Tuesday, August 30, 2016


It was late in August 2010 ...

 ...  and Dante was MEWSing over the passing of summer.

Fortunately, that bit of melancholy was short-lived because he always looked forward to Fall!

Sunday, August 28, 2016


It was about this time each year that Dante's fur coat would fluff up to its max.  He was always ahead of the cold by at least a couple of months.

 Here he is in the back yard circa August of 2011.   A few leaves and crabapples had just begun to fall, and he's beginning to look like one big fur ball!

Why it's like a fairy took a wand and just went ... 

... POOF!

Tuesday, August 23, 2016


One of Dante's primary responsibilities in summer (or any season for that matter) was to adorn the landscape.

 Here he is imitating the green garden cat beside him.

And here I zoom in for a close-up.  There's no imitating that!

Sunday, August 21, 2016


Here's a picture from 2007; the one that started it all.

By starting it all, I mean beginning my online posting of pictures of Dante.  I had just gotten a new digital camera for my birthday, and this was one of my first test shots.

Being very pleased with the results, I sent the picture via email to Dante's breeder at Lacocoon Cattery.  He was so thrilled with it that he suggested I join an online kitty-lover group called "Kittyworld".  He was part of this group which communicated by emailing pictures of their cats upon which other members would comment (also by email).

The founder of "Kittyworld" was Carm Cole of Buffalo, NY who apparently fell off her chair when she first saw this photo of Dante.  She had eight cats of her own, but was partial to red tabbies, and even more fond of Maine Coons (having several herself).

Ultimately Carm and I became great friends online, and even met for dinner when she and her husband visited Ottawa in August of 2008.  She was thrilled to see Dante in PURRson.

Here is a picture of Carm meeting Dante for the very first time.

Carm was the one who eventually encouraged me to start a blog.  I was skeptical, at first, but it proved to be a perfect fit for me and blogging became a full time affair.  Joining the Cat Blogosphere also opened up my world to many new cat-loving friends.

Unfortunately, Carm passed away in February of 2015, and now Dante has joined her.  I can only hope that they have found each other.  Carm was such a loving person, and Dante a loving pussycat.

Forever and always, Carm and Dante!

Friday, August 19, 2016


Here's Dante on a trip to the local Petsmart in 2008.

He normally rode around on top of a cushion I placed in the child seat of the shopping basket. However, when we arrived at the checkout counter he always disembarked, usually to the delight of the cashier (although this one seems more astonished than anything).

I thought that taking Dante to the store was good for his socialization, and also helped him get used to the car.  It was a short trip, and he always knew when we were going home.  He would jump into the back seat of the car instead of being carried (of course he was on his leash the whole time).

And I immortalized this particular image into an absolutely PURRiceless LOL-Cat!

Monday, August 15, 2016


Dante had very large paws.  Of course they were just in proportion to the rest of him, but were very substantial indeed.

 Not only were they large, but also very expressive.

He often used them to make a point.

Or for digging.

However, the best use of his paws was to show how much he loved me.  Dante wasn't a lap cat, but he liked to lie close beside me.  His favourite resting spot was on the back of the couch immediately behind me.

He LOVED having his paw held, and would often place it in my hand, himself.  If you removed, it he just lifted up his paw asking me to hold it once again.

I felt such love for Dante, that during each paw-holding session I would squeeze it gently -- off and on, off and on.  To my surprise one day a few years back he recriprocated!

I have tried to describe Dante's hand-squeezing to my friends, as I was often asked "How did he do that?"

Well, with his paw in my hand he would extend his claws and then retract them mimicking the same off-and-on motion that I had just done with him.  From then on, it was a daily ritual.  And now I equate the 'Power of the Paw' with unconditional love.  This is another legacy that Dante has left because, truly, I will never forget it as long as I live.

Saturday, August 13, 2016


Here's another enlightening picture of Dante from 2009.  Even then he loved to sit in amongst the bushes; these ones actually belonged to our next-door neighbours.  He liked to conceal himself and observe from within.  You might even say he was 'spying'.

If you are as old as I am, i.e., someone who grew up in the '60s, you may be able to relate.  This picture of Dante always reminds me of Artie Johnson (of the TV Show 'Laugh-In') whose German spy character was always peering through bushes and remarking on what he saw as being ....

... "Verrrrrrrrrry Interesting!"

I sure hope there are lots of bushes on the Bridge from which Dante can still watch.  It's rather comforting to think he'll always be looking out for us.  And we, in turn, will always be thinking about him.

Thursday, August 11, 2016


Here's another example of Dante's comeliness.

Of course, he didn't have just one good side -- he was awesome from every angle!
But this profile picture is also quite majestic, n'est-ce-PAW?

Sunday, August 7, 2016


First of all, I would like to thank all of you who have expressed condolences and left heartfelt messages.  It provides some much-needed comfort.

Today, I want to relate an anecdote which relates to Dante's life and his passing.

Maine Coons are very intelligent cats, and Dante was a good representative of his breed.  He knew more English than the average pussycat.  This I know because of my other two cats who didn't respond to language as he did.

One concept that Dante knew was "home".  On every visit to the vet he would howl most of the way there in the car, but became quite calm and cooperative once we arrived.  Sometimes he was there for a technician's appointment if he needed bloodwork, various other tests, or in later years the occasional enema.

One lady technician in particular was quite enamoured of Dante, and I mentioned to her that he knows what it means when you tell him he's "going home".  So that very day she spoke those words to Dante when the procedure was finished, and she told me he stepped right up and into her arms so she could carry him back to us in the waiting room.

On the day of Dante's passing, this same technician was in the room, her eyes filled with tears and she recounted this same story, and said every time she had finished whatever needed be done when she told him he was "going home", he always stepped forward.

However, on this day Dante was to "go home" in the infinite sense.  Whenever he knew he was going home in the car, he never made a sound of complaint, and this day was no different.  His passage home was so gentle; just like his nature.

Dante is home now in more than just one sense.  We feel him all around us and knowing he is here with us makes our home complete.  After all 'home is where the heart is', and he is forever in our hearts.

Friday, August 5, 2016


It is with great sadness that I announce the passing of Lacocoon Dante.

January 15, 2002 - July 21, 2016

Many of you have known Dante through his internet presence since 2007, and some of you may be of more recent acquaintance.  It is difficult to express his uniqueness; his pictures speak best.

Dante had a marvelous life, enjoying the comforts of a large sun-filled home, and the outdoors in both his front and back yards.  He was always accompanied by me when visiting out front, but was left free in the back because he couldn't scale the fence; his size and gravity kept him grounded.

Dante was 14-1/2 years old at his passing which was precipitated by heart failure.  For the last few years he suffered from arthritis and was less mobile; also sleeping more due to his age so his poor old heart didn't get the workout it used to.  

Right up until the end we weren't aware that his situation was as serious as it was.  Two days before he had gobbled up an entire chicken breast (broken up into pieces).  However, when we woke up that Thursday morning, Dante had deteriorated rapidly overnight, so we took him to the vet right away on an emergency basis.

It became apparent that Dante was near his end upon examination, and the kindest thing to do was not to prolong the situation.  Dante passed peacefully with the assistance of the vet, with his Daddy stroking his head and me holding his paw (he loved having his paw held and would even sometimes place it there himself).  He was lying between us on a blanket on the sofa, and the love was simply emanating throughout the room.  The vet told him "Here come the butterflies", and so quickly and gently he made his final passage.

Dante LOVED the front garden, especially the weigela bushes.  We have buried his ashes right between them, exactly where he loved to lie.  There was something about the scent of the flowers that he found intoxicating.

It has been a very difficult two weeks since Dante left us, and I could only bring myself now to write about it.

Dante's wonderful life has been documented in thousands of pictures which I will continue to post, because I feel that dear Dante is forever, and should be so remembered.  He is a cat for all seasons and for all time -- and the love that he inspired, both near and far, is his true immortality.

Love you, baby!