“I wrote 63 songs this year. They’re all about Jeter.” Just kidding. The game we love, the players we hate, and more.

Culture and Criticism

From Norman Mailer to Wendy Pepper — everything on film, TV, books, music, and snacks (shut up, raisins), plus the Girls’ Bike Club.

Donors Choose and Contests

Helping public schools, winning prizes, sending a crazy lady in a tomato costume out in public.

Stories, True and Otherwise

Monologues, travelogues, fiction, and fart humor. And hens. Don’t forget the hens.

The Vine

The Tomato Nation advice column addresses your questions on etiquette, grammar, romance, and pet misbehavior. Ask The Readers about books or fashion today!

Home » Stories, True and Otherwise

Hobey, 1995-2014

Submitted by on March 28, 2014 – 3:04 PM213 Comments
Professor Sunbeam, June 2013

Professor Sunbeam, June 2013

One time, years ago, I started making a list of all the nicknames I had for the Hobe: Orangino. Hobey Wan. Clicks. Herr Mittenspiel. Grampy. Creamsicle. Tolstoy.

I stopped after, like, 37, because it was still only a fraction of the list, because he would keep licking a plastic bag like a big weirdo no matter what I called him, because they all meant the same thing, the thing all nicknames mean, that he was known, that he was loved.

And he is, more than all his names can say.




  • Wehaf says:

    I am so sorry; my thoughts are with you.

  • Sarah says:

    Sars, I’m crying reading this. My heart is broken for you. Hobey, you will be missed by all of us here at TN. RIP sweet orange boy.

  • Ali says:

    Oh, Sars. The Hobe was bigger than life (if not bigger than Little Joe). May he rest, and hugs to you.

  • LaSalleUGirl says:

    Oh, SARS. I’m so sorry for your loss.

  • Amy says:

    Oh, no! I’m so, so sorry.

  • Jo says:

    So sorry. :(

  • Tina says:

    I’m so sorry, Sars. Rest in peace, Hobey.

  • Fay says:

    Ohhhh noooooo Hoooobeeeeeey. I am glad he had a good long life. So sorry.

  • Mingles' Mommy says:

    I’m so sorry. I’ve always loved your cat stories. (I tweeted this as well (SusiePsycho2014) but your stories prepared me for life as a cat mama.

    Hobey and Little Joe both had wonderful lives. Letting go is always the hardest part.

    My condolences. I’ve been there and it never stops being a heartbreaking experience.

  • Erin says:

    This breaks my heart. Hobey was well loved. I’m so sorry.

  • Lizard says:

    I’m so sorry.

  • Molly says:

    Oh no. Not the Hobe. I’m so sorry.

  • Deanna says:

    Rest well, loved kitten.

  • Lis says:

    Oh no! So sorry Sars!

  • Lauren T. says:

    What horrible news. I’m so sorry. <3

  • Lynda says:

    I’m so very sorry for your loss. Thank you for sharing Little Joe and Hobey with us, your readers. We loved them, too.

  • Angharad says:

    I’m so sorry, Sars. He was obviously well-loved.

  • SolitaryBlue says:

    So sorry for your loss, Sars.

  • Pamela says:

    Oh, Sarah. I’m so terribly sorry.

    All of the stories you’ve shared with us over the years about your wonderful, maddening, hilarious, and deeply-loved cats have brought me so much joy and laughter. Thank you so much for those.

    Hugs to you, Dirk, and Mabel.

  • Dayna says:

    So sorry to hear this. It’s so hard to lose a long-time pet. There’s a tiny empty space that not even another pet can fill. I still look around for my two cats occasionally. They were with me for a long time, like Little Joe and Hobey. Condolences.

  • Oh dear. I’m sorry for your loss, Sarah. I still have dreams about my favorite kitty, 8 years after her death – I like to think she’s visiting me. I hope Hobey will visit you.

  • Maria says:

    I’m so sorry. These furry people get such a hold on the heart, and it’s so hard to say goodbye.

  • Melissa says:

    Oh I’m so sorry Sars! Your readers loved Hobey through your stories of him. I know he’ll be missed! Thank you for sharing him with us!

  • Angie says:

    I’m sure it doesn’t help to know that he is loved by people who never met him, but he was. I hope he and Joe give ’em hell on the other side of wherever. Sending you lots of love!

  • Lindsay says:

    So very sorry for your loss, Sars. I’m in tears over Hobey, and remembering other beloved kitties still here in spirit.

  • attica says:

    Oh, poor thing. You comparing Hobey-in-sunshine to a traffic cone has always stayed with me, and I think of it whenever I see an orange cat.

    RIP, Hobe.

  • Sarah D. Bunting says:

    Thanks so much. It’s a terrible day, but everyone’s kind words help.

  • Amie A says:

    So sorry to hear this sad news, Sars. Thinking of you and yours.

  • Space Kitty says:

    oh, no.

  • Another Emily says:

    So sorry; I still miss my sweet girl and she’s been gone 4 years now. Sending you many comforting thoughts and well wishes.

  • Marv in DC says:

    I’m really sorry. This just sucks.

  • JenK says:

    Oh, no! Hugs and love to you all. I was going to write something eloquent and comforting, but I am too teary-eyed. Maybe we should all go kick a few bucks towards our local rescue groups to honor a big orange kitty who brought so much joy to so many people through Sars’s essays.

  • Missicat says:

    So so sorry to hear this. Hopefully he and Little Joe have reunited and are chasing each other around wherever good cats go when they pass on.

  • dr. e says:

    Deepest sympathy from a caretaker of an orange cat-of-many-names.

  • seedlessgrape says:

    So very, very sorry for your loss. Rest in peace (in a big pool of sunshine surrounded by catnip), Hobey.

  • Kim says:

    Ohh, Sarah. I am so sorry; orange boys are the best. Sending love and peace to all of you, from the bottom of my heart.

  • Amy says:

    RIP, Hobey. You and Sarah were lucky to find one another.

  • bristlesage says:

    Aw, man. Now who’s going to keep that pesky Mabel in line?! Best to you.

  • Been There, Left That says:

    Oh, Sarah, I am so sorry to hear that. Your stories about Hobie and Little Joe made me laugh so hard during some really bad times in my life when I thought there was never going to any laughter anywhere, ever again. They are not ‘pets’, they are friends and family members, and they leave a space where their stories used to be when they leave us. All the hugs, and whatever else you need to bolster you and get you to the other side of this. xoxo, sweetie.

  • Janice says:

    Oh, Sars, I’m so sorry. I have SO enjoyed the cat tales over the years, and cop to appropriating “Barfy O’Barfigan and Eatsbarf von Disgustingsnack” when my similarly geriatric Rusty was having a bout of IBD. (Had to look it up just now: Sick and Wrong, from 2002)

    You have my sympathies–we do the best we can for them, for as long as we can, but it’s still not easy. My thoughts are with you.

  • Schmitt says:

    Oh Hobey. :(

  • Jen S. 2.0 says:

    No!! I’m so, so, so sorry.

  • Crcala says:

    I’m so sorry, Sars. I always loved reading your stories about Hobey and Little Joe. Hopefully they are playing with my cats in the Great Big Catnip Field in the sky, where the food is plentiful, there’s plenty of sun and catnip, and lots of cuddles.

  • GracieGirl says:

    Oh, Sars, I am so sorry for your loss. Keeping you in my thoughts.

  • Kate says:

    I’m so sorry for your loss Sars. I am another person who has been “owned” by various cats over the years, and I know the (covered with shed fur and stale kibble) feline-shaped hole they leave in your heart. I’ve laughed until I cried, reading your stories of Hobey and Little Joe and Mabel over the years. In honor of The Hobe’s love of boxes, here’s a video of lions and tigers and pumas (and other big cats, oh my!) playing in cardboard boxes.

  • Linda says:

    Aww, so sorry for your loss, Sars. Sending hugs!

  • Gina says:

    My deepest condolences. Hobey will be missed by the entire readership.

  • Cora says:

    I am so very sorry. I look to Missicat’s comment about The Hobe being with Little Joe somewhere now. Which causes laughter through the sadness thinking about “… didn’t SEE me, I AM ORANGE Louis Braille.” You gave them such a good life. And they will both live on in the memory of Tomato Nation.

  • IsisUptown says:

    So sorry for your loss. It is so hard to lose a pet.

  • Jaybird says:

    There’s just no good way to lose anybody you love, and that includes the fuzzy anybodies. I am sad for you. :(

Leave a comment!

Please familiarize yourself with the Tomato Nation commenting policy before posting.
It is in the FAQ. Thanks, friend.

You can use these tags:
<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>