She lived as an apparition. Rarely seen during daylight once she had grown to her full size. Coming out and being friendly at night, when she was barely visible except for golden hued eyes rimmed in blues and blacks. Any who were graced with an actual sighting commented that she was, even at the end, a beautiful cat. Beautiful, yet shy among strangers. Only outgoing when proving to the other animals or her humans that she wasn't willing to take shit from anybody for any reason.
Yet, for all her ability to disappear into the shadows, if someone was down, she was there. Every time someone cried, or felt dumpy, or seemed a little not-quite-themselves, she made an appearance. Laying on a depressed dog's back, rubbing gently on their ears until they perked up. Sitting on our laps, mewing softly to us as we cried off whatever tragedy had brought us to that point. Once the need for her attention passed, she would again slink off to the shadows, then jump out and frighten the one recently comforted at her earliest convenience.
Each night she would wait, on the dresser inside the bedroom door, to say goodnight as we came to bed. Rubbing our noses, purring loudly, yowling her goodnight. Once in bed, the lights off, she would come to us, a slightly darker presence in the bed amongst the shadows, laying on our chests, purring until we relaxed, then leaving us to our night as she prowled the house through the darkness.
Oh, the memories we have.
Pup1 jumping on her, the second she came in the door, so happy to have a playmate in her own newly found home. And Cassie, for her part, simply accepting it, not even getting upset. Just waiting until the puppy calmed enough she could rub on her and say hi.
Climbing into the back of the TV cabinet and peaking out at us, little tiny kitten eyes, nose pressed against the glass, meowing as if to ask, "how the hell did I get back here?"
Standing on the brother in law's leg, kneeding him softly and yowling loudly, making him fear for his life.
For a period of weeks she decided she was going to try barking instead of meowing. She barked so much she eventually became hoarse and switched back to meowing, but it was funny to watch her little body jump with her barks, the same way her puppy-sister did at the time.
I still remember the trip to the humane society. All the kittens and cats out and proud, begging for a home. And one dark shadow, only ears visible behind her litter box. I asked to see her. And she leaned into me as I took her, as if to say, "yeah, you."
After their surgeries, Pup1 and Cassie laying on the floor near each other, her softly calling, Pup1 determinedly pulling herself towards her, us trying to stop her, thinking they were both too weak, too tender, to start playing yet. Pup1 still pushing through our hands and finding her way to her, laying her nose softly on top of Cassie's head, and the mewing stopping the second they touched.
Ah, the memories.
The rest of the house is in a bit of a state. They all know what's happened. The younger kitties are constantly agitated, looking, wondering, worrying over her being gone. Kitty2 taking over her nightly goodnight routines, though not being quite as effective in white as she was in black. For the pups? Depression. Puppy depression is an odd thing. You can shake it for a few minutes at a time. Play. Walk. Food. Attention. But eventually they're right back to sitting, staring forlornly at her favorite haunts in the house, longingly seeking their friendly little furball.
Cassie, you may be gone, but you are not, and will not be, forgotten. You loved as much as any cat ever has, and for that we feel our attempts to give you a good life were worth it. We may have failed you, and not prevented the worst from happening, but in your eight years you gave us a lifetime of memories. We love you. We miss you. We wish you well.
Goodbye, sweetie. May we know your kind again.
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