In Memory of Cassie

Cassiopeia, my darling “Little Orange Cat,” passed away quietly at home Monday morning after a short illness, with me by her side. 

She was born an only kitten on April 8, 1995, in a shoe in a boyfriend’s closet in Canoga Park.  Single kittens are rare, and female orange kittens are rarer still: 1 in 4000.  She was absolutely one of a kind in so many ways.  Her young mother did not know what to do with a kitten, so my boyfriend and I bottle fed her, bathed and took care of her.  Eventually Cassie came to live with me, where she joined Perseus and Natasha in the household, and a short time later the boyfriend and another kitten, Chelsea, joined us.  Eventually, the boyfriend left and fortunately for me, he also left Cassie.  It was the best gift he could have given me, and having Cassie in my life is the closest I will ever be to being a real mom.

She was an excellent companion.  She was not particularly interested in going outside, but would if I was with her.  She loved to follow me around the house and would supervise while I did laundry, loaded the dishwasher, vacuumed.  She enjoyed sitting on the dining table by the window watching me cook, and if there wasn’t any cooking going on she would nap on the table in the sun.  She enjoyed life’s simple pleasures.

As the years went by, Cassie was my willing companion on many adventures:  Moves to Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Seattle, Los Angeles (again), and Portland.  She had to help Perseus and Natasha keep an eye on me.  While she had Percy and Natasha as her “cat parents,” it was me she loved the most.  While I have loved and been loved by all my cats, I have never had a pet that I knew, without a shadow of doubt, loved me.  I was her person, and she was very much my little girl.  When I got home from work in the evening she would greet me at the door, rubbing my ankles and crying with desperation for me to pick her up.  If I ignored her, she would begin climbing up the leg of my pants, until I reached down, detached her from my pants, and held her.  If I was sitting on the sofa watching TV, she was either on my lap or behind me on the back of the sofa, resting her head or a paw on my shoulder.

She slept with me every night, leaning against the pillow on the other side of the bed, purring while I fell asleep, with a paw stretched out touching me, of course.  Her last 2 nights, she moved over and slept on my pillow; I know now that she wanted to be as close to me as possible during the time she had left.

My Cassie, my “Bebes,” my “Marow Marow,”, my “Little Orange Cat,” I love and miss you so much.

– Vanessa Conley, Portland, OR