was introduced to her lady, the Rescuer’s own cousin.
That same rescuer was Emma’s foster mom. Emma met the lady and the lady’s daughter on Christmas Eve, a few months after the passing of Sophie’s arch nemesis William James. It all started with “come look at my latest rescue“, and suddenly there was a young and very curious red-headed little girl perching on shoulders and jumping around the room, meeting several of the other elderly resident cats.
She was still fairly thin but clearly grateful to be indoors, warm, fed, and around people and other cats, none of whom were trying to hurt her. Her favorite place was on her foster mom’s shoulder, and then on other shoulders, as she surveyed the room, all eyes and ears, and twitching nose. She was maybe six months old and awaiting an appointment to be spayed, but little did Emma know, she had already found a home.
The day after Christmas Emma found herself in a new place, with the lady’s daughter, the lady, Tanya who was eager to welcome the new arrival and… Sophie. Sophie, the would-be homicidal maniac. Sophie, the homegrown terrorist, who had overnight developed a keen interest in psychological warfare, assault, and battery with intent to kill small ginger kittens. Sophie, a case study in feline sociopathy was relentless.
And so Emma found herself closed off from the rest of the house, away from the lady, away from the curious and friendly Tanya, in the protective custody of the lady’s daughter, safely locked behind a sturdy door. Emma truth be told did not find this much of a hardship. Especially since Sophie’s relentlessness is no embellishment for the sake of story-telling. Sophie never missed an opportunity to slip into the room, under the bed.
But change is inevitable and not all change is bad. It can cause some anxiety however, especially if you are a small young cat who sees her human packing boxes up and moving them out. It was not long before the lady’s daughter moved out, and Emma moved out too, into a place all her own. No more friendly cat peering at or sniffing her or offering an occasional friendly lick, but also no more serial killer Sophie either.
And life was good for the most part. The new place was fascinating, but her human was frequently gone which was not unusual. But now there was no lady, or other cats, friendly or otherwise, nearby either. Emma spent a lot of time peering out the window at all of the birds and the squirrels, the occasional skunk, geese and deer. Still, Emma would get sad whenever she knew her human was going out.
And every time her human would get ready to go out, Emma would jump up on her shoulders and rub her face all over her human’s ears. Her human would refer to this as “putting the mojo on” so that she didn’t get lost on the way home. Her human realized that Emma really needed someone to keep her company while she was gone. So one day, her human left and came back a short time later, and set something down next to her.
Set someone down next to her. A teeny tiny black someone. A teeny tiny pair of eyes looked at her and blinked, mewed, and Emma stared back, hissed and bolted from the room. And the teeny tiny black someone promptly fell head over heels in love. Emma was just about heartbroken; staring forlornly at her human, and at the new kitten. He got into everything; he stole her toys, he slept in her bed and on her perch, on her human.
He followed her everywhere. She had to progressively climb higher and higher to get away. He would pounce on her tail, and on her head, and gnaw on her like a vampire. Eventually, she discovered she could sort of get him to behave if she forcibly held him down by a paw and bathed him. Eventually, they became friends. And life was good, though once again, change was right around the corner. The days were getting cooler.
Emma sensed the change of the seasons; the approach of autumn and then of winter and she began paying ever more close attention to her human. As the temperatures dropped, and Emma grew more and more anxious, her human noticed how Emma seemed to be more and more… worried. The kitten was oblivious, he couldn’t decide who was his favorite toy, Emma or their human. But then it dawned on her human…
It was the time of year in which Emma had originally found herself abandoned outside with strange and hostile cat colony members, scrounging for food on the peripheral of the colony’s territory. Emma was afraid she would be abandoned again and was clearly nervous of her place in the household. As the season passed fully into winter, Emma’s anxiety passed, but she would feel this anxiety again, at the same time every year.
And life was good for the most part. The anxiety had waned for the year as winter had commenced more fully, but something was amiss. The human was coming and going more than usual and then one night, she came home, picked up a carrier and left again, returning with it and a second carrier. Emma and the kitten looked into them.
And a pair of eyes looked back from each of the carriers. And then a familiar hiss came from one of the carriers. And the human sighed and said to Emma, “sorry Em, we got no choice, they can’t stay by themselves indefinitely. Hopefully, it will just be for a little while“. And so the carrier doors swung open, and out popped Tanya; and Emma thought she seemed a little familiar. And then out came Sophie and Emma’s ears went back.
And a little while turned into a month, then into two months, three. Sophie and Tanya went back into the carriers one night, went away and then came right back, and this time, they stayed. And Emma’s human said “Sorry Em, they have nowhere else to go and I promised her I would take care of them.” And time moved on; the kitten grew up and while he is still a pain in her tail, she (mostly) adores him.
Sophie spent a couple of months unsuccessfully trying to assassinate her but finally gave it up. The human noted that Sophie was sporting a newly notched ear shortly before a general cessation of hostilities. Emma still keeps a wary eye on Sophie however; once a domestic terrorist… Tanya on the other hand, who had previously tried hard to meet and befriend the little ginger kitten, has become a close friend and welcome companion.
And life is good.