A Tribute to Antioch Casey Blues
On August 11, 1992, Champion Antioch Easter Lily presented me
with a litter of five kittens. She was very proud of these little
wonders. She gave me the gift of her trust, and allowed me to touch them.
In October, I discovered that I would have
to undergo major surgery. I was very frightened by this. In early November, I
had a minor surgery, to delay the need for the major
one, and to allow the doctors to do more tests. In late December, my
surgery was performed. My mother came to help me for the first few weeks,
and when I entered the house, I found that a hospital bed had been set up
in our living room. I arranged myself on the bed and fell asleep. A few
hours later, I woke to the aroma of my husband's culinary efforts. I
asked for a glass of water...
At the sound of my voice, every cat in the house came running! They
flooded onto my bed, greeting me with purrs and kisses. Even Lily's five
month old kittens came. After some moments of investigation and greeting
they each wandered off to resume some feline activity... all but one.
The one that remained was a blue kitten I had been calling "Jericho".
"Jerri" stayed with me as the other cats and kittens left, and settled
down next to me in the sheets as if he were planning to be my nursemaid.
In fact, that is exactly what he had decided. He was my constant
companion for eight weeks, rarely leaving my side.
As I played with this kitten, I discovered that if I would hold a feather
tease-toy in the air, this kitten would sit up and wave his front paws,
Benji-the-dog-style. He soon learned that if he did this, the toy would
be brought down again to within his reach. Soon, all I had to do was
touch the ceiling with any stick, and the begging would commence. I was
delighted by this "trick" and I decided I was not going to sell this
Soon after, I registered him "Antioch Casey Blues". Casey was to comfort
me through difficult times for his entire life. As he had done when I
arrived home after the surgery, Casey always seemed to have an uncanny
empathy for my emotional and physical feelings.
I recall one day, having a muscular cramp in my shoulder. I settled down
on the couch, sore and tired. I wanted a heating pad, but did not know
where to look. This was one of those times when one hurts so badly that
getting up and looking for pain killers or a heating pad seems to be too
much to undertake.
Casey came to me as I lay there. At first, I refused him. Then, he
sat up and begged. What could I do? I gave up and let him walk across
my chest. He came to my shoulder, and precariously lay down on it. Soon,
the warmth of his body heated the area, and I began to feel better. He
cuddled with me many times in his life, and always seemed to know what to
do to make me feel better.
It was obvious that Casey was able to reason. He soon learned that
begging was the door to "mommy's" heart. He would beg for anything he
wanted. He would beg at the screen door if I sat outside on the porch.
He wanted to join me. He begged if he was caged, even for a few minutes,
to travel to the vet's office. I did not teach him to transfer the
begging from the toy to other things he wanted, Casey just "figured this
Before long, Casey decided it was
his duty to provide for the entire
group of queens who lived with him. He took this very seriously. At
10 PM every night, he would come to the foot of the couch, and beg. This
was the time when all the cats were fed a big plate of canned cat food in
the kitchen. The interesting thing was, Casey was not a big fan of canned
cat food. He would beg and whine at me until I got up from my movie to
feed everyone. When the food was being prepared, he would stand on his
hind legs, and beg and whine. However, when the food was put down on the
floor, he would taste it a bit, and then leave the rest of the crew to eat
When daylight savings time came, and the clocks were changed, Casey would
be off a bit. He might come and beg an hour early or late for awhile
after the clocks changed. Then, gradually, he would come earlier or later,
until the time was adjusted, and he was back on schedule. Casey
was so regular, that I could have set my clock by him on most days.
Casey was a real guy, not a sissy neuter! He knew about girls, and had
"recreational encounters" with them. Just because he had "that delicate
operation", did not mean he was not a fully functioning guy! One of our
females, Hosca Kal Aktris Scarale, loved these "encounters" so much that
she would not allow our stud cats to breed her. After her first litter,
she was lost as a breeding queen, because she loved Casey so much. I
would take her to the stud, and she would refuse. Later, I would give
up, and she would rush up to Casey and begin kissing him and hugging him.
Then, they would have another "encounter".
The refusal of "Triss" to be bred by our potent males, was a great loss to
me, because "Trissy" as she is called, is the mother of Grand Champion
Antioch Thank Heaven 4 Little Girls, CFA's best Turkish Angora for the
1996-97 show season. We would have liked to have a little sister or
brother from the next litter, but Trissy would have no one but her love,
Casey. I guess I really do not mind... who can stand in the way of
The other aspect of Casey's prowess as a "guy" was the way he took credit
for every kitten born in our house. He doted on them, kissing them,
hugging them, taking them to bed with him, and entertaining them. I never
saw him dish out "discipline" on any of "his" kittens. He was always
gentle and loving as a father should be.
In 1998, Casey was ill. He saw
three vets, a total of five times, between February and May. After a
dietary change, and some medication, Casey regained the weight he had
lost, and seemed to feel better.
On May 14, 1998, I came home from work, and threw myself on the bed, in
exhaustion. Casey was there as always, to comfort me. He stood on my
chest and made "kitty biscuits", bumped my head with his forehead in
affection, and whined at me. He flopped down next to me, and lay on his
back, begging for "tummy tickles". Suddenly, and without warning, he jumped off the bed and was violently ill, and
I rushed him to the vet, ten minutes away.
Casey fought for his life that week. He would allow me to do
anything... anything, to treat his troubles. On May 22, 1998,
faced with further suffering, and no chance for recovery, I was
forced to say goodbye
to my friend and sent him before me to the Smaller Gate. It was the most
difficult decision I have ever made.
Casey was more than a remarkable cat. He was sent to me during one of
the toughest times in my life, and he seemed to know that loving me
was his calling. Casey loved me with a single-minded devotion.
He loved me with every fiber of his being. There will be many cats in my
life, but Casey was the one who comes along once in a lifetime. His short
presence in mine was a blessing from heaven. I believe I will find him
there, waiting for me.
Painting by Thomas Kinkade
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