Photo Taken Summer 2006 at Rancho Relaxo

It is with great sadness, that I have to announce the passing of a legend among cats. The Velvet Pussycat died Saturday February 23rd at approximately 1 pm. He lived a long and storied life, and was at least 16 years old. He and I had many great adventures together. He had an exceptional ability to predict weather, and would sometimes dress up as a Venice gondolier. He is sadly missed by all of us here at the Eco-Pod Complex.

I first met the Velvet Pussycat in May of 1993 at my mother Barbie Velvet’s house in NDG, a district on the west side of Montreal. He might have been about a year or two old. He had recently taken to living under the front porch of the house. At first we thought he was just passing by and that he had somewhere else to live. After a time, we found out he was actually spending all of his time under her porch. So, we started feeding him, but my mother did not want him living in the house, as she was not ready to take on a cat just at that time.

I was about to drive across Canada from Montreal to a new life in Vancouver, and then start off in BC by living with my sister and her family for a short time. Her kids had some allergies, and because of that, I thought that even the possibility of bringing a cat along was a complete non-starter. I had tried to find some people to adopt the Pussycat, but had thus far not succeeded. I felt a responsibility for him because of the impending move, and because he was proving to be a very nice cat. So, I phoned my sister and asked what she thought of the idea of me arriving with a cat? To my great surprise, she said she was open to it.

And so, the die was cast. Rather than be a stray who was with me for a month or two, this was to become one of the two great cats of my lifetime, (one black one white – go figure). The Velvet Pussycat and I drove across Canada in August of 1993, and then lived together in several places in and around Vancouver over the next 15 years. He was an ideal companion and an exceptional gentleman at all times.

11 or 12 pounds in his prime, one of his many claims to fame was that he had slept with over 25 women!

This past Saturday, I had gotten up about 8 am and went up the stairs. As usual the Pussycat was sitting at the top of the stairs waiting for me to pass by, he would then wake up, immediately start meowing for food, and I would then go feed him. I fed him and went about my morning. Though he had been a bit sick earlier in the week, he had rallied and seemed in reasonable shape. Around noon, I left the house to go to the dentist and get a wisdom tooth removed. Miss Pinky and I were gone for about 1 and a half hours. I got the inflamed wisdom tooth removed (no small feat) and got back home highly addled and in extreme pain. Soon after we got back, Pinky called to me and said “Jack, come quick, The Pussycat is dead.” I raced down the hall quickly, and found him lying on the bed, looking comfortable and lifelike, perfectly preserved. His eyes were open and clear. Even in death he still looked good. He must have died soon before we got back from the dentist as he was still warm. Pinky and I petted him for quite a while and both had a good cry together, and said how much we would miss the little guy. It was very sad. He has been buried in a choice spot just outside our bedroom window at Rancho Relaxo.

The Velvet Pussycat, he was a prince among cats, and he is missed.

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