About the Avatar: Mister Cat

You may be wondering about my avatar.  You’re right: it’s not me.  It’s the delightful Mister Cat, who, unfortunately, left us early in June 2010 for the kitty beyond.

He was an excellent, orange, fuzzy friend to all who knew him, and I wanted to pay him homage after his death, and thank him for contributing his charming face to my blog all these years.  However, I was not Mister Cat’s primary caregiver; we were merely fond acquaintances.  Scott W. Gray of Fauna Corporation, who knew the Mister well, stepped in as guest obituarist and provided  the eulogy that appears below.

Thank you, Mister Cat, for being such a paragon of catitude.

*

In the middle of a typical Montreal winter, a soft, orange-furred guest editor joined the staff of the magazine I worked for.

He was a street cat we rescued from the – 40 degree maelstrom, and we named him Mister Cat. He had lousy teeth, he was FIV-positive, and I was ultra-allergic to him, but he became a huge part of our office culture, keeping us sane and fur-coated during the many long nights we each put in publishing the mag.

I constantly learned things from The Mister. He taught me to try to be a little more gentle, more loving, and more aware of others, as well as the importance of oral hygiene and how a striped tail goes with everything. Mister lived at the office, but we all took him home for extended weekends and he eventually moved in with magazine alumni when the magazine was shuttered, living out his final years in a most leisured, European-influenced way, suitable for a Montreal bachelor.

Ultimately, Mister was an unwell cat, and his health problems took him from us last week. We were all saddened to learn that our little friend, who wanted only companionship and an absurd amount of cat-grass, was no longer furring up this world.

Everyone who stopped by the magazine was touched by The Mister. He was gentle despite his origins and loving beyond his hardships and, like all good friends, he seemed to know when you needed a little extra affection or a gentle paw on the shoulder. He lives on in our memories, stories, and yes, our prop-comedy photography.

RIP Mister Cat.

Obituary and image by Scott W. Gray

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