Pure signal.

My little man is gone.


This afternoon ( 3/8/08 ) my favorite cat and best friend, Puffy, died from congestive heart failure. He had a bad heart from the get-go, and we knew that this year was pretty much it for him. He has suffered through surgery, and nightly meds, and the indignity of my inconsistency cleaning his potty box and putting his food out at all hours for 5 years. He was a big baby, and was the head of the household (5 other cats and 4 humans none of whom doubted for a second who was really in charge.)

He loved being outside, although he was an indoor cat — we compromised by letting him roam the yard. He was outside in the sun on a beautiful day when he became disoriented and had trouble breathing. My sisters brought him inside to me and I knew pretty much immediately that he was dieing. I decided not to take him to the vet because he hates the vet so much, and there was very little they could do for him. He was having a difficult time breathing, and he lay down. I lay down with him and had the privilege of breathing his last breaths with him. I have been worried for some time that he would die when I wasn’t home, or possibly when no one was home – I’m relived that was not the case. I am also grateful that he got a few days of sun. Being in the yard when the sun was shining was his favorite thing.

Puffy has been with me through my whole recovery. He sits with me when I write, he chews on the bindings of books as I read. He sits in bed with me when I have migraines and knows how to sit perfectly still right next to me so as to give support without demanding any attention, no human has ever learned how to do that. He makes up for that when I’m at my desk by taking my pen out of my hand, or crying to go in and out the door over and over when I am typing and he is bored.

Every time I let him sit outside my door because I got tired of the game is a nail in my heart today.

I cleaned his bowls and his litter box, and took his blankets and beds and toys into the garage. I poured his pills into the drain, and scattered his special food around outdoors for the birds. My sister and I drove his body to the veterinary hospital for cremation. And now there is nothing but the parade of mundane things none of which is the special thing that he was, and the cruel fading of the awareness of his significance over time which our weak human hearts are selfish enough to call peace, which peace won’t come for a while yet.


Soft-focus is for my audition for “All My Children.”

“You aren’t thinking about picking me up are you?”
Arrogent bastard.

Superior beings think inscrutable thoughts.

This is his “Happy to see you.” look.

His principle skill was being breathtakingly beautiful.

“Cheese?” How about “Fuck you.”, Will “Fuck you.” work?

With Ash as a kitten.

Something about this pose makes me think of William F. Buckley.

Glamor shots.

Beset on all sides.


Puffy tries to maintain order among his younger siblings. He is not successful.

One of the few shots where you can get an idea how TALL he was.


He lingered by the door but snuck back in at the slightest breeze or noise. He was an indoor cat who had the conceit of being an outdoor cat.

Little Singh would eventually outweigh him by a factor of 2.

Up until the last night of his life he slept at least part of the day with Zoe, you can see him with her when she was a kitten below a little further.

As the house alpha he was a polygamist — Sophie was his other wife, although he never actually slept next to her.

Puffy thinking maybe he wanted to go through the gate.

Puffy the botanist.


This is Puffy with Zoe as a kitten.


Singh could get the better seat in a fight but Puffy could easily trick him out of it.


This is my Mom’s favorite picture of Puffy.

The excellent photographs on this page are the work of my sister Holly Newman. If you want to steal one let me know and I’ll ask her.


March 9, 2008 - Posted by | Uncategorized


  1. Sorry about your loss.
    It was a beautiful cat

    Comment by Pantherkut | March 12, 2008 | Reply

  2. He was a beautiful fella – sorry for your loss.

    Comment by eric phelps | March 12, 2008 | Reply

  3. Just stumbled upon this post and I wanted to give you a virtual hug… nothing is as wonderful as a cat who knows you and loves you in their own special ways. I hope your grieving isn’t too hard – seems like Puffy was a lucky cat to have such a wonderful family (furry and bald) – and he certainly was a gorgeous gentleman.

    Comment by Liz | March 12, 2008 | Reply

  4. I stumbled across this and my heart goes out to you. I can’t even imagine what you may be feeling, but I am glad that you got to be with him in his last moments. They are not just pets, they become our children.

    Comment by Mandy | March 12, 2008 | Reply

  5. Your story choked me up a little 😦


    Comment by Phoebian | March 12, 2008 | Reply

  6. I’m so sorry for you loss. My kitty passed away last summer, so I know how painful it can be. hopefully your other kitties can help you through this, and you can help them, as I’m sure they miss him too.

    Comment by Anonymous | March 12, 2008 | Reply

  7. I’m very sorry about your loss. i recently lost a cat myself, my best friend, and after that it became clear to me how insignificant all my material things are – my money and my stupid possessions. My cat Juliette will always be with me in my heart, wherever I go. There will never be real peace.
    As you beautifully wrote “And now there is nothing but the parade of mundane things none of which is the special thing that he was, and the cruel fading of the awareness of his significance over time which our weak human hearts are selfish enough to call peace, which peace won’t come for a while yet.”
    Perhaps the only thing to give us some peace at such times is to do acts of kindness to some other animals.

    Comment by David | March 12, 2008 | Reply

  8. I’m sooooooooooooooooooo sorry about your loss…
    I love my Tyler and when he’s gone I think a tiny piece of me will go with him…
    I feel your pain and sorrow…

    Comment by Juliana | March 12, 2008 | Reply

  9. I had to put my 8-year-old dog down two days ago so your story especially hit home with me. I’m sorry for your loss & I hope your heart begins to mend soon.

    Comment by SEC | March 12, 2008 | Reply

  10. oh man, I’m so sorry. I’ve lost 3 cats in the last couple of years (just one of them died naturally) and it can be so hard. He was beautiful

    Comment by anace | March 13, 2008 | Reply

  11. I feel sad for you…

    Comment by Chuk Baldock | March 13, 2008 | Reply

  12. Puffy was lovely, but he’s waiting for you on the other side. And in the meantime, you’ve got your memories and some beautiful photos.

    Comment by Debby | March 14, 2008 | Reply

  13. I’m really sorry for your loss… We lost our own red-silver siberian Ginger last fall due to a hart problem so this post brings up a lot of memories. We feel your pain too…

    Comment by Sir Fredman | March 22, 2008 | Reply

  14. accept my sympathy…

    Comment by anonymous | March 22, 2008 | Reply

  15. I lost a kitten of about a year and a half old just under two years ago, and I can tell you your story hit me right in the soft spot. Puffy *was* gorgeous, and I know you’ll never forget him. No kitty will ever be the same as him, but i do hope your other cats do help. I received a kitten a few days after mine passed and I intend to go hug her now. 🙂

    Comment by marielle | March 23, 2008 | Reply

  16. I have lost two kittens in the past 4 months so I do know what you are going thru … accept my condolences and if you ever want you can email me or check out my blog it is mostly dedicated to cats of all kinds … my friends call me the cat lady.

    Comment by Amy | April 16, 2008 | Reply

  17. Update: Thanks everyone for all your kind words. It’s been a little over 2 months now and it still pretty much hurts every day — but only for a bit. I’m glad that so many people got to see him and hear a little bit about him. All of the other cats are doing well — Singh just lost his teeth and is losing weight, but he was a little heavy to begin with and I think he’ll get used to soft food.

    Comment by bootslack | May 27, 2008 | Reply

  18. My sister has a member of her family that looks like he could be related. Sorry for your loss. I dread the day my boy passes to his next life.

    Comment by Hijinxminx | September 3, 2008 | Reply

  19. Sorry for your loss. The loss of a pet is a difficult thing. He will be a patient kitty waiting for you at the Rainbow Bridge.

    Comment by Kelly | March 29, 2009 | Reply

  20. this might help you in you grieving process:

    Just this side of heaven is a place called Rainbow Bridge.

    When an animal dies that has been especially close to someone here, that pet goes to Rainbow Bridge.
    There are meadows and hills for all of our special friends so they can run and play together.
    There is plenty of food, water and sunshine, and our friends are warm and comfortable.

    All the animals who had been ill and old are restored to health and vigor; those who were hurt or maimed are made whole and strong again, just as we remember them in our dreams of days and times gone by.
    The animals are happy and content, except for one small thing; they each miss someone very special to them, who had to be left behind.

    They all run and play together, but the day comes when one suddenly stops and looks into the distance. His bright eyes are intent; His eager body quivers. Suddenly he begins to run from the group, flying over the green grass, his legs carrying him faster and faster.

    You have been spotted, and when you and your special friend finally meet, you cling together in joyous reunion, never to be parted again. The happy kisses rain upon your face; your hands again caress the beloved head, and you look once more into the trusting eyes of your pet, so long gone from your life but never absent from your heart.

    Then you cross Rainbow Bridge together….

    Author unknown…

    Comment by Boris | February 22, 2012 | Reply

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