Very High, Very Fat, And Trying to Clean Himself

One of the nice things about Tunch is that at least I have a lot of pictures, stories, and movies archived. Here is one of my favorites, from him two years ago, stoned to the bejeezus on catnip and trying to clean himself (I actually was feeling ornery and sprinkled it all over him, so that is what he is trying to get at), and he is just so stoned and fat that he not only is physically incapable of reaching some areas, he’s too stoned to even try to figure out how to reach them. You can honestly see the confusion in his eyes as he rolls around like a beached whale:

What a magnificent fat bastard he was.

88 replies
  1. 1
    ruemara says:

    isn’t the blessing of a camera wonderful? And I remember this bit of Tunch trolling.

  2. 2

    When I saw the headline, the first thing I thought was that you were talking about George Zimmerman.

  3. 3
    Alison says:

    Aww, Tunchie :) Poor chubby Tunchie. What a sweet, unique, wonderful kitty…

    I hope you’re doing okay, John. It’s going to hurt like hell for a long time, but I just hope your doggies and family and friends are able to help you cope.

  4. 4
    Uncle Ebeneezer says:

    Yes. It is a great thing. Many of us only have a picture or two to remember our beloved lost pets. A friend of mine suggested that when a pet passes away, it’s a great thing to write a list of all the things that made you love them, their qualities and quirks etc. It can be painful to do when the wound is still fresh, but the memory fades in time, and it’s nice once the grieving ends to be able to go back and fondly remember the good times. You will obviously have a great treasure trove of Tunch memories since you already wrote and shared so much of him here.

  5. 5
    NicoleW says:

    I don’t comment here much (if at all), but I had to let you know how sorry I am, John. Made a donation to MARC for you and Tunch.

  6. 6
    WereBear says:

    Ah, Tunchie!

    They always live on in our hearts.

  7. 7
    asiangrrlMN says:

    I’m smiling through my tears at Tunch’s hijinks. He’s such a wonderful, sweet, funny boy.

  8. 8

    I just posted downstairs John that I have been away for the weekend and only able to read and not post. Your loss of Tunch in this manner reminded me so much of me losing my 17 year old Lari to a rogue Pit Bull loose in the neighborhood and there is nothing that will take away the guilt of not being able to protect your baby at all times but remembering him like this is going to east the pain. Needless to say he will be waiting for you at the Rainbow Bridge and I suggested that you put a condition in your will that whatever suit you are buried in contains at least one can of Tuna. Cause you know if you show up at your reunion without Tuna he is gonna be pissed.

  9. 9
    debbie says:

    That look he gives you right before the 2 minute mark is priceless.

  10. 10
    lamh35 says:

    serious question. as a non-animal person, what exactly is CAT NIP? I’m pretty sure I know what happens to cats when they get or want it, but is it a food, a drug, what?

  11. 11
    Marcelo says:

    I need to go take more videos of my cats now.

    Carry on, Cole. This is wonderful to go through the memories. He was magnificent indeed.

  12. 12
    Violet says:

    That music is awesome for that video. What a glorious kitty he was.

  13. 13

    Oh, crap. I didn’t know about Tunch. I didn’t mean to make light of it, though, not knowing anything, Zimmerman really was the first thing I thought of when I saw the post.

    I know how shitty it is to lose a pet. I can’t even think how awful it must be for him to have gone like that, both for you and for him. I wish I could say something to help, but I know all too well that there’s nothing that can help. All I can say is I’m so sorry.

  14. 14
    jenn says:

    That’s awesome. He really was very … floofy!

  15. 15
    Comrade Jake says:

    Goodnight, sweet prince.

  16. 16
    geg6 says:

    Heh, he really was a magnificent fat kitteh, wasn’t he? I still say that tail was an aftermarket one.

    Peace, Cole. And hope your pops is okay, too.

  17. 17
    JPL says:

    That video is the one that you’ll watch when feeling blue, because there is no way you can’t smile when watching it.

  18. 18

    @lamh35: Its an herb in the mint family, I think. Kittehs lubs it.
    From the last Tunch thread, My tribute to Tunch, the Balloon Juice Kitteh.

  19. 19
    Scott S. says:

    I love this one that showed up in related videos. You can tell he’s saying, “Cole! COLE! Put that camera down and get me my supper ham!”

  20. 20
    Violet says:

    @lamh35: It’s an herb. You can grow it. Cat bud.

  21. 21

    Tunch to John, I is in shape, round is a shape.

  22. 22
    aimai says:

    You really identified with that cat and I think he must have identified with you. If the positions had been reversed I imagine Tunch playing videos of you falling off the roof, or skidding on the ice, and knocking back some catnip and shaking his floofy head and saying “look at that sonofabitch Cole, he was a magnificent fat bastard, wasn’t he?”

  23. 23
    JPL says:

    @lamh35: It’s a plant that is safe for cats. link

  24. 24
    AndyG says:

    Happy face.

  25. 25
    Emerald says:

    Great to see this. Moar! Moar!

    My Emerald kitteh simply will. not. pose. for. pictures. She gets into a wonderful, camera-ready pose, and as soon as I grab the camera she rolls over. I have just a few good shots of her, most of those taken by accident or sheer patience while running down my camera battery.

    Yeah, I’ve got to start with the videos.

  26. 26
    khead says:

    So glad you have those memories. Some of our kitteh stuff is locked up on a dead hard drive.

    So, yes, shine on you magnificent fat bastard.

  27. 27
    Cheryl from Maryland says:

    That was a joy.

  28. 28
    Ted & Hellen says:


    A glorious epitaph.

  29. 29
    Citizen_X says:

    That, ladies and gents, is Floof.

  30. 30
    asiangrrlMN says:

    @lamh35: It’s a plant. Most cats go CRAZY over it. My boys do not.

    @aimai: This was a great comment. That is all.

  31. 31
    JR in WV says:

    I’m sorry John. Tunch was a wonderful companion, your best friend at times, and there’s no pain like losing your furry buddy.

    Best wishes to you and your family!


  32. 32
    Mary G says:

    @Scott S.: Tunchcam#9 is my favorite too. He just talks and talks at John.

    He has been doing this for two hours. He has food. He has water. His litter has been cleaned. He has been furminated. I have played with him nonstop. AND HE WILL NOT LEAVE ME ALONE.

    I stayed up until after 3 a.m. our time going back through 20+ pages of cat blogging here, just looking at pictures of everyone else’s pets and re-reading some of the best Tunch ones.

  33. 33
    Redhand says:

    Hey John, I’m more a lurker than poster here, but I’ve certainly connected with you and your cat over the years. I know that losing a beloved cat like that is like losing a member of your family. Been through it myself when one of my favorites was killed by a car.

    Treasure the memories of companionship with Tunch and try to get past the pain.

    My very sincere, heartfelt sympathies on your loss.


  34. 34
    Culture of Truth says:


  35. 35
    greenergood says:

    I watched that clip and, as a yoga practicer, watching Tunchie do his rolls, he had a fine, flexible yoga kitty spine – the plumpiness is no bother, as long as the spine is fine. What a lovely boy – you were lucky to have each other, and your girls are lucky to have you still, watched over by the furminator fuhrer.

  36. 36
    wesindc says:

    Excellent. Sorry for your loss.

  37. 37
    Violet says:

    Hope your dad’s doing okay, John. And the rest of your family too.

    This video is classic Tunch. Love it.

  38. 38
    MikeJ says:

    @asiangrrlMN: I have made it an added attraction at my cat TV (bird feeder). The QFC by my house sells it in the bulk spices, and a week’s supply costs a quarter. The neighborhood cats hang out on the deck to watch the bird feeder. When they discover the nip (wrapped in a bit of cheesecloth and tied with twine) they forget about birds.

  39. 39
    fuzz says:

    I just read about Tunch and feel awful. I feel like through your blog I got to know the little guy and always liked seeing pictures, videos and hearing about his latest exploits. I’m so sorry John.

  40. 40
    gbear says:

    @Violet: I’ve got catnip growing as a weed in my garden. I try to keep them down because it spreads around like crazy, and if I so much as step on it while I’m outside, my older cat will turn psycho killer.

    A mellow buzz. She doesn’t get it.

  41. 41
    asiangrrlMN says:

    @MikeJ: So you’re the neighborhood supplier! My boys like the fresh stuff, but not dried nip. They’re nip snobs.

  42. 42
    Gex says:

    That is one of the great things about the modern age. Kate had three podcasts. I have hours of Kate just being Kate on audio to listen to. And I have sets on video too.

    This is absolutely magnificent. What a great video.

  43. 43
    Comrade Mary says:

    @aimai: I would have watched the living FUCK out of Tunch’s YouTube channel.

    One of my favourite videos, John. Thanks for sharing it again.

  44. 44
    Violet says:

    @gbear: It’s in the mint family. Those are always so invasive. Any mint family plants stay in pots in my garden in an attempt to corral them.

  45. 45
    johio says:

    Ok, watching that video go in and out of focus, WHICH of you was high? Both, perhaps?

    Laughter through tears is the healing medicine.

  46. 46
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    The ad is for bariatric surgery. LOL.

  47. 47
    Violet says:

    @asiangrrlMN: Hi, asiangrrlMN! Have missed seeing you round these parts.

  48. 48
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Ted & Hellen: Thank you, T&H. It is that.

  49. 49
    raven says:

    @Violet: True dat.

  50. 50
    raven says:

    michelle is back

  51. 51
    khead says:

    I stole floofy from here.

  52. 52
    Gravenstone says:

    And in vintage Cole fashion, he just cannot quit messing with the focus.

    Glad you have these clips and pics to provide an active reminder.

  53. 53
    Citizen_X says:

    And here’s (I think) a good song about dealing with death: the former Oklahoma State Rock Song, Do You Realize? by the Flaming Lips! Written by Wayne Coyne partially in response to his father’s death.

    Oh, and why is it the former Oklahoma State Rock Song? Because–sigh–Republicans.

  54. 54
    erlking says:

    Thank you, John. Thanks for sharing the good and the bad.

    There are reasons why this place is a several times daily stop.

    Le Tunch est mort. Vive le Tunch!

  55. 55

    Oops broken link in the comment above
    I will try again, Tunch Tribute.

  56. 56
    Nina-the-first says:

    Tunch-Rolled. I always go for it and always love it.

  57. 57
    BarbCat says:

    He is your ceiling cat now, John, watching you wh…well nevermind. Great video – such a love.

  58. 58
    Culture of Truth says:

    dude… I have like… four legs….whoa…

  59. 59


    One thing you may not fully realize (or perhaps you do) is how much Tunch brought a community of people flung across the country — indeed, the world — together. You know, it’s just amazing to think about, really. When Mr. Beale and I visited Seattle two summers ago and Yutsano organized an impromptu BJ meetup for us, we all found each other because Yuts printed out a giant picture of Tunch.

    One giant, personality-infused feline had a big impact on a lot of people. That’s certainly more than I can say for any of my fleabags, much as I adore them.

    I’m so sorry for your loss. And so glad that you shared Tunch with the rest of us.

  60. 60
    beltane says:

    Tunch always reminded me of a big, fluffy white cloud. Such a gorgeous fellow.

  61. 61

    High, Very Fat, And Trying to Clean Himself

    Been there. We shall never again talk of that time. Especially as no one took pictures.

  62. 62
    Emerald says:

    @schrodinger’s cat: That is really nice. Thanks for those links!

  63. 63
    Angela says:

    So floofy. Great video. Thanks for this.

  64. 64
    James Hare says:

    Some people will tell you not to get another cat too fast. I lost my Persephone so suddenly it just killed me. I kept seeing her around the apartment and couldn’t deal with it. Everyone told me not to get another cat and warned me I wouldn’t replace Persephone. I met this wonderful cat at the Alexandria shelter who helped me get over the pain of losing my beautiful Persephone. Evita is one of the most wonderful animals I know. There is a cat in a shelter who needs a home right now. You are the place. You have a hole in your heart that can’t be filled. Getting a new cat isn’t dishonoring Tunch’s memory — it is acknowledging that you need a cat.

    The Zimmerman verdict was nothing. I’m still getting my head around the fact that Tunch is gone. I loved that cat so much from afar. It’s hard to believe there is a loving God in the world when he brings that kind of bullshit to good people like our bloghost.

    Long live Tunch’s memory. He wasn’t my cat but I will always be happy he brought joy to John Cole and made his life better. He did his job as a companion animal as best as could possibly be done.

  65. 65
    maya says:

    Like father, like son.

    Was that, er, medicinal catnip?

  66. 66
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Scott S.: Heh. Tunch “chirping.”

  67. 67
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @beltane: He always reminded me of piles of whipped cream, and caramel sauce.

  68. 68
    GregB says:

    Big goofy cat. Great music. Good memories. That’s much of what is good in life right there.

  69. 69
    Princess Leia says:

    @GregB: It is hard to imagine that there is anything more important in life than moments like these.

  70. 70
    Yatsuno says:

    @Southern Beale: To be fair, that was MikeJ (I think). You guys had mostly found each other by the time I arrived. But it was indeed Tunch that helped us find each other. In more ways than one.

  71. 71
  72. 72
    Baquist says:

    Was away from the intertoobz one day and missed Tunch’s passing. From a long time lurker and very occasional commenter – I enjoy pets vicariously through this site and can only now bear to type my deepest heart felt condolences. Thanks John for sharing his happy life with us – we can only hope you get some comfort from his many devoted fans.

  73. 73
    piratedan says:

    Magnificent Fat Bastard Cat – I have one of those as well. His name is Jake and he was rescued from a No Kill shelter at age 15 months. He adopted us, we had lost our Natasha due to kidney failure about three months before and it was time. So we (The much better half and I) went to the shelter that had about 200 cats living in this place, about 50 to 75 that could never be adopted due to their medical or personality difficulties and after wandering from room to room, marveling at all of the cats doing their various and sundry feline things we sat down in the Arizona room for a break to discuss who we had seen, when this sleek toy panther walked up and sat down in front of me. One eye was occluded (a kittenish bout of feline herpes were were told) but he simply sat there and demanded that we listen to what he had to say. He spoke to us for a minute or so, the rubbed my calves and then my wife’s. After making sure we were duly marked, he launched himself into my lap, and curled up in my arms. My wife looked at him and and then she looked at me, then she returned her look to Jake who lifted his chin and met her gaze and politely informed her with a churr that we had been adopted.

    Jake now has his own harem and has grown into his own big black magnificent bastard mode himself and as such, when I read about your loss of Tunch it affected me in such a fashion that the big black behemoth has been on my chest most of the afternoon letting me know that he knew that I was hurting for you. They just know somehow, someway.

  74. 74
    Suzanne says:


    What a beautiful boy.

    My ex-husband actually has Tunch’s brother, Waffle. They seriously could be twins. I have tried to abscond with Waffle on more than one occasion.

  75. 75
    Rosalita says:

    John, they leave paw prints on our hearts. And in Tunch’s case he left paw prints on all of our hearts. Thank you for sharing so much of him with us over the years. I’ve been having trouble thinking about anything else today.

  76. 76
    muddy says:

    My favorite part of the video is about half way through, his back is to the camera and he starts lifting a back leg. Moves about a half inch toward cleaning under the leg (ahem) and then just drops back. “Fuck it, my ass is perfect.”

  77. 77
    asiangrrlMN says:

    @Violet:, @raven: Aw, you guys made me tear up again. I pared waaaay back on the politics after the elections. I’ve missed you guys, too. It’s been too long.

  78. 78
    JCT says:

    Now that’s a floofy cat — hilarious Tunch, yet still retains his dignity. Always looked like he was sitting on my orange tabby….

  79. 79
    Csbella says:

    A friend of mine who doesn’t read BJ teared up today when I told her what happened. I’ve sent her many photos of the Beautiful Tunch over the years. Sigh.

  80. 80
    dance around in your bones says:

    I’ve told this story before here, but I remember when a friend of mine brought a cheapy cardboard cat scratch pad to me. Over time (with a lot of use by my family of cats) it got quite dusty and ragged.

    I pulled the waffly cardboard thing out of the box and underneath were hundreds of little black dots. I thought eeeeeeeeeeeeeew fleas or whatever, but after a moments reflection I realized those black dots were catnip seeds. I took them outside and threw them into a few plant pots – got lush huge bushes of catnip…..until the cats discovered them and started sleeping in them. One of my cats was pictured in the Balloon Juice calendar, sleeping in a pot that used to hold catnip until they smushed it all down, sleeping in them in the sun.

    They loved the fresh catnip even more than the dried, I think.

  81. 81
    trollhattan says:

    How did those li’l vermicelli legs ever support all that kitty cat? Of course in that video they never actually did. Loved that brief bit where he tried to regain a shred of dignity by scratching his head, “Hey, I meant to do this all along! Whaddyamean I can’t hardly stand?”

  82. 82
    stinger says:

    Even before watching the video, just from reading Cole’s description, I have tears running down my face and I am laughing out loud.

    *Because* I am laughing out loud.

    I think.

  83. 83
    Interrobang says:

    I just played this video for my girl cat, Miss Gypsy, who is fascinated by cat videos. She watched raptly and particularly liked the part where he rolls over and bats at the air with his paws. So you see, John, not all of Tunchie’s fans are even human beings.

  84. 84
    JustRuss says:

    Belated condolences. Lost my best buddy of 18 years almost exactly a year ago, neighbor’s dog got out and killed her. If you feel anything like I did, I’m so sorry. But you do heal after a while, although I still miss her.

  85. 85
    EnfantTerrible says:

    This is a terrific wake for the beloved Tunch. I’m going to pour another glass of wine and drink to cats with Big Personalities, like Tunch.

  86. 86
    kc says:

    What a big cutie!

  87. 87
    YellowJournalism says:

    This was the video I was talking about last night. Thanks for posting it. You don’t know how much it made my kid laugh when you originally posted it.

  88. 88
    Pogonip says:

    I like the part about halfway through where he lifts the back leg, realizes that it just ain’t gonna happen, at least not till he sobers up, and puts the leg back down.

Comments are closed.