RIP Punchy, The Feral Who Inspired Black Cats Tell All Book

RIP Punchy, The Feral Who Inspired Black Cats Tell All Book by feline author and editor Clyde.

We’re quietly grieving the loss and honoring the charmed life of the one and only Punchy featured in our book Black Cats Tell All: True Tales And Inspiring Images. We first published a story about Punchy in 2015. The idea for a book about black cat stories percolated for a while and went through many permutations until it was published a little over a year ago. I’m proud to be a fellow book contributor with Punchy and although we’ve never met in the fur, I feel he is black cat kin. My mom Layla and I were having a meander down memory lane last night.


They say outdoor and feral cats like Punchy have a shorter lifespan of about three years versus 15 years for an indoor-only cat. He blew that stat to smithereens by living past twenty. In fact, I believe we need to re-examine those lifespans. It’s not uncommon for ferals and indoor/outdoor cats to reach deep into the geriatric years with proper care. Punchy lived out on a farm in Iowa on his terms. He was coddled and cared for by Ellen who tried at different points to bring him indoors but he wanted his way.

Punchy died the way he lived, on his terms, naturally and gracefully in cozy straw nest with his feline companion Itty by his side. The other cats are in mourning. Punchy was the grand old mancat, the patriarch of a well-managed colony in Iowa that dwindled to near zero over many years.

Cats have a way of finding us, even in the dead of winter, in the middle of nowhere. There are new arrivals at the farm who get spay/neutered and fed. I’m convinced there is a huge sign above their farm (invisible to humans) that says, “Good home. All welcome.”  Not all but most cats have uncanny sense where food, shelter and love can be found. I say not all cats because it it were so, they’d all be lovingly cared for.

Punchy’s dear catmom Ellen and Layla developed a simpatico friendship and told her details about Punchy which I’ll leave for now. Layla honestly thought I was a goner several times this year but Miss Ellen said to hang on. They trust that the timing for exits will be purrfect. Punchy while old and frail kept going like he had an extra nine lives stashed under his black suit. Like a magician, he kept pulling rabbits out of his hat until vanishing into the ether

The only thing Ellen would like to add is “I miss him. Punchy was loved, and when it was his time to go, tears were shed for him a much as any beloved cat.

I believe cats to be spirits come to earth. A cat, I am sure, could walk on a cloud without coming through. ~Jules Verne

Yes indeed, true blue words.

Thanks for visiting. See you next week, Spirit willing,

Clyde and friends


If you’d like to read all of Punchy’s story Confessions of a Feral Black Cat and all the others plus mine, find them in Black Cats Tell All: True Tales And Inspiring Images.

29 thoughts on “RIP Punchy, The Feral Who Inspired Black Cats Tell All Book”

  1. We send our purrs and prayers of support to those w, o know and love Punchy. We miss you dear boy. Please watch over us all until that day we all meet again.
    Timmy, Dad and Family

  2. It sounds like Punchy lived a good life with Miss Ellen. We’re sad for your loss but his legacy will live on. Fly free Punchy. You look so much like our Angel Onyx with the same tuft of white fur too.

  3. What a lovely tribute to Punchy, and his special relationship with Miss Ellen. We are sending gentle purrs and prayers to her, and are so grateful that she and Punchy found each other.

  4. Thank you all. … the first morning after his passing was the very toughest. He, the old man demanded his wet cat food and to be fed first. It is still an odd feeling to look out and not see him tottering about.
    He joins others who were cared for an loved over the years. He certainly broke the stereotype about how long ferals can and do survive. His friend Itty who is a deaf black cat is hitting 15 this year, perhaps another long lived black cat among us. He is healthy and strong.
    Oddly every single black cat who have graced our home has been long lived. Punchy joins Mr Jeeves, who was 18 (he passed some time ago).
    He will be missed by our family.
    Thank you Clyde, hang on, defy the odds.

  5. This is Cheddar. I told this to my mom, Kathryn, after she told me about Punchy. My mom typed this. I can’t type.

    Dear Punchy,

    Oh man, my heart aches 4 u punchy, but am glad and happy u got 2 live long time.

    u inspired Layla, my mom Kathryn’s favRite cat person in the wurrld.

    Be at peace, bro. You inspired many.

    I will purr for you today and tonight and evRee day. <3 <3 <3


    1. Layla, such a bittersweet but loving post. It made us cry, Cheddar and I. But he did get so much love. Mao in Heaven, a tux, I’m sure is crying, too.

  6. Layla,
    please tell Ellen how very sorry we are to hear about dear,sweet Punchy.
    We have absolutely no doubt how deep and true her grief must be.
    We send our love and purrs to her and Punchy’s feral family also. We know how deeply they will mourn him. Sorrow is sorrow and we think that every creature can feel it.
    Heaven most assuredly gained an extroidnary new angel when Punchy arrived at the gate.
    Ellen was so blessed to be given the task of his care for so many years. it speaks volumes about the depth of her love for cats in general, and ferals in particular.
    We salute you dear Punchy! Carry on in heaven dear boy! We will see you one day.
    Skeeter and Izzy and The Feral Gang + Twig & Peanut & Romeo & The Angels >^..^^..^<~

  7. I don’t think there should be any regrets for this life well lived… and Punchy certainly had his life the way he wanted. I’m only sorry for those who miss him. Punchy himself, I celebrate.

  8. Awww, Punchy was lucky to have found his perfect earthly home in Iowa with loving humans to look out for him. He got to live life on his own terms, safely and happily, passing too, as his own cat, a privilege a feral rarely gets. This warms my heart and helps spread hope that more cats, especially the misunderstood black ones, might find their perfect homes, too.

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