The Bright Side

The Slinky One continues his message. "Okay, I'll see you when I see you. You're all gonna die and I'll have slept on all the good stuff first." Four hours, twenty-four minutes, and three seconds into his video, he announces that he's now gonna sing some songs. In the third panel, we're all watching The Slinky One on the computer, singing Always Look On The Bright Side Of Life.

I have to admit one month later, I can’t find the bright side of losing my Slinky Son, but I started this year listening to Eric Idle’s audiobook Always Look On The Bright Side Of Life: A Sortabiography. I credit the Pythons for keeping me alive until black cats came into my life, and for the first week of 2019, one spent some time in my ears on those cold mornings when I was horribly aware of what was coming. Did I do my Slinky son justice? Only here in the comic. Would this be what he’d do? Obviously I think this is what he’d do. He was always singing, and sang this more than once over the years. Hell, I want this song played at my funeral.

This is the Cat I’ve Been Telling You About.

As The Slinky One sleeps, The Woman (the Ninja Twins border collie mix sister) says, "This is the cat I was telling you about." m'Man says, "Whoo! Whatta babe!" The Slinky One looks up, all his whiskers and vision restored, and says, "Buongiorno! What took you so long?" The Woman wags her tail and says, "Hello my bro! Let's go chase some squirrels." m'Man adds, "Hullo, bebbe!" The Slinky One walks off with The Woman and m'Man, asking, "Can we get some ice cream?" The Woman tells him the squirrels are made of ice cream. "Okay, that's kinda weird," The Slinky One replies. "Ya ya, the birdeens are made of fish!" m'Man adds.

This comic strip exists as a love letter to my cats and dogs, and so I owe it to them to keep telling the story, while keeping it as bearable as possible for you all to read. I haven’t wanted to get into my Slinky son’s health beyond what I’ve been sharing, because I have no life-saving advice for anyone, beyond adopt cats and love every minute you have with them. That’s the moral of the whole comic, really. Despite being in perfect health, cancer somehow got to him. He did not smoke, he rarely ate junk food, and was a fitness enthusiast, running miles every day of his near-sixteen years. He leads the way for me all the time, and now is no different.

He was able to enjoy ice cream and walks in the sun right to the end, and he was–and still is–so very loved. That’s all anyone can hope for, isn’t it?

I came up with all the comics you’ll be reading over the next few weeks while walking around with him, while he was still here, aware there’s really only one way out for all of us, but still happy he was with us. If you’ve been reading this comic from the beginning you know no one’s ever really gone, and I’m going to keep it as funny as all this can be because I personally hate those comic strips where the characters get old and die, don’t you?

I wanted to share some photos of him with his bro and his dog sisters, because nothing heals like a load of cat photos. Down at the end is a classic video of him in action with his bro and The Puppy.

A black kitten pokes his head out of a large cat bed.

My son loved all the cat beds.

A black kitten pounces right on the camera.

My son was a huge fan of Wolverine.

A silly woman holds two black kittens up to her face. One is in mid-meow.

Here I am huffing the Ninja Twins in 2003. The Fluffy One is voicing his concern and The Slinky One just wants to get back to running up and down the stairs.

A svelte black kitten stands at an open window, looking up at birds in a tree.

My Slinky Son was a fan of open windows and all the good stuff he could see through them. Birds, okay? Birds.

A black kitten stretches out in the grass, looking wild-eyed and ready to pounce on the dog behind him.

Here is a weird shot of The Woman creeping around behind The Slinky One, who is in full Ninja mode, blending into the grass.

A black cat stretches out on a radiator.

I told you he liked lying on radiators, didn’t I?

A black cat is stretched out on his back, sunning his underbits.

My Slinky Son was a laid-back little dude.

Two black cats stretch in the grass in identical poses.

When I get a tattoo, it’s going to be them like this. My yin-yang. The Ninja Twins.

A black cat sits in a frying pan on a table.

Taking “If I fits, I sits,” to a new level, my Slinky son checked out mum’s cookware.

A black cat sits on a rock which is painted like a turtle in front of the yellow blossoms of a forsythia.

My Slinky son in his natural habitat, soaking up the solar powers of spring.

A black cat looking debonair.

Look at my sexy son.

A black cat wearing a tie walks in a backyard.

My Slinky son loved to dress up and his business attire was something he was very proud of.

A silly woman wearing a paper printout of fire on her head holds a cat dressed like a fireman.

While my Slinky son enjoyed dressing like a fireman, he wasn’t sure about my cheap costume of fire. Still, he humored me.

A black cat wears a paper printout of a Pop-Tart and rainbow, like Nyan Cat.

Yes, he was totally fine with this.

The Slinky One and his guide Puppy, chilling in the kitchen, where my Mum was cutting up some chicken for them.

Two black cats, with their tails crossed, sit on the back of a couch looking out a window.

My sons, the Ninja Twins, holding tails and looking at the world, together.

Why are you still reading? Go watch that video! Go!