I am immensely saddened to report the death of Pia, the pet and helpmeet of Malgorzata Koraszewska and Andrzej Koraszewski, who run the well-known Polish rationalist website Racjonalista. Pia was 14, and died from kidney failure. She was a lovely tabby:
I first became acquainted with Pia when Malgorzata asked to translate some of my website pieces into Polish for their website. Of course I assented, but, learning that they had a cat, I asked for two pictures of Pia as payment for each use, with one sent me as payment for allowing the translation and the other upon publication. Malgorzata obliged, and I wound up with hundreds of pictures of Pia (they’ve translated over 100 of my pieces). I also learned a lot about her: she liked to sit on the computer, obstructing the progress of secularism, and was fond of quail livers and beef tartare, but only when scraped from the beef rather than chopped.
After a while Andrzej began to publish “Pia Dialogues” on his Facebook page, each accompanied by a photo of Pia. She came off as a haughty but loveable diva, and her lucubrations about life often ended with a plea for nomz. Here’s one dialogue:
A: Life is but a short break in an endless oblivion.
Pia: One has to fill this break sensibly. Give me something scrumptious.
Pia died suddenly, and I hoped up to the end that she could be saved. I wanted to meet her, and had visions of visiting Poland with a packet of quail livers as a gift. But they put her to sleep to end her suffering. As Malgorzata said,
Here are facts. Pia, a feral kitten, was rescued by our friend and given to us 1998. She was the queen of the house, and of our two big dogs one adored her and the other avoided her in respect. For some time lately she was having a daily dialogue with Andrzej about, life, food, philosophy and human folly.
A: I do not have to push my pen under the screen, Pia will not throw it on the floor nor will she lie on it; I do not have to check the kitchen window, Pia will not return from the orchard; I do not have to look where I step nor do I have to move carefully in my sleep. How empty can a house be without one tiny, grey creature? And how empty our life would be if we felt differently.