Cat lovers across the world mourn the loss of the beloved, fearsome feline.
By Chey Scott
on Fri, Feb 7, 2014 at 1:37 PM
I wasn't ready to write about this until now.
The news came last Thursday, as Internet cat lovers around the globe learned of the passing of a very special and celebrated cat: Colonel Meow. Colonel's owner Anne Marie Avey — also known as Colonel's "Slave Beast" — shared the news with the famous cat's 377,000+ Facebook follows on Thursday, Jan. 30:
"Colonel Meow passed away yesterday evening. I will post more about the details when I've had a few days to grieve. Thank you so much for your understanding, Minions. Your love and support has meant the world to us both. -Slave Beast"
Those of us who eagerly followed every move and word of the immensely fluffy grey cat — he actually holds a Guinness World Record for having the longest fur recorded — loved his scornful persona and disparaging scowl characteristic of a fearsome dictator. Colonel Meow captivated us all with his affinity for scotch, treaties, and terrorizing Boots the Golden Retriever. And we appreciated every photo and video his human "slaves" took the time to share with us.
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Thousands of cat lovers around the world remember the late great Col. Meow.
While the Colonel's "Slave Beast" hasn't yet updated followers as to the cause of his untimely death, guesses are that it's likely related to a heart condition that caused the two-year-old Persian mix to be hospitalized for several days back in mid-November. Then, Colonel's "minions" rallied to his cause and donated more than $20,000 to cover his ICU bills. After those medical expenses were taken care of, Avey gave the remaining donations to emergency pet care for other pets in need.
Colonel's passing is the first big loss to hit the Internet cat community since felines have begun achieving worldwide celebrity status, a phenomena that started taking off a few years ago. The most remarkable thing about this tragic event is the outpouring of support from the thousands of people whose lives Colonel Meow touched. In the past week Colonel's Facebook page has been flooded with tens of thousands of comments from his "minions" sending their condolences to his family, and sharing their grief at his abrupt departure:
"Still crying over the loss of Colonel Meow and my kitty Zoey, age 18 who passed last week. My son said, "The Colonel and Zoey are now Together"!! Made me start crying again! It gives me comfort and I know they will find each other, Zoey had Crazy hair also! They will stick together! I sure will miss his crazy hair and grumpy face!;)"
"Dear Slave Beast (Anne Marie) As a serious Minion, I am deeply saddened by the passing of our great Leader Colonel Meow. I would like to thank you for sharing the good and the bad of our favourite Majestic Beastie. Please know that thousands of people feel your pain and love you! Please take Care! Forever a fan and Minion!"
Personally, I will never forget the excitement I felt when I reached out to the Colonel in Oct. 2012 to request to interview him for a Cat Friday feature, and he agreed. Read his incredible responses, including these, on the original Cat Friday post:
Inlander: Other than for obvious reasons, why did [your owner] pick you out of the other cats at the rescue? Also, we hear you have a brother out there. Is he collaborating on your plans for world domination?
Col. Meow: Look at me, the answer is obvious. I come from the “Breathtaking” breed, remember?
Inlander: What is your favorite past time, other than recruiting minions for your army?
Col. Meow: Licking my ass, swatting Boot's annoying ass, kissing Master's ass to get treaties, and making Master's asshole male servant scratch my ass.
Colonel Meow is one of Washington state's original celebri-cats, having been adopted by Avey and her boyfriend from the Seattle Persian & Himalayan Rescue. The rescue group has set up a Colonel Meow memorial fund, to help other cats like him. Though the Colonel later left the Emerald City for L.A., he will always be one of Washington's most beloved feline sons. May you rest in peace and watch over us from your empire in the next life, Colonel. We salute you.