Monday, October 10, 2011

The Immortal

When I was seven, my cat Meeps died. I remember making a show of being upset, but I don't believe the pain ran deep. I think I just enjoyed the chance to be superficially distraught. It's like when Michael Jackson died, and everyone updated their Facebook statuses with "RIP Michael" even though they only ever listened to Thriller at Halloween and mistakenly added a picture of La Toya to their updates.

My mother and I buried Meeps in the backyard and had a little funeral for her, but that was the same weekend I'd gotten a Gameboy, so I was somewhat preoccupied.

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Perhaps I was a heartless child, or maybe I've just never been terribly affected by death. Even at my own grandfather's funeral I only remember being bored, as if my grandfather died simply to inconvenience me.

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Life and death are different sides of the same coin. This is a fact I've never struggled to accept. Pets are a perfect example of this, as many of us will have several pets during our lifetimes. All pets will leave us at some point. All pets die.

All pets, except for one.

A friend of mine owns a Blue Point Exotic Shorthair named Tuna Buttons, and he's the oldest, most decrepit cat I've ever met. He always seems to be on the verge of death, and baffles us all by continuing to live. It's impossible to count the number of death scares this cat has triggered. It's my personal hypothesis that at some point Tuna Buttons found a loophole in Death's plan and will live forever.

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Alternatively, I've theorized that Tuna Buttons clings feebly to life by feeding on the life force of others, but this is a concern I failed to impart on anyone else. I've warned my friend that her cat might be sucking the life out of her while she sleeps, but my advice fall on deaf ears.

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To make matters worse, Tuna Buttons is an outdoor cat, so there's no telling what havoc he might be wreaking out there on his own time.

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My friend claims she got Tuna Buttons as a kitten in the 90's, but I'm not so sure. I think there's no telling how long Tuna has been crawling this earth. I can't help but wonder what Tuna Buttons has seen, what historic events he took part in.

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What mysteries has Tuna Buttons seen? What ancient societies have come and gone during his lifetime? Was he there during the sinking of Atlantis?

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Did he live through the ostentatious Ptolemaic dynasty of Egypt? Was he worshipped as a king?

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If only Tuna Buttons could talk. What wisdom might he impart, besides what flavor of Fancy Feast tastes best? It's a well known fact that cats are very into progressive politics, so I can only imagine what part he played in the civil rights movement.

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Ever since I've known him, Tuna Buttons has been a moody cat. Downright cantankerous at times. Maybe it's because he's a Blue Point Exotic, the Wilford Brimley of the cat world. Or possibly it's because of something that happened to Tuna years ago. Could one of Tuna's previous owners been, say, Sylvia Plath? The death of an owner can't be easy for a cat.

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Then again, death has little effect on me, so who's to say it would affect a pet? It's probably more likely that Tuna is simply weary after so many years on this planet.

Recently I had the opportunity to play with a new kitten, a lively little ball of fluff with the sparkle of naïveté glowing brightly in its eye. It should have made me feel warm inside, but I was filled with sorrow for this unfortunate little animal. Its life would pass in the blink of Tuna Buttons' eye––perhaps at the hand of Tuna Buttons himself.

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They say when the world ends, the only thing left will be cockroaches and Cher. I think it's safe to add Tuna Buttons to that short list. Hundreds of years from now, after the nuclear holocaust, Cher and Tuna Buttons will scavenge the empty, crumbling cities for the rest of eternity, cockroaches scurrying about their feet. Cher will quietly hum Half-Breed under her breath while Tuna Buttons glares out across the wasted landscape...

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82 comments:

  1. Hahahah that was amazing!

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  2. absolutely amazing. as usual. i love stories about cats. preferably ancient ones that just won't die.

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  3. Sounds like my mother in laws cat "King." Hes 16 years old and still gets into fights when let outside... hes like wolverine... he wont die.

    They also say outdoor cats typically have a average lifespan of 4 years. My dads cat (which he hates because of the fact that she wont die.) fought a raccoon recently at the ripe old, way past her expected life span, age of 9. She was disfigured and a mere 2 weeks later, was like nothing ever happened...

    I think you're on to something here my friend.

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  4. my cat abby is almost 19 years old. i think shes gonna live for ever cause she really doesnt show her age at all yet.... she she will be there with Tuna a Cher.

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  5. LMFAO. My favorite panel is the one with Tuna Buttons and Death playing chess. Also, fyi, in West Indian folklore, some cats ARE actually rumored to "steal the breath" while people (usually children and infants) sleep. In all likely hood, Tuna Button's life span is probably just attributed to his gangsta-ness. And gangstas don't go down easy. LOL.

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  6. My dog is 16 in human years. We keep calling him "Old" and saying things like "Old, your face, it's old." He's not gonna die anytime soon.

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  7. You fine Sir just made my day. Long live Tuna Bottons. Dang I want a tuna sandwich now.

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  8. Could you please rewrite history textbooks this way so I want to read them?

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  9. dangit...now i want to play fallout.

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  10. Tuna Buttons is one of the most disgusting cat names ever.

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  11. My cat, Bumper, was adopted from a small farm in Alberta in mid 1993. She's still ticking. She's almost died a couple times (once from pancreas failure), has had cancer in her eyes since she was eight, has the early onset of kidney failure, no teeth, constipation, alzheimer's, and arthritis.

    The shocking thing is that she's so active and spry that guests think she's a young cat. She probably will live for another 2 or 3 years, realistically.

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  12. "Tanya Mufasa Jones" killed me.

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  13. My stepmom's cat Duchess, or "Cat-zilla," lived to be 21. She was an indoor/outdoor cat, and she was still going strong and viciously murdering small rodents up until the very end.

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  14. My cat is only about 13 but he has had so many experiences with death he shouldn't be living anymore... He has been caught in a cat trap, shot, and has been swept down a storm drain only to come out the other end missing a few claws and covered in what looked/smelt like wet concrete mixed with mud.

    We have to keep him inside at night now because of all the fights he gets into. Fairly sure he eats other cats and small dogs. My dog is terrified of him.

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  15. Kind of sad and morbid, but i loved it all the same.

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  16. Hahaha, Tuna Buttons...

    I can't get over that name. Or the "Squee!"

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  17. I died with the Rosa Parks and the Cop saying Squee. Those anime eyes are killer.

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  18. It would be pretty funny if Tuna Buttons dies a few days after this blog entry.

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  19. This is a little serious for your funny blogs, but my great gramma just died today, so the first part of this blog actually freaked me out with its timely accuracy- the whole superficially distraughtness, and the inconvenience of this whole thing. But despite my apparent heartlessness, I was still sad and your blog made me feel a lot better. They are all fantastic. So thank you :).

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  20. My cat back home is supposedly 21, same age as me and has seen at least a baker's dozen amount of fish, five cats, three dogs, two rabbits, and a chicken go through that house. He's still going strong, so maybe he and Tuna Buttons are in cahoots and stealing the life force of everything else that crosses their path....

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  21. My old golden retriever lived to be 17. He was then hit by a car. I wonder how long he would have lived had he not wandered into oncoming suburban traffic.

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  22. Tuna Buttons must be friends with my dads cat Smudge. That kitty won't die...even after I 'accidentally' let him outside during Hurricane Ike after he viciously attacked me.

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  23. The Egyptian drawing was so realistic that I felt like I was in Egypt...
    Tuna Buttons, you make me cower. You know more of life than I'll ever know.

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  24. I'm sad that someone thinks Tuna Buttons is a disgusting name :( I think it's adorable

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  25. Awww. Immortal kitties that suck the life out of people? MY FAVOURITE KIND!

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  26. There was a cat in my neighborhood (mostly outdoor) who lived to be 24. A few months before she died she started a fight with our pitbull, and won.

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  27. Sir Digby Chicken CaeserOctober 11, 2011 at 12:00 AM

    aw man why is it that "Tanya" dies...we're never given a fair chance...btw maybe the cat is a vampire (trueblood not that other crappy mormon book kind...)

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  28. This so full of awesome... thank you!

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  29. This was the best mostly nonsense I've read in a while

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  30. My parents have a 24 year old cat, who's twin sister was only recently put down. We have no idea how the hell she's still alive, she's older than me damn it!

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  31. Everything about this is just fantastic. It gives me hope that someday my own kitty and I will be able to wander the land, leeching the life force of innocents and being apathetic about everything except laser pointers.

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  32. The "Someday soon, you're gonna die...." picture was top notch. Sometimes I tell others that, but with a smile, then walk away. I'm happy I'm not the only one.

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  33. "but my advice *falls* on deaf ears."

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  34. hahaha
    never stop writing <3

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  35. Hilarious description of a cat. This story is to the T of my mother's old cat that has, not so sadly, passed away. It was 18 years old.....laying on the stairs....at 4 in the morning....when I needed to go downstairs for a glass of water....and I just so happened to not see it. Either way she isn't here anymore and I ABSOLUTELY had NOTHING to do with it.

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  36. More than anything, I enjoyed your proper accenting of the word "naïveté."

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  37. This. This is just fantastic. I love it, and I believe you are correct about Tuna Buttons...He will probably be around forever.

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  38. The first picture. Killed. Me. I laughed so hard, my Integrated Science class looked at me weird.

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  39. THE CHEESY GOODNESSOctober 12, 2011 at 12:48 PM

    "Bitch is a ghost now." Your irreverent and blatant sense of humor is inspiring.

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  40. I laughed out loud (literally) through the whole thing! I love your sense of humor (I've been a blog-lurker for a while now). The panel of the bus driver "squee"-ing over Tuna Buttons is probably my favorite, so funny.

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  41. LMAO!!! Dude you are epically hilarious.

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  42. Tuna Buttons has to be the most hilarious name for a cat ever.

    Also you left out Keith Richards from the post-apocalypse.

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  43. I didn't think anyone else had a cat named Meeps.

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  44. Ending in a Left 4 Dead reference. Even though you hear it all the time, your posts are fantastic.

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  45. Anonymous said...
    Tuna Buttons has to be the most hilarious name for a cat ever.

    Also you left out Keith Richards from the post-apocalypse.
    October 13, 2011 12:01 PM


    Keith Richards could barely be considered a survivor of 2010, let alone a post-apocalyptic wasteland :) Are you counting zombies as survivors, are ya? Huh? 'Cause if you are then I find that pretty damn suspicious. And they're more alive than he could ever be.

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  46. My aunt's cat lived until he was 26 and was perfectly healthy. He died choking on some cat food.

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  47. Anyone else wonder who was driving the bus while the driver was squeeing at the cat? Or is it just me? :P

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  48. So you should totally make the second picture into a shirt... Well, at least the part where you are sprawled out on the gravestone.. It might be sick, but my self-absorbed self can totally relate and I would totally buy it. Also, congrats on the book deal. You must be so happy.

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  49. Both my cats are immortal. My 11 year old indoor cat acts like a kitten and my outdoor cat is 15, though it does seem to be catching up with him. Death affected the outdoor one, because his litter-mate died of leukemia about 10 years ago and it changed him. He's much more of a loner now.

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  50. Tuna Buttons is the most epic cat name I've ever heard. XD

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  51. I think it'd be pretty awesome if you made a Tuna Buttons t-shirt... just a suggestion ;)

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  52. I absoultely ADORE you :)

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  53. This terrifies me a bit. My indoor cat Kitty is only 3 and she's already cantankerous as heck. Then again, maybe she's just spiteful because I named her Kitty... I'm now convinced that she will continue existing until the sun crashes into the earth, subsisting entirely on the hatred she has for me. Even then, she might still survive. Sheer loathing is her life force.

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  54. You are brilliant. And now I want to meet Tuna buttons.
    However, I think one of the best things is that Abe Lincoln looks like you with a full-er beard. <3

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  55. We got our outdoor cat in 1999 and he's still just as spry as our 4 year old cat. It happens if they're healthy and allowed to hunt their own food part of the time. Kibble kills kitties.

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  56. I have an immortal cat as well. He is pushing 23 this year and despite being rather haggard seems to show no signs of nearing death. My two dogs, each of which is at least 3 times his size, know well enough not to screw with him. Wait ... he sleeps on my bed ... is he sucking my life force?! O_o

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  57. I love this.. it reminds me of my cat Lilly I got as a kitten when I was two or three... she lived forever i thought she would never frickin die.. but she lived till i was 19 and didn't look old until the day she died... i love kitties :3

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  58. I'm pretty sure Tuna Buttons ate my great grand-uncle. I suppose it's just a survival-of-the-fittest kind of thing, but still. Tuna=menace.

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  59. That was so brilliant!

    We had a cat when I was a kid - we took her in when she was only 2 weeks old. She was the runt of a large litter and she'd been rejected by her mother. My mother carried her around inside her bra and fed her from an eyedropper every two hours for weeks. No one thought she would survive....Not only did she survive, she lived to the ripe old age of 21! By that time she was incontinent, senile, balding in spots and shriveled all over. She was happy and affectionate to the end.

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  60. You have absolutely won another follower with this post. I am in love with the name Tuna Buttons and with your illustrations.

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  61. I think our pony Spuds would trek along beside Cher & Tuna Buttons... she's currently 40, and showing no signs of ever planning on leaving this planet. Although she's somewhat blind, and sort of deaf she still bosses around the other horse who lives with her and does her bidding. She also happens to be about 3-1/2 feet tall, about that wide as well, mostly white, with big black & brown spots all over her. It's quite the look.

    I am now picturing tuna Buttons riding on her back, so thank you for that.

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  62. lol I am so glad my friend showed me this

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  63. Hahaha, I think I want "bitch is a ghost now" on my gravestone! :D

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