You may have wondered about my avatar. You’re right: it’s not me. It’s the delightful Mister Cat, who, unfortunately, left us last week for the kitty beyond.
He was an excellent, orange, fuzzy friend to all who knew him, and I wanted to pay tribute to him for serving as my blog face for the past three years. Scott W. Gray of Fauna Corporation, who knew the Mister well, agreed to be guest obituarist. 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, was feline HIV-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, 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, 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