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Just before Thanksgiving, last week, I lost my childhood cat, Sunny. I never expected to be 28 years old and still able to visit the cat my family adopted when I was 13. Despite his longevity, it feels so strange that he’s gone. It was getting to the point where I didn’t think he was capable of death.
With all of that being said, I’ve never seen a cat obituary. I’m sure it’s been done, but it is certainly not commonplace and perhaps a bit offbeat. I suppose I understand why people wouldn’t want to publish an obituary for a pet in a newspaper alongside people. That is why I’ve chosen to toss it on our opinion page as a way to process my grief and give my readers a chuckle.
Again, I realize this may be an odd addition to a newspaper, but since writing is one of my main sources of comfort, I wrote up the following little obituary for my longtime best friend. May it serve as a tribute to a life well-lived and a memorial for the best cat I ever knew. While reading along, I hope you are able to recall memories of your own beloved pets who’ve crossed over.
Cheers, Sunny. See you on the other side, my sweet grandpa kitty.
~ In Memory ~
Sunny Bovice Jackson Sitki went to heaven after a long illness on Tuesday, Nov. 22, 2022, at 4:45 p.m., surrounded by his family.
Sunny was around 18 years old— give or take— at the time of his passing. He was a beautiful, large peach-colored cat with a white belly and chest, white boots, and a crooked tail.
Sunny showed up at the Sitki home on Monday evening, July 16, 2007, and demanded they adopt him. While he was certainly not a little kitten, they obliged and took in the “old timer,” allowing him to live out his days at their residence.
As far as cats are concerned, Sunny was a smart cookie. Maybe not in trainability, as he couldn’t seem to figure out a litter box, but more so in terms of street smarts. He had a large territory, spanning far beyond the Sitki estate, that he patrolled daily while expertly avoiding all forms of predatory creatures.
Sunny was a skilled hunter and avid outdoorsman. He was employed by his family as outdoor pest control, ridding the area of pesky rodents. However, on many occasions he would make time for leisure during work hours, hunting down songbirds, cardinals, or bunny rabbits. While his family didn’t always understand his choice of prey, they loved him enough to let him keep his job.
Sunny loved laps and naps, sunbeams and clawing up the couch. He chewed on grass and licked tea tree oil. He had a weakness for Temptations cat treats and was a cat nip connoisseur, though he became a tad unhinged under its influence.
There were so many things that Sunny loved, but there was nothing he loved more than his family. He was a loyal feline, often following along on walks up the country road and gluing himself to any family member who was outside.
In his youth, Sunny was quite the roamer and fighter, even losing his upper right canine tooth in battle which gave him a lopsided underbite. However, he became much less keen on cat fights in his later years, only acting out of self-defense to maintain his place in the neighborhood cat hierarchy. He was the alpha— his “loyal highness,” the king.
Sunny was tough, but he didn’t much care for vacuum cleaners and he found car rides offensive. He was misunderstood by some, but his friends and family adored him. He often made cat-lovers out of the most cat-hating folk.
Sunny is survived by his family, Chef Kevin and Yvonne Sitki and Carissa, Austin, and Cali Sitki; and countless friends.
Sunny was laid to rest with a small ceremony in the yard he loved— his territory— betwixt two large pine trees.
In lieu of flowers, Sunny’s family asks that you snuggle a pet, any pet, and think of Sunny.