May 7, 2010

R.I.P. Shemp, Tuxedo Tom Cat, Friend

Tuxedo Cat 'Shemp'
2002 - 2010

Today Shemp was laid to rest in his home turf. Shemp was the son of the original Gray Cat and littermate/brother of Curly.

Shemp has always been a friendly feral - a barn cat who understood that people could be his friends. When he was young, he was probably adoptable. But since no one came forward to save him, he stayed at the farm and became a regular fixture and the subject of many photographs.

Feral Tom Shemp in Black and White
Shemp in happier times

Tuxedo Cat Shemp, a few months before his death
 Taken a few months ago

Only recently, I noticed Shemp was missing meals. I had to hunt for him and he was looking very thin.
Only days before his death, Shemp gets a drink of water
Only a few days ago: Shemp Gets a drink.

Like all cats, Shemp hid his sickness. The photo above was taken only a few days ago. I just didn't see the problem. And when I did, it was too late. I brought him to my sister's house last night, where he found a warm place to hide. He would not eat.

He was taken to the Cloverdale Veterinary Clinic today where he was examined and found to have terminal cancer. The vet told us he was in pain and that it was unlikely that he could be saved.

I'm always uncertain about vet estimates of survival but I couldn't find a good argument.

A very reluctant decision was made to euthanize Shemp. He was held and petted as the end came....

Poor Shemp, I don't know if I did the right thing and I never will.

Shemp was brought home to the family farm to be buried, where he will return to nature - to the place from whence he came. The cycle continues....Shemp returns to nature - as will we all, someday. We are all a part of the earth.

Shemp's burial pictures follow, so stop reading here if you don't want to see them.







A special place at home is prepared for Shemp

The burial of Shemp, tuxedo cat - he is laid to rest
 Ready to return to the earth

Shemp, his final resting place, at the farm he knew and loved
Shemp's Final Resting Place

Shemp was "just" a feral cat. Nevertheless, he will be missed. Shemp is survived by his brother Curly and half-sister Nano KK. And the people who loved him. Rest in peace, Shemp.
Shemp, beloved stray barn cat, tuxedo cat, friend - 2002 to 2010

Worthy Feline Friend Shemp
2002 - 2010


  1. You honored him in life...and so also in death...forever did the right thing, and it shows that you cared

  2. I am so sorry to hear about Shemp. He knew he was loved and cared for. He is a real angel now.

  3. What a gorgeous boy...
    So glad to know of those like you who make their lives a little sweeter & allow us to share in that through your photos.

  4. Shemp was lucky that he had someone to care so much. Thank you for sharing his story.

  5. Poor, sweet Shemp. I wish he could have had a Forever home. I am glad you were there to look out for him, so he did not go to the Bridge all alone. Rest in peace, Shemp.

  6. rest in peace shemp.. he lives on in the photos you took of him and won't be forgotten.


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