I have never known a day of my life without my dearest cat, Casper. For as far back as my memory stretches, Casper was there. As a kitten, he was brash and playful, but powerfully independent. From his first days to his last, he would disdain being picked up and cradled in anyones arms. Like an indignant child he would squirm and writhe until he was released and allowed to stand on his own four paws. This is not to say he did not love company; Casper loved nothing more than to curl up in a warm lap at night, purring himself into a ecstatic torpor. While aloof and seemingly uncaring, Casper consumed affection like a fire consumes air. Gorging himself on your love at any possible encounter, he could redefine gluttony in but an hour of your time.
As an old cat, he lost his left eye and most of the vision in his right. The impairment slowed him down as much as a bullet being fired through damp rice paper. Like the proverbial “grumpy old man”, he would never miss a chance to remind you that he was there, howling and crying louder than anyone could possibly imagine whenever he wanted something.
In his final days, he stopped eating or drinking. He lost his omnipresent voice to a hoarse sigh, and his stiff joints dragged him aimlessly from room to room. Lost, dehydrated and in pain, I simply couldn’t bear to watch him suffer. The Vetenarian claimed he had only hours left to him, and I knew that for him, this would simply be one drawn out agonising ordeal. My family and I made the hard decision to end his suffering; the hardest order I have ever been forced to give to anyone. Holding Casper as he took his last shuddering breath will forever haunt me as the most foul and despicable act I have committed. I felt a dirty great stain on my hands that I will never completely be rid of, and the permanent knot in my stomach reminds me of it every time the hour hand circumscribes the dozen judges that look down on me from the wall.
My hat sits upon my breast and I will always remember him fondly.
I will raise a stone for all to see;
A rune carved to his memory.