Thanks, Guys.


I’m pretty inconsolable, but I really do want to thank each and every one of you for trying to do the impossible act of cheering me up. I just can not believe he is gone. We were together for twelve years, basically the longest relationship I have ever had with anyone not a very close friend or family, and the suddenness is overwhelming.

I buried him in his favorite blanket (the one with all the kitties on it that you guys used to joke about), and I put him in the back yard in his favorite spot in the yard, which was the only place that had morning, afternoon, and evening sun. He spent so much time there that I had to put sunscreen on his pink ears so he would not get burnt or develop cancer. Earlier this morning I picked him up and was holding him like a baby- he loved it- and rubbing his belly and he would always lick my hand while I did it, and I actually thought “It’s a good thing he has been saving up his energy sleeping for the last decade because I want him around for another one.” I buried him in a place in the back yard I can see from the deck, so he may not be there on the porch with me, but he will be there.

I almost feel guilty for how I portrayed him as mean and vicious, but you all saw through that. He was really a super sweet cat, and everyone who came to the house would get a complimentary 15 minutes of Tunch on the lap. He wasn’t skittish around folks like some cats- he would walk right up and say hi and jump on your lap. And everyone who met him had two things to say “MY GOD HE IS BIG” and “Wow he is super sweet.”

I never mentioned this before, because I always thought it was really, really weird and I didn’t want to deal with the comments, but one of Tunch’s idiosyncratic behaviors was every time I left the bathroom door open and went to the bathroom, he would come in, and while I was on the throne, lick my toes. I have no idea why, but after a couple years you just deal with it and flip the pages of sports illustrated to the next article.

I just can’t believe he is gone, and in such a violent way after I pampered him and was so protective for so long, freaking out when he got out of my apartment before I moved here with the fence, with me driving around town for hours in the dark, ruining clothes as I climbed through bushes because I saw him and wanted him home where he belongs.

Now all that is left is my memories, a grave in the back yard, and a bloody t-shirt and shorts from when I found him just lying there lifeless in the back yard. God damnit I’m crying again. I haven’t cried in decades.

I’m never going to get over this. I don’t know how I am going to sleep.

262 replies
  1. 1
    Teddy's Person says:

    My deepest sympathies are with you.

    “Unable are the loved to die. For love is immortality.” ~Emily Dickinson

  2. 2
    superfly says:

    Crying here too.


  3. 3
    Mino says:

    I’ve read that cats lick their people to show ownership. What a sad day.

  4. 4
    Tokyokie says:

    “““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““`(That introductory bit was courtesy of Marvin’s head on the keyboard.) Anyway, whenever I use the guest bathroom, Marvin always gets on the counter to say hello. So a cat licking my toes while using the facilities somehow doesn’t sound odd at all. It just sounds cat.

    Mino, Licking or rubbing their jowls on something is a way cats mark what’s theirs. So the laptop screen must belong to Keyser.

  5. 5
    LT says:

    We all saw through that is right, John. You were as opaque as Rocky Mountain air about that.

    Cry your fucking eyes out, buddy. Gah. A bunch of us will be right with you.

  6. 6
    Locagirl says:

    No words. Heartfelt sympathy for the loss of your compadre. Peace.

  7. 7
    HinTN says:

    he’s a cat – thank you, John!

  8. 8
    RobertDSC-iPhone 4 says:

    He will always be our King.

    Thank you for sharing the Tunchinator with us.

  9. 9
    Steve says:

    My condolences John.

  10. 10
    WaynersT says:

    Ugh, that picture is a punch in the gut.

    Hopefully you can find some solace knowing Tunch is mourned by thousands of people who never even physically met him, yet loved him more than anything. I can’t imagine any animal having a better life than he.

  11. 11
    jenn says:

    One of my pups thinks that when I’m in the bathroom is time set asi
    specifically to pay attention to him. Little schmuck.

    John, maybe eventually you can put up a yard chair in that spot. Plant some flowers, maybe some catnip?

    It all just stinks mightily. Thinking of you and His Tunchness.

  12. 12
    Abo gato says:

    We all love you. Just try to keep that somewhere in the back of your mind. Get another kitty soon.

  13. 13
    dexwood. says:

    Without adequate words here. For Tunch and the General. Don’t feel guilty, John. You loved him, he loved you. That always came through. Many of us out here thought of him as our cat too. Thanks, both of you.

  14. 14
    John O says:

    It’s 80 degrees here, but I’m breaking out the Obey sweatshirt in honor and out of respect.

    You’ll cry for days, and it will be good, and cathartic. Grieve we must.

    As others have pointed out, it feels a little strange to weep over a stranger’s cat. But you wrote about him so beautifully he really did feel like family to us. I’m just SO sorry for all of you…

  15. 15

    Cancer got my Nigel at age ten. I’m crying more now.

  16. 16
    PsiFighter37 says:

    We’ll give a toast to him tonight, and I may inadvertently steal someone else’s food or beer in tribute to his tendencies.

    I’m sorry for your loss, Cole. Tunch seemed like a real good fella to you.

  17. 17
    Elizabelle says:

    So hard to get used to, and happened so fast.

    And it’s not even my cat!

    Thinking of you.

  18. 18
    amk says:

    I too would have preferred a more peaceful & sedate ending, Cole.

    RIP Tunch.

  19. 19
    Sasha says:

    If you, or anyone you know, has sleeping pills, now is really the time for them. I have had some really difficult nights made bearable by a sleeping pill. Failing that, stay up watching anything until you can barely keep your eyes open. It beats lying in bed with such sadness.

  20. 20
    Sandia Blanca says:

    Oh my God, I am so sad! I loved your cat from afar, and know how much he meant to you. What an awful thing to have happen. Sending my heartfelt condolences to you tonight. Love from Austin.

  21. 21
    NickT says:

    Tunch was samurai. He’ll be reborn in the Western Paradise. If I were you, John Cole, I’d make sure that I was ready to open a lot of cans of tuna in the afterlife.

  22. 22
    Silver says:

    That’s the thing that’s terrible about cats and dogs. They live just long enough that it seems like they’ll always be there, and then they are gone.

    I’m terribly sorry for your loss.

  23. 23
    ErinSiobhan says:

    I am so very sorry.

  24. 24
    Dolly Llama says:

    John, think about it like this. When Tunch and you met, Tunch hit the Kitty Lotto. It was easy street from there on out. He never knew a damn thing but love and pamperment. (And, yes, I just made that word up.) I know you’ll miss him, but you have a hell of a lot to be proud about in that relationship. How could you have made it any better for Tunch in life? You couldn’t have, because he had the proverbial “run of the place” the whole time he was with you. In this time of sorrow, feel good about that.

  25. 25
    Gex says:

    I know so many people who have had such major losses this year. It really has been a brutal year in my circles so far. Goddamn it. I am really sad about Tunch. I’m really sad for John. I’m sad for me too, because this just hurts. Maybe Tunch’s untimely death shouldn’t affect me this much, but it does. R.I.P. Tunch.

  26. 26
    Rhubarb says:

    I’m so sick and sorry. Horribly sad day.

  27. 27

    Man, I am so sorry. Tunch seemed like an awesome kitty.

    One of my best rescues was Buster, who was bitten on the leg by his owner’s new pit bull. I got the kitty a great new home, and he’s still doing well.

    I’ll make a donation on Monday. Man, this sucks.

  28. 28

    Grieving is the only response to have. Seems eminently reasonable. Reading all the commentary today, so sad but yet–uplifting.
    People have kindness and it comes through. That is how I think of Balloon Juice. Not about trolls or folks that have axes to grind. Those folks will grind those axes eternally. But it is the real folks who have empathy, and imagination.. those folks post here, quite often. Even if the opinions are not exactly the same as mine, all the time– who cares? I love the communal feeling, and in tough moments like these, that counts greatly. Again, my sincerest condolences, Mr. Cole. Please take care of yourself, best as you are able.

  29. 29

    Oh no! Oh dear John, I’m crying as I type this. He was a great cat. Thanks for sharing him with us, it’s as if we’ve all lost him n

  30. 30

    I’m saying this to you because someone said this to me after Orbit died, and it helped: you will get through it.

    Your grief is a testament to your love for Tunch, and after it goes away – and it will – you will still love him only it will be more bearable.

    You’re still his Dad, except now your job changes. You get to carry on his legacy, which you are already doing via MARC.

  31. 31
    Matt Quirk says:

    My condolences man. We lost my wife’s Siamese cat three years ago (heart attack) and we still get all maudlin when we see a Siamese on TV.

  32. 32
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    I’m never going to get over this.

    You will. You won’t plan it or expect it, but you will. You will forgive the dog, and your sister, and your brother. Tunch made us all laugh, and feel warm and protective, and he’s not about to quit that now.

    I always think, when cats cross the rainbow bridge, they pause at the edge of the Milky Way, to lap up the Cream. I don’t know which of Tunch’s nine lives this one was, but if I believe in anything, it’s that ongoing spirit.

    Hugs to you, Mr. Cole. I can’t imagine your pain tonight.

  33. 33
    Jay C says:

    OMG John, how much of a blow (gut-shot, killer) must this be for you! One minute there for you, as he had been for years, and then just GONE. The cynical, the not-understanding, will say (or think it, we who blog here will know better) that “he’s just a cat” – but that – we KNOW – is inadequate and short of the mark by a long way.
    SO sorry, man – what else can I say
    So sorry

  34. 34
    Laura says:

    Crying here, too. Wishing you heart’s ease.

  35. 35
    BGinOIP says:

    I have lurked here for years. I am finally posting a comment because my heart breaks for you, John. I had tears in my eyes when I read your last post. My deepest condolences.

  36. 36
    michelle says:

    I never mentioned this before, because I always thought it was really, really weird and I didn’t want to deal with the comments

    My Lucybelle would always consider pot time her special time. Nothing weird about you and Tunch. I’ve never had another cat like Lucybelle and you will never have another like Tunch, but the ones I have now have carved out their own special places in my heart.

    You and your pets aren’t nearly as weird as you think. You are a good man who has always been good to his pets. Things like this happen. I had two dogs who wanted to kill each other. I kept them separate, but a couple of times, I slipped up. Fortunately, I was the one who took the bites pulling them apart.

    I’m sorry for what happened. As someone said in the earlier thread: life is better with them — no matter how short — than without them.

    Rest big guy.

  37. 37
    Kathleen says:

    John: So sorry for your loss. Do what you need to do to grieve and take good care of yourself.

  38. 38
    PhoenixRising says:

    Oh, John. So sorry.

  39. 39
    geg6 says:

    Oh, John! I’ve been in tears since I read your first post l. Know I live and care about you and all your critters. I can’t tell you how much I am grieving with you.

  40. 40
    Anthony says:

    Am so very sad. So sorry.

  41. 41
    Anthony says:

    Am so very sad. So sorry.

  42. 42

    OH JOHN! Oh no no no. I’m sitting here in tears …. Tunch was our BJ mascot. I can only imagine how you feel. No words and I am so sorry.

    Just. damn. Dammit.

  43. 43
    amk says:

    I had to put sunscreen on his pink ears so he would not get burnt or develop cancer.

    LOL. Only you, Cole.

  44. 44
    YellowJournalism says:

    This picture makes it more real, sadly.

    Don’t be alone tonight, John. But if you are, plenty of us will be here for you. Many of us, including myself, owe you that for the way this blog has helped is through troubled times.

    If there is a Heaven, I’m sure Tunch would be showing God who’s boss right now. OBEY!

  45. 45
    Valdivia says:

    I too am crying. Even more than when my Jinvah died a couple of months back. Sending hugs and love John.

  46. 46
    sgrAstar says:

    I am so sad about Tunch, John. I made a donation in his honor- long may he wave.

  47. 47
    Elie says:

    What you witnessed John, was and is pretty traumatic. It will take some time to heal. don’t worry about sleeping right now. Just let your thoughts go where they go and have your loved ones around you — (Lilly, etc).

    Grief comes in waves — close together — in fact overwhelming at first– numbing waves of it — then spacing out over time. But right now its just one big wave of pain. Honor it. You are so blessed to have loved enough to feel it…

    I wish you more love and comfort and the love and comfort of all those who you hold dear.

  48. 48
    Elizabelle says:

    Holy Fuck.

    Zimmerman was just acquitted. Not guilty.

  49. 49
    Linda says:

    John, my heart goes out to you. Just this morning, my sister looked out in the yard, and saw that her American Bulldog had killed a cat that came into their yard. She was heartsick, but that’s something that the breed does–they tend to see smaller animals as prey. I laugh about my cat, Inky, being protected because Yah protects idiots, but I hugged my kitty a little tighter today. I’m so sorry. When you have a pet so long, they are a real part of the fabric of your life, and a piece of your life is taken away that can’t be given back. But you did enjoy each other for the time that you had. Take a cyberhug from me.

  50. 50
    spacewalrus says:

    My deepest, most sincere, condolences to you, John. I am deeply saddened to hear this. Whatever else, the love for your pets that you shared with your readers is the purest sign of who you are, deep down. RIP, Tunch.

  51. 51

    I’m just stunned and sickened by this horrible news. RIP, Tunch. Be good to yourself, Cole.

  52. 52
    NickT says:


    That pretty much puts the cap on a wretched day. Stuck is dead, Tunch is dead and Zimmermann gets away with murder.

  53. 53
    Throwin Stones says:

    Think I may need a FEED Tshirt.

  54. 54
  55. 55
    mcmullje says:

    Oh John, I have no appropriate words – just a sick feeling. You are in my thoughts!

  56. 56
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    “MY GOD HE IS BIG” and “Wow he is super sweet.”

    He’s bigger on the outside!

  57. 57
    michelle says:

    @Elizabelle: That’s not what this thread is about.

  58. 58
    Gypsy Howell says:

    I’m so so sorry John. My heart breaks for you. We all loved him, even those of us who never met him in person. Big hugs to you.

  59. 59
    Pattonbt says:

    As a cat and dog owner throughout my life I know how tough this must be. It’s never easy when its before their time, and especially tough when its not a peaceful end (have experienced them both). You can never imagine them not being there, but they always will be. I still think of the golden retriever my folks had when I was a kid. Amazing pet. I still smile. I still think of all my pets fondly, even the nutty ones. They’re family. I’m sorry for your loss.

  60. 60
    gogol's wife says:

    @John O:

    That’s right, my Obey sweatshirt is also getting a workout.

  61. 61
    Elizabelle says:


    I’m a little surprised they released the verdict on Saturday night.

    And where’s my damn brick?

  62. 62
    Spaghetti Lee says:

    I just can’t. John, my heart goes out to you. This is all so terrible.

  63. 63
    eemom says:


    fucking mind boggling, isn’t it?

  64. 64
    amk says:

    @NickT: A day of horrors.

  65. 65
    Insomniac says:

    I’ve always loved this quote:

    “There is a sacredness in tears. They are not a mark of weakness, but of power. They speak more eloquently than ten thousand tongues. They are the messengers of overwhelming grief…and of unspeakable love.”

    ― Washington Irving

    Take care of yourself JC.

  66. 66

    I can’t wrap my head around it. And I… um… have something in my eye.

    Phoebe, my most affectionate kitty, consoled me a few years ago when one of my ferrets died. I felt better for a minute, but then thought, who’ll console me when Phoebe is gone? I’ve been dreading the day ever since.

    John, I’m so, so sorry.

  67. 67
    Just One More Canuck says:

    I am so sorry John

  68. 68
    Kristine says:

    No words–so, so sorry.

  69. 69
    Elizabelle says:


    Yes, and I am sorry.

  70. 70
    The Fat Kate Middleton says:

    Oh, god. So sad. So sad. I’m so sorry, John. And then I come here to find this just after learning that Zimmerman is found not guilty. Shithitshit.

  71. 71
    Persia says:

    Oh, God, Cole, I just got here and I am so sorry. I know he was a great cat.

    Having something like that happen is pretty much my worst nightmare with my girls. I’m so, so sorry. I’m glad at least he didn’t seem to suffer.

  72. 72
    Emma says:

    John, I just found out. I am so sorry. So sorry.

  73. 73
    RinaX says:

    Wow, I haven’t been here in a while, so this is very shocking news to come back to. Between this and the Zimmerman verdict, not a pleasant way to end the day. I’m truly sorry.

  74. 74
    KmCO says:

    Any time. We share your grief.

  75. 75
    Mothra1 says:

    Heartfelt sympathy to you, John.

    “The only escape from the miseries of life are music and cats…”
    ― Albert Schweitzer

    “If animals could speak, the dog would be a blundering outspoken fellow; but the cat would have the rare grace of never saying a word too much.”
    ― Mark Twain

    “What greater gift than the love of a cat.”
    ― Charles Dickens

  76. 76
    kc says:


    We’re all grieving with you.

    He was a splendid cat and you gave him a good long life. Always remember that.

  77. 77
    raven says:

    @Elizabelle: Don’t apologize.

  78. 78
    YellowJournalism says:

    I’ll repeat: This week SUCKS.

  79. 79
    Cheryl from Maryland says:

    Thank you for sharing. He was wonderful, and you were wonderful to him.

  80. 80
    Schlemizel says:

    shit. I have been not visiting much because at the moment I am sick to death with politics and this country. But I am avoiding the rest of the world now because I don’t want to hear the verdict. So I stopped by here and it even worse. God John, I have no words. I just posted the obit for my baby a month ago here and the pain is fresh. I am afraid I would have killed that damn stupid dog with my bare hands if it was my cat.

    There was never a doubt you loved the giant fur ball, it showed even when you complained. I wish there was some way I could share the pain so you didn’t have to have it all on you.

  81. 81
    The Fat Kate Middleton says:

    Oh, damn. Now I’m crying. I’m remembering my baby Greyg and loving Tunch through him. Oh, damn.

  82. 82
    hilts says:


    As a cat lover, my sincere condolences go out to you.

  83. 83
    Mnemosyne says:

    My late great Boris would jump on my back and sit on my shoulder when I was on the toilet. When I lived in an apartment with a shower curtain, he would sit on the edge of the tub and peer around it to make sure I survived getting wet. When we moved into a place with a shower door, he would sit on the lid of the toilet until I got out of the shower. That’s why one of his nicknames was Safety Officer Boris — he really thought it was his job to take care of me.

  84. 84
    A Ghost To Most says:

    @Throwin Stones:

    I ordered one a little while ago.

    And we will be going to the shelter in a couple days to get a new emergency backup cat; our current cat was promoted last October after the loss of my most-loved Polly, who came to us as an emergency backup cat in 2001. We are finally ready.

    Cat butler is the best job I’ve ever had.

  85. 85
    Hal says:

    And the day just got worse.

  86. 86
    Fwiffo says:

    I’m so sorry. I’ve been a reader of this blog for years, this feels like losing a family member. I haven’t cried like this since my parents’ divorce.

  87. 87
    Nicole says:

    Grief is the price we pay for love. I so wish it had come years later for Tunch, but how lucky he was to be loved as you loved him. We should all be so lucky to be loved so much.

  88. 88
    4tehlulz says:

    ……..I’m sorry…..

    MARC has something from me in his honor. Should I have specified for sunscreen?

  89. 89
    gnomedad says:

    Our favorite cat (we have two others) was killed by a car a few weeks ago. When it’s sudden like that you literally can’t believe it. The Biden quote someone posted earlier is appropriate. You won’t “get over it”, but you will eventually feel better.

    Also: one of our remaining cats perches on the short wall next to the toilet and “supervises” while I shower.

  90. 90
    mikefromArlington says:

    Go out and get the cutest dang kitten you can find and tell him all about how Tunch would do this, and Tunch would do that. It would probably help to be able to talk endlessly to someone that will endlessly listen to you, so long as you feed it and hold it.

  91. 91
    Diminuendo says:


    Not a good idea, since Cole has been drinking. As well he might.

    This sucks all around; I’m sure your sister and brother are upset as well, for their part in Tunch’s death. I hope, that after the poor dog is humanely put down, everyone can begin to heal.

  92. 92
    Hawes says:

    So… so… sorry. And fuck sleep. Drink and pass out and drink some more. And cry and then drink some more.

    Own the grief because it is the cost of love.

  93. 93
    Mike Glass says:

    They will meet us on the rainbow bridge.

    I don’t believe this, of course. But it comforts me to think it.

  94. 94
    Mnemosyne says:


    I wish I could say I was surprised but … yeah. Way too many people on that jury could picture themselves or someone they know accidentally shooting and killing someone, so they gave Zimmerman the benefit of that doubt.

  95. 95
    Surreal American says:

    Infrequent commenter here. So sorry to hear of your loss. Tunch was a great cat who will be greatly missed.

  96. 96
    Ksmiami says:

    I never had a pet until this last January and now I don’t remember life without my husky… I’m so sorry and sad for your loss. Tunch was a great kitty and we will all cherish and remember him…

  97. 97
    exurban mom says:

    Sending you hugs on this horrible day. and I agree with whoever suggested spending tonight in your chair. watch some bad late night tv, better than tossing and turning in bed.

  98. 98
    rammalamadingdong says:

    Today completely sucks

  99. 99
    Mayim says:

    Hugs! To you and to Rosie and Lily.
    No great words of wisdom ~ other than to say Tunch had the best life a cat could have, thanks to you.
    It will eventually hurt less. It will ~ and the good memories will be stronger than the bad.

    And….. don’t be surprised if another cat worms his/her way into your heart much sooner than you expect. Put my beloved Jez, faithful companion of 21 years, to sleep (five days after my father died….) three years ago ~ and I planned to go months or a year or even more before opening myself to another wee beastie. However, the universe had a different idea ~ less than a month later, a random series of events led to me adopting the two felines I now open cat food cans and change the litter for. I’m convinced that Jez and Priscilla (my feline soulmate, missed for almost 14 years now) arranged it, as they couldn’t stand to see me so sad :-(

  100. 100
    Garbo says:

    John, I am so sorry. What a wonderful life you gave Tunchie. Don’t dwell on how it ended, but on every day you got to spend together and the deep bond all we pet people understand so well. It is one of the consolations we have for all the shit we must endure as humans that animals want to hang out with us. You had one of the greats. He will never be forgotten.

  101. 101
    dance around in your bones says:

    Whoa. What a shock. I just burst into tears myself. I missed the whole last thread because I was doing other stuff but I wanted to comfort you in some way…..I don’t know, it just takes time and more time and a whole hell of a lot of tears. So sorry, John.

    I’ve buried a few beloved pets myself, and they always get their blankets and toys with a liberal sprinkling of tears on top.

  102. 102
    Jebediah says:

    Oh God – so sorry. If it helps, try to focus on what a great life you gave him. I know that has helped me in the past.

  103. 103
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Elizabelle: Fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck. This just puts the fucking cherry on a fucking awful day.

  104. 104
    Tazj says:

    Delurking to tell you how sorry I am for your loss. Tunch was such a big beautiful fluffy cat. The stories and pictures you posted about him always made me laugh. Take it easy and take care of yourself.

  105. 105
    Mike says:

    Stunned. Crying, and I never even “met” him or you. Tunch made many, many people smile and laugh, myself included. What more can we hope to achieve in life than to make others happy?

  106. 106
    VAGreen says:

    I feel so bad for you and we have never even met. I took it really hard when Libby went to Kitty Heaven in 2006, and she passed by natural causes after 16 happy years in this life. I still tear up when I think about her.

    It’s clear that you and Tunch were so blessed to be part of each others’ lives. May he continue to live in your heart for the rest of your days.

  107. 107
    the Conster says:

    Awful. So so so so sorry.

  108. 108
    michelle says:

    @raven: No, don’t apologize. There will always be a thread for your comments even if you think you are breaking news. It’s much better to be the first person to comment on a thread about the sudden death of a very loved pet than to just wait a bit for an appropriate thread.

    Oh, I thought I was responding to Elizabel.

    But it was raven wanker. Nice job dude.

  109. 109
    cyntax says:

    This really sucks. Haven’t been around much lately and came back to this. I’m floored–I can only imagine how you feel.

    I’m so very, very sorry John.

    At some point it won’t hurt as much. You’ll never forget him (nor should you) but some day it will feel better than it does now.

    In the meantime, take care of yourself.

  110. 110
    Eric the infrequent says:

    Christ Cole, I am sorry for your loss. I have nothing else.

  111. 111
    Elizabelle says:


    It truly is mind boggling. Let’s keep apprised of any protests or vigils.

    Emmet Till, 2013.

  112. 112
    Ruckus says:

    We are friends here, when one of us has a loss we all feel it. That’s why it hurts. It’s a little strange that we mostly don’t actually know each other face to face but we are still friends, some better than others but it doesn’t matter if they are humans, cats, dogs or other creatures we all feel the loss.

    John, take care of yourself. Toast your friend for the good life he had and the good life you got from him. The night my dad died in my arms we all drank a half a bottle of Jamison for his Scotch/Irish ass. I stayed up the rest of the night and drank the rest myself. I don’t recommend it at all but it worked for me.

  113. 113
    wonkie says:

    It’s like an amputation. I had a parrot for fourteen years. He was a little character, so bright and full of vivid life. He had the run of the house, of course and had a livig tree to perch in. He loved to take showers with me. He like to ride i the fron of my tee shirt, under my chin withhis tail down the fron of my shirt.

    We had a game I called “Hawks and Parrots”. My hand was the hawk. I would attack him and he would flip over on his back and we would play fight , fingers to claws.
    I used to wonder how I would feel if he flew away and got lost. I would just go cold with horror at the thought. It was too awful to contemplate.

    Then one day he did it. He flew inot the kitchenfrom theliving room just as I openned the door to take out the trash. He flew away. I nver saw him again.

    I don’t think he wanted to leave for ever. I think he wanted to come home and got lost,. got confused. In a way that grieves me more than his death–to think that he was lonely and scared befor he died.

    He probably died in a couple of days. It was winter and cold out.

    I didn’t know how I would ever get over it. I’m tearing up now. But I did live on and I have loved many more animals and I trey to remember the things I loved about Squawkie when he was my parrot.

    I’m so sorry that you lost your cat, John.

  114. 114
    PeakVT says:

    Sorry again, Cole. It’s been a while since I’ve had a pet, but I do understand what you’re feeling. Like any loss, it will fade but never go away. That’s just how these things work, for better or worse.

  115. 115
    Ann Marie says:

    I just saw this and I am crying like I haven’t since the death of my dear cat, Tye, just howling. I am so sorry, you have my deepest sympathy. I could totally tell from what you wrote about him that he was a great cat and that you loved, and love, him very much. Don’t hold back the tears. Hug Lily and Rosie extra tight.

  116. 116
    Elizabelle says:


    Yeah, I actually am not comfortable interrupting Tunch’s thread. It is disrespectful of a great pet.

    There’s a new thread up now.

  117. 117
    Mary G says:

    I know you’re not religious, but this poem they gave me when my mom was in hospice really helped me.

    I am standing upon the seashore. A ship at my side spreads her white sails to the morning breeze and starts for the blue ocean. She is an object of beauty and strength. I stand and watch her until at length she hangs like a speck of white cloud just where the sea and sky come to mingle with each other.

    Then someone at my side says: “There, she is gone!”

    “Gone Where?”

    Gone from my sight. That is all. She is just as large in mast and hull and spar as she was when she left my side and she is just as able to bear her load of living freight to her destined port.

    Her diminished size is in me, not in her. And just at the moment when someone at my side says: “There, she is gone!” there are other eyes watching her coming, and other voices ready to take up the glad shout: “Here she comes!”

    And that is dying.
    -Henry Van Dyke

    I am seeing Tunch and my Sophie and O.D. and Sam the beagle and every other furry person that has left us playing together in the sun.

    I feel like I maligned my current kittiesin the other thread; I do love them, just not as much as I did the very special Sophie. Of course, I had her 20+ years, so it will probably come. She was a difficult and unfriendly cat to anyone but me, unlike Tunch. It took her more than 15 years before she would sit in my mom’s lap. She never sat in anyone else’s.

    When I went to the shelter about a week after Sophie died, I was determined to get kittens that might grow up to be “normal.” I even had picked one or two out online that could have starred in Friskies’ commercials. Seeing all the grown up, sad animals looking at me with those begging eyes, I couldn’t do it. I asked the volunteers to pick two out that would get along and their eyes lit up, and they brought me Shiloah and Chenielle. Shiloah was an owner surrender and Chenielle had been brought in from the parking lot of a foam and fabric store, thus her name. They have been here two years and still run for cover if anyone even comes in the driveway. None of my friends have seen them in person, ever. All three of them have followed me into the bathroom every time I’ve gone, though there is no toe licking. Chenielle will cry if I stay in the shower too long after turning off the water; she is positive I am being held captive in a torture chamber that throws water on me.

  118. 118
    Sandia Blanca says:

    If we were with you in person, perhaps you would let us “hug it out.” I’m hoping you have some huggers close at hand who can mourn with you.

    P.S. Made a donation to Marc in Tunch’s memory. RIP Tunch.

  119. 119
    artem1s says:

    I am so sorry to hear this. Too sudden, just awful.

    I will miss him and the obvious joy he brought to you and the BJ community.

  120. 120
    Nina-the-first says:

    Our Tunch, tail like a flame. Wonderful wonderful animal, adieu. Lily and Rosie…good girls!

  121. 121
    michelle says:

    @Elizabelle: There is another post for you — opened before you posted this. You and raven keep going or try refresh for once.

  122. 122
    Sarah in Brooklyn says:

    everything I can think of to say has been said. Thinking of you, with a broken heart.

  123. 123
    beltane says:

    Just found out about this now, and wish I had stayed away until tomorrow. Oh my God what a horrible thing. I feel bad for ever mocking beautiful Mr. fluffy’s weight. We once lost a cat to a fisher, but I was able to console myself with the knowledge that it was just one hunter killing another hunter. This is so much worse. I am incredibly sorry for your loss which is also our loss. My husband wants to send his condolences as well. He never heard of Tunch until this evening but he’s also a cat lover so hearing of Tunch’s tragic end was as upsetting for him as for the rest of us. RIP-Tunch.

  124. 124
    CommishTheFirst says:

    I’m so sorry to hear about Tunch, John. He sounded like an awesome cat – gods it must suck to lose him especially so suddenly. My wife and I, and Lucy and Kiki the cats are sending prayers/positive thoughts your way. Well, I know Lucy and Kiki would, if I could make them understand.

    I have felt the pain of losing a great cat. You’re right, you’re never going to get over him, because that’s how love works. But over time you’ll be able to focus more on the happy memories and remember him with a smile. I hope that day comes soon for you.

    Thanks for sharing Tunch with us, and with the Internet. You know he inspired a lot of rescues, and your stories about him brightened a lot of my days too.

    Nap peacefully in the sunbeams of kitty heaven, Tunch!

  125. 125
    Mike in NC says:

    I’m very distraught about reading this stuff, as my life has been so miserable lately thanks to the Republicans.

  126. 126
    daize says:

    @Ann Marie: Ann Marie — thank you for your comment. I am so sorry to hear of the loss of your beloved Tye. I’ve been crying for John’s loss of Tunch since I got home from work a few hours ago. I lost a much loved kitty when I was 15 — my grief about John and Tunch reminds me of that loss.

  127. 127
    Ruckus says:

    Give it a rest. Everyone got your message.

  128. 128
    Sandra says:

    Tunch will send you a sweet boy or girl to take care of, not that it will help your heartbreak. So sorry for your loss. Be kind to yourself.

  129. 129
    michelle says:

    @Mary G: The ones I have now are like that. Siblings, one sit on the tank, one on the lid. Every once in a while they “try to save me from the water” by putting two paws on the edge of the tub. I always come out from the water ok, to their surprise.

  130. 130
    Original Lee says:

    So, so, so sorry to hear about this. Tunch was really something special, and he’s left a big hole in your heart. My sincere condolences for your loss.

  131. 131
    slightly_peeved says:

    so sorry to hear mate. I’ll raise a glass to him myself. take care.

  132. 132
    Redhead Redemption says:

    Delurking to say how sorry I am, John. I’ve been ghosting around here since ’08, and I’ve loved every story about Tunch. I actually thought of him today when my teen daughter introduced me to one of the new cats at the shelter where she volunteers…one look at Mozzarella and I thought, “What a big, handsome guy…very Tunch-esque.” You and your pets touch more lives than you’ll ever know. Wishing you comfort in your grief.

  133. 133
    Goblue72 says:

    This year, we’re all Steelers fans.

  134. 134
    bg says:

    So sorry John
    I had a dog who did that. Always made me laugh

  135. 135
    Sandy M says:

    Oh John, I am so, so sorry. I just got on the computer after that horrible Zimmerman verdict and see this sad news about Tunch. You loved him and we loved how you shared him with all of us – and even a longtime lurker, infrequent commenter like me, fell in love with him too. As a Pittsburgh area native and fellow Steeler fan, I even loved that you named your cat Tunch.
    Try to get some rest, this has been not only a sad, but also a traumatic day for you. Cry all the tears you need to cry and then some. Try to remember the joy he brought to your life. Hang in there John – we’re thinking of you.

  136. 136
    Felonius Monk says:

    I’ve been out this evening and was just checking in when I read this horrible news. John, you have my sincerest condolences. Like many others here, I think of my cats more as close friends and companions than animals. Over the years I’ve lost a few to natural causes and it feels very similar to losing a child (because I have experienced that also). So I can understand how you are feeling. I am truly sorry for your loss — it is our loss too.

  137. 137
    IanY77 says:

    John, I know how you feel. I lost mine about two months ago. She was a black version of Tunch. So fat, super friendly, loved by everyone who met her, and 12 years old. People would meet her for the first time and exclaim, “Damn, that’s a big cat!” (18 pounds). She died of a heart attack. Like you, I had one last chance to play with her and cuddle her before she left me. I wanted her to be around forever, I thought she was the greatest cat that ever lived. I buried her out on a local farm. Seemed right, since she was born on one.

    It sucks, it hurts, and it will hurt for a while. I still reach out to give her an ear scratch when I walk by her favorite loafing spot. It will get better.

  138. 138
    eemom says:


    I hope, that after the poor dog is humanely put down, everyone can begin to heal.

    Go fuck yourself.

    I’ve said that many times, but never meant it quite this much.

    Fuck off and die, whoever you are — and not humanely.

  139. 139
    Georgette Becker says:

    I am so sorry for your loss, John. Your loss touches all of us and I’m crying right along with you. It’s just not fair.

  140. 140
    mai naem says:

    John, Tunch was one of the luckiest cats around because of you. I know many many pet owners who don’t do a tenth of what you did for Tunch. Just remember that.

    I read your comment about adopting a senior cat. I have a friend who adopted two declawed adult/senior cat rescues. In her situation, its pretty easy for her to make sure the cats are kept indoors and she has medical issues so having a declawed cat is better for her anyway.

  141. 141
    sherparick says:

    I am so sorry John. All I can say is I know how you feell. Inconsolable. You shared him with all of us and we miss him to.

  142. 142
    Mister Papercut says:

    John, I am so, so sorry. It’s devastating enough when you know it’s coming, but this… this is too heartbreaking for words. Donation to MARC just made.

  143. 143
    Arundel says:

    Feeling weepy here, I am so sorry for your loss, John. You made Tunch kind of a star around here, a character, your love showed through every time you wrote about your Tunch, your friend. My hugest condolences.

  144. 144
    Tim F. says:

    Christ John, that is awful. Just remember that you have two other wonderful little girls who miss Tunch just as much. Take care of each other.

  145. 145
    xinark says:

    My deepest sympathies, John.

  146. 146
    Nerd says:

    My condolences John

  147. 147
    Kelly says:

    hi John, my husband (Uncle Ebeneezer) is a frequent reader of your blog and always shares the Tunch stories with me. I loved hearing them and loved looking at his handsome and disdainful mug in the accompanying photos. I’m deeply saddened to hear of his violent and untimely death. So long Tunch, a good cat (as evidenced by the some 800+ readers who have expressed their sadness of his demise). Warm regards and condolences to you, John.

  148. 148
    MikeInSewickley says:

    John, We’ve lost 2 of our cats one in 2005 another 2011, both 16 and I still think about them.

    I just came to the site from being out all day and now this. My thoughts are with you.
    Just scanning the comments made me realize that I can’t add anything but to say I never meet him but will miss him and think of him every time I log in to my favorite site.

    A hug from my family to you.

  149. 149
    raven says:

    @michelle: Go fuck yourself.

  150. 150
    Throwin Stones says:

    @A Ghost To Most: We’re down to 5 and two older dogs. The young’n will get to pick out one before too long.

  151. 151
    Gretchen says:

    John, I’m so, so sorry. It’s a lot harder when it’s sudden and unexpected. My beloved golden retriever Bosley went from a gorgeous 8-year old to dead in two weeks this past April, and I still can’t believe it. We only lasted a couple of weeks before we got another dog. He’s not Bosley, but the house isn’t empty and quiet, and a rescue dog has a home. I’m so sorry.

  152. 152
    Liquid says:


    Seriously, I wrote a eulogy for Tunch and now it’s right back to you-know-what. Fuck that, I’m on Steam and sucking down the vodka. There’s been enough pain today.

  153. 153
    MLC says:

    I am not a frequent commenter, but I a frequent reader, and I love animals. I am so sorry for your loss. He sure sounded like a great personality, true loyalty cat and friend. I enjoyed seeing the photos of Tunch as well. What an ache you must be feeling. Peace be with you, and with Tunch.

  154. 154
    phoebes-in-santa fe says:

    Cole, you loved Tunch and he knew it and returned your love, many times over. I have two cats and have always considered Tunch and Kevin Drum’s two large cats as part of my “cat family”. I feel so sorry for you, tonight, and donating to MARC helped me a bit.

    Please cry and mourn as much as you need to. There’s no “expected time” for mourning an loved family member as Tunch was to you,

  155. 155
    a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q) says:

    God fucking damn it all to hell. I am so very sorry for your loss Cole. So many of us who never met Tunch in real life feel your sadness, and wish we could help, knowing that there are no adequate words.

  156. 156
    michelle says:

    @Ruckus: You’re late. If you don’t like a scold, then ask yourself one question: would you have said what I said if I hadn’t? Perhaps. Sometimes scolds have a place.

    This is a thread for Tunch and JC. Someone had to say it. It would have been you if not for me, no, scold?

  157. 157
    BAtFFP says:

    Ah, John, I am so very very sad. I adored Tunch via the interwebs for 5 years now and have felt all weepy ever since my husband broke the news to me. I lost a dog very unexpectedly when I was a teenager and it still hurts all these years later. Glad the kitteh is in the backyard where you can still feel near him.

  158. 158
    Omnes Omnibus says:


    This is a thread for Tunch and JC.

    So drop it.

  159. 159
    Mike in NC says:

    Not a cat person until I got married. We adopted a long haired red and white cat from a NoVA shelter that we named Jefferson. Became my best friend (next to my wife) for ten wonderful years until he got kidney disease and had to be put to sleep. I had to chug a tumbler of Scotch to get past that, and I still have his picture on my desk.

  160. 160
    TEL says:

    My deepest sympathies. Wow, what a complete and terrible shock this is.

  161. 161
    karen says:

    John, I hugged my cats extra hard tonight because of poor Tunch. You probably won’t sleep well tonight and for nights to come, but eventually you’ll realize that you gave that cat the best damn life he could have had. He was lucky to have had you as his owner. My cats follow me into the bathroom, too, but I don’t think I’d put with licking my toes.

  162. 162
    TAGinMO says:

    I’m physically ill for you, John. You will get through/over it, but that doesn’t make tonight any less awful.

    So, so sorry.

  163. 163
    Stillwater says:

    John, I used to live on the ground of a somewhat abandoned RV park overlooking the Arkansas river in Colorado. I had two dogs, and then only one when Josie ran out onto the nearby highway and was hit by a motorcycle and killed instantly. I buried her at her favorite place out there, a little ledge overlooking a bend in the river. The next spring her grave was covered with lots of beautiful plants and flowers and whatnot – a green oasis in the other-wise baren semi-desert.

    Tunch will live on, one way or another.

  164. 164
    PostScript says:

    We know the impact of those that we lose by the effect their passing has. Tunch was a remarkable friend and companion – reading about his antics over the years has made all our lives better. I can’t begin to comprehend how awful this has been – my heart goes out to you.

  165. 165
    Sgaile-beairt says:

    oh no oh no oh no….tears for you all….

  166. 166
    MattR says:

    Awww, fuck. I just logged on from my sister’s place and saw the news. Now I have to explain to her why I am sobbing. My deepest condolences to John and the rest of the Cole household

  167. 167
    a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q) says:

    @Diminuendo: Fuck you with a white hot and rusty chainsaw, you judgmental prick. Some dogs have extremely high prey drives, but it doesn’t make them vicious, much less “too vicious to live.” The dog was being a dog, you ignorant asshole.

    I know a little whereof I speak. My own dog killed my cat by breaking her neck. I knew he had a tremendous prey drive once I brought him home from the truck stop where he’d been dumped. I always crated him when i was gone, and one day I didn’t get the door fastened. I cried for days. But if I’d put him down, I’d have had two dead pets. We put him down a couple months ago when his arthritis became too much to treat with pain meds. Fuck you for making Cole’s night harder, you douche canoe.

  168. 168

    I’m never going to get over this. I don’t know how I am going to sleep.

    I have felt like I’ve been kicked in the stomach since you posted the news. Grief for Tunch, but even more grief for you….feeling helpless like I want somehow to ease the pain. But of course that’s impossible.

    I’m away from home and can’t hug my fur babies right now, and oh, how I wish I could.

  169. 169
    S. Holland says:

    I’m heartbroken for you…..we saw right through you and loved Tunch

  170. 170
    Anne Laurie says:

    You know, I think Tunch had more never-actually-met-him-fans than any cat who wasn’t fictional.

    Sucks for you, Cole, but look at it from Tunch’s perspective: He was in his favorite place in the world, his belly was full, the sun was shining, he knew he was surrounded by the ones who loved him, and then — full stop. If I had to choose my own death, I’d have trouble crafting a better one.

    Tunch spent twelve happy, productive years prying a corner of your heart open, and I hope Lily and Rosie are only the first two of many fellow four-foots who’ll benefit from his efforts. You’ve got a lot of people thinking about him, and you, tonight.

  171. 171
    Chad says:

    Im so sorry. Longtime lurker here, but that is just damn sad. Hope you get through it ok.

  172. 172
    SuperHrefna says:

    My heart is breaking for you. I lost my catboy Pan to colon cancer a few months ago and it’s still breaking my heart and I had time to prepare. Tunch’s death came out of the blue and I wish I didn’t know how much you are hurting right now, but I do. Can you go over to your parent’s house or a friend’s house and sleep there tonight? Or have someone come over to you? Your neighborhood seems really close knit and I just don’t think you should be alone with grief and shock like this.

  173. 173
    rob! says:

    When we lost our cat Berry in 2009, it was the closest “person” to me that I had ever lost. I had never had a cat before (he was my gf’s and when I moved in with her I became his Dad), and after Berry I could never imagine not having at least one cat in my life.

    I carried a Berry-sized hole in my heart until we adopted Frankie in 2011, literally saving her at the last minute from being put to sleep because no one wanted her. It was only then that I got over Berry’s death, and was able to think only of the good times.

    We’re shocked and horrified at what happened to Tunch, John, and my gf and I (both BJ readers) express our deepest condolences.

  174. 174
    MattR says:

    @TaMara (BHF): Well said. I definitely feel the same way all around. Wish I was home with my Ellie. It is a difficult enough adjustment to sleep alone when I am traveling. Not sure how I am going to manage with this running through my head.

  175. 175
    Annamal says:

    I am so very sorry, Tunch changed the world for the better, I’m glad you had him and sorry you lost him like this.

  176. 176
    Constance says:

    I just got home and read the awful news and I’m so, so sorry. I’ve loved every story about Tunch, loved your devotion to him and will miss his presence on the blog. Damn, damn, damn!

  177. 177
    Angela says:

    That picture is heart breaking. So many tears for such a great cat.

    So many people who care about your pain and grief.

  178. 178
    Isua says:

    I’ve been lurking here for years and always loved seeing your Tunch photos. I am so sorry and am drinking a toast to him tonight, my favorite internet kitty.

  179. 179
    Mele says:

    I’ve lurked for over 6 years, but I had to come out and say how sorry I am. I’m in tears for your loss. Sending hugs your way.

  180. 180
    Marcelo says:

    Grief will pass eventually, even if it feels like it never will.

    In time it will be better. It won’t ever be like it was before, but it will be better. Give it time, don’t rush, let yourself grieve and feel what you need to feel. It will come and go in waves. There will be days soon when you’re just living your life and it’s okay and you feel like it’s getting better, and then days years from now when it hits you again and you feel the hole in your heart like it was yesterday. It’s all part of the process.

    Douglas Coupland once wrote that God is like the sun – he shines indiscriminately on the earth, and sometimes we don’t see him because we’re in the night instead of the day. I’m an atheist, but I quote it because I think grief is similar. You will walk in the sun and in the dark at times. There will always be a part of your heart that you buried there in that plot. But – and this is what proves that you were as great to him as he was to you – that place you buried him in will always touch the sun.

    Take care of yourself. :)

  181. 181
    Lizzy L says:

    John, I am so sorry; I’m crying as I type. My heart is breaking for you.

  182. 182
    JasonF says:

    I’m so sorry to read this terrible news. I always liked reading about Tunch. He was a dead ringer for a cat I used to have. All I can say is that you have years of happy memories that will, over time, wash away a lot of the pain you’re feeling now. It’s small comfort tonight, I know.

  183. 183
    Quinerly says:

    Long time fan of this blog. I have never posted. I am in tears. My heart breaks for you, John Cole.

  184. 184
    The Moar You Know says:

    I don’t know how I am going to sleep.

    You won’t, save maybe for an hour out of exhaustion. I don’t think I slept for a week after my cat died.

    That being said, you’ve got two pups there depending on you to bring it all back to normal as quickly as possible. I think you’re up to the job, as incredibly hard as it is going to be.

  185. 185
    Mike in NC says:

    @a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q):

    The dog was being a dog.

    Well that is just so fucking sweet. Good puppy!

  186. 186
    Niko says:

    I’ve been reading on and off, never commented before. I too would like to say I am sorry for your loss. Just spent a lazy day with our two cats and I cannot imagine losing one of them so suddenly.

  187. 187
    Sibling Nonspecific Firearm of Random Adjective Followed by a Noun That Describes a Mental State (fka AWS) says:

    I really cannot believe this. deepest sympathies JC.

  188. 188
    Juju says:

    I’m sorry about Tunch. It’s always difficult to lose a beloved pet. Let your girls help you cope with your loss, hugging a fuzzy girl can be very comforting. I hope when you are ready that there are more purrs in your future.

    I will miss the cat who looked like he had a tail transplant.

  189. 189
    notoriousJRT says:

    Dear John Cole, I am so, so, very sad about Tunch. I don’t even have words to say that even come close to being adequate. He clearly was a feline angel and the tales of Tunch turned many gloomy days around for me. I am sending all the positive, supportive BJ Community love your way for today and days to come. The loss of a cherished pet is always hard, but even harder when it comes out of nowhere. Hold the girls close and cry as long as you need to. I am crying with you.

    Me – tuimel – and my notorious JRT

  190. 190
    Evinfuilt says:

    I lay here tonight in bed with my partner, both crying for your loss. I look down at my kitties and want to hug them and never let go.

    You don’t need to sleep, you just need lots of Lilly time. Take your time, maybe a real blog vacation, we’ll all still be here for you.

  191. 191
    wolvesvalley says:

    Delurking (like many others) to say how very sorry I am about Tunch. I have sent a donation to MARC in his memory.

    You will know when it is time to bring home another cat, who will never replace Tunch, but will make his or her own place in your heart.

    Going to hug my own two kitties now.

  192. 192
    Eljai says:

    I’ve never cried so much for a pet that I’ve never met. Donation to MARC — Done. May the love that Tunch brought to the world live on in others.

  193. 193
    Linda says:

    @Mike in NC: It’s not sweet, but it is what it is. Some dogs are that way–my sister’s bulldog, for instance. Some dogs can get along with smaller animals, and some can’t. My sis once had a terrier who wasn’t really terrible, just ornery, and they couldn’t allow him around little kids, which he saw as rivals. His littermates were all euthanized within a few years, but he found a family that matched his orneriness, and he had a long, happy life.

    She also had an ornery old cat who sent her younger son to the ER with a scratched cornea. It taught him not to mess with the cat.

  194. 194
    MazeDancer says:

    Very sweet to see that diary about Tunch made the rec list at GOS

  195. 195
    KS in MA says:

    I’m so sorry, John.

  196. 196
    pat says:

    I left a post at the end of the other thread before I realized what this one was about.

    I didn’t read all the comments, but I happened to see the one that suggested that the dog who killed Tunch should be put down. If he really has these tendencies, I agree. There is no reason for a dog to willfully kill a cat.

    Now I have to go hug my Susy.

  197. 197
    Joseph Formichella says:

    So very sad. I lost my best cat ever a year ago to kidney failure, and it was devastating. I’d like to say it gets better… but… The pain slowly fades, but it never really goes away. I’m glad you put Tunch in a spot close by. He’s always going to be there.

  198. 198
    Peter says:

    Longtime lurker, occasional commenter. I’m so sorry. I don’t think there has been a pet in the world who got more vicarious love than Tunch did.

  199. 199
    La Caterina (Mrs. Johannes) says:

    So sorry for your loss, and ours too. I will miss the Mighty Tunch. Godspeed.

  200. 200
    LiberalTarian says:

    I’m very sorry.

  201. 201
    Snarlymon says:

    Tunch was always one of the great things about Balloon Juice. I am typing this through tears. My heart aches for your loss.

  202. 202
    Redshirt says:

    I still can’t believe it, but man, this photo is a punch in the gut.

    Let us all try and remember that life is a gift, and can be taken in a flash. So appreciate what you have, and those you love – people and animals. Because you might not get the chance later.

  203. 203
    reality-based says:

    Oh, John, John, I am SO sorry. Made a donation to MARC in Tunch’s name. Archie and Edith are both sitting on my desk – well, Archie, seeing me crying, is laying across my forearms – and also send their condolence.

    Not now, not tonite – when your only recourse is to curl into a a fetal ball, sob, and drink – but in a couple of weeks, when you just MISS him so damn much – re-read the thread of Poetic odes to one of Tunch’s escapes. You’ll remember how many people loved him – and are holding you in their thoughts tonight

  204. 204
    Bob says:

    so sorry

  205. 205
    Julia says:

    Longtime reader and lurker, never usually brave enough to comment. But dammit, am in total tears over the Tunch news. Owner of two dogs and three cats, and really a cat person at heart. Have a Turkish Van who has cancer and I know I need to put him down soon, but it’s so hard to let go. I always love reading about your animals and your love and caring for them, John. Tunch was a magnificent cat and all your readers will miss him. Sending healing thoughts your way and to your brother also…I’m sure he is feeling low as can be as well. A donation is on its way to MARC. So very sorry….

  206. 206
    SuzieC says:

    Oh My God. What horrible and unbearable news. I’m crying too. Poor precious kitty and beloved pet.

  207. 207
    Elizabelle says:

    Thinking about you and thinking about you, John.

    And wishing peace to you and your family, people and pets. Terrible time all around.

  208. 208
    RandyG says:

    Tunch was so lucky to have you, John, and you were so lucky to have that beautiful boy. Deepest condolences.

  209. 209
    Jennifer says:

    Damn it, I’m crying too. I’m so sorry for your loss, John. I’ve been there myself, several times.

    I’m glad you have such a rich chronology of your life together though, right here on the blog. I know it won’t help today, but eventually, it will be a great comfort.

  210. 210
    Tom S. says:


    How sudden and horrible! I have enjoyed your adventures with Tunch (I had a cat that would actually stick her head between my legs while I was sitting on the pot. A curious cat in more ways than one. I have ordered our cat to swat our dog, just on principle.

  211. 211
    electricgrendel says:

    There are no words. What a lucky cat to be loved so fiercely, and what a terrible, truly terrible thing to happen. I am not much of a crier and I can certainly say I have never cried because of a blog post. But both of these have me tearing up for you. I am so very, truly, deeply sorry for your loss.

  212. 212
    seaboogie says:


    Sending you a virtual and heartfelt big hug and an absorbent shoulder along with the rest of the Balloon Juice family and followers. Tunch was an icon to all of us, and your devotion to him made him bigger in our hearts, minds and imagination than his actual notorious physical presence ever was in life.

    An interesting thing happened to me earlier this week that speaks to this. I decided to take a walk down the road to our local swimming hole that is fed by the warm spring water pumped into it. It’s a wonderful little idylic spot, but it is hard for me to visit this season without my beloved golden retriever Seamus by my side. He passed away at Thanksgiving after 14 years of being my soul’s companion through many incredibly difficult times. (You can see him in the Pets of BJ 2013 calendar in August and November.) I was so glad to be able to give him that safe place to swim (his favorite activity) that was warm for his arthritic bones in his last year.

    Anyway, I decided to take the longer route home to see if a neighbor I’ve never met still had a certain plant stand in her yard that I want to use in a window display project that I am working on. It happened that she was out in her yard and I walked to her gate and introduced myself and made my request which she granted. I mentioned that I used to walk Seamus down past her home on the way to a swim and she said “Oh, I know Seamus!”. That doesn’t seem possible since he was only ever with me, and she and I had never met.

    Except that he was kind of a legend in this very dog-friendly and quirkily wonderful neighborhood, and I remember being down at the swimming hole with Seamus and a man from one of the homes closest to the swimming hole came down to visit us and said “so this is the old dog who loves to swim – beautiful story”. Some neighbors know that I used to take him to swim in Sonoma creek near my former home, but the cold creek waters and big river stones were often too much for his arthritis. One day I told him “Seamus, one day I will find a safe place for you to swim, and maybe the water will even be warm.” It took a devastating breakup with my partner and some divine intervention to make this possible, but it did finally happen for both of us in his final season.

    Anyway, deep empathy for you and your loss, and we will all miss Tunch. What a cat, and we experienced him through your eyes and your heart.


  213. 213
    Jackie says:

    John, you won’t sleep tonight; you’ll be waiting for him to show up and tell you it was a horrible nightmare. Right now you’re still in disbelief and in shock. I’ve been there. Tomorrow it will start to sink in and you’ll cry even more.

    But, from experience, Tunch will show up in many ways and let you know he’s okay and he’s watching over you. I lost a special cat several yrs ago and he always reminded me of a hawk – in coloring and in personality. After he died unexpectedly, a hawk started flying over my yard – I live in the center of town and hawks don’t appear there – and I KNEW it was Garth in spirit letting me know he knew I loved him and he loved me. Once a year until I moved – five yrs later, I saw that hawk flying around my house. My daughter thought I was crazy, until she witnessed it and then she just hugged me and said Garth really, really loved you, mom.

    Hugs and tears to you, John

  214. 214
    Dee says:

    I read BJ every day, have never commented before, but want you to know how very sorry I am about your sweet boy! The puppies are going to need you now, cause they’ll know that something awful has happened! Again, I am so very sorry!

  215. 215
    Sottos says:

    John – First time commenter, but a follower of your blog since the early days, and a fellow lover of pets to excess. I am very fond of this blog and its inhabitants, both human and not, and am really saddened to hear about Tunch. I can’t imagine how you’re feeling, but my thoughts are with you. Be good to yourself –

  216. 216
    SG says:

    Now I’m crying all over again. John, your stories about Tunch made me love that kitty. I even loved saying his name out loud. We need to sit shiva for Tunch, to have a wake for Tunch. It’s good to hear stories about him, and to think about all the happy times with him — to think about his life, not his death.

  217. 217
    jimmiraybob says:

    My deepest sympathies.

    It’s been about 12 years since I buried my best beagle buddy. About 4 years ago I adopted a rescue “beagle” – close enough. I’m no longer a spring chicken with an infinite future so it’s hard to know who’s gonna survive who…whom…whatever. I’ll live for the joy and hope for the best. If I “win” I’ll treasure her enrichment of my life.

    Savor the memories and heal. And, thanks for sharing.

  218. 218
    zoej says:

    I am crying and holding my large white girl cat tight. I am so sorry. We send out love.

  219. 219
    tabbitha says:

    I’m so, so sorry.

  220. 220
    Bonnie says:

    I am so, sorry to hear about your loss, Mr. Cole. A friend gave me the following quote when I lost my most beloved cat, Lydia.

    Irving Townshend: “We, who choose to surround ourselves with lives even more temporary than our own, live within a fragile circle…”

    I also found this website quite helpful:

    Take care of yourself during this time of grief.

  221. 221
    MoXmas says:

    I seldom post here, but I have been following the Adventures of Cole and Tunch for maybe 9 years now. This is a terrible thing.

    That said: my wife and I are in the process for volunteering to foster kittens while they are being placed in their actual homes. I thought of both one of my former cats (and two dogs), but also Tunch. I will keep him even more in mind now.

  222. 222
    eje says:

    I’m so sorry!!….Have you been to It’s a website for those grieving a pet loss….a few months ago I lost my a kitten to a sudden disease and I was absolutely heartbroken beyond belief…I was so completely connected to him it was a shock and the grief was unbearable at first…you will feel better…the healing will happen…the love you shared will always be there…just taken on another form….

    Regards to you and Tunch…I’m sure he is at peace and resting easy in the arms of your love…

  223. 223
    Michele says:

    I have nothing that can make it better, but know that we are crying with you.

  224. 224
    Jebediah says:

    Again, condolences… Juno did her best to console me, although she has no idea why I am so upset.
    I know I am repeating myself and others, but the most important thing is the wonderful life you gave him (and he you.) And I love your plan to adopt an older one when you are ready. Senior critters deserve love and a good home, too.
    Time to go get wrecked.

  225. 225
    marian says:

    I can’t believe it. What an awful thing. Healing thoughts to you and to your siblings as well. Although I’ve never been a cat person, Tunch had a special place in my heart…as he had for many many others.

    Take care of yourself, John.

  226. 226
    Frank says:

    I am sorry.

    Best wishes.

  227. 227
    Sottos says:


    First time commenter, but a follower of your blog since the early days, and a fellow lover of pets to excess. I am very fond of this blog and its inhabitants, both human and not, and am really saddened to hear about Tunch. I can’t imagine how you’re feeling, but my thoughts are with you. Be good to yourself.

  228. 228
    Beeb says:

    I’m so sorry. Thank you for posting the link to MARC. I made a donation in Tunch’s memory while thanking the Cat Goddess for sending me my three rescue cats. My deepest condolences.

  229. 229
    Debbie(aussie) says:

    Hope my love and support can travel the Pacific, cause I have lots of both to send, with tears flowing I give you this. ‘ You don’t get over grief, but you do, somehow, get through it’.
    Much love [{(John)}] , Debs

  230. 230
    tBone says:

    Incredibly sorry to hear this, John. Nothing anybody can say will make you feel any better, at least for a while, but it’ll get better. Thanks to this blog, Tunch will be fondly remembered by thousands of people, which is more than you can say for most pets (hell, most people, for that matter). You were lucky to have him, and he was lucky to have you.

  231. 231
    Scott says:

    I’m so sorry John and crying over his loss also.

  232. 232
    RobNYNY1957 says:

    I’m stroking my dog’s tummy for an extra hour tonight. His eyes roll up in his head.

  233. 233
    Lola says:

    Hi John,

    I grieve for you.

  234. 234
    PIGL says:

    Very sad to read this news; words are failing, so (((John Cole))), a good man and true.

  235. 235
    patty \ says:

    i’m so sorry john. :(

  236. 236
    sparky says:

    You’re a beautiful bastard John Cole for posting shit like this. If I was a fat-ass cat, I would so own you right now just like that furry white bastard who purred in your ear while tyrannically running your homestead for the last 12 years did.

    Extraordinary creatures gravitate toward each other. You lost an exceptional companion, but you still have at least two (maybe three or four) left. Straight ahead, brother.

  237. 237
    Howard Beale IV says:

    Mr. Cole:

    Right now your mental health is your # 1 priority. The sooner your grief stage is resolved, the better off. Unresolved grief can lead to Major Depressive Disorder, which the last thing anybody needs to deal with.

  238. 238
    PC In Sc says:

    i just cried reading the post …

  239. 239

    Oh, Cole. I’m tearing up again. My boys love to be with me while I’m in the bathroom. It’s not weird at all. I’m so so so very sorry about sweet Tunchie.

  240. 240
    Jen H says:

    God, I’m so sorry John. Made a donation in Tunch’s (and yours) name at Marc. Many hugs being sent your way for you and the girls.

  241. 241
    Fort Geek says:

    Oh, man.

    My condolences.

  242. 242
    Dawn says:

    Let yourself grieve, John. There is no playbook, no time limit. It’s a dark, thick tunnel of fog you’ve entered. Keep his toys and photos of him near you; put a picture of him on your desktop. Close your eyes and imagine petting him; the cord doesn’t break even in death. For the first week or two, you’ll wake with that nanosecond of hoping it was all a bad dream, and then the pain will hit you like a truck. The pain will never grow less intense, but the time between its lightning strikes will lengthen – hours, days, weeks, months. Take comfort that hardly a day will go by, for all the days ahead of you, without at least once thinking of Tunch, for however a brief a moment. He is gone, but he will always be with you.

  243. 243
    Clockwork Buddha says:

    Condolences don’t even come close to being enough right now – but I hope you find as much peace and solace as possible. We honor and celebrate a cat who was well-loved by a good man.

  244. 244
    My Truth Hurts says:

    John I am so sorry. As a lifelong cat caretaker I feel your pain. Im a 40 year old man who has never met you and ive been balling for the last 20 minutes about Tunch.

    I had to put down my favorite guy two years ago and ive never gotten over it. There’s nothing good to say. The best i could come up with two years ago is he’s in pussy heaven now and if you say that out loud it doesn’t sound so bad.

    RIP Tunch

  245. 245

    So sorry, John. Wish I could send you a hug through the Internet. Wish there were words to make it any easier.

    So long, Tunch. We’ll miss you.

  246. 246
    BarbF says:

    Dear John,

    I’m a very infrequent poster here, but I wanted to give you my sincerest condolences on losing your good buddy, Tunch.

    Big, big hug

  247. 247
    Pogonip says:

    I’m sorry, John.

  248. 248
    elftx says:

    So very sorry is all I can think to say. I keep erasing what I have typed because it all seems so inadequate. But all of us who have loved an experienced the joy and pita actions of our furry ones understand the love.

  249. 249
    scott says:

    I’m so sorry. This sounds like a platitude, but it’s not – all the memories that give you so much pain, right now, will give you strength and courage later on because you will have Tunch and your happy memories to sustain you during difficult times. I lost my dog last May and cried my eyes out, and it was really hard for a long time, but eventually that is what happened. Please hang on as best you can, day to day, and know that all of us are pulling for you.

  250. 250
    keestadoll says:

    John, I read about Tunch and just said “OH GOD DAMMIT NO!” I’ve been visiting BJ since 2009 and came to expect some Tunch snark every day. I adored those reports. The quintessential curmudgeon cat. God this is just awful. I loved that little shit curmudgeon.

    Be strong, cry a lot, and be as maudlin as you want–that cat was an Italian opera.

    Hugs to you! Samantha Lee, Tunch admirer

  251. 251
    Kathryn in MA says:

    I’m shedding tears too, i’ve had good cats go too soon. The pain will always be there, maybe buried a bit. Just know that the cosmos will send you another very good cat when the time is right.

  252. 252
    Karounie says:

    Thank you John, for sharing Tunch with all of us. I have 5-soon-to-be-6 cats at home, but still so delighted in every Tunch mention and yarn that he felt like a distant but still loved cousin to my own cat family. The internet is made of cats, but only Tunch walked right out of the screen into all of our homes (expending as little effort as possible to do so of course.) Deepest sympathies for your loss.

  253. 253
    Mike in DC says:

    I was away from the internets yesterday, so I was completely unaware of this until a moment ago.

    I’m so sorry to hear about Tunch.

    Words just seem so inadequate to convey what I (and from what I’ve seen, most of us) feel.

  254. 254

    I don’t have the words – it feel like this has been a gut-punch weekend all around.

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

    If it’s any consolation, if it weren’t for you and His Floofiness, the Mrs. and I would never have met BJ – the cat formerly known as Harley. Thanks to you, Anne Laurie and others, a big orange mush of a cat annoys the hell out of us at feeding times, but we wouldn’t have it any other way.

  255. 255

    So sorry, man. PhysioCatte sends his condolences.

  256. 256
    tom weaver says:


    So very sorry.
    I’m sitting here at the library bawling my eyes out over OUR loss.
    Tunch was a crazy beacon for the blog and for all of us and will certainly live on in our thoughts and memories.

    Just an awful weekend. Awful.

  257. 257

    So, so sorry, John. He was a truly great cat – you were lucky that he shared his space with you.

  258. 258
    Interrobang says:

    My deepest condolences, John. It’s always horrifying when it’s sudden like that.

    Grief is a nasty little gnome with a giant hammer, and the little bastard will stalk up behind you when you least expect it and whack you in the back of the head. This is normal. As another commenter upthread said, it never quite goes away, but the gnome bothers you less and less frequently as time goes on.

    A few years ago, I lost my two grandfathers, my great-aunt, and my beloved fell-in-love-with-each-other-at-first-sight cat Nero within six months. I know all about that little asshole with the big hammer.

    Just let yourself grieve, John. Don’t bottle it up inside yourself; that way lieth madness. Take care of yourself.

  259. 259
    sdoregon says:

    Long time reader, never commented but I had to today. I’m so very sorry about Tunch. I’ve been crying since I read the news. Like so many others I’m mourning him because I felt like I knew him from your blog. My thoughts are with you in your grief.

  260. 260
    Trinity says:

    I’m so very sorry John. Words cannot express my sympathies with your grief. My thoughts are with you. Tunch was one hell of a little spirit.

  261. 261

    I’m never going to get over this. I don’t know how I am going to sleep.

    Sleeping pills. Seriously. After first Gracie and George passed away, I had to use them for a few nights.

    See, when I got into bed each night, it was a competition between the two of them who was going to lie on my chest so I could pet them. Neither stayed for more than a few minutes, but they both got their attention. When they were gone, I’d get into bed and start crying. Sleeping pills, for a little bit, helped break that cycle so I could sleep.

    Goddammit, now I’m crying again. But at least now, it goes away much faster.

  262. 262
    Flipturn says:

    I’m not trying to cheer you up, John. It can’t be done. The only way out of grief is through it. I’m just crying with you from afar, even though I know you and Tunch only through the blog, and hoping that it somehow helps a little. I made a donation to MARC in Tunch’s memory.

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