Dexter in 2014

Dexter was a badass — a stone-cold killer and a beheader of bunnies. A rescue cat who was about six months old when we adopted him, he was an orange tabby who I would describe as friendly, but not too friendly. I love the above photo of him, taken eight years ago. We have plenty of pictures that are more in focus, but none that captures his attitude quite like this one.

In 2006

Dexter died early today. We celebrated his 21st birthday in March even though we weren’t entirely sure of his birth date. He’d been slowing down for quite some time and was obviously failing during the past week or so. But his final passing came quietly, without the need for any final trip to the vet.

My favorite memory of him is from when he was young and strong. He brought a live bird into the kitchen and let it go so that it was flying around. I opened the top of a window. The bird flew out and Dexter leaped after him, through the open space and out into the backyard.

That one, at least, got away.