Almost Twelve Thousand Dollars


The people from MARC (the Marion Animal Resource Connection) just emailed me, and they are basically in tears and do not know what to do. You guys, in honor of that fat magnificent bastard Tunch, have donated close to 12,000 dollars.

They have been operating on a shoe string budget, and other than our occasional fundraisers and calendar and BJ store sales, they don’t have much of an income. It’s mainly just a bunch of super-sweet people who spend their own money rescuing dogs and cats and spaying and neutering them with their own money and opting for peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for dinner because they spent their money on surgical procedures or gas to drive animals to their new home, so they are just reeling. I spoke with them, and they are going to have an emergency meeting and spend a couple weeks to figure out how to best allocate this money.

You do understand what you have done, don’t you? Because of you, some young girl is going to find a pet, a cat or dog that was otherwise a lost cause and spent weeks in kitty/doggy death row, and because of your generosity, she is going to be able to pick up a pet you helped save, take it home, and love the living shit out of it for a decade or hopefully more, and she will become one of us and probably play it forward the rest of her life.

You and Tunch did that. What is happening here is, as far as I am concerned, far more important cosmically than any of the wanking that happens on blogs all day every day. You guys are saving lives, both human and animal, because we all know that it was our dogs and cats that rescued us, and not the other way around.

Thank you. There are going to be hundreds of people with all the happy memories we have of our beloved pets because of you. If that doesn’t put a smile on your face as you go to bed, I do not know what will.

99 replies
  1. 1
    Sandia Blanca says:

    Thank you, John Cole. This is all a reflection of who you are.

  2. 2
    Yatsuno says:

    That image needs to be a shirt. Full stop.

  3. 3
    Alison says:

    That’s so so wonderful :)

  4. 4
    Diana says:

    good to know.
    and I haven’t even donated yet (will when I get a job…)

  5. 5
    JCJ says:

    There are two magnificent fat bastards – Tunch and someone I will not name but has the initials JGC

  6. 6
    stinger says:

    YOU did it, John.

  7. 7
    CapnMubbers says:

    @Yatsuno: A thousand times yes.

  8. 8
    melissaD says:

    Oh Tunch, you are working the gig, where ever you go! Sweet boy.

  9. 9
    MLC says:

    I hope I give my cat and my dog a fraction of what they give to me: unconditional love, loyalty, humor, connection, understanding, forgiveness, mercy, peace. If some other lonely person or kid out there can receive those gifts in Tunch’s name, then very very good.

  10. 10
    khead says:

    Wonderful. Lemons into lemonade. I would buy the shirt.

  11. 11
    The Fat Kate Middleton says:

    So wonderful. Thank you for this, John. And now I’m crying again.

  12. 12
    Constance says:

    Ditto on 1, 2 and 3.

    ditto twice on 2.

  13. 13
    trollhattan says:

    Wow, that’s terrific! Am thankful my thimblefull joined many, many other buckets. Here’s hoping a LOT of pets benefit, as these folks can certainly do a lot more good works now.

    I’m still very sad for our floofy friend and his amazing human, but maybe just a wee bit less depressed about it all.

  14. 14
    mai naem says:

    This is awesome. I sent in some $$ in on Sat but I didn’t see the comment section till I had pressed the pay button and I frankly was too damn lazy to go back in to send an email but I guess they figured out it was in Tunchman’s honor. I was kind of in this denial/not really happened mode until I read John’s post this PM.

  15. 15
    tofubo says:

    we recently put down our 13 year old rescue g.s.d., but we had an idea that time was approaching

    i hated it when our 7 year old rescue mutt got cancer, it was unexpected and hurt more; i don’t want to experience an all of a sudden like that again or have anyone else go thru that, life’s unfair enough as it is

    some great pets from here if yer neer chicago

  16. 16
    MacKenna says:

    Just checking in to see how you are doing and to wish you well. Loss of a loved one is the hardest thing. I love all of the photos of Tunch. He was such a cute little big guy with loads of personality.

  17. 17
    ruemara says:

    Yay internet community!

  18. 18
    Kristine says:

    That’s fantastic!

    Tunch lives on.

  19. 19
    JCT says:

    Not a bad legacy for the big foofy galoot.

  20. 20
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    I figured the Tunch donations would end up exceeding $10,000, but this is just amazingly, wonderfully great.

    Tunch the Multiplier.

  21. 21
    phoebes-in-santa fe says:

    Hey, Cole, maybe when YOU’RE ready, you’ll find another fine cat at MARC. Not as fat as Tunch, maybe, but fine in his or her own way. When you’re ready…

  22. 22
    Angela says:

    Well that is a silver lining in the midst of some very dark clouds. Glad to be a mostly lurker here in this strange and caring group.

    I’d buy the shirt too!

  23. 23
    hilzoy says:

    *big grins*

  24. 24
    John O says:

    *sniff/choke/cough* Long live Tunch.

    Repeating now: Drawing + masthead…maybe put the drawing “behind” the BJ balloon…

  25. 25
    Blue Loon says:

    Thanks, John. Just went and donated. Add another $50 to the Tunch memorial fund. Blessings to you and all Balloon Juicers

  26. 26
    Anna in PDX says:

    I am so glad for them, and I also would love it if you would make this lovely picture into a t-shirt.

  27. 27
    MBL says:

    The first thing they’re gonna do is hire a local artist and paint that on a wall somewhere.

  28. 28
    Jay C says:

    12 large? that’s a fine haul – now they have 20 of mine to go with it, and hopefully help some deserving animal/deserving human to find a good home/good friend – either way.

    BTW, where is Jasper, TN? Thought Cole-ville was in WV…

  29. 29
    donovong says:

    You know, I would buy a Tunch T-Shirt if I could. Just sayin’!

  30. 30
    RoonieRoo says:

    Getting to put a drop in the bucket in Tunch’s honor was helpful for my heart. Knowing that we are hitting close to 12,000 just cements what an awesome community this is.

  31. 31
    erlking says:

    @stinger: Seconded. You built that, Cole. And I know that for a fact because I’m a pretty selfish bastard when it comes right down to it but there was no way I wasn’t going to honor that fat fucker–and you–when asked.

    The BJ community rocks.

  32. 32
    geg6 says:

    Wow, that’s wonderful! Tunch lives on through all those saved lives.

    And it could all continue in perpetuity if there was a shirt or poster or coffee cup with that picture on it, right?

  33. 33
    SIA says:

    I’m happy, sad and proud.

    But that “almost” feels raggedy. We need a nice even 12 thousand.

    Light out of darkness people.

  34. 34
    asiangrrlMN says:

    Cole, YOU and Tunchie did this. It’s because of you that we know and love Tunch. It’s because of the two of you that we donated and will continue to donate. I hope that you can truly understand that one day.

    I’m smiling through my tears. And, I fourth/fifth/eleven-billionty Yutsy’s call for that image on a shirt/mug/mousepad.

  35. 35
    John Mc in NC says:

    You get what you give bro…

    Want the T-Shirt!!

  36. 36
    amk says:

    wtg internetz nutz.

  37. 37
    MikeJ says:

    Greenwald tweeted it, Fred at slacktivist linked.

  38. 38
    Suzanne says:

    A magnificent fat load of money for the magnificent fat bastard cat. YAAAAAY!

  39. 39
    cbear says:

    It was the least, and I mean the least, most of could have done for you and that magnificent cat.
    I’ve been through almost exactly what you are going through and wouldn’t wish it on anybody—and I’m still totally bummed for you and everybody in the Cole family, including Devon and Seth.
    Wish I could have made it a $1000.

    ***as I’m sure everybody else does.

  40. 40
  41. 41

    Cole, you ornery fuck, look what you did.

    And I, too, would buy the shirt.

  42. 42
    Flying Squirrel Girl says:

    Just made my donation. In tears again. I know this has been a hard weekend, but the humanity shown by the people on this blog has been just what my soul needed. I live in Texistan and Friday was by equal measures heart breaking and heart lifting. The Zimmerman verdict on Saturday made me want to stay away from the intertubz and I’m glad I did.

    John Cole, you help make us better people. I hope we do the same for you.

  43. 43
    spudgun says:

    Late to the party as usual, but I just donated some cash. Now giving the rescue kitty-bo on my lap squeezy hugs and kisses.

    And I agree with everyone else – put the picture on a t-shirt. I would buy a couple, for sure.

  44. 44
    cossacksare says:

    Ah fuck, time to give, all for that damn cat, and John, I love your blog and all of its bearish (in the hug sense and the opposite of bull–though there is a ton of bull–sense) goodness. Thanks, and goodbye Tunch.

  45. 45
    superfly says:

    Team Balloon Juice, Fuck Yeah!!!!

    The total will keep growing too…

  46. 46
    KmCO says:

    I can’t wait to receive my black, long-sleeved woman’s shirt with Tunch’s magnificent visage on it. I’m glad to support that fat boy’s memory and help out countless other pets at the same time.

  47. 47
    Mike in NC says:

    OK, now that I know what MARC is I can kick in few bucks. I’d like to do more but our piece of shit Repuke governor cut off my unemployment benefits.

  48. 48
    It's Not The Fall, It's The Landing says:

    Not long after the great jazz saxophonist Charlie “Bird” Parker died at just 34 years old, the graffiti began to appear in New York: “Bird Lives!”

    In that spirit, I feel I must write this here:


  49. 49
    spudvol says:

    Tunch should be eating that doughnut floating above his head.

  50. 50
    Betty Cracker says:

    Fantastic news! Yay cranky Juicers!

  51. 51
    opie_jeanne says:

    This is such good news.

    I need to figure out our finances tomorrow to see what we can afford to give. It won’t be much this time but I’ll have more to give on the first of the month.

  52. 52
    Violet says:

    Such fantastic news. So happy that Tunch and you and all of us can help so many animals in need.

  53. 53
    opie_jeanne says:

    @opie_jeanne: And I’d buy a shirt with Tunch the angel on it.

  54. 54
    Yatsuno says:

    @asiangrrlMN: It’s an unfortunate thing that caused it, but you’re back around commenting again. I know of course what you’ve been up to (I AM your fake hubby after all!) but still a lot of folks here missed you hon. :: hug ::

    (edited for clarity)

  55. 55
    CaseyL says:

    Thank you, John and Tunch, for making this possible.

    BJ is a mighty force when you aim us right.

    ETA: Here’s a thought: Do this annually. Maybe not the anniversary of Tunch’s death, that’s way too painful. Some other day; maybe the day you first got him? Have we ever heard that story?

  56. 56
    A Ghost To Most says:

    It’s more than just the money to MARC, John (though we kicked in there).

    Maple is lying between my wife and I, purring away; her first night in her forever home.

    You and Tunch made it happen.

  57. 57
    Eljai says:

    I haz a happy through my tears!

  58. 58
    asiangrrlMN says:

    @Yatsuno: Aw, thanks, Yutsy. You’re the one who’s kept me in the loop, always notifying me when a Tunchie post appeared. I still can’t believe he’s gone, but it’s good to be back. I’ve missed this place.

  59. 59
    Leslie says:

    I would totally buy that shirt. And I may go throw them a few more bucks, just because.

  60. 60
    Anne Laurie says:

    @Yatsuno: And if that shirt is available in XXXL (as is only appropriate) it will inspire at least a few Nanny-Ogg-style single intenders, thereby honoring another great Balloon Juice tradition…

  61. 61
    elis says:

    @Yatsuno: Yes, please this!

  62. 62
    SIA says:

    @A Ghost To Most: How great is that?! Happy for you!

  63. 63
    John Cole says:

    @A Ghost To Most: That’s so awesome!

  64. 64
    trollhattan says:

    @It’s Not The Fall, It’s The Landing:

    Think I’d go for “Who is Tunch GaltCole?”

    In truth, my kid’s been jonsing for a “Feed” shirt for awhile, although “Obey” would reflect reality mo’ better.

  65. 65
    Violet says:

    @A Ghost To Most: Awww…that’s great! Congratulations!

  66. 66
    spudgun says:

    @A Ghost To Most: Sweet!!

  67. 67
    Highway Rob says:

    Just gave to MARC and Austin Pets Alive. Tunch continues to make it rain.

  68. 68
    Highway Rob says:

    @A Ghost To Most: Congrats! I believe pics are in order. (Not now, of course, you’re in bed and this is a family blog. But soon.)

  69. 69
    Yatsuno says:

    @A Ghost To Most: @Highway Rob: Indeed! Pics shall be required here!

  70. 70
    Genine says:

    This is just really fantastic! Balloon Juice is a wonderful community. I will donate on payday.

    You guys, rock!

  71. 71
    John O says:

    @A Ghost To Most:

    Right on! A purring kitty is a happy kitty. Congrats to you!

  72. 72
    jnfr says:

    I’ve got the FEED t-shirt, but I’d love to have one with this graphic on it. Do it, John!

  73. 73
    The Other Chuck says:

    Oh hay thanks for reminding me to send my donation. I think MARC will be seeing that figure grow over the next week. Crazy that here I am donating to some local charity on the other side of the country, but damn if I didn’t come to think of that cat as part of the BJ family.

  74. 74
    opie_jeanne says:

    @John Cole:

    Your posts about Tunch influenced me to look for a rescue kitten in December. We lost our big old Tommy, a Maine Coon mix, a little over two years ago and the house was very empty without him.

    We lost The One Great Cat You Get, Ever, in 2009 and yet I kept seeing her just on the edge of peripheral vision all these years even though she never lived in this house, and the great thing is that this new kitten, now 9 months old, is another Great Cat, and she is the light in the house, just a total delight.

    Thank you from us and from Annie.

  75. 75
    Watership says:

    Humbled to be a small part. Way to go, John. Godspeed, Tunch. (snif)

  76. 76
    hamletta says:

    Y’all, the first thing my schmuck brother said to me after he arrived at our recently deceased mother’s house was, “When did your tits get so big?”

    We do not have the sort of relationship where that sort of thing is welcome, but I’d wear this art across my big tits proudly.

  77. 77
    raven says:


  78. 78
    Rosalita says:

    I’m in, that gorgeous image on a white t-shirt in Tunchies and your honor, and proceeds to help rescue, double-win

  79. 79
    Lurker says:

    @Anna in PDX:

    I concur. I’d buy the shirt in a hurry.

  80. 80
    farmette says:

    Wonderful news! Tunch is living large through his legacy, and a fine legacy it is too. The shirt would be great.

  81. 81
    Manyakitty says:

    I just donated in Tunch’s memory. I can 100% confirm that my adopted rescue cats have saved me as much as I saved them. Still, I’d like to get through a day at work without crying. Won’t be today…XO, man. XO.

  82. 82
    Lynn Sutherland says:

    Have been crying and crying over Tunch–when you get to know and love a pet (even over the internet) and then lose him, it’s a terrible loss that reminds you of all the terrible losses of your own and the pain of still missing all of them.
    The only thing that makes me feel better is that he and you are making life better for so many animals. Please make the picture into a T-shirt–it would be a comfort.

  83. 83
    donnah says:

    Dammit, every time I sit down to catch up here on the blog, I have to get up again and get a tissue! That’s it, a new box of Kleenex is moving to the table!

    John, you do the most amazing things. Here, in the midst of one of your most painful personal events, you have immediately turned despair into hope. I’d say that’s pretty wonderful.

    *Off to get another box of tissues!*

  84. 84
    gogol's wife says:


    Oh YEAH. This is so fantastic. I love you, Tunchie!

  85. 85
    gogol's wife says:


    Right — I keep getting tears on my damn new glasses and have to use up another one of those special microfiber cloths on them.

  86. 86
    Retr2327 says:

    Another 50 from me in honor of the fat bastard. – oh, and Tunch, too.

    But seriously, John, my heart is with you. I lost my much-loved Hershey last year, and hearing of your loss hurt a lot.

    And count me in for a shirt also, with additional donations for MARC.

  87. 87
    Jacel says:

    Tunch The Cat Has a Posse — and I’m proud to be part of it.

  88. 88
    Jacel says:

    Tunch The Cat Has a Posse — and I’m proud to be part of it.

  89. 89
    Rex Everything says:

    Who drew the picture? It’s very good.

  90. 90
    Jebediah says:

    That had me tearing up again, but this time happy… I feel very lucky that I was able to afford to send a few bucks their way.

  91. 91
    Andrew Underwood says:

    I’ve been reading the blog (and the comments) for years and years now, but I’ve never been moved to post before today. I’ve been dreading telling my wife that Tunch passed, she always loved your pet posts and asked for updates on the gang when she saw I was reading the site. Just sent a donation in honor of the big guy, with extra love from my cranky 15-year-old Chow mix who runs our lives as much as Tunch ran yours.

    Take care John, and thanks for everything that you do.

    PS-Balloon Juice community: you guys are amazing.

  92. 92
    Cathy Phillips says:

    Our Tunch-loving daughter, Katie, would like the angel-Tunch picture to be made into a t-shirt. I think it’s a great idea!!!

  93. 93
    Chaplain Weasle says:

    Following Dharma makes good Karma…

    John, we love you and we love Tunch, and this is a way we can honor and show you what you mean to us. We may never meet in person, but here, in BJ, you give us a place where we can be ourselves – and sometimes we express ourselves best here, showing our true colors to one another in this safe place you’ve made for us John.

    I’ve got learning disabilities, TBI, & PTSD… and fibro & other shit, but I’m jacked up & don’t get out much because, well, forget that part – you John give us a window to the world & a place where we can have a voice and express ourselves. If we can reciprocate by giving back, that’s awesome, because it gives us a chance to thank you & to show how much we care. we really are a family here @ BJ.

    A lot of us shy folk & lurkers have spoke up just to give you nachas & support.

    it’s like in some cultures you show caring through food & shared meals in times of trouble & stress… I can’t make you a meat dish or a dessert, but we can give in His Tunchness’s memory.

  94. 94
    daize says:

    @asiangrrlMN: It’s always good to see you here. I felt so bad knowing that the Tunchie news you would receive Saturday was the worst possible.

  95. 95
    ixnay says:

    Another donation to MARC, this time from Maine. Mr. Ixnay and I lurk a lot, comment seldom. Hadda do it for Tunch, though. I do surgery for a low-cost spay/neuter clinic, so I know just how much MARC’s services are needed from that perspective. Anyway, still crying for Tunch, but now (as others have said) with a bunch of pride for the BJ family.

    John, in the infinitely wise words of Grover: “Don’t forget to breathe! In and out!

  96. 96
    quannlace says:

    I know this thread is over 12 hours old, but can’t help coming back to see again all that beautiful total of donations in honor of Tunch.

  97. 97
    Jebediah says:

    Yeah, me too…big kitty is having a big impact!

  98. 98
    Jackie says:

    John, I donated because I love animals more than I love people – other than children and grandchildren. I’m so happy I was able to contribute just a little in behalf of cats/kittens – my weakness. I have a 19 yr old ‘mama kitten’ that adopted me before I adopted her at 4 1/2 weeks old, and she and I are bestest friends. I kept her son “Oreo” for 13 3/4 yrs before he had to be put down. Cinder is now officially older than my Dad – who will be 95 late Sept. She is my best friend and confidant and I have no idea what I will do when she’s finally gone. My children don’t know what will be worst for me; my dad or Cinder leaving me. I’ve been truly blessed to have a wonderful Dad and a cat both living into their late 90’s. I love them them both to pieces.

  99. 99

    You all are amazing people! Jasper, TN is a small town in a very rural southern county, Marion. As most of the towns and counties in rural southern states, there is no animal control or shelters, maybe a couple of high kill very small, inadequate pounds. MARC/we are working on the positives to turn things around and hopefully improve the lives of animals in this county. Thank you so very, very much for your donations and support! Sue Scruggs

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