Cassaundra Jane

First of all, her name could be a bit confusing to those outside the family. Her name was officially Cassaundra Jane (with the “u” in purposely included to ensure it was pronounced “kah-sawn-drah” and not “kah-san-drah”). More typically it was Cassie, but more commonly it was Poo! (with the exclamation point purposely included because it seemed to fit). There were of course many related variations — Poo!Cassie, Poo!Dalolly, DaPoo! — and unrelated: When Atticus was little, he called her “Shnocky-head.” Nobody has any idea where that comes from or what it means, but it too worked. (I contend that her birth name was Stooart Loouise Pooskawitz, a Peruvian/Siamese Jew by way of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan born to a ne’er-do-well cad and a stinky lady of ill-repute on the mean streets of Flint, Michigan. The story I hope someday to turn into a questionable children’s book.)

Whatever you called her, my Cassie was a cat’s cat — smart, sneaky, strong preferences, particular, clean, elegant, opinionated, sweet, and kind of a butthole. It was okay that I called her a butthole when she acted like a butthole — she called me names much worse — but she didn’t especially care for the “butthole” song I would sing to her, although it is certainly a jaunty tune. For 20 plus years, Cassie was my workmate — I would work, she would sleep. To be fair, she did do some other things. She would also bathe loudly and go sit on my keyboard to demand my attention. In our old house, where my office in the basement with her, um, facilities, she would take a dump, which was always a good reminder for me to go stretch my legs while the room aired out. Over the years, whenever I came back to my office (whatever the reason), Cassie had this innate sense of knowing where I needed to be next. If I needed to draw, she would be curled up on my drawing chair. If I needed to be working on my computer, she would be curled up on my desk chair. Uncanny! Then I would feel absolutely horrible having to move her, which of course delighted her to no end. See? Kind of a butthole.

July 1990 my sister-in-law Ann and my mother-in-law brought Cassie to us. Jane and I had been in our first house all of two weeks and were not really looking to add anybody soon, but there she was. I fell in love. The first night we had Cassie, we put her in a room downstairs for the night. We thought she was too small to make it up and down the steps. The moment we closed the door, she started to cry and it broke my heart. So I slept on the floor with her that night. (Next night and most thereafter she was in bed with me and Jane.) Last Saturday, Cassie was failing. Jane had already spent the night with her Friday, so I slept in another room on the floor with Cassie. The beginning met the end. Sunday morning she was gone.


  1. Jane said,

    December 3, 2010 @ 2:38 pm

    Poo! was a sweet girl. She came into our lives when we had been married for 3 years. We have now been married for 23+ years. She watched with a judgmental eye three times as I grew with pregnancy…certain that I was letting myself “go”. She did judge me…she was so in love with my husband. That first night when John slept on the floor with her I am sure they were imprinted upon each other.

    As we head into the Christmas season it is difficult for me to imagine putting the tree up without Poo!Cassie there to watch with JOY and EXCITEMENT as a tree A TREE was erected in her living room. This little girl would just relish every day the tree was up and if you wanted to find her you just had to look under the tree where she would be sleeping on the tree skirt~ smiling.

    So loved was this furry girl. Cassie Jane, my namesake. Thank you for the 20 1/2 years. You graced our lives with your beauty, your personality, your warmth and your love. I hope you and Stellaluna are playing in heaven’s sunshine.

  2. Audrey said,

    December 3, 2010 @ 4:17 pm

    Cassaundra Jane….my fondest memories of you are contained within my treasured collection of the annual Auchter Family Christmas Card-Cartoons….you were always a witty, cynical catty character in the cartoons…I ripped open the cards in eager anticipation of seeing what your take on another year of events in the lives of the Auchter’s was…you were one lucky, beloved cat, Cassie, Poo!, Cassaundra Jane….RIP.

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