This came through during the night from a longstanding and beloved friend, and was too good not to post in its entirety:
I’m so sorry for your loss. It is a frightening thing to say I
remember the day you welcomed Akasha into your home in Des Moines
(need we mention Serge here? I still applaud him [ed. note: Serge was my mad-as-a-box-of-ferrets French landlord when I was at University. In order to convince him I was worthy of my flat, I had to sit on floor of it with him, a very large bottle of wine and no furniture, for several hours, discussing existentialist philosophy. En français.]). It is a testament
both to how long we’ve known each other and the tenacity of a
particularly fine feline. She still had her claws in those days, and
I still have the scars… I particularly remember coming over to your
house on Saturday mornings, full of energy and looking for adventure.
I was greeted by Portrait of Medusa, with cat. I honestly can’t
remember who did the spitting and hissing, but it all worked out in
Akasha instinctively knew of my allergies to members of her species,
and took every opportunity to jump, rub and lick on me in ways that
were guaranteed to keep me sneezing and wiping my eyes. She
exemplified Evil (the exact science of being precisely, correctly
wrong) in so many ways, and for that I admire her deeply.
I offer these words in condolence, in my own geek fashion (altered
from the original):
Felis Cattus, is your taxonomic nomenclature,
an endothermic quadruped carnivorous by nature?
Your visual, olfactory and auditory senses
contribute to your hunting skills, and natural defenses.
I find myself intrigued by your subvocal oscillations,
a singular development of cat communications
that obviates your basic hedonistic predilection
for a rhythmic stroking of your fur, to demonstrate affection.
A tail is quite essential for your acrobatic talents;
you would not be so agile if you lacked its counterbalance.
And when not being utilized to aide in locomotion,
it often serves to illustrate the state of your emotion.
O Akasha, the complex levels of behaviour you display
connote a fairly well-developed cognitive array.
And though you are not sentient, Akasha, and do not comprehend,
I nonetheless consider you a true and valued friend.
Many thanks, Greg.