The Decaturian

In Memoriam: Casper

He was the cat that touched the world, albeit he didn’t live there long. He was Casper, a short haired tabby kitten that belonged to Millikin’s College and Fine Arts Director Marielle Tepe and her partner junior Dolson Resident Assistant Katie Czajkowski.

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In Memoriam: Casper

Photo Courtesy of Marielle Tepe

Photo Courtesy of Marielle Tepe

Photo Courtesy of Marielle Tepe

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He was the cat that touched the world, albeit he didn’t live there long. He was Casper, a short haired tabby kitten that belonged to Millikin’s College and Fine Arts Director Marielle Tepe and her partner junior Dolson Resident Assistant Katie Czajkowski.

In October of last year, the pair decided it would be nice to get a fluffy baby together, so they went to the animal shelter to get a kitten. Of all of them, Casper was already making a stand-out name for himself by being the sweetest and most mellow kitten in the shelter. He won their hearts instantly.

Some students may remember Casper was made famous through a short but sweet video on Facebook. Originally posted on Tepe’s personal page, the video shows Casper getting ready for bed. He’s snuggled under the covers and reaches out to grab his favorite toy (which only costed a dollar and came from a claw-grab machine).

Eventually, a number of Tepe’s friends encouraged her to share the video on a page called Catspotting Society, which she did. It got enough attention for another page called UNILAD to reach out to her for licensing rights. And the rest, as they say, is history. As of this article, the video has over forty-seven million views.

But Casper’s charm went beyond the video that made him famous. He could also physically reach anywhere and everywhere he could get his paws on. He learned to jump on ledges in Tepe’s apartment, and the exploration never ended there. There was one ledge in particular that Tepe would put pots, frames and holiday decorations on that he knocked over because he got there first.   

One of his quirks was that instead of drinking water directly from the bowl, he would dip his feet and drink the water with his paws. By the end of it, he would be soaking wet, which is weird considering he was a cat.  

Another thing that made Casper odd was his obsession with candles. His whiskers would be curly and slightly singed after trying to fit his head in one. Tepe learned to not light candles too often because she didn’t want his whiskers to be more burnt than they already were.

A perfect word that could describe Casper was sociable. Although Tepe’s cat didn’t like them very much at first, her border collie and shih tzu puppy were very protective of him. He warmed up to the others, as they warmed up to him.

For all of his life, Casper was never afraid to be social. Czajkowski used to not like cats so much because of their independent nature, but for her, Casper was one special exception. “Some [cats] are more independent, which is fine because they have every right to do what they need to do,” Czajkowski said. “But I loved Casper for being social and cuddly.”

Plus, Casper was naturally inclined to human touch. Even if he was just being picked up, he couldn’t get enough of it. He especially liked being tucked in, as evidenced in the viral video. Though he wouldn’t be tucked in all the time, if he was just sleepy enough, he would enjoy being tucked under the covers.

Czajkowski grew up having dogs, so having Casper was quite an experience. “I’ve never taken care of or got so close to [cats] before,” she said. “So, it was cool to get to know Casper as my first cat.”

Shortly after Casper’s passing, they got a new fluffy black kitten named Binx. She’s a little livelier and feistier than Casper, and she drinks water normally. But all the same, Casper will always hold a place in their memories and their hearts.  

A bright spot and everything Tepe and Czajkowski could need for a first pet, Casper was more than a cute cat who made it big on the internet. He was one of the brightest stars Millikin has ever known. May he be remembered always in our hearts.   

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In Memoriam: Casper