Welcome to my blog Upstate Girl, (a.k.a Follow Your Bliss Part II), I am an independently published author. This blog is all about writing and the stuff that inspires me to write, the joys and obstacles that come along with the writer's life, and my fascination with the psychology of people and what makes them tick...the human condition, as is...and my love for words, playing with them and making sense of them...and I throw in a few photos from my acre of the world just to make things pretty...sometimes there are things I have no words for, only pictures will do.

*Copyright notice* All photos, writing, and artwork are mine (
© Laura J. Wellner), unless otherwise noted, please be a peach, if you'd like to use my work for a project or you just love it and must have it, message me and we'll work out the details...it's simple...JUST ASK, please.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Tribute to Fatty-Woo Hobbes, 1997-2012

Oh so round, so firm, so fully packed!

Who is that handsome kitty in the mirror? Hobbes very often visited his reflection and would sit staring at himself, purring very loudly....
There is an empty space in our family, our beloved friend Fatty-Woo Hobbes passed away on Wednesday night (9/26) from natural causes, he went peacefully in his sleep surrounded by his family who loved him well, he was the son of the wild tortoise-shell barn cat, named Charlotte and an unnamed yellow tom cat, he was 15 years old. 
Feed me.

I will never forget the first sight I had of him...you see, across the road there is a collection of old barns from long ago when our house was part of a large dairy farm, when we first moved to our acre of the world, we would've like to have bought the property over there, but the family was asking for more than we could afford...there was a fellow renting the place, he had two Belgian horses and two young Holstein bulls and as barns tend to collect there were a multitude of cats...every year there were kittens trailing along behind their mothers, the associated tom cats leaving their calling cards squirted on our door. Two years later, I noted the new batch of kittens in the spring, a pale creamy tabby toddling around under the hooves of the big Belgians; he stood out bright amongst the gray and tortie siblings following their mother around. By late summer the fellow and his horses and bulls moved on and we discovered the cats abandoned..."They're not mine, they came with the place." he said. Fair enough. In the meantime, it was August, and wee kittens with blue eyes just opened tumbled out from a pile of wood on our acre, their mother was the tortie of the brood we spied in the spring. The cream-colored tabby kitten leading his three sisters came a calling at our door a few days later, hungry. Naturally, we fed them, the little boy, put a paw on his wee sister's head and pushed her out of the dish...not very nice, but he was bigger than the girls were and it was his instinct to see to himself. We attempted to tame the girls, but only the boy made himself at home...christened Hobbes after a Sunday funnies tiger, he became part of our family by settling into the first available lap, "Hi, I'm here, feed me." His sweet nature won us over in no time...there was not a mean bone in his body. His fur a soft blend of cream and pale gold swirls, and his eyes were a stunning dark amber, nearly brown.
Out for a walk...

He lived a long life and earned many additional names...Fatty-Woo was added to his name as he grew into his fat tabby glory later in life...but he also went by...the Sunshine Kitty, Little Golden Boy, Button-eyed Schmoo, the Comfort Kitty, Tubby Tabby, Mr. Peaches n' Cream, Mr. Floppy, the Goldfish, the Pachyderm, The Kitty, Sack of Potatoes, Blubby Belly, Dumpling, Doopie-Do-Woo, Little Fellow Wearing Yellow...

Coming home for dinner

He even had a little song...Fatty Tabby, four by four, couldn't fit through the litter box door, so he fell on the floor and said "Meow, I want to eat some more!"
Help, I've rolled over and can't get up.

He was certainly a character as all cats can be and we all have our favorite stories. When he was neutered in the fall, the little guy came home still dopey from the anesthesia, and tried to cram himself into the warm grate of the heater to get warm and kept falling off, so I tucked him into my apron to keep him warm and safe, I cooked dinner with him there, and he was perfectly content to be there. Such a sweet little boy. Although his litter mates were wild and dispersed outside, he became perfectly content to be big brother to the little ones from his mother's second litter, they clearly adored having a big brother to play with, to pile onto a bed or in a chair with and snuggle in a pile of purring. Hobbes had the best purr. He became known as the "comfort kitty" because that magical purr could calm the storms of various sadness’s over the years...
Basking on the driveway

I remember one summer day, I called in the kitties to come inside for dinner, and couldn't find Hobbes, I went up into the barn loft looking for him, but he was not there, I looked out the window overlooking the field and saw way off in the distance a little golden spot moving around on the fresh mowed clover field. I called out "Hobbes, where's my boy?" The little golden spot stopped, looked...I swear I could see those dark amber eyes look right at me. I called again, "Here kitty kitty kitty! Hobbes, where's my boy!" The little golden spot started to run home, and run and run and run and run. I watched him run until he reached the weedy spot behind the barn so then I came down from the loft and met him at the driveway, he flopped down on the pavement panting like a little dog—all out of breath and happy, he smelled delightful, sunny and sweet. He always came home for dinner...never late. He loved to eat...and eat. He became very fat in his middle age, tipping the bathroom scale at 16 lbs at his tubbiest. We put him on a diet once he became so fat he couldn't reach his butt-hole to clean it. (Yes, that was gross...and earned the unfortunate nickname Fat n’ Smelly Sumo Kitty.) We fed him his portions of breakfast and dinner in the living room, separated from his younger siblings and others. He also liked the dog food too so we had to make sure everyone was done eating before letting him out. He was so patient. Sitting in a little bunch, waiting to be let out...sometimes forgotten...little dark amber button-eyes staring out through the glass panes of the French doors, waiting patiently, then scooped up and cuddled once found there, always a good boy.

Sleeping hard.

Hobbes loved his boy...our son...he loved going into his room, and was observed on more than one occasion, standing outside 'his boy's’ room pushing at the closed door with his head, patiently pushing, pushing, pushing...the old farmhouse doors are rarely shut tight, so this patient little cat would push with his head like a pachyderm...
The Big Three looking out the window

He loved his buddies Willy Big (his little brother from the late summer litter) and Tiggy-Pooh (we assume is a cousin, with the likelihood of sharing the same father, arrived in a litter the following year.) The three little old men would spend many winter nights on the bed by the woodstove, sleeping in a pile like kittens, tails and paws intertwined, heads pillowed on bellies, back to back, sometimes butt to butt in a pin-wheel formation...cuddled cheek-to-cheek.
Hobbes on the bed with Tiggy-Pooh and Willy Big...and the dog's toys

Woo and Pooh
Yes, this is the dog's bed...so what about it? There's room if he wants to join us.
Barely enough room for a fat tabby, one dog and a bear
His last days were rougher on us than him as he slept most of the time, he patiently waited for me to come see to him, give him his special dinners and breakfasts, fuss over him, and most of all, love him. Although we were prepared for this loss, it is never easy to lose one so beloved...I knew a year ago that his time was short, and in spite of my doubts, I promised him one more summer and that I'd do everything in my power to get him through one more Upstate New York winter on our hilltop acre so he could spend one more summer with the sunshine in his fur...

A summer morning stroll (7/5/2012)
I kept my promise and he lived one more year, I knew that I couldn’t get any more than that—it was his time—with the darkness coming on earlier, and the chill creeping in at night, he decided it was time to go and so we sadly said our goodbyes and waited, he took his last breath, and passed quietly in his sleep. He will be missed by all who loved him.

The Last Photo, Soaking up some sunshine, 9/16/2012

1 comment:

Mary Sheehan Winn said...

what a beautiful post about a beautiful little- well sort of- spirit.
I lost my own dear boy three years ago in October. He was also a just like a little dog and there is never a good time to say goodbye to our beloved fur babies.