This is the sort of thing that will literary scholars of 2095 all kinds of fun, trying to figure out if the author could possibly have approved such a fundamental change.

It's true, though, that you can kill all the human beings you want in a story, but never a cat. How well I remember the cries of outrage when Marilyn the cat on Prison Break was offed; there were three other killings in that episode, but nobody seemed to care much about that. My cries that this was a fictional cat, after all, and no real kitties were harmed, etc., seemed to fall on deaf ears.