BaconCat, 2003-2015
January 25, 2015 9:56 PM   Subscribe

MeFi's own jscalzi suffers the loss of his beloved pet. Ghlaghghee (pron. "Fluffy"), a.k.a. the world-famous BaconCat, has passed away after a brief illness. John writes a quiet, typically wry eulogy and appreciation.
posted by PsychoTherapist (85 comments total) 24 users marked this as a favorite
 
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I loved seeing photos of her on the blog. She was a beautiful cat with a lot of personality.
posted by creepygirl at 10:08 PM on January 25, 2015


Awww. Much sympathy, jscalzi.

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posted by benito.strauss at 10:11 PM on January 25, 2015


What a beautiful cat. I am so sorry for your loss.
posted by Lynsey at 10:14 PM on January 25, 2015 [1 favorite]


😿
posted by oneswellfoop at 10:16 PM on January 25, 2015 [5 favorites]


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Sorry to hear it. When you are ready down the line, I highly recommend finding a new friend at a local shelter. They need a buddy like you.
posted by Drinky Die at 10:29 PM on January 25, 2015 [4 favorites]


I'm not crying, you are.

That was quite well written and my sympathy is deep.
posted by flaterik at 10:29 PM on January 25, 2015


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Not much older than my own two cats. She looked such a sweetheart in his posts. My sympathies.
posted by MartinWisse at 10:31 PM on January 25, 2015


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kitties are the best.
posted by fluffy battle kitten at 10:31 PM on January 25, 2015 [2 favorites]


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posted by clavdivs at 10:42 PM on January 25, 2015


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posted by mazola at 10:50 PM on January 25, 2015


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posted by Chichibio at 10:54 PM on January 25, 2015


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posted by limeonaire at 11:14 PM on January 25, 2015


I saw this on Twitter this morning; it's a really nice piece, a very personal appreciation and very expressive of how significant pets can be and how sad it is when they die. So sorry, John.

When you are ready down the line, I highly recommend finding a new friend at a local shelter.

He described Ghlaghghee's arrival; and having read Whatever for many years, that seems typical. Cats and dogs have a way of turning up at the Scalzi compound when they're needed and/or needful.
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 11:20 PM on January 25, 2015 [1 favorite]


Ghlaghghee previously on Metafilter: 1, 2.
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 11:23 PM on January 25, 2015 [1 favorite]


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posted by scaryblackdeath at 11:43 PM on January 25, 2015


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posted by Nat "King" Cole Porter Wagoner at 11:48 PM on January 25, 2015


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posted by [insert clever name here] at 11:58 PM on January 25, 2015


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posted by Monsieur Caution at 12:29 AM on January 26, 2015


Is a good and fitting tribute to a cat who knew she had it pretty darn good.


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posted by Spatch at 12:56 AM on January 26, 2015


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posted by echolalia67 at 12:58 AM on January 26, 2015


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posted by palmcorder_yajna at 1:06 AM on January 26, 2015


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posted by justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow at 1:12 AM on January 26, 2015


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posted by andraste at 2:04 AM on January 26, 2015


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posted by fraula at 2:46 AM on January 26, 2015


I weep on your behalf, jscalzi, but celebrate both the joy she brought to your life and the joy you brought to hers (and the joy that, together, you brought to the entire world when you realized she needed bacon taped to her side).
posted by Joey Michaels at 3:19 AM on January 26, 2015


"The comfort of having a friend may be taken away, but not that of having had one."
-- Seneca

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posted by bryon at 3:38 AM on January 26, 2015 [14 favorites]


I'm so sorry for your loss, jscalzi. Having lost 2 beloved kitties in the space of the last year or so, I commiserate.
posted by pjern at 4:04 AM on January 26, 2015


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posted by Autumn Leaf at 4:19 AM on January 26, 2015


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posted by longdaysjourney at 4:46 AM on January 26, 2015


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posted by Skorgu at 4:58 AM on January 26, 2015


The Weens and The Beauts got extra hugs when I read this yesterday. Very nice piece.
posted by josher71 at 4:59 AM on January 26, 2015


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posted by lungtaworld at 5:28 AM on January 26, 2015


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posted by JohnFromGR at 5:34 AM on January 26, 2015


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We lost our eldest Kitteh last year, so this hit home. Well put.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 5:46 AM on January 26, 2015 [1 favorite]


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posted by tizzie at 5:47 AM on January 26, 2015


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posted by Ridiculous Dolphin at 5:48 AM on January 26, 2015


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posted by Dean358 at 5:52 AM on January 26, 2015


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posted by Gelatin at 5:56 AM on January 26, 2015


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posted by skycrashesdown at 6:16 AM on January 26, 2015


I'm so sorry. Beautiful tribute, thank you.

>O.O<
posted by Orange Dinosaur Slide at 6:23 AM on January 26, 2015 [1 favorite]


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posted by aught at 6:28 AM on January 26, 2015


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posted by radwolf76 at 6:38 AM on January 26, 2015


there is so much cat dander in my office right now

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posted by Kitteh at 6:38 AM on January 26, 2015


When you are ready down the line, I highly recommend finding a new friend at a local shelter.

Speaking as someone who has recently lost a beloved elderly cat companion, comments like this are sometimes very painful to receive/read, though I do understand that those who offer them don't mean them to be. Pretty much everyone who loves cats and dogs knows well that you can get companion animals from the SPCA already.

But more to the point, replacing a loved pet that you have nurtured and cared for for many years and who has died is not, however, always a simple matter of swapping in a new one. At least it's not easy for some of us; I guess I do know people who go right out and get a pet immediately after the death of the old one. We (the rest of us) might strive for equanimity, but it's difficult, so difficult. After a time, maybe. But in this case the comment feels like a too-soon moment.
posted by aught at 6:44 AM on January 26, 2015 [15 favorites]


Damn it I hate good-byes. Hugs to you, jscalzi. So much dust in here.

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posted by kinnakeet at 7:03 AM on January 26, 2015


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My own cat has been sick lately. We thought things were better for a while, but symptoms just keep coming back. She spends a lot of time sleeping in a back room. Lately, the greatest amount of interaction we've had with her on a daily basis is when we have to hold her against her will and force three pills down her throat -- except once a week, when we have to force three pills down her throat and give her a shot. It's been hard on all of us. I worry that she feels like we have betrayed her, that she is lonely. My husband tries to convince me that she does not have the cognitive infrastructure necessary for an emotion like betrayal, but I'm not sure about that.

Ghlaghghee's death hit me very hard. Scalzi's writing about Ghlaghghee hit me even harder. Every picture of Ghlaghghee really seemed to express her personality, and I was very fond of her. I was very fond of her, a cat I never met, whose name I routinely mispronounced. I am sorry she is gone. And, Scalzi, I am sorry for your loss.
posted by meese at 7:21 AM on January 26, 2015


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posted by Faint of Butt at 7:22 AM on January 26, 2015


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posted by ZeusHumms at 7:29 AM on January 26, 2015


I've got two seventeen-year-old cats on the bed here in my office. One is constantly battling sinus infections and the other is getting weak on his feet. They both are showing signs of kidney issues and I fear this may bring their last summer, provided they make it to summer. So when Scalzi posted his first notice of Ghlaghghee's declining health it hit home.

I've been following the Whatever blog since just before the Bacon Incident so I felt like Ghlaghghee was part of the family. I miss the days when Chang Who is Not Chang would post these long and ridiculous tributes to Our Lady of Bacon every time John posted the cat's photo. Those were heady times.

Thanks for the memories Ghlaghghee, thanks for providing one of my fave writers your fine companionship and company. Fare thee well in your new cosmic journey.
posted by Ber at 7:36 AM on January 26, 2015


Please accept my condolences, jscalzi.

(=^・ェ・^=)
posted by Halloween Jack at 7:55 AM on January 26, 2015


But more to the point, replacing a loved pet that you have nurtured and cared for for many years and who has died is not, however, always a simple matter of swapping in a new one. At least it's not easy for some of us; I guess I do know people who go right out and get a pet immediately after the death of the old one. We (the rest of us) might strive for equanimity, but it's difficult, so difficult. After a time, maybe. But in this case the comment feels like a too-soon moment.

Seconded. I'm still not ready to get another cat after bidding goodbye to Zach, and it's been five years.

Anyway. Jscalzi's account of how they got Ghlaghghee actually sounds a lot like how I got Zach - I got him because I had an ex-boyfriend who was trying to sell a motorcycle. ...and that really is the entire story.

No, seriously. It was a guy I was living with in 2003, and he was trying to sell his motorcycle - and he left the house one day to show it to someone who was interested in buying. She looked it over, then said she'd pass on it. Then she said, "hey, by the way - I have this cat I'm trying to find a home for- it was my roommate's but she moved out and left it here, and I have two dogs so it's not really working out. You know anyone who wants a cat?"

"I'll take him!" my ex said.

So, yeah. He left the house with a motorcycle, and came back an hour later with the motorcycle AND a cat. And that really is the entire story.

The guy and I split up a few months later, and when he ended up moving in with three guys and one was allergic, I got custody and had the little putz for the next sixteen years.

My condolences, jscalzi. Zach left this world in mid-August, at the height of the Perseids, so I tell myself that he's been chasing them - when they come around in August I'll enlist him to look for Ghlaghee and get her to join him.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:03 AM on January 26, 2015 [1 favorite]


That was really sweet and reminded me of the two cats I had from kittens for the same length of time. There's also something deep about working from home and bonding with your pets since you see each other for nearly 24hrs/day for weeks on end.

There's nothing to fill the sense of loss after losing a pet you're very close to. When my home was cat-free for the first time in 13 years, it was crushingly depressing. We gave ourselves time to grieve and planned to wait 6 months to a year to find a new kitten, but ended up adopting cats three months later because the house was just so still and quiet and lacking in love in a way, without cats around.
posted by mathowie at 8:05 AM on January 26, 2015 [1 favorite]


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One of the Eight Sufferings in buddhism is having to part with loved ones. There is a parable about the buddha encountering a woman who was inconsolable after the loss of her child. Buddha gave her a flower and told her to give it to someone who had never felt the pain of a loss. She spoke to every single person in her town, but each of them refused to take the flower. They told her of their own losses, and their own pain. She discovered that her suffering was universal, shared by all people, and she was enlightened.

Now I'm crying. I miss my own kitty.
posted by charlie don't surf at 8:08 AM on January 26, 2015 [15 favorites]


Having a series of pets over time will, if you listen hard enough, teach you when it's time to let go and when it's time to take on new loves.
posted by achrise at 8:38 AM on January 26, 2015 [1 favorite]


The only thing worse than losing a wonderful kitteh would be to have never had them at all.
posted by BlueHorse at 9:22 AM on January 26, 2015 [4 favorites]


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posted by Tell Me No Lies at 9:26 AM on January 26, 2015


I don't like reading about beloved pets dying so I might not be able to read the link. I'm really sorry for your loss, jscalzi.

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posted by rtha at 9:31 AM on January 26, 2015


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I am so sorry for your loss, jscalzi. What a beautiful cat.
posted by bitter-girl.com at 9:39 AM on January 26, 2015


sorry for your loss, lovely tribute.

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posted by OHenryPacey at 9:49 AM on January 26, 2015


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posted by mandolin conspiracy at 9:53 AM on January 26, 2015


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posted by tdismukes at 10:03 AM on January 26, 2015


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posted by the sobsister at 10:09 AM on January 26, 2015


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I had a dream last night where I saw a few of my dearly departed cats. I miss them.
posted by luckynerd at 10:14 AM on January 26, 2015 [1 favorite]


Ghlaghghee's death hit me very hard. Scalzi's writing about Ghlaghghee hit me even harder. Every picture of Ghlaghghee really seemed to express her personality, and I was very fond of her. I was very fond of her, a cat I never met, whose name I routinely mispronounced. I am sorry she is gone.

I am sometimes amused and sometimes astounded by the following an "internet famous" cat can have. I often mention my cat Trilby on Facebook and post pictures of him. He has his own account on MetaChat, and sometimes posts about his ambition to be an international spy, his side interest in writing poetry (he has posted some haiku and is working on a sonnet), and solicits suggestions for things for him to do while he's left alone over Christmas (i.e., vomit into a heat vent, shred the unpaid hydro bill in the letter tray on the kitchen table, nap, nap some more, indulge in some existential angst howling, etc.). So Trilby has a few admirers online. The summer before last, while I was working in my dining room during a heat wave, I posted a Facebook status that read, "Just had to put Trilby down from the top of the bookshelves, because he was headed towards the plants. He slapped me one on the leg as I passed him on my way back to the dining room table." A couple of people on my friends list commented to the effect that they saw the words "Just had to put Trilby down" and got very upset, and to not do that to them.

Grumpy Cat, you aren't allowed to die, you hear me?
posted by orange swan at 10:18 AM on January 26, 2015 [1 favorite]


I'm so very sorry. Mine is 18, and I fear constantly. It looks like Ghlaghghee had a wonderful life, and made yours all the more wonderful in return.

Re: "new friends", rather perhaps volunteering at a shelter may help. At least that's what I tell myself.

My eyes are just a little sweaty today.

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posted by Sayuri. at 10:31 AM on January 26, 2015


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posted by Quasimike at 11:10 AM on January 26, 2015


Aw. I'm sorry Jscalzi, that sucks.

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posted by lumpenprole at 11:11 AM on January 26, 2015


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Lovely tribute. It's really hard when they leave us.
posted by tuesdayschild at 11:51 AM on January 26, 2015


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posted by Shmuel510 at 12:44 PM on January 26, 2015


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posted by oceanjesse at 12:47 PM on January 26, 2015


In July, our oldest cat will turn 18. She's only lost a step or two in the last few years (in addition to more frequent vomiting in the last year -- ugh), and appears to be able to live a few more years. In fact, less than two years ago, we asked the vet if he could tell how old she was. His guess "No more than five years, I'd say." His reaction to the real answer was priceless.

She still follows us around (she's primarily attached to my wife but loves me plenty) a lot, and will INSIST on certain routines being followed (bedtime, evenings, mornings, etc). She still hops up on the bed and up the stairs. She still likes to bat things around to play. We're very lucky to have a cat who's been so sweet, loving, smart, and vibrant into her late teenage years.

But my wife (especially) and I will be devastated when Mouchette finally does die. I feel so bad for Mr Scalzi right now. He's lost a part of himself.
posted by grubi at 2:04 PM on January 26, 2015 [4 favorites]


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posted by slipthought at 2:12 PM on January 26, 2015


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posted by SarahElizaP at 2:31 PM on January 26, 2015


I always revisit this whenever any of my cats go to their final reward.
posted by Hal Mumkin at 3:08 PM on January 26, 2015 [3 favorites]


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posted by wittgenstein at 3:15 PM on January 26, 2015


I experienced my first pet loss when my tabby Cotton passed away suddenly last November. I am taking Cotton's death hard, but it has taught me empathy. I am sorry for your loss.
posted by Rob Rockets at 3:56 PM on January 26, 2015


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<3
posted by MexicanYenta at 4:34 PM on January 26, 2015


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posted by mkim at 5:04 PM on January 26, 2015


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posted by jenfullmoon at 6:23 PM on January 26, 2015


Ghlaghghee

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posted by mule98J at 6:28 PM on January 26, 2015


The Fuzz succumbed to The Dwindles, departing this plane peacefully and (I think) gratefully in September. I believe it was only a week or two of still seeing him around every corner, of opening a door and expecting him to be under foot, when we discovered the kittens under the shed out back.

Suddenly we have three mouths to feed, six ears to scratch, twelve paws to avoid and three feet of tail to step on. They have plugged the chasm in our hearts so thoroughly (and boisterously), The Fuzz has not been seen since.

I think he waited until we would be taken care of. I think that was his design all along.

I hope it is so for everyone who loses such a friend.

My advice is, check the shed.
posted by skippyhacker at 7:43 PM on January 26, 2015 [6 favorites]


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posted by JHarris at 8:35 PM on January 26, 2015


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posted by jamaro at 8:43 PM on January 26, 2015


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posted by one teak forest at 11:02 PM on January 26, 2015


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posted by introp at 9:28 AM on January 27, 2015


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