Today is a doubly sad anniversary. Henry the Pekingese dog died eight years ago on Dec. 18, 2014. He was a rescue dog, so we didn’t know his exact age. My estimate is 11 or 12.
On Dec. 18, 2018 — exactly four years later — Purrkoy the Exotic Shorthair kitten died of a massive stroke. He was only four years old.
This year’s anniversary has hit me hard because it marks the day that BOTH furbabies have been gone as long as I had them. I had Edward for eight years, and now he’s been gone eight years. I had PK for four years, and now he’s been gone four years. Strange, right? Also, I could swear I had both of them much longer, and it still feels like they crossed the Rainbow Bridge only yesterday.
All of my pets have been on Instagram for many years, but I decided to memorialize Henry and PK today by finally setting up a TikTok account for my pets under the name NYCSquishSquad. I figured the newer platform deserved access to PK’s most popular IG video, which has close to 100,000 views there. As his fans already know, Purrkoy was an avid opurra singer, but he had very strict rules about being recorded on video. If he saw me creeping up on him with my phone, he’d leave off singing the song of his people and literally hightail it away from me. It’s worth watching this video closely to appreciate his offended expression, “high-up booty run,” peek around the corner, and cartoon-like skedaddle.
I also posted a little TikTok memorial to both Henry and PK to the tune of “Over the Rainbow,” of course.
I don’t post a lot on TikTok yet, so Instagram is the place to go if you crave cat content from me. I promise you, it’s not all sad! Robin the Exotic Shorthair joined us in 2019 and took over PK’s account, where you can admire his purrfectly round, owl-like eyes. You can also read this 2019 blog post that explains Robin’s name and its connection to the Tudors. I put a lot of thought into that name, but guess what? We only ever call him “Baby”!
The Tudor-themed names started with Henry the dog because he looked like Henry VIII to me. The next Tudor animal was FitzRoy, my first-ever cat, who turned 11 this year. He’s Instagram-famous for sitting in a big orange bowl; you can follow him here. Finally, all my dogs — past and present — share the Pekes in the City Instagram account. Edward is the rescue Peke who graces us with his presence now, as he has for the past seven years. Here’s his story and the explanation of his Tudor name. Even Purrkoy had a Tudor-inspired name. I spoke about all the names, and my long-running interest in the Tudors in this YouTube video.
If you’re in NYC and wish for a pet of your own but can’t have one right now, I recommend you sign up with PAWS NY. PAWS NY helps people who are elderly, disabled, or dealing with health issues keep their pets by organizing volunteers to walk dogs and care for cats and other small animals. For more than a decade, I had two dogs, but Edward prefers being the only canine, so I joined PAWS for a little extra dog contact and now I walk Remy once a week. The next virtual volunteer orientation is this Wednesday, Dec. 21.
You do have to have a regular schedule to partake in the animal care, so if your work hours are unpredictable, you can donate to PAWS NY instead. That will help PAWS NY continue to provide its clients with additional services, such as vet care, a pet-food pantry, and emergency/foster care. It’s a great claws! Er, cause!