I was the angel of death for Emma, aka Ghost Cat, today. I caught her and put her in the cat carrier, and then drove my parents when they took her to the vet to be out to sleep. I held her as the vet injected her with the medications. Prior to that, I was the one who gently told my dad that she seemed to be in more pain and in worse shape than Luna or Rugrat ever were, and tried to nudge him towards the decision to put her to sleep. I feel kind of guilty, although I think I did the right thing.
I first met Emma sometime between 2004-2008. I don't really remember when. She was a ghostly presence on the fence. At first I'd just catch glimpses of her, so I started to call her Ghost Cat. She was off-white with a lot of grey in her coat, and was an odd combination of torbie, siamese, and possibly a trace of ragdoll. She was somewhere in between a long and short haired cat. Emma was beautiful and funny looking at the same time, but I didn't get a close look at her for many years. Once she became slightly less shy, she became Luna's bete noir and Luna kept her out of the yard.
After I moved to Ithaca and my dad moved into my Sunnyvale house, Emma had the yard to herself. Free of her nemesis Luna, Emma (short for nemesis) became my dad's outside cat and eventually his inside cat.
Rather than being a ghostly presence, Emma was a strange, quirky, talkative cat who was a complete flea-magnet. She hated other cats and loved my dad, who spoiled her. Once she warmed up to us, she also became fond of me and my brother and liked to sleep on my bed and keep me awake with her scratching.
Emma was old and her kidneys were failing. In the last two months she developed a large growth on her neck which interfered with her breathing and eating, and this week she seemed to be a few days away from complete kidney failure. I won't go into the details, but even in the few days I was here in CA she went downhill a lot. I recognized the behaviors and symptoms I had seen in Luna and Rugrat in the last few weeks of their lives. I did not think she had long to live, but Emma was a tough little honey badger and might've lived another day or week. It was hard to see her suffer like that.
RIP Ghost Cat, forever haunting my yard.