Forever Loved: Casper

Forever Loved: Casper

14261348145_7795a88dd1_zThis is a post I never wanted to have to write.

This is a post I “should,” “rationally,” have been long prepared to write.Our brave, beautiful boy has left this world.

On Saturday, Casper traded his usual spark for a quiet ember. He’d rallied yet again, bobbling around the lobby with gusto for another miracle month. It was almost as though rumors of his imminent demise awakened Casper’s inner rebel: Oh I’m fixin’ to die, am I? You’re reeeeeal funny. I’m gonna live the living daylights out of life. Don’t believe me? Just watch.

16246627881_2ede54a3e5_zBut this Independence Day, Casper’s eyes were clearly searching for another sort of freedom. He was suffering yet another bout of painful constipation, this time unresponsive to treatment. Our vet surmised that Casper’s kidney disease, and the likely spread of his lymphoma, were causing his distress. It was time to lovingly let him go.

Jonathan called Casper’s original rescuers — hereafter WonderBarb and WonderTom — so they could come say goodbye. Their lives have been so richly interwoven with Casper’s that it was only fitting that they love him through his last moments.

Their love lengthened those moments. When WonderBarb and WonderTom arrived, Casper’s eyes lit up and his energy surged. Our team decided to closely monitor Casper for one more day. By “closely monitor,” of course, I mean “do all the important vet monitoring stuff, but, more importantly, regale with wet food, cuddles, prayers and kisses. And wet food.”

Casper’s final day was a feast of joy and a celebration of love. As we prepared our hearts for the inevitable, we marveled at the miracle of Casper. This is a cat who was supposedly stamped with a short “expiration date” from the day he arrived in early 2014.

“He has spinal cancer,” experts said. “He’ll never walk again,” they said. “He’ll make it a few weeks. Perhaps a few months, but don’t get your hopes up,” they said.

13929192104_9db5b4b328_zThey spoke from science and study and human reason. They did not, however, know the stuff of soul and spirit and Casper.

So, even as we knew, in our reasonable human brains, that every day with Casper was a “bonus” gift, we got comfortable with feeling like he’d simply always be with us. Once a miracle, always a miracle, right?

Right…but not always in the way we’d want.

Yesterday, our miracle man was ready to be released from a body that had finally worn out. Surrounded by an adoring circle of staff, volunteers and cats, Casper gently, peacefully left this world. The Tabby’s Place lobby gaped with a void in the shape of a forehead-smudged, paw-crumpled, wondrous white cat.

Yes, this is a post I never wanted to have to write.

But this is also a post that would have been written a very long time ago — and in a very tragic tone — had it not been for you guys. All of you.18786726396_96d1ceafcf_z(1)

Without lavish love from WonderBarb and WonderTom, Casper would have breathed his last all alone, outdoors, paralyzed on a February day.

Without lavish love from Tabby’s Place, Casper would have never had the chance to challenge his “expiration date.”

Without lavish love from Casper’s whole extended family of sponsors and adorers and pray-ers, Casper would have faded fast, missing out on the life-saving medical care that bought him over a year of health and laughter, love and wet food, miracle and wonder.

Without lavish love, we would have missed out on Casper.

So even as we grieve, we rejoice in the miracle that Casper was, and is, and will always be. I believe we will see him again, in the place where there is no more pain or death or crying, and every tear is wiped away. Can’t you just hear Casper triumphing, once and for all:

When the perishable puts on the imperishable, and the mortal puts on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written:

Death is swallowed up in victory.
O death, where is your victory?
O death, where is your sting?

Until that glorious day, thank you, amazing ones, for giving Casper a taste of heaven — and showing us the meaning of miraculous, rebellious, life-outlasting love.


8 thoughts on “Forever Loved: Casper

  1. Big hugs to all who knew and loved Casper. We only met once, but we have his photograph, and are very touched by this heart warming tribute – thank you Angela.

  2. Tears are falling as I read this. I will forever remember Casper walking across the lobby searching for any extra treats he knew were in my hand just for him. Casper until we all meet again know you were loved by all of us at Tabby’s Place. Angela, lovingly written, thank you for such a fitting tribute,

  3. Tears are streaming down my face as I read the article. I feel blessed to have met such a fighter who had determination to keep going when others were so adamant to put him down. He was not ready to go and he showed everyone that. Now that he is gone he is no longer in pain and he is across the rainbow bridge running and playing with the rest of our kitties that have gone there also.

    Thinking of the entire staff at Tabby’s Place in your time of need.

    God bless all of you

  4. Casper’s recovery and additional life for over a year was one of TP’s greatest feats.

    But just like his rhyme-mate Jasper, perhaps the greatest gift Tabby’s Place gave him was that, when he reached the end of life, it was in a place where he was loved — and not all alone, outdoors and forgotten.

  5. So beautifully said, Angela. Casper’s story is bittersweet, and although I am sitting here teary eyed, I also am amazed how Casper beat the odds and i’m happy that he was surrounded by love and good care until he left Tabby’s Place and crossed the Rainbow Bridge. Heartfelt thanks to all at Tabby’s Place. And a special thank you to Angela for writing this.

  6. Casper – you taught us all the true meaning of love, of not giving up, of being content with who we are and what we are. You were and always will be a cat among cats – I will miss you and always love you. Rest in peace, sweet one.

  7. A gentle, loving Tabby’s Place miracle – not a long, healthy life but a sweet life for as long as it lasted. It was forever for him – and he was loved and safe and happy. My condolences to all staff and volunteers an Tabby’s Place – and to all us fans, too – in this time of sadness.

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