I’ve been intending for a while to try and get some of my old pictures in order. I had picked up a scanner a while back to digitize the ones made before digital cameras were around. She would have been 16 in this picture. Gus, behind her, is about 1.
This is a time of year that I always think about my cat Cassiopeia a lot. I was spending the summer in St. Louis in 1982 and found a small black kitten that had been abandoned. It died a few days later. A friend suggested that I go to a local shelter and adopt a kitten, and I found here there. She was a blue creme tortie with only a few touches of white – a locket on the chest and a tiny tail-tip.
I remember they gave me a cardboard carrier for her. I tried using it when I had to take her back a bit later for shots, but I didn’t have a ride and she tore the top off the box on the way. I had to buy a carrier there for the way back. I still have it.
A few years back when I made Zazzle cartoons of Gus, Julie, and Calla I made one of Cassie. Her eyes had a narrow rim of bright green next to the iris that showed up very strongly when her pupils were big and round.
This is from September 1997. When I was thinking about new cats after Calpurnia died a few years ago, Rhea struck me because she was a blue-creme too. Cassie was fairly mild mannered but had a stubborn streak in her. I suppose Rhea does too.
Most of Cassie’s life was spent with another cat, Angelina. When she died in 1997, I went out and adopted Gus.
It is hard to remember that Gus was once a little fellow. Gus was a bit of a mismatch for Cassie due to the age difference, but things settled down as he got older.
This is from about a year later, late in 1998. It is just after Cassie suffered some partial paralysis in her back legs and she had to learn to walk with her back legs spread a bit wide to keep upright. It looks like she is scared Gus will bite her, but he’s just yawning. Even so, Cassie was a bit more cautious around him as she grew frailer with increasing age. Gus always was hard for other cats to understand.
She decided it was time to depart in 2002, just after her 20th birthday. She stopped eating and walking on the weekend but was otherwise alert. I dropped her off the vet for some tests but she let herself go almost at once. She died on April 15. It was just like her to not be any trouble, even on her last day.
When I adopted Julius a few months later, Gus passed on many of the customs and habits Cassie started down to him. I still see those customs in use by Rhea and Davout today.