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March 19th, 2019 by unkle lancifer · 17 Comments

It is with a pulverized heart that I share the sad news that we have lost an integral member of the Kindertrauma Family. Our beloved cat Figgy has passed away. She was a proud feline who was also a cherished daughter, a loyal sister, a best friend, an empathetic caretaker, a muse, a role model, a magical familiar and my most trusted ally against the darkness of this world. I have never met a cat like Figgy before and I never will again. I won’t linger on her illness as it was such a tiny fraction of her spirited life but I need to say that she was an incredibly brave, noble and trusting spirit throughout her most challenging hours. I hope when it is my time to go that I can do my best to face things as valiantly as she.

One of the best the finest days of my life was when Figgy and her two sisters Rory and Kevin decided to strut into our South Philly backyard. Who would have guessed it would be such a privilege to have three kittens using our garden as a litter box? We built the girls a safe abode where they could sleep dry and warm and made sure they were (very) well fed. Eventually, we realized we would have to find them homes. Originally we only meant to keep gregarious Kevin but once we got to know Rory and Figgy, they had to become part of our family too. Figgy (not unlike myself) was inherently suspicious of humans when we first brought her inside. She was a Goth loner dressed in black who hid behind anything she could and hissed at the mere sight of us. Her initial rejection inspired me to try all the harder and I made it my mission that I would turn this feral malcontent around. And turn her around I did. She became the most affectionate cat you could possibly imagine and we became inseparable. I’ll never forget watching HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON with her and thinking it was our story on the TV screen. I’m not proud of much that I’ve accomplished in life but I am proud that I was able to steer Figgy’s disposition away from apprehension and fear. The cat she became after she was properly adored held one of the greatest souls I have ever known, human or otherwise.

Let me tell you about this beautiful cat. She cared for her sisters and with the diligent concern of a well-trained nurse. If one of them had a hairball or any such ailment, she’d come running to their aid in an instant and hover until she knew they were OK. She was incredibly generous. She never fought over food and she’d constantly bring toy mice up to my room. I’d often find them in my bed or shoes. She was so clever. She would come running whenever I asked her if she wanted to take a nap and she’d speed by me on the stairs and make it to bed before me. For many years our cats hid in the basement whenever we had company but over the last few, Figgy became more and more friendly and outgoing. Just this past Christmas when we had a party she came out and lounged around on our bar like she was Michelle Pfeiffer in THE FABULOUS BAKER BOYS. Boy, did she know how to enter a room. When she slinked in she always reminded me of Sean Young’s first appearance in BLADE RUNNER– she had the same walk! She had but one vice: Dum-Dums lollipops. We made sure she had a fresh bag every Halloween. She would throw them around the house like a miniature baton for hours and be seen carrying them around in her mouth like a happy dog with a bone. She wore a tuxedo every day; her black fur was impossibly shiny and sleek while the white sections were as soft and fluffy as a bunny. Her paw pads were the most remarkable mauve that resembled the gray-purple color of a half-finished grape popsicle. She had the coolest beauty mark- a kissable half-mustache of white right beneath her regal nose.

I’m going to miss her so much. I feel irrationally guilty because right before she fell ill I experienced this miraculous moment with her. She was sleeping at my side and I felt such peace and love and it was like the whole room was glowing and time stopped. I foolishly wished in my head we could be together forever. Did this perfect instance attract the tragedy? I worry that experiencing such profound contentment was the equivalent of banging on a drum in A QUIET PLACE and some ugly force was alerted and came gunning for us. Maybe that’s the grief talking and my brain is just desperately looking for a reason when there isn’t any. In any case, I can’t allow myself to turn a happy memory into a sad one. The larger truth is that she was cherished every single day full-time and non-stop. I’ll never have to wonder if she ever felt unloved or abandoned and that means a lot to me. On our last day I wrapped her in a red blanket and told her she was my Queen and no truer words were ever said.  She’ll always be royalty to me.

Thoughts of heaven and reincarnation have not been helpful to me lately. Instead, I’m deriving comfort from a horror movie, which should shock few. I find myself comforted by the way death is presented in A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET 4: THE DREAM MASTER. In the film, the character of Alice gains a positive attribute from each of her friends that die and essentially they become a part of her. On the surface such an idea is outlandish but if you think about it for a minute it’s also an undeniable truth. Furthermore, I have witnessed proof of this phenomenon. The other day as I was going upstairs, I called to Rory and she actually came running and sped past me just like Figgy used to and she’s absolutely never done that before. Later that night Kevin somehow found a Dum-Dums lollipop (I’m guesstimating there are hundreds under the couch) and she was playing hockey with it like a seasoned pro (she wasn’t a fan of them before). Stranger still, Rory and Kevin who have never been close (both of them preferred the company of Figgs) have started hanging out, playing and even sleeping together (trust me, that’s unheard of). Things will never be the same without Figgy, we’re all devastated (Rory cries nightly) but there’s no doubt in my mind that she will always be with us. I spent the last few weeks thinking how very unlucky I am to have lost a friend I cared for so dearly but today I’m thinking of how lucky I was to meet Figgy in the first place. She could have chosen any backyard to set up camp in, any garden for her litter box, I’m forever thankful it was ours.

Tags: Figgy

17 responses so far ↓

  • 1 JennyD13No Gravatar // Mar 19, 2019 at 1:46 pm

    I’m so very sorry for your loss.

  • 2 raphaeladidasNo Gravatar // Mar 19, 2019 at 2:29 pm

    That sucks, man. My cat is 13 and, barring illness, could have up to 10 years left. But every day I have a moment of dread over his passing, so I feel for you.

  • 3 Thru-The-BlindsNo Gravatar // Mar 19, 2019 at 2:30 pm

    I am so terribly, incredibly sorry that you’ve lost Figgy. As you’ve already noticed, though, she is very much still with you. I grew up with cats and I currently have 5 of my own. I know how deep the hurt goes and it feels as though the pain will never end. I won’t lie and tell you that it goes away, but you will adjust and it will become more bearable. Your tribute to Figgy was wonderful and I would say she was just as blessed to have you in her life as yours was by her. I will sign off with this lovely quote by Charles Dickens: “It is no small thing when those so fresh from God love us.” ♥ ((hugs))

  • 4 Luki8701No Gravatar // Mar 19, 2019 at 3:32 pm

    I am so so sorry for you loss. Hang in there, take comfort in anything you enjoy. She will always be with you, no matter what happened. You were both lucky to have each other in your lifes.

  • 5 Matt SunshineNo Gravatar // Mar 19, 2019 at 4:09 pm

    So sorry Lance and John. She sounds like a great friend and cat. Mine is at least 15, and I’m starting to see tiny things decline. And like Figgy, I’ve never met a cat like Madison.

  • 6 chainmanNo Gravatar // Mar 19, 2019 at 10:22 pm

    I’m sorry for your loss. I can tell from your loving words what a unique and loving pet Figgy was.

    Being a dog person I’ve always taken note of how most cats think they are vastly superior to anybody who looks directly at them. I’ve seen a quote that pretty much sums up that certain look that cats give people, especially strangers.

    In ancient times cats were worshiped as gods; they have not forgotten this. Terry Pratchett

  • 7 StickmannNo Gravatar // Mar 19, 2019 at 11:19 pm

    Condolences to you and John, Lance. Figgy sounds like, forgive me, the cat’s pajamas, and I love the way you can communicate to us all her genuine preciousness. I also admire the way you use Horror (and not just in this entry here) to remind us about our own capacity of humanity and out potential for growth. I wish the kindertrauma household the best.

  • 8 unkle lanciferNo Gravatar // Mar 20, 2019 at 12:46 pm

    Thanks for all of these kind comments. They mean a lot. I promise to get back to writing about horror soon. It’s been tough lately.

    JennyD13, Thank you so much.

    raphaelladidas, Give my best to your cat pal, hope he is around for a long time.

    Thru-The- Blinds, what a beautiful quote! I love it. Your five cats are very lucky! thanks for all you do for them.

    Luki8701, I’m going to focus on that feeling of being lucky to have met her. Thanks so much.

    Matt Sunshine, she was special for sure and I did worship her. I love dogs too!

    Stickmann, My buddy! both me and John thank you and we appreciate the support.

    Best to all of you fine folks and all of your pets! wish I could give you all Dum-Dum lollipops on Figgy’s behalf!

  • 9 TreecatNo Gravatar // Mar 21, 2019 at 6:16 pm

    My heartfelt condolences, gentlemen! Long-time pet people like us know that with each new friend there will be inevitable grief but the good times FAR outweigh this. You are awesome people for giving this little girl such a happy life! Your memorial is beautiful. And the Dum-Dum lollipops obsession is the cutest thing I’ve ever heard!

  • 10 Dr Nick RivieraNo Gravatar // Mar 22, 2019 at 9:57 am

    As perfect a eulogy as any loved one could hope for. Rest easy, knowing that your Figgy knew the vastness of your love – as her reciprocation of it speaks volumes. Deepest sympathy.

  • 11 unkle lanciferNo Gravatar // Mar 22, 2019 at 3:24 pm


    Thank you so much. I’ll keep concentrating on those good times with her.

    Dr. Nick,

    Thank you. I do feel secure knowing that she knew she was greatly loved.

  • 12 RATSAWGODNo Gravatar // Mar 22, 2019 at 11:27 pm

    This was such a lovely tribute. My heart aches for you. Our creature children truly change us… it is not fair they don’t get to live as long as we do. Thank you, so very very much for sharing.

  • 13 MonoStereoNo Gravatar // Mar 24, 2019 at 12:16 pm

    My most heartfelt condolences. RIP Figgy.

  • 14 Chuckles72No Gravatar // Mar 24, 2019 at 3:27 pm

    I feel your loss Unk. I can promise you that your moment of high contentment did not invite tragedy. You deserved that moment – no debt was incurred – no payback required.

  • 15 MartNo Gravatar // Mar 24, 2019 at 10:52 pm

    So sorry to hear this. As devastating as it is, and it is, please know that the loss get’s easier and the memories become warmer and brighter. We recently lost Scoot, our little backdoor guy. Of all of the community cats we’ve fostered and continue to look after here in West Philly, he was always the happiest and funniest. Our best thoughts to you.

  • 16 unkle lanciferNo Gravatar // Mar 25, 2019 at 1:31 pm

    So good to hear from you. I agree completely and am forever changed for the better thanks to Figgy and her sisters.

    Thanks so much. Sincerely appreciate that.

    Thanks, I’m beginning to think Figgy knew what was going to happen and maybe that moment was her trying to tell me. I’ve decided to be very grateful for it.

    Sorry to hear about Scoot. Thank you for taking care of those cats in West Philly. You are a wonderful person for doing that. Best to you and all those you look out for.

  • 17 downdownyoufoolNo Gravatar // Mar 30, 2019 at 10:38 am

    Unk, I’m so sorry to hear it. My condolences. I admit, guiltily, that took me a long time to write this because it took me a long time to read this entire post — it rang so true to my experiences that it hurt too much. Thank you so much for sharing it and for being a person clearly worthy of the likes of Figgy.

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