I did not hear from the vets today so at the last opportunity I went down to see how Tao was. Sadly in the night she had died. It was too much for her. We think that she was suffering from at least one tumor. They brought her body in for me to sit with. She was cold and beginning to smell, her fur was soft under my hand and her body had not started to stiffen. One eye was still open, perhaps she had faced her death. I asked for her body to be cremated.

In my imagination I imagined that she would at that moment stepping across the gang-plank onto the banana boat, forever Tao the Banana-Boat Cat, and it would set sail. She would be at the helm, Fremen at the bow, and Tessa, reclining in the sun, at the stern. They are pulling out into open water.

Lords of the Horizon, accept this child!