Hi Carl, well this is absolutely heart-wrenching. You really get at the heart of the companionship between Crookshanks and Hermione (and even Ron).
My kitties are getting to a certain age, and I'd be lying if I said I don't worry about when this day will come. I'm so sorry about your Sophie.
Even before I saw your author's note at the end, I noticed that Crookshanks referred only to Hermione and Ron as "she" and "he," and I really liked it. It actually made the whole thing feel more intimate. I adore the fact that Crookshanks loves Luna, and that Ron entertains Crookshanks with his Patronus (so clever!)
The part about him not being able to purr is so sad, and even sadder that he seems to want to be able to do it for his people's benefit. We know cats purr when they're happy and also to self-soothe and it's an instinctive response, but a part of me also likes to think that they do it to please us or soothe us sometimes. I have definitely had moments where my cat seems to have used her purr powers to make me feel better.
This is a beautiful and moving tribute.
I'm so glad you left a review on this; this is probably the most personal of my stories. I wrote it after Sophie was diagnosed with IBD, and it was me dealing with her mortality. When she did pass away last year, it really tore at me (especially since we lost my mother-in-law just the week before). I also knew that you loved Ron, so I wanted to show you a reconciliation with Ron and Crookshanks. He really came to love that kitty too.
Thank you for noticing the little trick I did with the pronouns, I thought it added to the story. Glad you thought so, too.
I knew from the start that Hermione and Ron wouldn't have the heart to put Crookshanks down and that Luna would be the best person. She's got a real empathetic streak that always comes through. Her Kneazle, Zephira, also appears in few stories.
Happy kitties to you.
I'm sobbing, I went through exactly the same thing when my dog passed away a few years ago. Poor Crookshanks <3
You have my sympathy and I know how you feel. I miss my Sophie so much.
Hey, Carl! I'm here for MAGIC!
This killed me a little inside (which means that you've done a fantastic job as a writer, of course, but I just can't with this). It's so sad.
Every step of the way, with Crookshanks in pain -- unwilling to stand to eat because it hurts too much, unable to pur for too long because it causes too much pain, unable to get pet in certain places because that makes him cry out, unwilling to take the medication that isn't working anymore, anyway, makes my heart break further and further. What's more, is that he cares for Hermione so much as to try to pur to assuage her, even when he can't.
I found Crookshank's 'understanding' with Ron sweet as well -- how Ron will conjure a Patronus to play with him and how he gives him pets and treats when Hermione's not around (and especially how Crookshanks likes to stare at him to make him nervous). And it makes it even more disheartening when Ron casts the charm that kind of makes the pain go away, but knows it's time anyway.
And how much Crookshanks loves Luna! And I love the ending. It's so very sad, but so very sweet where the last thing he remembers are some wonderful memories to have. Of course the last line killed me. And needless to say, I'm a little bit ruined. I haven't cried during a story in a long time now, but this one takes the cake.
I wrote this story out of worry for my own cat, Sophie when I found out she had IBD and I'd have to medicate her everyday for the rest of her life. I had real concern that she wasn't going to live very long (she's still going strong at 11 yrs old, and is good on her meds now). It's always so hard when you have to put down an animal for their own good, a life in suffering is no quality of life, and while Crookshanks is loved in his home, even by Ron, he's still in so much pain that life's not really good for him.
Hermione has been trying to give him quality of life, but she knows it's time and so does Ron when she calls him. Luna seemed to be the best choice, not an actual magical veterinarian, but someone who loves animals, but would have the strength to do what was needed. I think Crookshanks would love her, just as I showed.
Ron always gets the short end of the stick and I wanted to show him as someone who really DOES care, but doesn't necessarily know how to express it. I can perfectly see him playing with Crookshanks behind Hermione's back and then denying liking Crookshanks in the next breath.
I'm so glad that people really like this story. It's one of my works that really speaks to me, and I'm happy that it speaks to others, too.
CTF. - Transfer from HPFF
So, I've heard a lot about your stories before Crookshanks' stories so it's great that I'm here to read! I think this is simply a wonderful idea that you've had! it's so unique, I love to know how you came up with this idea because it's so interesting that I've never seen anything quite like this! it's a wonderful concept. angst from a cat?
the emotions from Crookshanks are amazingly played. I'm so impressed by the way you've written this. It's so sad that he is dying, the way you describe that pain is so heartbreaking as it seems the end is near but it's still feel quite realistic? if there is a way to write realistically from the pov of a dying cat then you've managed it anyway!
I'm so obsessed with the Ron mention in this story about how he use to send his patronus to play with him is SOSOSO perfect. I love that idea so much and how he says 'silver dog with no smell' is so cute. I like that he is thinking back to 'happier days'. I also like that Luna is the one there when he dies. I can just imagine that all animals just love her so it seems very fitting.
well done on this piece - it's unique and plays the emotions so wonderfully! I can't wait to read more from you. I'm going to be putting some more of your writing on my after ctf reading list! xox
I love cats and I love to watch them and try to figure out what they're thinking, so my cat/kneazle stories came from that. I think this stoy came from my worry about one of my own cats who had IBD and was very sick for a while, but is now well controlled on medicine.
I'm glad that you like the way that Crookshanks's voice comes through. I tried very hard to make him seem like an old man who was in pain and was looking forward to his eternal rest.
I'm really glad this piece spoke to you as it's directly from my heart and I'm happy it is so well received.
Ah, Ron often gets short shrift in stories, just a jerk or comic relief, but he's actually so much more. Underneath his unthinking exterior where he spouts off without thinking, he's a very caring person and I can see him claiming to hate the cat, then playing with him behind Hermione's back. I think she would know but not confront him about it.
Thanks so much for the review and the kind words.
(Transferred from HPFF)
Hello! I don't think I've actually read any of your stories before, but it's really great to get a chance to read this as part of the CTF game!
This was such an original concept for a story! I've read a couple of stories written from the perspective of house elves or garden gnomes, but I honestly don't think that I've ever read one from Crookshanks' perspective, and I actually loved it! Your writing was so clever all the way through this piece, and I loved the attention you paid to little details which really brought this story to life.
The opening sentence of this story was so dramatic - it really pulled me in, and then when I realised that it was a story about Crookshanks, I kind of smiled. And then you had to go and break my heart with the end of the story and make me realise that actually it is dramatic, after all!
I loved the way that Crookshanks narrated this story, and his thoughts towards his humans - the way that he kind of knows that they're trying to make him feel better, but it isn't working and there's such a sadness around the whole thought process. I loved the way that Hermione interacted with him, too, and so clearly loved and cared for him. I think that my favourite thing was Ron, though - the way that Crookshanks knew he pretended to hate him, but he's actually grown on him and now he does things to entertain him, like casting his Patronus for Crookshanks to chase. Those little details made me smile.
The ending was so sad, but I loved the fact that it was Luna who came to help them and who is so gentle, and the way that Crookshanks used Ron and Hermione's names at the end of the story, too.
I'm so glad you enjoyed reading this story, even though it's sad. It's always good to hear that someone actually like your writing.
I really believe there's much more to Ron than we see, especially in the movies, and he's way more sensitive than he appears.
I have two other stories from the POV of a Kneazle that you might like as well. Another with Crookshanks and one with Zephira.
Thanks again for your great review, it is very appreciated.
Hi Pookha! Congratulations on the F.R.O.G.S. award!
The first thing I like is your title. I’ve always found it fascinating to study sleep and how it’s related to daytime events and trauma, so sleep and pain in the same title caught my interest. Then the story turned out to be something completely different to what I expected, and I still loved it, or I have to say I loved it even more. The passing away of a pet is something that commonly happens, and we don’t talk a lot about how painful it is for the owners. You capture this really well. The story is from the Kneazle’s POV, but you manage to show Hermione’s and Ron’s feelings really well. This is so sad, yet so sweet.
Your opening is also very powerful. I’m thinking that it’s either a non-human being that tells this story, or someone with an ill mind. Then you say it’s Crookshanks.
The descriptive style here is perfect! You capture really well the duality of Hermione’s kindness and forcing. It reminds me of sick children, that you have to force them to take the medicine, and they hate it, and you love them, and you hate to do anything wrong, but you must make them take the medicine even by force.
“Her scent changes from worried to sad.” I love this line! Expresses so well how a cat would see the world. Through smells!
“it’s not worth the pain to stand and eat it” oh it’s so sad :( and yet so true for how sick animals behave
“He pretends not to like me, but when she’s not looking he gives me treats and pets me.” Oh, so typical of Ron. And you express so well all we know from Ron’s long history with this cat!
“the silver dog that has no smell” oh such an ingenious description of Ron’s Jack Russell partonus! I love this!
“She’s like a Kneazle; she notices everything.” Oh, Luna – a real magizoologist!
I love that you invented the Dormum saecula spell for putting an animal to sleep, and didn’t just use the killing curse. For me this symbolizes respect for this creature.
Overall I loved this story! I think you prize is very well-deserved, thank you for writing this!
I really, really wanted to make sure that I caught the way that a cat would think for this and I'm so glad it showed through here. I'd told a story from Crookshanks's POV before and knew it would be good for this one. I wanted to make sure that scents and feelings were put through because I have trouble writing emotion at times, but it seems that I got it right here for once!
Ah, Ron. I picture him saying all the time that he doesn't like Crookshanks, but I think they came to understand each other and Ron actually grew to like him. I picture him playing with Crookshanks when Hermione's not home and claiming still he doesn't like Crookshanks.
Luna has to be a magizoolist, and I actually think she'd be a good one. I don't believe she'd normally do vet work, but for Ron and Hermione, she'd do this. I think she'd take care of Harry and Ginny's pets, too if they asked.
Ew, I would never consider using the Killing Curse on an animal, it had to be a spell or potion that would let them drift off to a peaceful sleep to meet their end.
I'm really glad that you liked this and that the emotion and voice of Crookshanks, Hermione, and Ron come through.
Hello! I am making my way through the nominated stories and decided to start leaving reviews.
I usually avoid movies/stories that feature animals in a sad/tortunred capacity because I kind of bawl my eyes out. That said, your writing was so heart wrenching, I did bawl my eyes out.. Reading it from a human's point of view is sad enough, but from Crookshanks', its all the more sad.
This has been so well written, including those small cat-like thoughts and references that nowhere I felt we weren't hearing this from the cat. Especially his thoughts on the medicine!
As a family we were very distressed when we had to decide to put our dog to sleep because our family's culture doesn't believe that humans have the right to decide to take a life, and that includes animals too. But when the vet told our dog was in pain, we instantly knew it was for his own good, and your rendition of Crookshanks last thoughts - that he might not have feared death as much as feared living in pain did loads to ease my mind. (Sidenote: our dog passed away on his own the night before we were going to euthanize him, making the decision for us and easing our conscience).
I loved that Luna was present there - I do see her as someone who has a way with animals and understands them on some level. I also enjoyed how you explored Crookshanks' dynamics with Ron and Hermione independantly.
In all, I can see why this is nominated for best one-shot, it's original and wonderfully written, and I do wish you best of luck with the FROGS.
Thank you so much for this very kind review and I'm sorry I'm so late with this response. I wrote this when I was worried about my own pet's mortality as she has a chronic condition that will require medication for the rest of her life. At one point, I thought we'd have to put her down and this helped work through my feelings about it. I'd written about Crookshanks from his POV once before and in that story, he was a grumpy old man, but in this one, he's an old cat who's in pain and ready to go. I knew that Luna had to come into it somehow as she'd be the one who'd be strong enough to do this when it might be too hard for Ron or Hermione.
I'm sorry to hear about your dog, and I hope the pain lessens with the years into fond memories.
There comes a time in every life, where the bad days outnumber the good, and quality is reduced with no hope for improvement. It's a sad fact of responsible ownership an animal, that one day, 'that' decision has to be made. Well done Ron and Hermione, for putting Crookshanks's needs first.
I don't think I've ever read a story from Crookshanks's point of view before, so this was a novel experience, and I thank you for that. It was really well-written and heartfelt. I can't comment too much on the accuracy - I don't come across many kneazles these days - but Crookshank's experience is probably not too dissimilar to that of many older cats. The medcating bit is spot-on; I think most cats hate being messed about with and having oral treatment forced upon them. Purring - cats also purr out of pain or distress, and I've even seen cats in respiratory distress do it.
I loved Ron's role in this; it is so in keeping with his character to put up a front about Crookshanks, whilst spoiling him behind Hermione's back.
I wish that putting animals to sleep really was as simple as Luna made it. Still, I believe that in our world, an injection is far preferable to long, drawn-out suffering.
This was lovely. Great work - and best of Nargles luck :)
Hearing this from a vet makes my day. One of my cats has IBD and I had to dose her with liquid metronidazole every day and she hated it. Now I can get it in pill form and it's so much less stress to her. She also sometimes purrs when she's being medicated so I understand.
Yeah, it would be good if we could just touch a wand and relieve pain or put an animal down to relieve bad quality of life, magic would be great that way.
Ron here is like so many spouses. I don't care about that pet, but when the pet gets sick, they're the first one at the vet's office. The big guy with the wife's budgie who he says he hates, but coos to it when no one is looking.
Thanks again for the lovely review.
Oh Pookha. Noooo. This was beautifully written and brilliantly emotional, but noooo just the same.
I think this is the moment any pet owner (or anybody who loves anybody else's pet, for that matter) dreads most. The German Shepherd the family I works for was put down a couple months ago and this reminded me of her in a painfully accurate way. The not getting up but still wanting to be with their humans, the sensing that you were upset, even the not eating treats were all like her in her last few days.
In a strange way, reading about this all from the animal's perspective helped. They always say that animals do not fear death and, while his Kneazle genes certainly made him more intelligent than most, it is good to see that Crookshanks did not fear it either. From both his actions, his thoughts, and with what Hermione & Ron were saying you could tell that he was ready to go but that he appreciated it all.
Obviously, Hermione loved Crookshanks from the beginning, so it was nice to see the little things Ron did in here too. I especially liked the way he would make his Patronus so Crookshanks would play with it. The way that Crookshanks also has grown to accept and be curious of Ron (the work scent, Apparating so he can't be tracked, etc) was also very nice. And, of course, Ron's support of Hermione at the end was very touching.
I'm so glad Luna came at the end. I don't know if we ever see her and Crookshanks interact in canon, but his thoughts of her seem very much keeping in character for both of them. He can appreciate smarts and there is no denying that Luna is, especially with animals. Choosing to work with magical creatures, perhaps as a vet of some kind, in addition to her exploring is truly the perfect job for her.
This was beautiful and very emotional. I can definitely see why it was nominated for most original story. Good luck with the Nargles! :)
Thanks so much for the kind review.
I'll start with Ron first. So often he is marginalized in fanfic, and used like the movies just as comic relief or he's a jerk. I don't think he's either. I do think he's thoughtless but that's not the same thing. I believe that after years of living with Hermione and Crookshanks that he would have learned a bit of tact and also to at least get along with Crookshanks. I picture him protesting that he doesn't like the beast, but then playing with him when he's alone or giving him treats.
I have a hard time not putting Luna in my stories, as she's my favorite character. While I don't necessarily see her as a vet, I do think that Hermione would trust her in this situation to do what Hermione might not be able to do on her own and to do it with love and care.
I think I wrote this story because I'm starting to think about my kitties mortality, as they are both about 11 years old now and one has IBD. I know I'll be gutted when the time comes for them, but it will be the best thing for them to be out of pain.
Crookshanks is interesting to me, because I tend to write him like a grumpy old man, but he's really a great judge of character, second to none or perhaps just Luna on that score.
I'm so happy you enjoyed this and glad it made you think about a beloved pet.
Hi Pookha! I'm transferring this review from HPFF because 1. It's one of my favorite stories of all time and 2. Obviously the star rating isn't correct.
I CAN'T STOP CRYING! I knew better than to read this. I even had a long conversation with myself about not reading this kind of stuff. I did it anyway. The way you wrote this was very thoughtful and brilliant though. I'm just going to go cry for a few hours and hug my puppies.
Additional comments: Your characterization of crookshanks as well as all of our most beloved characters is just soooo good. Like the best I've read. This story is so near and dear to my heart!
Thanks so much for transferring you review for me. I'm so glad you did. As you know, I'm a major cat lover and this story is near and dear to me also. I know it can be gauche to say you like your own writing, but I really like this one, too, and I'm happy it touches people, even to the point of making them cry.
I really enjoy writing about Crookshanks and Zephira, cats are incredible to watch.
“It’s okay,” he says to me and scratches an ear as we wait for Luna and Zephira. Her eyes are watering again, and when I look at him, his seem moist, too. They both smell sad.
I knew this story would be hard to read but I started crying when I reached the above. Going from a happy story about Crookshanks to this uhhhh. I was so sad. Saying goodbye was so hard. I know Ron is a joker and obviously cares for the little guy but to actually see him show his true emotions. UHHH. SOBBING.
Yeah, I think that when I wrote this story that I was worried about my kitty with IBD, so I was projecting a bit. I knew that Crookshanks would have to grow on Ron some, but I don't think he'd show that a lot to Hermione, but so often Ron is portrayed as just comic relief or a jerk, so I had to have him shine here a bit in Crookhanks's last days.
Both glad and sorry that it made you sob. This may be my story with the most emotional impact and I'm glad it still packs a bit of a punch. As I write this, my other cat just buzzed my leg looking for attention.
Yeah, I knew I did not want to read that, but I did at the same time. I have never read anything from an animal's point of view in the HP universe. Christ, this is going to make me sound like a cat lady, and I am not a cat lady. (And now you think I am a cat lady because I said I wasn't a cat lady. Damn it.) The only criticism that I have for Hermione here is that cat should not be eating fish, but than again, Crookshanks is an outdoor cat. So that probably means different stuff.
I could imagine most cats, like, freaking out if a wand were pointed directly at them. Cats literally freak over everything, and especially with magic acted upon most of them, I don't see that going well. The animals in JKR's world, as far as the pets, were just simply pets, or animals. This is what made Crookshanks valuable to Sirius in the third book. One of my two cats is way super sketch - the idea of pointing a wand at her is laughable, yo. Crookshanks would be used to the magical magic.
You can't coax cats to do anything. They're almost annoyingly independent sometimes. That is also what makes cats cool furry roomates. But I guess as Crookshanks was dying, I could see why Ron would do that. Sorry. I still can't imagine Mr. Weasley as a cat person. But this was really well written. It reminded me of when the family dog died.
I have a Siamese cat called Luna; she's not called that because of Harry Potter. Can't remember why. My sister gave her a name before I had a chance to step in. Kind of like Ginny and Pig? Yeah. I love that the cat knows he's being fooled and he says, "Not today." I like that Luna is like Scamander and more mellowed out. Not my StellaLuna, the Luna Lovegood character. Haha.
A good read for a kitty person. Well done, pookha.
So, fish. Fish are fine to feed a cat as a treat as long as the cat isn't allergic. It shouldn't be a large part of their diet, but a small treat now and again is fine (straight from my vet and various pet sites). And, as Crookshanks is dying, Hermione sees nothing wrong with giving him a meal of something he loves but can't usually have. She is compassionate.
Most cats would swat a wand pointed at them, but Crookshanks is a half-kneazle canonically from JKR's own site, and he is unusually intelligent and a very perceptive judge of character. He knows Ron didn't originally care for him, but does now and trusts him. No pet in JKR's world is just a pet. Hedwig, Crookshanks, Scabbers, even Mrs Norris are extremely intelligent and somewhat magical (alright, Scabbers was an Animagus). The owls magically know how to deliver letters, Mrs Norris is way smarter than a normal cat; only Trevor seems a normal animal, and we don't see much of him.
I can totally see Ron coming to, in Crookshanks's words in this story 'be if not friends, then at least beings who live together.' He would become more attached to Crookshaks over time because Ron is capable of great compassion, even though he is often portrayed as comic relief or a jerk. I don't subscribe to those beliefs about Ron and never will.
Luna is a great name for a cat, regardless of whether named after Luna Lovegood or not, the moon is a good marker for a cat.
Glad you enjoyed it overall.