The amazing 18-year-old who just won’t quit…
Most people know what love feels like. But if you want to know what love sounds like, ask Laura a question or two about her beloved 18-year-old cat Emo.
The owner of the “most awesome black cat ever” – who was adopted as a nine-week-old kitten through Annex Cat Rescue after being saved from the streets of Kensington Market – can conjure adjectives for days to describe her fluffy friend.
According to Laura, Emo is “playful, chill, precious, affectionate” and “devoted”, not to mention enormously fond of crawling under blankets and prone to bestowing kisses after eating or using the litter box.
As Laura recalls, when she reached out to ACR via telephone in the dark pre-Internet days, she had no qualms about taking on a black cat which, as any feline fan can attest, are easy to love but very hard to photograph.
Laura has a long history with black cats – Emo is her fourth. But Laura was unprepared for just how darling Emo was when she met him at his foster’s home with his rescued mother and another sibling during her quest to find a companion for her cat, Asha.
“My husband correctly observed that he was going to be a very needy cat in terms of affection,” Laura chuckles, “which turned out to be true.”
Emo was a hit with Asha from the get-go.
“Asha was suffering really bad separation anxiety. Anytime someone would leave she’d try and run out the door. When we came home, she’d climb up our legs. Asha was about 10 months old when we adopted Emo. And the strategy worked. They were so close until Asha died in 2015 just a few months away from her 18th birthday.
“[Emo] stayed by her side during her last few days, cuddling and grooming her when she was resting and standing guard beside her whenever she would get up for food and water or touse the litter box.”
Coincidentally enough, Asha was a calico, just like Emo’s mother. “When Emo first met Asha, you could almost see the thought in his head: ‘Oh here’s another mother just like my other mother!’ He wanted to be with her. Now is his first time he’s ever been alone. Maybe that’s why he is so affectionate. He has always been the baby.”
Laura says she wouldn’t hesitate to adopt once again from Annex Cat Rescue.
“Way back when we first met Emo, his foster told us he was the noisiest of all the cats, especially when he was getting fed. At the time I thought it was a strange thing to say but it turned out to be absolutely true. It was good to know that, to have that kind of background on the cat. I got a real insight into his personality, the kind you’d never get from a shelter or a breeder.”
— Kim Hughes