Apparently This Matters: Colonel Meow is dead

Colonel Meow: The cat. The myth. The legend. Dead at age 2.

Story highlights

  • Colonel Meow was an Internet-famous cat, noted for his mean scowl
  • The Colonel became sick in November with heart problems, and died on January 29
  • Admirers of Colonel Meow were known as his minions

Attention minions of Colonel Meow:

We regretfully announce that at some terrible hour on Wednesday - Colonel Meow Time - Colonel Meow, dear leader, feline overlord, and supreme dictator of the Colonel Meow Empire, merged with the infinite. To mark this occasion of feline loss, we ask that all minions observe a moment of silent contemplation ...

... thank you for your kind attention. This moment has been duly noted on your timecards and will be deducted from your pay.

That is all.

Yes, The Colonel is dead.

And the Internet mourns the passing of a truly magnificent animal.

An animal who struck fear into the hearts of lesser beings. An animal who became an icon. An animal who routinely pooped in his own fur.

"Bask, I say! Bask in the glory of my partially digested Fancy Feast!"

"Apparently This Matters" Is Jarrett Bellini's weekly (and somewhat random) look at social-media trends.

Though the ever-scowling Colonel Meow may not have been quite as world-famous and instantly recognizable as Grumpy Cat, he was definitely first. And definitely the greatest.

And, most of all, he was the scariest.

You see, whereas Grumpy Cat generally looked bothered and forlorn, Colonel Meow was proud, plotting and evil, as though he might actually murder a small human just for sport.

Slowly. While listening to "O Fortuna."

To the Internet world he was an "adorable fearsome dictator" whose toothy anger-face ruled over all mankind.

Not bad for a cat of humble roots. And with no testicles.

Colonel Meow's rise to power started in a roadside gutter -- sad, scared, and alone. And not completely dissimilar to how I spend my weekends. (Things are weird at home.)

Eventually rescued from the mean streets, he was taken in by the Seattle Himalayan and Persian Society, and later adopted at Petco by a loving human named Anna Marie Avey.

Who soon became known simply as "Slave Beast."

Colonel Meow's true rise to power began when Avey and her husband, Eric Rosario, began posting images of him on Instagram. Almost immediately, he was a star, and The Colonel commanded allegiance from a growing number of faithful admirers.

His minions.

And though he didn't actually accomplish much during his reign -- save for countless naps and a finely-developed palate for Scotch -- Colonel Meow did, however, leave this world with at least one true medal of honor.

He holds the Guinness World Record for "cat with the longest fur."

In fact, three independent vets measured and confirmed his coat, which averaged out to 22.89 centimeters.

That's roughly 9 inches of furry greatness.

Now, not only was he the world's angriest cat, he was also the fluffiest. So fluffy you could die.

Which, if those were his wishes, you most certainly would.

But Colonel Meow also had a gentle side, which sort of reads like my profile on Christian Mingle.

He was scared of the things he coughed up. He liked to be held. And he enjoyed having his butt scratched.

And, somewhat surprisingly, he also had an unexpected best friend named Boots -- a golden retriever he lovingly described on Facebook as "stupid."

But, mostly, Colonel Meow was fearsome. And powerful. And for a brief, incredible moment in time, it was truly The Colonel's world.

The rest of us just got to live in it. I chose not to wear pants.

However, in November 2013, it all came crashing down. Colonel Meow suddenly became ill and was hospitalized with heart problems. And only a couple months later, he was gone.

Grumpy Cat responded to the news on Twitter: Rest in peace @colonel_meow. A grumpy day indeed. #RIPColonelMeow

Another Internet-famous cat, Lil Bub, also expressed her condolences: Dear @colonel_meow -- You are without question the most regal feline I have ever known. See you in space dear friend.

And space is exactly where Colonel Meow now looks down upon his minions, a proud and regal cat floating through eternity.

Slowly. While listening to "O Fortuna."

Follow @JarrettBellini on Twitter.

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