Ghlaghghee, 2003 – 2015

Glaghghee came to us in May of 2003 when my then next-door neighbor Jerry knocked on my door, said, “here’s the kitten your wife said she wanted,” thrust a small, furry thing into my hands, and then walked off. I looked at the small puff of fur, literally no larger than my hand, said “okay” to myself and then took it upstairs with me.

Then I called my wife, who was at work, and the conversation went like this:

Me: You didn’t tell me you ordered a cat.

Krissy: I ordered a what?

Me: A cat.

Krissy: I didn’t order a cat.

Me: Jerry just came over with a kitten that he said you wanted. He mentioned you specifically.

Krissy: Oh, lord. I was talking to him the other day and he said that his cat had had kittens and that he thought that one of them was an albino. I said, “Oh, I’d like to see that.” I didn’t say I wanted it!

Me: In that case, surprise, we have a new kitten.

Also, as an albino cat Ghlaghghee was a bust, because she had markings that made her look like a Himalayan; for all of her life when people saw photos of her they complimented me on what a lovely example of the breed she was. She wasn’t. Her mother, who lived next door, was a mixed breed cat with tortoiseshell markings, and we strongly suspect her father was a Siamese mix feral cat who we would see wandering about the first couple of years we were here. Ghlaghghee, despite appearances, was a common moggie, genetically speaking.

But she was just about adorable, I like cats, and I sensed a real “no takebacks” vibe from Jerry. Deciding to keep her was not really a problem. We also decided that we would let Athena, age four, name the cat. More accurately, Krissy decided it, and I went along, with caveats. Specifically, that we would ask her to think of another name than something dreadfully boring, like “Fluffy,” because, honestly, we were a creative people, we Scalzis, and we could do better.

And this is how that went down:

Me: Athena, we have a new kitten and we’ve decided to let you name it —

(produces kitten)

— but before you do, I want you to try to think of a creative name, not something like —



I was not really down with the name “Fluffy,” but you try getting a four-year-old child to change her mind about a new kitten name and see how far you get. In this moment of domestic crisis, I turned, as I so often did, to the wisdom of George Bernard Shaw, who once commented that the English language is so nonsensical in its rules regarding pronunciation that one could spell “fish” as “ghoti” and it could still sound the same.

Well, I could live with “Fluffy” if it was spelled “Ghlaghghee,” so that’s what I did. And thus our cat was named, and also twelve years of people asking how “Ghlaghghee” was pronounced and/or trying to pronounce the word as if their epiglottis was spasming. Which amused me, at least.

Ghlaghghee quickly decided that I was her human, which was fine with me because I like cats and she was both a pretty cat and an exceedingly well-tempered one. She was one of those rare cats who enjoyed being rubbed on her belly, and never complained when she was picked up. I would frequently cradle her like a baby, and she was fine with that; indeed, she often had an expression that I translated as “why yes, I should be carried around and spoiled. I am surprised this is even a question.”

That said, her cuddliness was highly contingent on who you were; she wasn’t much for strangers and even Athena she would sometimes treat as a person below her station. As for the other cats, well. She was the smallest of the three cats we currently have, but there was no doubt which cat ran the household. A prime example of this was the fact that Ghlaghghee had claimed my and Krissy’s bed as her space; if Zeus or Lopsided Cat tried who share it with her, she would make her displeasure with their presumptuousness clear almost instantly. For a decade, the bed was a no-go zone. She got along very well with the other cats, as long as they remembered who was boss.

Ghlaghghee was always popular with Whatever readers, because she was a handsome cat who I would frequently photograph, but she became famous to the entire world in September of 2006, when I taped bacon to her, posted a picture of it here on the site, and for two days that post with a picture of bacon taped to a cat became the most popular thing on the English-language Internet.

Looking back now, it’s difficult to believe that in all the time prior to that moment, no one had thought to tape bacon to a cat, and then put that picture on the Internet, but apparently no one had. The Internet loves bacon; the Internet loves cats. Combining the two was perfect synergy.

For a brief period of time, Ghlaghghee, aka BaconCat, was one of the most famous cats on the Internet and substantially more famous than I was. I had more than one conversation that went like so:

Person I Don’t Know, Who I’ve Just Met: So, what do you do?

Me: Well, I write books. Science fiction books. My most famous one at the moment is called Old Man’s War.

Person: Sorry, I don’t know it.

Me: I also once taped bacon to my cat.

Person (visibly excited): Oh my God! That was you?!? I love that cat!

Ghlaghghee was written up in the New York Times and Wired and several other places; she was unimpressed with them all because she’s a cat and it’s not as if she actually cared about any of that stuff ever, and it never really occurred to me to try to keep my cat’s moment going. Ghlaghghee’s celebrity has long since been eclipsed by the Grumpy Cat and Lil’ Bub and other such creatures, which is fine. Ghlaghghee didn’t seem to mind. A quiet country life, with a few fan club members frequenting Whatever and a Twitter feed, seemed to suit her.

Ghlaghghee always slept with me and Krissy on our bed, and then one morning in December we both realized that she hadn’t come up to sleep with us at all. I went looking for her and she was lethargic and wheezy. I took her to the vet soon after and she told us that Ghlaghghee had suffered from congestive heart failure. Ghlaghghee was not, on balance, a particularly old cat, but congestive heart failure can happen in cats at any point, and more frequently after middle age. Our vet gave us some medicine to help her clear out her lungs, which had been experiencing fluid backup, and let us know that we should be preparing for what comes next.

Cats with congestive heart failure can sometimes live for a couple of years with the condition, but Ghlaghghee was not one of those cats. Literally overnight she went from active to feeble. It was hard to get her to eat or to do anything other than sleep. We did what we could to make her feel safe and loved.

Yesterday it was clear that prolonging her life at this point made no sense. We made an appointment with the vet for Monday. Last night I made her as comfortable as I could, wrapped a towel around her to keep her warm, kissed her on the head and told her good night. I went to sleep and in the night had a dream that she had come to bed with me and Krissy again, sleeping between us as she often did.

I woke up and she was gone.

We buried Ghlaghghee in the back yard, by our maple tree there. She had lived literally her entire life, from the moment of her birth to the moment of her death, within two hundred yards of our house. She belongs here in death, too, in the place she knew, to become part of the landscape and to still be with us.

I’m taking her death badly. I’ve had a month to prepare but as Krissy told me today, preparing isn’t the same thing as being in the moment. Pets are part of your family; you love them and in their way they love you back. Ghlaghghee was indisputably my cat, and I’ve spent a dozen years with her, every day, as part of my life. I knew this was coming and I thought I was ready to say goodbye.

I was, but I wasn’t ready for how much saying goodbye to this particular cat would hurt. I suppose it’s just that I loved her a lot. And it hurts when those you love go away.

577 Comments on “Ghlaghghee, 2003 – 2015”

  1. Yeah, I’m going to be a little out of it today.

    Also, for the next couple of days I’m using the word “Rainbow” as a keyword that sends comments into moderation. I know people mean well, but if I see that “Rainbow Bridge” bit pop up here I’m probably gonna punch something really hard.


  2. John, my deepest sympathies. She was a lovely cat, and your stories about her were charming. I was one of those people who took close to a year to figure out how to pronounce her name, and when I did I felt as proud of myself as if I’d personally translated the Rosetta Stone.

    She’ll be missed here at Whatever, too.

  3. geekylabmom – I'm an assistant professor (developmental and behavioral genetics), and a voracious consumer of science fiction and other speculative fiction, both in book and televised form. I started this blog when a friend said, "You should publish this list, as in post to a blog or some such." See my first post for the list in question. It's the "good stuff". Your mileage may vary, of course.

    No matter how ready you think you are, you’re never really ready. Sounds like her life was wonderful.

  4. Karen A. Wyle – I'm an appellate attorney, an author, a photographer, a politics junkie, and a Hoosier (aka intermittent fan of IU basketball). My published work (aside from law review/legal journal articles) includes multiple science fiction novels, some near future and some involving other planets, equipped with aliens. More recently, I've veered off into historical romance, specifically a series called Cowbird Creek and set in 1870s Nebraska. I've also published one nonfiction book, Closest to the Fire: A Writer's Guide to Law and Lawyers. While originally intended to help writers use accurate details in their legal settings and expand the scope of such stories, I realized while writing it -- and have heard from readers -- that it could also be of use and interest to students, immigrants, and anyone interested in better understanding the American legal landscape. My other blog, Looking Around, is at

    Deep sigh. You gave her a lovely life, and I’m sorry it’s over.

  5. John Hedtke – Eugene, OR – John Hedtke ( is the author of 26 books and a couple hundred magazine articles. He does disaster recovery and business consulting for public and private companies. John has several blogs, notably "Hey, kids! Become an author at home in your spare time and earn big bucks!" ( for would-be authors. He is a Fellow of the Society for Technical Communication. John lives in Eugene, OR, with his wife, their youngest daughter, and 4 cats. (Follow him: @johnhedtke).
    John Hedtke

    Hugs, John. Jesus God, I hate it when the furkids go away. :(

  6. So sorry to hear of your loss.

  7. Natalie – Delaware – I write about books and culture and whatever else strikes my fancy. I have so many opinions. I was a finalist for the Best Fan Writer Hugo in 2017.
    Natalie L.

    I’m so sorry, John. She was a beautiful cat and I’m glad you were able to give her such a good life.

  8. I’m so sorry for your loss. We lost out 12 year-old Andy to congestive heart failure a few years ago. Both gone too young. But at least they were in our lives for that bit of time, right?

  9. Our condolences, John. I’ve enjoyed learning about her and through her you as well. Certainly fitting that she stay with the family even now. Best wishes.

  10. I saw it coming… but I’m still in tears. Damn.

  11. Dear John. Thank you for sharing her with us, both in life and death. I hope that good memories bring you some small measure of comfort.

  12. I am sorry for the loss of one of your family John. You were lucky for your time with Glaghghee “Fluffy” Scalzi. I shall miss her tweets.

  13. My condolences, to you and your household, human and not. Knowing that cats don’t live as long as humans still doesn’t prevent us from loving and mourning them.

  14. Michael J. Martinez – the Garden State – Husband, father, writer, homebrewer, half-decent cook, pretty good barbequer, avid traveler, and interested in far too many strange and disparate topics. Most recently, a science-fiction/fantasy author!
    Michael J. Martinez

    A good cat had an extraordinary life full of love because of you and yours, and that’s an beautiful thing. My condolences.

  15. Aww. So very sorry for the loss of your cuddly friend. She was a lovely girl, and seeing her pics always made my day. You were a good Cat Dad, she was clearly spoilt and well loved.

    Clan Brazeau is sending love and hugs to Clan Scalzi. May your broken hearts mend.

  16. My deepest sympathies on the passing of your beloved cat. I am grateful, for both your sake and hers, that she died quietly at home, surrounded by the things and people she loved. And now I’ve just wept and snotted all over my 16-year-old cat, who was trying to sleep peacefully in my lap. Again, I am so very sorry for your loss.

  17. Ah, I should have also had better manners. I am so very, very sorry for your loss.

  18. James – A clueless middle school librarian who likes to write thoughts and sometimes tries to turn them into fiction. Big into tabletop gaming and storytelling, especially where it intersects with Star Wars. Trying not to be an asshole, if you can believe it.

    In college, when I was living with my girlfriend at the time, she had two ferrets. I had never really paid much attention to ferrets as a concept before then, and they caused us no shortage of trouble when we were trying to move into a new place. A lot of people have had bad experiences with tube rats and say in the lease that they’re not allowed.

    These two were good eggs, but I resolved that they belonged to my girlfriend. I never neglected them, but I tried not to get attached either. They were cute, sure, but they weren’t MY pets. I would let them out of the cage and play with them a little and make sure they had food, but specific care concerns belonged to the lady, not me.

    Then one of them got incurably sick. We tried to keep him going, to get him through, but it was apparent he wouldn’t get better. We made an appointment to get him put down, and my girlfriend asked me to drive because she knew she was going to be an emotional wreck.

    I spent the whole drive bawling. I lost it in the waiting room when they took him away. When we got him back to the apartment, I went to bury him at the foot of the mountain out back. The ground was frozen — it was January — so I settled for a shallower grave under a cairn and used the spade to carve his name in the rocks. Even now, almost four years since I graduated college and broke up with the girl, I still occasionally go back and visit the spot.

    I guess the point to this story is that I know your pain. The fluffy ones in our lives always find a permanent living place in our hearts, no matter how little agency we had in their arrival. Your wife is correct: preparation accounts for nothing in the moment, but it can help after, when the loss isn’t so raw. You loved her while she was here and you remember her, and in the end I think that’s enough for anybody.

  19. I’m sitting here looking at my nine-year-old cat curled up a few feet away, crying my eyes out. I’m so sorry to hear about Glaghghee, and thanks for sharing a bit of your love for her with the world.

  20. I’m so sorry for your loss. Our animals are such a presence in our lives and when they’re gone, it’s a tremendous loss.

  21. I am so very sorry for your loss. She was loved, and loved you in return. You gave her a wonderful life, the best gift you could give her. May your memories be sweet and funny.

  22. Memories like these are what will let you keep her living in your memories. Take whatever solace you can with that. While gone, those memories are yours forever.

  23. It was just a cat . . . and so much more, as cats oft are. Nice tribute that I hope was as cathartic for you to write as it was for us to read.

  24. Well I’m crying. I’ve been looking at my 13-year-old lately (who I bottle-fed through infancy when we found two stray kittens and no mama) and wondering when it’ll happen. Best to your family.

  25. “I went to sleep and in the night had a dream that she had come to bed with me and Krissy again, sleeping between us as she often did.”
    I am so, so, sorry for your loss. When our dear little elderly Spitty (short for Hiss-n-Spit) reached his time, I took him to the vet. My son, home after several months at college, was insistent that the vet “try something.” The vet said she could certainly make Spitty very comfortable and we could take a day to think things over.

    That night, I woke from a most comforting dream. We were all gathered around a happy, healthy, contented Spitty, petting and cuddling him. The vet called in the morning to say he had passed away during the night. To this day, I wonder if Spitty took the time while leaving this existence to let us know he was going to be okay. Why not?

    I have two cats and a dog, all getting on in years, and I know there will be rough times ahead.

    Please accept my deepest sympathies on your loss.

  26. My sympathies. You are absolutely right. Preparing for it and knowing it is coming are not the same as coping when it does. I am glad that you had time to say goodbye, and that she was able to go quietly, and in her own home.

  27. Paul Garbett – Retired from a career (series of jobs) in IT latterly specialising in Software Testing. Almost archetypal Grumpy Old Man with the potential to be irritated by just about anything
    Paul Garbett

    Obviously a bit of a ‘fluid backup’ here too – luckily it escaped through my eyes. Darn you JS – you made me cry! A 61 year old man about to be discharged from hospital tomorrow. But really thanks I know having seen 3 cats pass away how deep it goes

  28. I’m so sorry. I know the hurt well, having recently lost my little dog Jasmine. Your sweet Ghlaghghee was a beautiful cat.

  29. This was a lovely goodbye, even if you weren’t ready to write it. I’m very sorry for your loss.

  30. Donna Leonard – Southern California – I like to write, read, knit, crochet, watch movies, watch way too much television, listen to music and play Drawsomething 2 somewhat obsessively, not necessarily in that order. You can find my irregular blog at: 3 kids: Twenty-three-year-old boy/girl twins, and a thirteen-year-old girl. 3 cats: fourteen-year-old female, three-year-old female, and a two-year-old male
    Donna Leonard

    I am so sorry for your loss. Thank you for sharing Ghlaghghee’s life and death with us. It brought smiles and tears.

  31. I already said on Twitter, but I’m sorry for your loss. Wishing you and the rest of chez Scalzi the best during this difficult time.

  32. larnotlars – Denver – I am a veterinarian by day, but play blacksmith by days off... I also like to build computers and slay denziens on said computers.... politically I am libertarian left with a little Heineinesce attitude towards foreign powers (real, not idiots with rpg's and delusions of global power...) I also like warm cookies, puppies and backrubs

    Loosing a friend sucks. To me it helps to remember that it wouldn’t suck if we had not received so much from them. Keep in mind how lucky Glaghghee was to have found you, been safe at night, fed, cuddled, scratched, carried, taped with bacon, exploited and loved.

    She was a 1/10th of a 1%er in the cat world.

    Warm thoughts from Colorado!

  33. My condolences. Losing a favorite pet is not easy. I lost my Amalie last year and still miss her very much. She was a great cat.

  34. It’s so clear even to the most casual observer how much you loved her. What a beautiful, charismatic creature she was. You tell her story well, and I’m so sorry for your loss.

  35. Those of us who have hurt the way you are hurting (a great many of us, I would dare say) are sitting here sharing that hurt with you. You have my deepest condolences. Your tribute to Ghlaghghee is making me weep because I’m feeling all the feels.

    Blessed be.

  36. I’ve been through this but I don’t have any advice to pass along or soothing maxims. It’s harder than you think it will be and hurts more than you could imagine. I’m so very sorry for your loss.

  37. Oh, dear. I’m so sorry.

    We are hurtling towards that same moment right now with our eldest, Londo, who is ~19 with renal failure. We thought that yesterday might be That Day, but he decided not to join his long-departed brother, G’Kar, just yet.

    Ghlaghghee is an obvious first-ballot Hall of Fame cat. May other cats aspire to such greatness.

  38. I’m sooooo sorry for your loss. I’ve had 2 kitties with long lives pass on, and my current one is only 8, so I know it’s going to happen again. This was a beautiful tribute to her.

  39. Sometimes you think if you’re prepared, it won’t hurt as much. But it still does.

    She was a lovely cat, and I’m glad you had so much time with her. It’s never easy to lose them. She was loved and loved you back.


  40. I read your blog most days. I have never, on the basis of it, been able to determine if I thought you were nice or a jerk. Now, I know you’re nice. I’m sorry you’re going through it. It’s very hard.

  41. {{Hugs}} for loving such a lovely kitty – who was special and just RIGHT for you.

    I lost my Siamese years ago (she was nearly 19 yrs old) and I couldn’t smile for ages afterwards. Just know she is in Cat Heaven, snuggled warmly in your (replica) bed, and totally at peace.

  42. God, John, this guts me. Every time we have to say goodbye to one of ours it’s the suck. I am so sorry. Glad you had her as long as you did, and wish you could’ve had her for a hell of a lot longer.

  43. This evening I will raise a toast to the Ghlaghghee companion of a fine human. Losing a family member is perhaps the most difficult of things anyone can go through. Taking it hard is a sign of your humanity.

  44. So sorry, John. We lost our 16 and 17 year old cats in 2013, both from long you-can-see-it-coming conditions. Still hurt like hell when it happened. Sympathy.

  45. We lost our 11 year old cat in November and I still wake up looking for her most days. So I’ll say I’m very sorry because it completely sucks for you right now.

  46. I’m so very sorry, John. She was a good kitty and well loved. Thank you for sharing a bit of her with us for all these years.

  47. Angela Korra'ti – Author of the Free Court of Seattle series as Angela Korra'ti, and of the Rebels of Adalonia series as Angela Highland. Geek, fangirl, musician, and raving admirer of Newfoundland and Quebecois traditional music. Also a.k.a. Anna the Piper!
    Angela Korra'ti (Highland)

    Many condolences to you and your family. Thank you for sharing this lovely cat’s life with us.

  48. Maia Rose – A queer FilAm SFF, hockey, food and beer loving geeky Chicago denizen who spends too much time on the internets. Good thing none of you can judge. On twitter as semirose spouting nonsense 20/7

    I’m so sorry for your loss. What a beautiful tribute to an obviously very loved family member.

  49. Deepest condolences to you and your family.

  50. I’m crying here.

    She reminds me of my cat Thrice (Shakespeare joke). Thrice will cuddled extra today, I promise, as will our other two cats.

    Warm feelings and hugs (and hot cocoa and/or gin, if that’s your thing) to you and yours.


  51. I’m sorry for your loss. This was a beautiful tribute. Thank you for sharing it, and for the explanation of the (brilliant) name Ghlaghghee.

  52. What lovely words from such a hard place. We lost our 12 year old dachshund suddenly last week and are taking it pretty hard.

    Please know that there’s sympathy coming from here as well. They leave footprints on our hearts and take a piece with them when they go, but we’re the better for having them in our lives.

  53. I’m truly sorry for your loss. And I hope the memories of those twelve years can bring you and your family some measure of solace.

  54. My family is thinking of yours and sharing (in just the tiniest way) in your loss, John. We only knew Glaghghee from your posts and pictures here, but that was enough of a connection for us to be heartbroken for you and yours. I can’t imagine writing a eulogy like that in the immediateness of loss.

    Thank you for sharing Glaghghee with us.

  55. Having been owned by a succession of cats all but two of whom have departed, I too am sitting here leaking at the eyes. My condolences on the loss of your beloved friend. Every time, it makes me reflect on the mystery of cats: how such self-absorbed little furballs have such power to make us happy and sad – now with the internet, it’s obvious their power covers the whole world. I like to say my cast live on in my heart, curled up, warm, and purring. Thank you for sharing her with us.

  56. Sorry for your loss, John. I’ll go give the resident quadrupedal citizens an extra hug now so that I will know that they know that I love them.

  57. My respects. . . . Always tough to say goodbye.

  58. R.I.P. Ghlaghghee. You had a life full of love and belly rubs, and that’s no small thing. And John, I do know what you’re going through, having gone through it twice in the past two years, and it’s so very very hard. My sympathies.

  59. I’m very sorry for your loss. When they go, they leave a cat-shaped hole in the heart that takes a long time to heal, and always leaves a scar. But they’re worth it, anyway.

  60. My condolences and sorrow for your loss. She will be missed – I always enjoyed posts about Ghlaghghee.

    I’ve been through similar situations; the loss of our first cat was very hard to take. As much as we’d like to believe that empathy and commiseration help others, I’m not convinced that they often do, but in any case you have both from me…

  61. John –

    This post just about broke my heart. I am so sorry for you and your family’s loss. I have no doubt that this was a well-loved cat, and that she had a better life with all of you than she would have had with anyone else.

    I lost my two furballs one day apart, one from diabetes and the other from an untreatable cancer. I cherish the time I had with both of them, Buddy for 14 years, and Stinkyboy for 17 years, and even though the decision to put them down was a difficult one, it was the right choice and done with love. But even now, after nearly a year, I find myself prone to tears when I stumble across one of their toys or find a stray whisker when I’m dusting. It will take a while, but eventually the good memories will outweigh the pain.

    Be good to yourselves, hug the rest of your animals, and when the time comes, I’m pretty sure another cat will decide to adopt you guys. =)

    All my love, my friend.

  62. My condolences to you all.

    I know well the tears you shed, just as I know I’ll shed tears when my little herd of (mostly) black cats leave my life – although I hope not too soon. I know I won’t regret one of those tears, for the life we will have shared.

  63. I’m sorry, John.
    I could hardly read the final paragraph through the tears after seeing the final picture of the two of you.
    Farewell, Ghlaghghee. As evidence of your notoriety, I offer the fact that your name was already in my phone’s dictionary. You’ve brought joy to a lot of people, your Dad most of all.

  64. My deepest condolences for your loss, John. Bright blessings and good wishes for healing for your heart AIBYOW; may you heal without forgetting, and may her spirit and memory be a blessing to you forever.

  65. I’ve been there too and, while it is little solace at moments like these, I take comfort from knowing that I did my utmost to love and care for those who are gone. John, from your posts, it’s obvious that you’ve done the same over the years. Remember that. My sincere sympathies to the Scalzi clan.

  66. I’m so sorry to hear this, John. I know how you feel, though that’s a hollow comfort. But I bet she thought her life was awesome and fully-lived, which is exactly how things are supposed to go.

  67. sonomalass – Wine Country California – I'm a college professor, of theatre and communication, and an avid reader in many genres. I live in Paradise (aka Sonoma County, California) with my British partner of 10 years, various combinations of my four adult children, two dogs and four cats.

    Condolences on your loss, John. I just had to let my 15-year-old dog go, and it was the hardest thing I’ve ever done. I find that I’m grieving almost as much as when my father died, with a soupçon of guilt for making such a big deal about an animal. But some furry companions are such a part of our lives that we DO grieve for them that much. Grief isn’t about the dead, but the living — the empty spaces left in our daily routines. Be gentle with yourself; grief takes time and energy.

  68. I’m so sorry. My cat Gracie died in my arms last year. I have been thinking about her as your have shared you story. A beloved pet can hold such a big place in one’s heart. Many condolences to you.

  69. I am so sorry, John. It’s a very hard thing to say ‘goodbye.’ I’ve had to do so with three very dear companions, two of which were cats and the last, a dog(Jade, Batu, Max). Each time it happens a little piece of me fades as well.

    A wonderful tribute.

  70. Melanie Marttila – Eyes on the skies, head in the clouds, Melanie Marttila writes poetry and speculative tales of hope in the face of adversity. She lives and writes in Sudbury, Ontario, in the house where three generations of her family have lived, on the street that bears her surname, with her spouse and their dog. SFF novelist in progress. Semi-regular columnist on DIY MFA. "Encoded," Sulphur X, August 2021; "A Poet's Apprentice," Polar Borealis #18, May 2021; "Illusion," Polar Borealis #17, February 2021; "Visiting Endymion," Polar Borealis #16, October 2020; "Fire and Ice," Polar Borealis #15, June 2020 and Stellar Evolutions: The best of the first fifteen issues of Polar Borealis; "Relativity Speaking," Polar Borealis #14, April 2020; "Cicadas" and "Molly Finder," Sudbury Ink, 2016; "Downtime," On Spec, Fall 2014; "The Broken Places," Bastion Science Fiction Magazine, June 2014.
    Melanie Marttila

    My deepest sympathies, John. I’ve been there, and it’s grief the same as you feel for any member of your family. Our Thufir (Howat, the Mentat Cat – so named because he was addicted to the flash of the laser pointer – think Delaurentis’s film adaptation) was diabetic for the last years of his life and passed away similarly. My hubbie, whose cat Thuf indisputably was, stayed up with him all night until he passed. Good memories. Sweet dreams.

  71. I doubt there’s much that could be of comfort right now, so I’ll just say that I’m so sorry. Your tribute to Ghlaghghee was lovely and fitting.

  72. My sympathy for your loss.

  73. Deep sympathy. Thanks for letting us know her a little. :-)

  74. I am so sorry for your loss. A week ago today our beloved Sadie died of congestive heart failure, which sprang up so quickly we barely had time to get her to the emergency vet. It’s extremely hard to cope with losing her, not only for us but for our other cats. My husband and I have been reassuring Sadie’s littermates that they are safe and loved, and this in turn has given us some comfort. I hope you can take comfort from the affection of everyone who comments here. You and Ghlaghghee are in our hearts.

  75. John Samuel – Australia – An anime fan from the dim, dark, days of synopses and fifth generation VHS copies. I write a range of reviews at "Pirates of the Burley Griffin", check the blog for more.
    John Samuel

    This is sad news indeed, and I hope that your beautifully written eulogy helps to ease the pain of the loss.

  76. So sorry to hear of your loss. I remember the first time I saw a picture of her, I thought, if only I could have a cat, I’d like a fluffy one like that. I did not understand the pronunciation of her name. :) Thanks for sharing her with us. She will be missed.

  77. I am so sorry for your loss. I believe that one of the greatest sadnesses (that is a word, right?) of life is that our pets live much shorter lives than we do. We have to say goodbye so many times.

  78. Oh John, I’m so sorry. They’re such tiny creatures to take up so much space in our hearts. I’ve been there myself. Mu deepest sympathies.

  79. I started to cry as soon as I saw the heading for this post, and I was outright bawling by the end. I know how much it tears your heart out to lose a beloved friend, and I’m so sorry your family is experiencing that pain today.

    I’m grateful that she went peacefully in her sleep and that you both were spared that long, horrible last trip to the vet.

    I don’t even really know what to say because words are just so thin and useless when it comes to a loss like this.

    I thanked Bast for the gentle end and asked Her to welcome the Radiant She into the peaceful warmth of eternity.

    Comfort and peace to you and your family, John. Thank you for sharing Ghlaghghee with us in both life and death. Blessed Be…

  80. Knowing it’s inevitable doesn’t make it any easier, somehow. She had exactly the kind of life that all cats feel they’re entitled to (which, I guess, they’re not wrong). I’m so sorry for your loss.

  81. Cats all around, all my life. But then there was the petite dustbunny (apparently a kindred spirit to Ghlaghghee in temperament and attitude) who was more than a pet. She was my familiar, and I hers. A constant companion for 20 years, then gone. Yah, losing a pet is hard. But losing that sort of bond? It’s harder. A lot harder.

    Remembering her in my art really helped, though. So writing about Ghaghghee is probably the best thing for you, JS. I’m very sorry you’ve lost your friend. I hope you can one day muster the strength for that kind of connection again, but I certainly couldn’t fault you if you don’t. Not sure I’m going to be able to do it myself.

    Much sympathy to you and yours.

  82. I’m so sorry for your loss, we are never ready to loose our loved ones. I’m just glad you two had each other for as long as you did.

  83. John, so sorry you lost your girl. I had a cat like that, “mine” in a way that none of our other cats have been (and I say that with one of our boys sleeping in my lap as I type this) so I get the special loss this one is.

    She was a fine cat and will live forever, or at least as long as there is bacon and the Internet.

  84. I’m so sorry for your loss. Like a lot of folks, I discovered Whatever through “Bacon Cat”, and have enjoyed following your adventures and reading your books ever since. I know it’s hard now, but Ghlaghghee was lucky to have you, Krissy and Athena in her life. She always knew she was loved.

  85. I’m so sorry. I lost both my cats last year three months apart. It’s awfully hard. You have my deepest sympathy. You wrote a lovely tribute. Made me cry but that was inevitable.

  86. Such a wonderful cat. So sorry for your loss.

  87. I’m so sorry to hear about your loss. My thoughts are with you. I teared up, reading your post, which I almost never do. You gave her a wonderful life and the gentlest, loving way to finish her time.

  88. Nicola Cameron – Nicola Cameron has had some interesting adventures in her life -- ask her sometime about dressing up as Tietania, Queen of the Bondage Fairies. When not writing, she wrangles cats, makes dolls of dubious and questionable identity, and thanks almighty Cthulhu that she doesn’t have to work for a major telecommunications company any more (because there’s BDSM, and then there’s just plain torture...).

    You’ve got my deepest sympathies, John. It’s one thing to think you’re prepared to lose a pet — the reality is something completely different. This was a lovely piece, and I’m sure that Ghlaghghee (God, I love that name) is happy that you loved her so much.

  89. I’m so sorry for the loss to you and your family. Dammit, I knew that I was going to click onto your site soon and see that very headline and I still started tearing up the second I saw it. Deepest condolences.

  90. I’m very sorry for your loss. The furkids are never here long enough. I’ve treasured every day I’ve had with all of my many four legged best friends. From Pearl the Perfect Pit to August the Wise and Betty the Bad. Too many to mention, but all in my heart. Be strong.

  91. Deepest sympathies, Mr. S. I’ve loved animals all my life (despite horrific allergies) and have spent the last fourteen with one who’s not much longer for this world. It’s a heartbreaking thing, knowing what is coming, but I cannot help but think of one of the most beautiful literary experiences I’ve ever had courtesy of Robin Hobb. Her imagery is some consolation as I think of my friend and constant companion restored to youth, strong and fierce, hunting the evergreen fields and vales and basking in the warm glow of an everlit hearth free from pain and discomfort.

    Time to change, changer.

  92. Oh dear, I’m so sorry. Thank you for such a lovely obituary and memorial for her. She was loved by many fans, but obviously not as much as she was loved by you. I’m trying to keep the pent-up tears from turning to full-on crying…

  93. I am so deeply sorry to hear of Glaghghee’s death. You are so right; you can think you’re prepared to say good-bye, but when the time comes, you still end up feeling like some small, vital part of you has been cut out with a very dull, ragged blade. One time, I showed my students how you spelled her name, and asked them to figure it out. They weren’t even close, and when I explained it to them, the looks of ‘WTH??’ were worth it. She was one cool cat, and while you were lucky to have her in your life to love, she was also very lucky to have you, too. And I am sure, in her cat way, she loved you, too. They’ll never admit it to us but they really do love their people.
    And that whole ‘Rainbow Bridge’ thing? Right up there with the promise of heaven for humans. Whoever came up with that in the first place…well, I can’t think of a bad enough punishment. You live, you love things, and you lose them.. but you still go on living and loving. It’s life.

  94. Bob Portnell – Sparks, NV USA – In no particular order: Husband, parent, child of God, technical writer, stargazer, gamer, and in no particular order.
    Bob P.

    I know this grief, John. I prescribe a large investment in facial tissues. The rest of the family, furred and not, are there for you. And also us out here in Whateverland, for what that’s worth.

  95. You and your family have my condolences. It’s always hard losing our furry friends, but some are extra hard, especially when they’ve decide we’re “their” human. And, no, we can never really be prepared.

  96. I have long felt that whatever other aberrant behavior and pitiless horrors the Internet might subject us to, that it allows us to memorialize the people and pets who were important in our lives for all to see probably makes it worth it.

  97. I’m so very sorry to see this, John, even though everyone who follows the Whatever knew it was coming. I lost my Hannibal-cat last summer and it still hurts. You wouldn’t think a life so small as a cat’s would leave such a big hole in our human souls, but they absolutely do. Take comfort in the knowledge that Ghlaghghee will live on in the hearts of all your friends and fans, and of course, whenever bacon is mentioned anywhere on the Internet. Peace to you and Krissy and Athena.

  98. Ah. Sorry for your loss, man, but always remember you gave Ghlaghghee as much as she gave you; a human who loved her unconditionally. Not many pets and their humans are that lucky. This cat, and her human, were.

  99. I’m so sorry about your loss. I lost my cat to cancer in May. It still hurts sometimes.

  100. Here’s a blessing I created, for the bereaved:
    May you have strength now,
    Peace soon,
    And love always.

    We’ll miss Her Ghlaghgheeness along with you, sir. May the warm & fuzzy memories continue to fill your heart, and the hearts of all who knew Her (even if only through the ‘Net).
    Bless you, all.

  101. I understand. Some cats are “just cats”. Some have a special quality that lingers long after they are gone.

    We just lost “Chester Cheese the 3rd” (first of the line of such named cats). He came to us as a small kitten. A few weeks ago my wife petted him – he was skin and bones overnight (from a 25 lb cat). He just went off to die, as cats are wont to do.. Great hunter of mice and rabbits. Survived an attack by a large raptor (vet guessed a great horned owl) – went through all his claws – but was cat cool about the whole thing (although he gained respect for big birds…). Not a bad run for 14 years. Alpha cat, and alpha to the dogs. Great with small kids. My son was 3..4, and started to get a bit rough. Chester just popped out a single claw, and gave a single “pluck” on his cheek. Child learned the lesson.

    Nothing like being bested by a cat on the internet. “Fluffy” has bestowed upon you a special status indeed.

  102. Thinking of you and your family and remembering the joy that Ghlaghghee brought to our family and to so many others.

  103. So sorry for your loss. I hope that some measure of peace of mind comes to you and your family soon – she sounds like a wonderful cat whose memory will last a long time.

  104. I am so sorry. Ghlaghghee was a beautiful cat. I’m feeling some of the same pain, as my own cat Aquavit passed on Friday, quietly, in her sleep.

  105. I am so sorry for your loss. There’s just nothing like the love shared by being a cat’s person.

    I lost my cat Merlin in 2011, and I still cry for him every time I read a post like this, because I remember how horrible that loss is. I currently have too many cats to be allowed, and they are amazing and wonderful and I love them to bits, but they are none of them Merlin, and I still miss him sometimes.

    Like Ghlaghghee, Merlin is buried in my backyard, where he belongs, and I occasionally say hi to him and chat for a minute with his memory when I go past his stone.

    My thoughts are with you and your family.

  106. All the words in the world would never seem to be enough. My heart goes out to you, Krissy and Athena.

  107. Aw man, John, I held it together until that last photo.

    I’m so so so sorry. Our Domino died of CHF as well, and it was super fast.Maybe 5 days from diagnosis?

    It doesn’t matter how prepared you think you are, when it happens the reality of it is shocking. I hope it’s comforting (or will be) to know that Ghalaghghee was happy, loved, and comfortable throughout her entire life.

    Many warm thoughts to you and your family this weekend and in the coming weeks.

  108. So dreadfully sorry to hear about your loss. It’s awful to lose a family member no matter how much time you have before hand to prepare. My condolences.

  109. This eulogy brought back so many memories of my own cat, Bandit, who left us two years ago. He too loved the belly rubs and I carried him like a baby. Just reading that brought a smile to my face. Thanks for that. And my condolences on losing your friend.

  110. No one can really understand the loss of beloved pet until you experience it yourself. I can still remember the loss of Flash, a mix-breed mutt who’d been a part of our family for nearly 15 years. He too died of congestive heart failure. I can remember crying like a baby as I dug the hole to bury him. Heartfelt condolences.

  111. Oh, hell. I’m sitting here on the floor of the Brom’s office, with two 19-year-old cats watching the tears stream down my face. I can’t think of anything to say beyond I’m so sorry, and so many people all over the world understand exactly how much you’re hurting, and are weeping with you.

  112. John, I am so sorry. I had a cat/best friend die at 16, and it was like a piece of me was gone. My thoughts are with you and your family today. Thank you for sharing her life with us.

  113. I’m so sorry, John. What a beautiful girl. I’ve enjoyed her pictures for years. Be kind to yourself in this time.

  114. I’ve had many cats over the years, and some of them have had a very close bond with me. I lost Brady just a few months ago, after battling his cancer for more than a year, so I had plenty of time to prepare for the end. It was still incredibly difficult to say goodbye to him. No matter how long our feline friends, companions, overlords, and family members live, it’s never long enough. The special ones mean just that much more to us.

    My condolences to you on your loss. Ghlaghghee was clearly a special cat, in more ways than one. It’s safe to say she’ll be remembered around the world.

  115. I am so sorry for your loss John. Know that though she may have spent her life in the 200 yards surrounding your house, through your blog over the years she has touched the lives of many of us all over the world and we will miss her.

  116. My roommate asked me why I was crying over my laptop, so I read her this post, and then she cried too, and we went and hugged the cat.
    This is a beautiful tribute. Thank you for sharing her stories and pictures with us,and letting us share in your grief.

  117. John, Krissy & Athena,
    It hurts. For all their small size they have a big piece of our hearts. My Kismet was a brave warrior and a mighty hunter who will be gone 18 years in November, and I still think of him often. He would sleep between my legs at night until one morning he gave a growl and passed. He was only 7 years old.

    I wish you and your family the best. Unfortunately, the best healer is time, and it will take some time for the pain to fade. But she will never be forgotten, for Ghlaghghee has touched many lives, and in this manner she will live on.

  118. MABarrett – M.A. Barrett was a reality television and film producer, a screenwriter, and a director before getting evicted from Hollywood. She’s won a Student Academy Award, a New York International Film Festival Screenwriting Award, her scripts have been optioned a few times, and her script ghost writing and coverage editor skills have been put to lack luster use numerous times. M.A. now makes her way in Somerville, Massachusetts as the owner of a dog walking company, which allows her more than six hours a day to write. And being outside in the sunshine with floppy dogs who don’t talk back is nice too. If you have questions for M.A. or would like to book her to speak at your campus, film club or writer’s group, please email her and ask. She likes to talk. A lot.

    I feel your pain, John. I’m sorry you lost your kitty friend. I lost my cat Talula Bankhead, a year ago and I miss her every day. She was with me for 18 years. It gets easier, but they’re definitely a part of you that doesn’t cease to exist.

  119. My deepest condolences, John. It’s always hard, no matter how much you rationally know to expect this sort of outcome. We went through a similar experience with Miriya. We’d adopted her and her litterbrother, Max, when they were 6 month old ferals. Nearly a decade and a move from Boston to Chicago later, Miriya got lethargic & lost her appetite (and she was the eat ALL the things cat in the house) and it turned out she had lymphoma, with tumors in both kidneys and stomach. She HATED vet visits, and we wanted her to be comfortable more than anything, so we declined chemo and had her on meds to help her appetite and keep her out of pain as much as possible. We had one more lovely month with her following my husband around, sitting in the chair next to him at the kitchen table while he worked, snuggling with us on the couch and when we went to bed at night. And one day, we gave her some of her favorite wet fish food, and left her perched on the living room windowsill in the sun, watching people and birds. When we came home from work, we found her on her favorite floor spot. We’re thankful that we had that last month with her and that she was able to go on her own terms in a home where she was comfortable and loved, but it still hurt like hell.

    Ghlaghghee was a beautiful kitty with loads of personality. Thank you for sharing all those moments with her.

  120. rabbiadar – San Leandro, CA – Rabbi Ruth Adar is a teaching rabbi in San Leandro, CA. She has many hats: rabbi, granny, and ham radio operator K6RAV. She blogs at and teaches at Hamaqom | The Place in Berkeley, CA.

    I am so sorry. I wish you whatever comfort friends and family can give.

  121. I’m sorry to hear that. I grew up on a farm of sorts with a variable population of cats, so I never really got that attached to specific cats. But for the past decade or so, one particular cat in our household has designated me as “tolerable” in contrast to all other living things. A few months ago she vanished, and I discovered to my surprise that I cared rather more about her than I realized.

    Tiamat came waltzing back several weeks later and acted as if nothing had happened, so this story has a happy ending. But having known the oddly satisfying love, or at least tolerance, of a cantankerous cat, I sympathize. My condolences.

  122. There aren’t any words that will offer comfort, I know. But please know that I share your grief at the loss of a dear friend. With all my heart, I wish that there had been a different outcome, and that she was still ruling the Scalzi household (and your heart) with her velvet paws. And I am glad that she paid a final visit to you in your dreams last night; whether that was a reflection of your thoughts about her, or her spirit brushing over you on its way to the beyond, I am glad you had the experience.

    I’ve said this before, but it bears saying again. Thank you, thank you, thank you for loving Ghlaghghee so much and so well. All too many cats are doomed to a vastly different life than she enjoyed, lives of hunger, pain and torment. You only had a dozen years with Ghlaghghee, but they were wonderful years. Would that there had been more. But thank you for giving her all the adulation, the bacon, the twitter feed, and especially the love she so richly deserved.

    I wish you peace, healing, and memories of her purring to comfort you.

  123. I’m so sorry. You, Krissy, Athena, Ghlaghghee, Zeus, and Lopsided Cat are in my thoughts.

    Thank you for sharing her stories with us.

  124. We lost our much-loved ‘Rissy in March 2013. I read your post and write this sitting in the chair where she and I spent a few last hours together before that trip to the vet.

    Condolences – and tears, John.

  125. It is painful when these things happen. I have lost several cats and dogs. You like to think it will get easier with each one, but it doesn’t. It is a part of our capacity to love and then love again.

    Be glad for your time with her.

  126. Deepest, deepest sympathy to you and to your family. But especially to you, because when you’re a cat’s chosen person, it’s a unique bond. But all your memories of her will be good ones, because she was clearly that kind of cat.

    Thank you for sharing her with us.

  127. Hold on; the love you gave outlasts the pain you feel.

    Your post made me smile, then cry. I look at my three cats and think “love them just a little harder today, every day” Not that there’s much room for “more” but, but I’ll do my best.

  128. I’m so very sorry for your loss, John. My condolences to your entire family and all who loved her.

  129. SheepLass – I'm 30ish, married, a knitter, a reader, a writer, a novice chef, and looking to get my house neat and tidy. Does it sound like an exciting life or what?

    I’m so sorry for your loss. :(

  130. I’m sorry to hear of your loss, John, and I trust you will feel better after whatever time it takes. It is sad to lose them but it would always be so much sadder never to have had them.

  131. I am so deeply sorry. Our furry children are such a joy, but we always lose them too soon. I am glad she had such a loving home and her special person to tuck her in on her last night. We will miss her too.

  132. Jules Jones – I'm a writer of romance and science fiction/fantasy. My main blog is at Dreamwidth, since that's where a lot of my friends are, but some of the less inane wibble gets mirrored on WordPress.
    Jules Jones

    I’m so sorry, John, Thank you for the joy she brought to us all through your words about her over the years.

  133. I’m so sorry for your loss, John. It’s almost a year to the day since we lost our Lilu and there’s still a hole in the family. I’ll miss Ghlaghghee too.

  134. Damn. I am so, so sorry. I had 13 months to cope with the idea of losing one of our cats to heart disease, and it still gutted me. 14 years later I still miss that grumpy furball, even with the huge presence of our Psychokitty that rules our lives. When he goes, I think I’ll be wrecked… I both love and hate that about having pets. For so long they’re like Satan wrapped in fur, and then they’re gone, and the holes they leave behind just feel gigantic.

  135. I’m so very sorry. Like a lot of other people, I think I’ll be petting mine a little extra today, and thinking about the ones I’ve lost.

  136. I’m so sorry. I got tears in my eyes reading your blog today. It’s amazing how deeply animals can touch us. My thoughts are with you, Krissy, and Athena.

  137. I’m sorry for your loss. Cats are special. She-of-the-difficult-to-spell-name was very photogenic. Thank you for sharing your adventures with her.

  138. Understand your loss – never easier when they pass, but the sweetheart maybe spared you another sort of pain and “what if” thoughtsat the vet. The shared love is a gift – kindred spirits grieve with your family.

  139. That is a pain that we think we remember until we have to experience it again. Please accept my condolences for you and your family.

  140. John

    I’m so sorry for your loss; she was clearly a remarkable cat who brought a lot of pleasure to a lot of people way beyond that 200 yard radius…

  141. Thank you for such a beautiful write-up; she had a lovely story and life. I’m so very sorry for your loss; I lost my Malia a year ago last week and it still hurts my heart. Our best to your family. -Tracey and Jeff.

  142. I am not even a cat person but I am crying none the less – a lovely send off for a lovely cat – and I just love the fact that she went in her own time and even visited you in your dream to say goodbye as she did. I hope that makes it easier than it might have been otherwise, even if this has been very hard on you as of course it would be… Good thoughts to you and the rest of the family (and the other animal members who have to adjust as well and who miss their friend as well)

  143. I’m very sorry to hear of your loss. Ghlaghghee was clearly a special cat. Her Internet fans will miss her too. I remember when my cat died of renal failure, twelve years ago … not the last time I cried, but the time I think of as “the last time I cried”.

    So I don’t cry (often). But there appears to be something stuck in my heart.

    Right now my flatmates’ cats are scootling about and I’ve had to turn my shoes upside down to stop the new kitten attempting to extract the insoles. I think I’ll go and hug them all.

  144. My deepest sympathies. I know how it feels to lose a beloved pet. I can tell from this wonderful eulogy that you loved Ghlaghghee dearly, and I’m sure she appreciated that. I’m also glad that she passed away as peacefully and painlessly as possible, in her home, with the people who who loved her. While memes and fads come and go, I’m sure the bacon cat will live on in people’s minds for a long, long time.

    Our furry friends bring joy to our lives
    Their absurd antics spark many smiles
    For this service we give them our love.

    Their lives are short while ours are long
    We remain when they are gone
    But in our memories they live on.

  145. Rainbow – Queer, trans, disabled, Autistic. Knitter, gardener, herder of cats, collector of rainbows, trainer of dragons. Artist, writer, genealogist, intuitive, gardener, herbalist, cat toy maker. On Facebook: On Zazzle:***
    Chris Starfire

    john, i’m so sorry for your loss. i’m sorry she isn’t with you longer, but glad she was with you from the time she was wee until she had to leave.

    your beautiful tribute to her leaves no doubt of just how much love you and she share.

  146. Sincere condolences. I had to say goodbye to my border collie companion June 29 2014. She had been part of my life since 1997. I felt like my heart had been torn out of me and I still miss her. Ghlaghghee (I never knew how to pronounce the name until today) enjoyed her life with you I’m sure. Best wishes to you and the family.

  147. Well…. shit. I probably should have just avoided Whatever for a while when the first of these posts came up a while ago. Ghlaghghee looked pretty much exactly like a cat we had who died ten years ago. Guess I thought I was over that. Apparently not. It’s a kick in the balls John. I’ve been there. Guess we all have at one time or another so.

    Pointless comment is pointless.

    PS: wish I would have thought of taping bacon to my cat.

  148. A wonderful tribute to a wonderful kitty.

    Thank you for sharing her with us all these years. The Myriad Odd Adventures of Ghlaghghee! I loved the stories, laughed over Bacon Cat for days, and always appreciated Chang Who is Not Chang’s snide worship of the Radiant She.

    My deepest sympathies to the Scalzi family for this wrenching loss.

  149. Do not stand at my grave and weep
    I am not there; I do not sleep.
    I am a thousand winds that blow,
    I am the diamond glints on snow,
    I am the sun on ripened grain,
    I am the gentle autumn rain.
    When you awaken in the morning’s hush
    I am the swift uplifting rush
    Of quiet birds in circled flight.
    I am the soft stars that shine at night.
    Do not stand at my grave and cry,
    I am not there; I did not die.
    -Mary Elizabeth Frye
    Family Friend Poems

  150. Pass on my condolences to everyone. Having been on both sides, knowing ahead of time or out of the blue just plain sucks. You do have happy memories though, so her legacy will live on.

  151. So sorry for your loss. Condolences to you, Krissy and Athena. It sounds like Ghlaghghee was lucky to have you as her person. Take care of yourself.

  152. Very sorry to hear this, John. Sorry for Ghlaghghee, who left us way to soon, and for you and your family and what you are going through now. May you find peace.

  153. We never really ‘own’ cats, we just rent small tragedies.
    You gave Her a wonderful life. You done good Mr. Scalzi, you done good.

  154. Typing through tears here, John, I was hop Glaghgheeing would hold on longer, perhaps until spring. As a fellow cat lover, my sincere sympathies. Do the other cats notice she’s gone?

    My current cat, Ned, is getting up there in age. He’s about seventeen. He’s healthy and alert,,,but I know we’re on borrowed time now. But still, I have had great fortune with cats. I had one who lived to the ripe old age of twenty-two! I hope Ned lives that long.

  155. Deirdre – Menlo Park, California – Deirdre Saoirse Moen is a writer, photographer, and graphic designer from Menlo Park, California. She blogs about all kinds of things at, runs a fan site for actor Ryan Johnson at, and has a site highlighting her graphics and photography at

    So sorry for your loss (and your family’s loss. She seemed like a lovely cat and she was well loved.

  156. I am so sorry for your loss. Ghlaghghee was a beautiful cat; I always loved seeing the pictures of her you posted. They never live long enough, and they take a piece of us when they go.

  157. What is it about our furry companions that connects us to them so deeply?

    Having loved and lost a few, I’ve found parts of the answer to that question. One part is “unconditional.” I don’t say “love” or even “trust,” because anyone who’s loved a cat knows they don’t have any trust at all that you’ll remember just *when* mealtimes are supposed to be, and if you mess up, human, they *will* put you in Coventry for anywhere from a minute to an hour, to let you know.

    Maybe it’s “acceptance.” They accept who we are, without trying to change us. They may try to manipulate our behavior, but they never want us to be anyone other than who we are, farts and bad moods and junk-food binges and childish impulses and all.

    They accept us.

    Another part is the extent to which their needs and ours are woven into the daily fabric of our lives. We get up, we let out the dog, we feed the cat, it’s part of our day, every day. The cuddle-lap demanded at certain times. The observation. “Is she about to hork a hairball?” “He needs to go out!” The attention. Ours on them, them on us. Day in, day out. They are part of our days, our lives, and our selves.

    I was shocked when I realized that the grief I felt for my furry companion’s death was more deeply affecting than the grief I felt for the loss of a grandparent I loved very much, but who lived in another state and whom I spoke to only a few times a month and saw maybe once a year.

    They are part of us.

    They let us love them.

    The loss of all that, and more, present physically, daily, is a difficult loss, indeed.

    Once time takes a little of that pain, the parts of herself she leaves behind with you forever will give you comfort, from time to time.

  158. I am both appreciating and cursing that you’re so good with words. I’m sending peaceful energy to you and your family during this painful time. I was adopted by a couple of littermates and when they each passed, I also had dreams of them being content and serene (and reunited again in the latter case). The pain of losing her won’t magically disappear, but it will soften with time. So glad you have so many happy memories to sustain you.

  159. I’m so sorry for your loss. I once had two cats who died a year apart, one after a long time with a heart condition, and the other suddenly. Both were awful experiences, and knowing one was coming didn’t help me as much as I hoped it would. You don’t know until you’re in it. My father died in the intervening year, and it gutted me, but losing the cats was so much more a part of my everyday life … a different kind of awful, but possibly harder on a daily basis.

  160. I am very sorry for the loss of your family member.
    In lieu of something profound, I offer this advice. Put Vick’s rub on your forehead and the apples of your cheeks (not too close to the eyes). It helps with the sinus swelling/pressure. Use a good, thick moisturizer on your nose. Even tissues with lotion chafe after a lot of use. Drink chamomile tea. It may be a placebo effect for calming, but if it works, who cares.
    All of us who have loved animals know how you feel. When my Isabelle passed in September, my virtual friends on Twitter and to my blog were more comforting than the people physically around me. I hope you get some comfort from your online friends as well.

  161. Condolences John.

    I’ve had cats all my life – well, nearly so, the last 48 years at least – and it always pains me that the furry people have such short lives. But, by giving them a happy loving home as you do, you give them lives of quality which is probably the best thing you can do for any living thing.

  162. You were lucky to have her. She was lucky to have you. I’m so sorry for your loss. I hope the day quickly comes when memories of her make you smile instead of weep.

  163. I understand your loss completely. Sometimes people don’t understand that I cried more for my cat Tommy than for my mother. They were both in my life approximately the same amount of time. There was something shocking at the time of (my very young age) her passing. And with Tommy? Tommy had become my inseparable companion, more faithful than a dog even who I walked on a leash and everything. I can not explain the love that flowed between us. I was devastated by that cat’s passing. Did I not love my mom more, the woman who brought me into the world? Of course I did, but cancer took her from me at such a young age, shocking me, so that tears did not flow.

    A loss then, and my heartfelt condolences.

  164. janetdane – Janet Dane is a psychic, healer, writer, teacher & geek based in Central Ontario Canada. Here is her other website: <a href=""></a>

    Love is love is love.

  165. We’ve lost two cats since we’ve been married (almost ten years now!). We’re facing the loss of a third–our current oldest, Simba, is 17. I think I’mma go find him and snuggle him for a bit.

    My sincerest condolences on the Scalzi clan’s loss. I think the dream was her way of telling you she’s at peace now.

  166. Ah, John, I’m really sorry. Some people can take the death of a pet in stride but when I read you were taking it hard, I sympathized. I lost my last cat to cancer and it was incredibly hard to take. Some pets become more than just pets, they’re important to us in ways that can be hard to describe.

    Thanks for sharing a bit of her with us over the years. Take care.

  167. Dear John, Krissy and Athena,
    I am so sorry to hear that Ghlaghghee passed. It’s hard to lose a member of the family, and I firmly believe that Ghlaghghee was family. Take care.

  168. thank you for sharing her with us all these years, and thank you for sharing your tribute to her with us. I can only hope that I am remembered as fondly when I go.

    To take a shred of amusement in a moment when such things are hard to find, apparently ‘my favourite author’s cat died’ is not a wholly adequate excuse for reading one’s phone when one’s wife wants to talk. Perhaps I should have mentioned it was bacon cat.

  169. John,

    I’m very sorry for your loss.

    After all these years reading Whatever, that was the first time I ever heard the story of her name.

    ALL of these were great stories. Your love for her is obvious.

    Please take what comfort you can from the knowledge that you gave her a terrific life. If she could have I’m sure she’d have thanked you.

  170. I’m so sorry. Your wife is correct, you can never really be prepared for something like this, but I’m glad you have good memories to help you cope.

  171. M.A. Kropp – NH, USA – I am a writer who is also a wife, mommy, and grandmother. I live in MA in the USA. I write mostly fantasy and science fiction. I speak sarcasm fluently. I am Irish and a ginger- that is fair warning. Puppies and kittens are my friends. I like good food, good drink, good friends, and good books.
    M.A. Kropp

    So very sorry. I had a cat that was as special to me. I am teary thinking of him still. You are so right – it hurts to lose someone you love.

  172. So sorry for your loss. “Our loves are not given, but only lent” Kipling wrote that about dogs but I think it is just as true for cats. I have found his poem “The Power of the Dog” very powerful in expressing the grief we feel because we have given our hearts to a pet to tear. I hope you and your family take comfort in your memories and the knowledge that you gave her a good life.

  173. .
    You and your family have my sincere condolences.

    When the pet that my wife and I had for 18 and a half years had to be put down, we were clinically depressed for a few months.

    Unconditional love is unconditional love, regardless of species.

  174. I’m sorry to read this. It’s always hard to lose a member of the family, and it’s clear that she was well-loved.

  175. I’m so sorry :( the post is beautiful though, I saw it in the break room at work and had two coworkers walk in on me crying. You were lucky to have each other, she was a gorgeous cat.

  176. I’m so, so sorry for your loss, Mr. Scalzi. It’s never an easy thing to go through, looking a member of your family like this. You gave her a good home and a comfortable life and dignity.

  177. I’m so sorry for your loss… you and your family are in my thoughts. The hurt will stay with you for a long time but so will the joy she brought you.

    Lily is perched on my shoulder wondering why those drops are pouring out of my eyes.

  178. megpie71 – Australian, female, fat, born in 1971. Been hanging around the internet (first Usenet, now blogs) since about 1997. Far too cynical for my own good.

    My deepest sympathies. Pets take a piece of your heart with them when they go, and the world is never quite the same afterwards. Be kind to yourselves while you’re getting used to your new life without her…

  179. John, I’m so sorry. For your loss and that you weren’t as ready as you thought you were. I wasn’t either, for mine or for yours. Thank you so much for sharing her with us, even though it hurts to read.

  180. I am so sorry, John. I am a cat vet and I can tell you the saying goodbye never gets easier. For what it’s worth, we’ve done the studies…grieving for a pet takes as long as for any other loved one. I lost one of mine last February to lymphoma (also at too early an age) and I still have hard days where I palpably feel her absence. My thoughts are with you and yours. Thank you for sharing this tribute; it made me get a twig in my eye.

  181. My deepest sympathies to you and your family. Ghlaghghee was obviously a great companion and an awful loss.

  182. I’m sorry for your family’s grief, John. My husband and I had to say goodbye to our beloved cat, Ilona, last March and it was one of the saddest days ever.

  183. Leesa – I am the assistant features editor at Sequential Tart. I like to read webcomics. I like to Twitter with friends and keep up with my favorite web comic creators. I play MMORPGs like EQ, EQ2, GW2, and can't wait for Csmelt Unchainef. I also play in a tabletop D&D game my husband DMs. I love pens, especially fountain and gel pens. In a nutshell, I'm a nerd.

    I’m so sorry, John, for you and your family. I’ve enjoyed the pictures and stories about Ghlaghghee over the years. Thank you for sharing the journey with us, both happy and sad.

  184. I’m so sorry for your loss. That was a beautiful tribute to her. It’s so funny how cats pick a person and will tolerate/ignore other family members.

  185. My condolences and sympathies for all of the Scalzi household. Losing a pet, let alone a long-term pet, is hard, and most especially a pet that had a strong personal bond with you.

    I know when it came time to take my cat, Sniffles, on her final trip to the Vet I was shattered. It’s been more than a couple of years now, but sometimes it still hits me how much I miss her. Sometimes harder than others. That last picture above is especially hard to look at, as it brings the feelings of grief back with all the immediacy of the moment Sniffles left us.

    That said, most of the time I can think back on her with love and fondness, and appreciation for the time we did have together. In my humble opinion, those that have left us live on in the hearts of those they have touched, and though Whatever, and her notoriety as Bacon Cat she touched many, many lives across the internet.

    And everything on the Internet is forever.

    Today, that will be cold comfort, but hopefully one day that will change.

    Vale, Ghlaghghee.

  186. It hurts now losing her, but the only way you could have avoided this pain was if you never knew her.
    Which would you prefer ?

  187. Jen – wife. mother. knitter. unschooler. band geek. fatass. card-carrying socialist. militant breastfeeder. profane. agnostic. ENFP

    I’m so sorry for the loss of your friend. ((hugs))

  188. Oh, I’m so sorry to hear this. Your post made me cry. Best wishes to you and your family.

  189. Much love, John. I know that feeling far too well, and I also had a cat choose her own moment to depart, a day before the appointment I had made to help her do so. I think they try to make it easier for us, because despite all people will say about cats being aloof, we know that it’s not so, and they love us as much as we do them.

  190. All my thoughts and sympathies to you, man. Having a cat of my own, I can barely conceive of how awful it would be to not have Virgil one day, and know that I’ll give him extra scritches tonight.

  191. Ah, I’m so sorry. One of the great injustices in life is that our pets don’t live nearly long enough. We love them so much, and their lives are so short.

    RIP little cat. You were much loved, and won’t be forgotten. And peace to your people who love and miss you.

  192. A beautiful tribute to a beautiful cat.

    It’s never easy to lose a beloved cat, especially one who has decided that you are their special human. I’ve lost 3 cats in the last 2 years (the first was exactly 2 years ago yesterday), including my beloved Oliver last May (he was just shy of 20 when he passed), so I know all too well what it’s like. I do draw some comfort from the fact that if losing them didn’t hurt so damn much, it would mean that they weren’t an important part of my life. I’ll take the hurt if that means I get years of sharing life with them.

  193. John, my condolences — I don’t have enough words, or maybe even the right ones — I’ve lost enough cats and dogs that by now my heart must look like a lace doily, because every one of them took a piece when they went.

    It was worth it.

    Dirge Without Music

    I am not resigned to the shutting away of loving hearts in the hard ground.
    So it is, and so it will be, for so it has been, time out of mind:
    Into the darkness they go, the wise and the lovely. Crowned
    With lilies and with laurel they go; but I am not resigned.

    Lovers and thinkers, into the earth with you.
    Be one with the dull, the indiscriminate dust.
    A fragment of what you felt, of what you knew,
    A formula, a phrase remains,—but the best is lost.

    The answers quick and keen, the honest look, the laughter, the love,—
    They are gone. They are gone to feed the roses. Elegant and curled
    Is the blossom. Fragrant is the blossom. I know. But I do not approve.
    More precious was the light in your eyes than all the roses in the world.

    Down, down, down into the darkness of the grave
    Gently they go, the beautiful, the tender, the kind;
    Quietly they go, the intelligent, the witty, the brave.
    I know. But I do not approve. And I am not resigned.

    Once more, with feeling: “More precious was the light in your eyes than all the roses in the world…”

  194. I’m so sorry. It’s so difficult because they are part of the family. I’m glad you have so many pictures that will maybe bring you comfort.

  195. I have six highly beloved cats, and have had about that number of cats, (and dogs, birds, and fish) for many years, which means I’ve lost a large number of cats. Here I am with tears in my eyes as I imagine what you feel at the loss of your ball of fluff, because I’ve known it, and will know it again. Even with that knowledge, new cats seem to show up in my life despite any resolve not to acquire more animals, despite the disapproval of family members, even despite my husband’s occasional attempt not to allow another cat into the house (at which time he goes out, falls in love with a cat, and decides we can manage just one more).

    There’s just nothing that quite equals that love, and as much as it hurts to let any of them go, I never regret it. I’ve had to let go small kittens to ill to continue, and elderly cats who went on their own. It’s always worth the effort of loving and sharing with a pet.

    I’m now going to go cry a bit on my own critters (my standard poodle is especially absorbent) and hug all my cats in recognition of your loss — how lucky you were to have her, and how lucky you will be to love another such creature one day.

  196. My cat Blazer was named by my son Andy, who was 6 at the time. Blazer left us last August 21st. He was 17, and he died in my arms.

    Bless you and your family, John. They leave a hole when they leave us.

  197. Having been cat slaves for nearly three decades, we have been where you are many times and you and your family have our family’s deepest condolences on the loss of your best beloved Glaghgee. She had the best life ever with you all, and left this plane knowing she was loved all her days. We believe that your heaven will have all the places and beings you loved best. We know she waits in a sunny spot there for you.

  198. Heteromeles – Heteromeles is the genus of toyon, a shrub in the rose family that occurs from San Francisco south to Baja California. It is the "holly" of Hollywood fame

    Very sorry to see this news. And so it goes.

  199. John, I am so sorry. Thank you for sharing her with us. Almost four months after the death of my beloved Misty, and I still think about her every day. To love someone unconditionally and to have them love you is a beautiful thing. My cat, in her last moments, taught me more about life than I dare share right now. You loved her, and I have no doubts.Glaghgee was a great cat, a cat that reminded me of how much I adored my own: for that I thank you. I sincerely wish you peace and the care of you and your loved ones.

  200. I’m so sorry for your loss, John.

    Your post moved me to tears as I sat bracketed by my two purring kitty cats who, coincidentally, will turn 12 later this year.

    Thank you for sharing her life with us, and thank you for sharing your loss with us.

  201. My condolences to you and yours, John. You and Krissy are right that preparing is not the same as being in the moment. We recently lost our 15 year old husky, Boutros, and I thought I was prepared, but like you, I was not ready for the hurt. I hope your grief coalesces quickly into fond remembrance. Until then, my thoughts are with you.

  202. madebymeghan – Vancouver, BC, Canada – I'm a writer. I also bake... a lot. My novels are available anywhere ebooks/paperbacks are sold online. Find more info on my blog:

    I’m so sorry. I lost my sweet boy Darby last August. He’d been by my side every day for fourteen years … Through many screenplays and novels and very difficult times he was my buddy. He’d been sick for a while, but it wasn’t until he stopped eating that I knew I had to let him go. It helps that it was his choice, in a way. But God I miss him. I have two others who I don’t like half as much. That’s life, though. Not every one is a soul mate. The pain doesn’t really fade, you just start letting bits of light in.

  203. I’m so sorry, John. She was a lovely cat. I tend to think that the sorrow of losing a companion like Ghlaghghee is the price we pay for the happiness their presence brings. Sappy, yes, but maybe a little comforting.

  204. Mrowwww? Mrrrr… prrrrrrrrrrrrrr.

    *heavy purring, followed by insistent head-nudging*

    I’m sorry.

    The thing about pets is… we outlive them. You were very good to her, and she was very happy. And ultimately, what else can we ask for, eh?

    Goodbye, Glaghghee.

  205. I’ll be thinking of you and your family in the days ahead. It is heartbreaking that our animals live at a different rate from us. I’m so sorry to hear of your loss. Death sucks.

  206. Now I know how to say the cat’s name. For years I have been saying, “Cat with name I have no idea how to say.”

  207. I’m so sorry that you had to write such a beautiful tribute, but glad we got to know Glaghghee a little more. It hurts more than you expect to lose a family friend, especially one who’s been with you so long. And they’re never, ever “just cats”. I lost three of mine over three years, and each one ripped a unique cat-sized hole in my heart. I’m petting one of my newer cats now, trying not to remember what it was like before.

  208. So sorry for your loss, John.

  209. We are remembered not by our duration but by our donation. Her life may have been shorter than some but the donation she made to your family and everyone in this comment thread was infinite.
    Condolences to Ghlaghghee’s family and friends.

  210. kalisalessnau – I am an author, baker of delicious treats, and a big fan of this Internet thing. I think it'll really catch on in a few years, don't you?

    Condolences to you and your family. Thank you for sharing Ghlaghghee’s story with us. May we all know the kind of love you and your family offered that funny little kitten.

  211. jbwhelan – Perspex Island – J. B. Whelan is the last scion of a clan of itinerant rug-beaters, who squandered their vast fortune on soda pop and Missile Command.

    My deep, heartfelt condolences to you and yours, John. I’ve said goodbye to a lot of beloved animals, and I know how you feel. No more needs to be said than that, except: Thank you for sharing Glaghghee with us.

  212. John, I’m so very sorry for your loss. Please give my condolences (and everyone else’s here) to Kristy and Athena. And please treat Daisy, Zeus, and Lopsided Cat with extra care in the next few days; they don’t understand that Ghlaghghee is gone the same way we do. Or try to.

  213. I’m so sorry for your loss, I’m looking at my 23 year old cat right now knowing that this time comes to us all and that I most certainly won’t be prepared either and it bring tears to my eyes.

    My deepest condolences to you and your family.

  214. So sorry for your loss. It’s such a tough thing to lose a beloved member of the family. Remember her life was better because she was yours and you loved her.

  215. I’m so sorry, John. Thinking of you, Krissy, and Athena, and I hope Lopsided Cat, Zeus, and Daisy help you through this time. BaconCat will always live on through the internet.

  216. shaunduke – Shaun Duke is a podcaster, a reviewer, a blogger, and a writer. He is a host on the Hugo-nominated Skiffy and Fanty Show, a blogger at The World in the Satin Bag, a freelance editor at The Duke of Editing, and a co-owner of Young Writers Online. He also co-hosts Totally Pretentious, a movie discussion podcast, with David Annandale. Outside of fandom activities, he is a PhD candidate in English at the University of Florida, where he studies science fiction, postcolonialism, and Caribbean literature.

    I’m very sorry for your loss. My thoughts are with you and your family.

  217. I’m so sorry for your loss. Losing pets is such a difficult thing to go through, and sometimes all you can do is recognize that you keep them as safe, happy and healthy as you can, and that they love you for it.

  218. I keep wiping my eyes and cleaning my glasses, and everything’s still all blurry.

    You can’t be prepared for losing a cat, no matter how sick they’ve been for how long. We all know that (And intarweb hugs to all those who’ve shared their stories. Whateverites are good people).

    The Radiant She will live on in our memories, and as long as there are web servers that display BaconCat photos. We all will miss her.

    I’ve always said that some people are born with cats, some people achieve cats, and some people have cats thrust upon them. I am somewhat cheered by the picture of you being the latter, literally.

    So glad she went quietly — in a dream, it seems — but she always took life on her own terms, so it’s not entirely surprising. Nobody was going to boss her around, right till the end.

    Special-er thoughts to Athena. I got a kitten for my 5th birthday and when my parents finally had to take him to be put down… oof. I could hardly remember life without him. Also to Zeus and Loppy, who will now have to work out their new equilibrium.

    I need to hug my kitties, and go tidy up around the cat-shaped headstone in the yard.

  219. Deep condolences to your entire family. Thank you for sharing your grief with us. We love our pets and it is important to acknowledge the deep emotion that their loss elicits. She had a wonderful life with you.

  220. My two cats are watching me curiously as I cry, remembering Sylvester’s death in 2013 after long illness and at the age of almost 17. I’m sure they have no idea what my problem is, but … that’s they beauty of cats. They don’t always figure you out, but they’re there to be comforting (and alternately, comical and exasperating).

    RIP, Fluffy.

  221. I am sorry. i have never been a pet person, but from reading your post it helped me to understand what pets mean to people. I have heard people say things before but your story of your time together showed show much more life and emotion. I am sorry and I hope you and your family have a productive grieving time. God Bless!

  222. Dammit, I wasn’t gonna cry… X:::(
    Several tissues later, may I extend my heartfelt condolences to the Scalzis, both two- and four-footed. We will miss hearing about the Radiant She on Whatever, and know she was much loved.

  223. Jessa Slade – <strong><a href="">Jessa Slade</a> is the author of the <a href="">Marked Souls</a> urban fantasy romance series (NAL Signet Eclipse), the <a href="">Steel Born</a> paranormal romance series (Harlequin Nocturne Cravings), and award-winning self-published science fiction romance with <a href="">Hotter on the Edge</a>. You can find her online at all the <a href="">usual haunts</a>.</strong>
    Jessa Slade

    Lucky cat to have such a good life. Lucky you to have such a good cat in your life. Thinking peaceful thoughts your way.

  224. She is still queen of the great wide web and shall reign until the electricity runs out. Thank you for sharing her with us. Wishing comfort to you all.

  225. My heart goes out to you and your family. I’ve had to say goodbye to three companions now, with the departure of a fourth on the near horizon — and no matter how much you try to prepare, it never gets any easier. What a beautiful tribute you’ve written for Ghlaghghee. May your memories of her love and companionship be a comfort to all of you.

    They will not go quietly,
    The cats who’ve shared our lives.
    In subtle ways they let us know
    Their spirit still survives.

    Old habits still make us think
    We hear a meow at the door.
    Or step back when we drop
    A tasty morsel on the floor.

    Our feet still go around the place
    The food dish used to be,
    And, sometimes, coming home at night,
    We miss them terribly.

    And although time may bring new friends
    And a new food dish to fill,
    That one place in our hearts
    Belongs to them . . . and always will.

    ~ Linda Barnes

  226. So sorry, she was a beautiful cat. My sweetie for 18 years just left this earth last summer & it still hurts to think about.It will get better but there will still be times when the pain feels fresh. Remember the good times.

  227. wendybarronwrites – Vancouver, BC – I'm a voracious reader, creative writer, and freelance editor with a highly developed sense of relaxation. My favourite thing is when someone else does the cooking and cleaning.

    I’m so sorry for your loss, John. Godspeed, Ghlaghghee.

  228. Thank you for loving and giving her a good life and for receiving much love from Glaghghee. The whole time I read, I was weeping for my chicken, Fancy. She preferred to be with me and talked to me all the time. Outside, when I talked on the cell phone or it rang, she came to me and talked even more, right on the bench and close to my face. When she died, she had been ill, but she was in a cage in the house, and died a violent, thrashing death. I screamed hysterically for about five minutes. I was numb for days and depressed for months. I suppose people cannot imagine a chicken causing such grief.

    It was a deep grief. Your grief sounds equally traumatizing. I am so sorry for the grief that much be flowing through your hearts.

  229. I’m so sorry for your loss. My orange kitty, Spot, died of heart disease a year and a half ago, and I still miss him so much. I love my other cats, but some pets find their way so deep into your heart that they just don’t let go. Sounds like Ghlaghghee was your heart kitty, too. May she rest in peace.

  230. I’m so very sorry. We just had to put down our cat, whom we had had all his life, and who had decided that I am HIS person. It’s still hard. May Bast send purrs to your family during this tough time.

  231. Total sympathy, and tears. That was a lovely tribute to her. I’m one of those who, although I knew how to pronounce her name, it still sounded as ‘Glag-hee’ in my mind. Goodbye, lovely Fluffy, I so enjoyed reading about you.

  232. She was a lovely cat and she died in her sleep.
    I lost James three years ago after a long struggle with failing kidneys. Almost two years of hanging IV bags every other night. When it was time, I knew it, but it was still very hard. A vet came over and James passed in his home, in our bed.
    Nothing will replace him, but we now share our home with bother and sister tabbies.
    I am so sorry for your loss.

  233. karlcook1 – Centreville, VA – I do computer support, read science fiction, & was a professional photographer in my first career. Still make images for fun (and money).
    Karl Cook

    My heart goes out to you, Krissy and Athena.

  234. I’m so very sorry.

    It’s going to suck forever and you’re going to see things years from now that remind you and it’s still going to hurt.

    For what it’s worth, you loved her all her tiny, fluffy, ghlaghghee, bacony life. And I bet you were the best cat-daddy in the universe to her. Even with the taping of the bacon. You don’t tape bacon to people you don’t love.

    Not unless you’re not about to shove them into a piranha pool, anyway. And you didn’t, so, yeah, I’m totally babbling now.

    I feel for you, mate. I’ve had cats for their whole lives too, and it never gets any better. And I don’t think it should; if it did, we wouldn’t be ourselves anymore.

  235. My deepest sympathies.
    Like you, like many here, I had a special cat among all the cats. He’s been gone for 20 years this year, but every once in a while, I find myself shedding a tear because at times I still find myself missing the big lug. Your tribute is a wonderful way to share your beautiful cat’s life story with you. I find tears, like many others here, have sprung unbidden, as your story touches the part of human life that intersects with mine.
    Wishing you and your family comfort and peace in this time of a broken heart.

  236. I’m so sorry for your loss. That was a beautiful tribute to Ghlaghghee, and the story about her name was absolutely adorable.

    In the most literally sense I cannot imagine how painful is must be to lose a pet you’ve known for so long. My now-husband’s cat who I had only known for two years died just about two years ago and losing her absolutely wrecked me. I never really understood what “heart wrenching” meant until she died.

    I wouldn’t say you’re taking her death badly at all. I mean, you managed to write a beautiful post about it when I would probably be sobbing heap if I’d gone through what you have.

  237. John, I am really sorry for your loss. She will be sorely missed. I still can’t spell the name correctly from memory, but your sharing the life of your cat with us (as well as chang, who is not chang’s worship of her most radiant she) was one of the things that got me hooked here to become a daily visitor.

  238. Thank you for sharing your story. I too had a cat with a story, two in fact. The loss of those furry best friends at the ripe old ages of 18 and 20 within two years was a big emotional blow. I still get teary when I think of them, and of my dear old dog. It’s a cruel thing they all have such shirt lifespans compared to humans. Ghlaghghee lucked in with your family, and lived a good if all too brief life. x

  239. I never met her and I felt a tear coming when I saw the title. My last cat went some years ago and sometimes I still dream she’s sleeping on the bed with me.
    Condolences to you and your family and hugs to the pets.

  240. I’m so sorry.

    It’s never easy when they pass on. The best we can do is remember the good bits and forgive the bad bits. We lost our youngest fluffball in 2012 and we lost ElderlyDog during the winter.

    I wish there was something I could do to magically make it better, but I can’t. In lieu of that, please accept my condoleances.

  241. I remember when you introduced Ghlaghghee on this blog. And I remember what it feels like to lose a member of the family.

    My sincere condolences to you and your family.

  242. I am very sad to learn that Ghlaghghee passed away so abruptly. My cat Shu Lien lasted seventeen months after the initial diagnosis (also congestive heart failure) before I had to take her in and say goodbye, and I was hoping your family would have much more time with Ghlaghghee.


  243. You expressed so well what my wife and I have also experienced with several wonderful kittys, thanks you. :-)

  244. My wife and I wish you and your family well. She was loved. We’re passed that this happened this way but thank you from the bottom of our hearts for being so kind to Glaghghee.

  245. I’m so sorry for your loss. Glaghghee was a special creature, and she will be remembered. I hope you and your family find comfort soon.

  246. Our Poppy was with us from late 1997 until February 2014. She was the most cantankerous Naughtie Tortie you would ever wish to meet and I was indisputably hers, being the only person permitted to pick her up ever. Her loss still hurts nearly a year later and my only consolation was that we rescued her and gave her the wonderful life she deserved.

    My thoughts are with you and your family.

  247. So sorry to hear of your loss. Our cat Pixel loves belly rubs, too, which is indeed a rare and wonderful thing. Ghlaghghee clearly had a wonderful life with your family.

  248. My condolences. Her twitter feed was great. I will miss her attempts at plotting your downfall; it was the only way I knew her aside from this blog. Your bond with her was much stronger and saying goodbye to furry family members is really tough. They give us so much and are around too short a time.

  249. So sad to see this today. I’m so sorry, John, for your whole family and especially for you. You and Ghlaghghee were lucky to have each other. If I remember correctly, which is always debatable, she was what brought me to your blog all those years ago. You are in my thoughts.

  250. This was a beautiful thing to read. I am so sorry for you and your family. No matter how much you think you are prepared, it still hurts like hell.

  251. I’m so sorry for your loss :( What a lovely and wonderful cat she was. This post brought tears to my eyes. Hugs to you and your family.

  252. I’m so sorry, John. I can’t stop the tears. I realize that you may have no use for the idea of ghosts, but I’ve been in this particular pair of shoes. I’ve been visited by the ghosts of cats that I have loved, so I offer up that it wasn’t a dream. She was telling you that she wasn’t in pain anymore, and could get up on the bed one more time.

    Sending strength and grace.

  253. Very sorry for the loss to you and your family. There are few gifts greater than a beloved pet and few losses that hurt more.

  254. I’m very sorry John. I only knew her from a distance, but it was always clear she was a great cat and was dearly loved.

    I shouldn’t have read this at work. Damn blurry monitor…

  255. changterhune – Before you hear lies from Chang Terhune himself, we thought we’d tell you the truth: without us, his old action figures, he’d be nowhere. He loved science fiction from way back and began reading it at an early age, but it was through us that he acted it all out. That’s what led to the writing. He watched a lot of science fiction shows like Star Trek, U.F.O, and movies, too. But we were always there to do his bidding. And it’s like they say: you always forget about the little people on your way up. Oh, the 70’s and early 80’s with him were good times! He’d use these blocks and make all the crazy buildings for us to be in his stories. I gotta say the kid’s imagination was pretty damn fertile. Oh, he had friends, but they just weren’t into it like him. He was like the Lance Armstrong of action figures. And of science fiction. At first, when he began writing in the eighth grade, we didn’t mind. He still made time for us. And we knew that when he was holding us in his sweaty little hands and he got that far off look in his eye, he’d come back to burying us in the back yard or - god forbid! – blowing us up with firecrackers. But it was worth it for a part in one of those stories. We loved him for it. He kept us around even when we were minus a leg or two - or even a head. In that mind of his, he found a use for all of us. Then he discovered girls. October, 1986. It was like the end of the world. One day we’re standing in the middle of this building block creation he’d pretended was some marble city on a planet near Alpha Centauri and the next we were stuck in a box in the closet. Not even a “See ya later!” Nope, it was into the closet, then we heard some high-pitched girly-giggles then silence. We didn’t see him for years. We got word about him once in a while. Heard he took up writing, but it was crap like “The Breakfast Club” only with better music. We couldn’t believe it. Not Charlie. What happened to those aliens with heads he’d sculpted out of wax? Spaceships? Those complex plots? All gone. For what? You guessed it: Girls. Emotions. “Serious fiction.” I tell you, it was like hearing Elvis had left the building. During our two decade exile in the closet, we heard other things about him. He went to college. He wrote a lot, but not much he really liked. We knew it even then. It was like he didn’t dare write science fiction. Some of us had lost hope and just lay there. Others kept vigil, hoping for a day we didn’t dare speak about. Then we heard he’d stopped writing in 1996. Did he come to reclaim us? No. He took up music for ten years or so. He took up yoga. Once in a while, he’d visit us in the closet. But it was half-hearted. His mind was elsewhere. Then one day, he really did come back for us. One second we’re in the dark and the next thing we know we’re in a car headed for Massachusetts. Suddenly we got a whole shelf to ourselves out in broad daylight! Then he bought a bunch of others form some planet called Ebay. He’d just sit and stare at us with that old look. But why were we suddenly back in the picture? He had a wife now, who didn’t mind that he played with us. So what had happened? Turns out he’d never forgotten about those stories. He’d been thinking about all of us and the stories he’d made up and then remembered he’d been a writer once. From the shelf we could see him typing away. Before long he’s got a whole novel together! Then he’s working on another one. Word is there are two more in the planning stages! Some short stories, too! It’s good to see him using his imagination again. Its good to know he never abandoned us. He returned to his true love of science fiction. We hear the stories are pretty good. Someday we’ll get one of the cats to score us a copy of the manuscript. Man, it’s good to be out of the damn closet! --- I'm smarter than you I'm harder than you I'm better than you I'm just raw I'm hotter than you More popular than you More clever than you And goshdarn it, people like me I'm smarter than you I'm harder than you I'm better than you I'm just raw I'm hotter than you More popular than you More clever than you And goshdarn it, people like me

    John, I’m so sorry for your loss. Losing pets is hard especially when they’re the ones that bond to us. A couple people lately have lost their four footed loved ones and they seem to hurt like losing one of my own. So grieve well, be grateful she’s pain free now and that you had such a good long time with her.