It saddens me to report the death of Bingo, our family cat for the past twelve and a half years. Although he was already pretty old by cat standards, Bingo’s last illness came on very suddenly. Last Saturday, Eve noticed that his belly was strongly swollen. It was more so on Sunday. Instead of purring, he was cooing like a dove, which was odd. Monday, Eve called for a vet appointment. Since it did not seem to be an emergency, they gave her a Tuesday appointment. When they took his temperature, the nurse thought it was a mistake because it was only 95.5° The vet said it was cancer causing fluid to build up, which explained the swelling, and that Bingo’s temperature meant that his body was actively shutting down, and he might not last to the weekend. Quite a shock, since we had vaguely thought this might be worms or a bowel obstruction. The vet recommended euthanasia on the spot. Eve decided to have it done at home, so Rebecca would have a chance to say goodbye. Bingo had not seemed to be in pain before, but he spent Tuesday night squirming around on the floor, yowling piteously. The end of life vet arrived Wednesday morning. Eve and I had a chance to hold him one last time before she stopped his heart. We buried Bingo in the yard that afternoon.
Here is a photo of Bingo from last year, patiently tolerating being giftwrapped for some reason, though his expression indicates that he is plotting his escape:
Bingo made many appearances in my comics over the years, beginning with this Palm Pilot Comic from 2004:
He is also to be seen in the first SNOW ANGEL story:
Bingo starred in his own 24 Hour Comic (creatively titled “BINGO THE CAT”), which is a loose wordless remake of Alice In Wonderland. In the sequence below, Bingo meets The Cheshire Girl:
Bingo reappears in the 24 Hour Comic I LIKE TO RIFF (in which I riff on all my previous 24 Hour Comics):
An animated Bingo stars in BINGO’S FANTASTIC JOURNEY, a stop-motion video by Rebecca, with music by Ben, which you can watch on YouTube.
If you’d like to read more Bingo comics, BINGO THE CAT appears in the collection EVERYBODY GETS IT WRONG!, from Dark Horse, which you can order from Amazon:
By coincidence, Bingo died the day after Betty Mayther, who was the longtime art teacher at Metropolitan Learning Center, which I attended from 1968 to 1976.
In addition to being a teacher, Betty also owned the Bizarre Gallery in Cannon Beach for many years. It is in that guise that she makes her own appearance in my work, in the 24 Hour Comic ID (which appears in the forthcoming collection SLEEPLESS, also from Dark Horse):
Betty was a dear friend for many years, and my sympathies go out to her family.