It’s always sad when a friend’s cat dies. My heart hurts for what I know they’re about to go through as they mourn their loss. We’ve all been there, and even though everyone grieves in their own unique way, we all know how hard it is. Late last week, Janiss Garza, the human behind Sparkle Cat, Featuring Summer, Therapy Cat and Kitty on the Go, had to make the sad decision to let Binga go.

I never met Binga in real life, but I feel like I knew her through Janiss’ blog. I met Janiss at my first Cat Writers Conference in 2009, and I’ve been following her writing ever since.


Binga was almost 19  years old – a good long life by any measure, but she was such a strong presence in the world of cat blogging, I guess I somehow thought she would live forever. In true tortie fashion, she was the bane of her fellow feline family members’ existence, and she frequently tried to steal Summer’s time in the spotlight during photoshoots.

Binga may not have invented tortitude, but she took being a tortie seriously. I think her 10 Tortie Life Lessons are words to live by!


Summer announced Binga’s imminent passing in a sweet blog post titled Binga and Me last Friday.


Our hearts go out to Summer, Boodie and their human. We know Janiss does not believe in the Rainbow Bridge, but we would like to leave her with this quote from Antoine de Saint Exupéry, which I’ve always found comforting during times of great personal loss:

In one of the stars I shall be living.
In one of them I shall be laughing.
And so it will be as if all the stars were laughing
when you look at the sky at night.

May your tortitude continue to sparkle in the stars, Binga.

All photos ©Janiss Garza, via Sparklecat’s Facebook page

18 Comments on A Tribute to Binga

  1. I never had the pleasure of meeting Ms Garza nor Benga, but my heartfelt sympathy is extended to her and Summer and her family. Benga fulfilled her mission on this earth and she actually lived a nice long life. However, all of our pets tug at our heart strings and when it’s time for them to move on us humans have a tendency to still hold on to them and don’t want to leave go. We’ve the sweet memories of times we’ll spent and nothing can remove them. Benga climb the highest mountain you can climb because you’re free from restraints and pain. And extended blessings go out to the whole family at this time and forever.

  2. Never enough time with our sweet fur babies. Wish they could all live forever in health and contentment. ;(

  3. Binga was the perfect foil for Summer’s sweetness. She was like my sisfur from another mother. I’ve been told that even tho I’m a tuxie, I have tortitude which she helped me hone. I will miss her so so much.

  4. I was sorry to hear this, when I saw it on their blog. Your quote from Antoine De Saint Exupery brought tears to my eyes.

  5. I too was sad to hear of Binga’s passing. Never met her, but have been following first Sparkle then Summer since about 2009. Although saying goodbye to a pet is never easy, I am happy that Binga lived a life shelter cats dream of – safe and secure in a home with people who love them and accept them for who they are, tortitude and all.

  6. I know she had a wonderful life, and that always makes it a little easier when that decision has to be made. Big hugs

  7. this tribute brought me to tears…your quote was purrfect. It was just beautiful. I think it is beyond appropriate that people such as you and Melissa who truly KNOW and understand Torties (I have never lived with a Tortie cat) write the tributes. You both did such an amazing job. You captured Binga purrfectly. We are so sad she had to leave and our hearts break for her human and her kitty siblings. Thank you for this beautiful and deeply touching tribute.

  8. I know the loss of our furry family well. Our tuxedo cat was diagnosed with a cancerous tumor, that gripped the bottom of his esophagus, strangling the food going down to his stomach. He was barely 9 years old. We did hospice at home, and got about 2 and a half months, of reasonably decent living, until the end. he tried to climb the stairs the last night. I heard him, for I had decided to sleep near him, in our living room. I reached the stairs, only to see him start to tumble. I caught him before he fell, but a step, from the top. I gently brought him down, and laid him on a soft towel, before realizing, why he climbed in such bad condition. I barricaded the stairs, and went up after the thing he wanted. His cat bed. He wanted his life to end on it. When I brought it down he took all of his last energy, and nuzzled my hand with the happiest appreciation. We took him to a 24/7 hospital, to say our goodbyes, still on his favorite bed. He went very peaceful. Come to find out his mother had passed in January, and his brother Duncan in April, of similar health issues. (we had kept in touch with his family, via FB) May there be great peace to the family of Binga.
    P.S. our tortoiseshell darling is still doing well.

  9. I am so sorry for the loss of Binga. It is never easy too let them go but always know they will always be in your heart and memories and that Binga had a great parent who loved her so much! May Binga RIP!

  10. It is hard to loose a beloved fur child. Especially Binga! The sentiment you quoted was beautiful.

  11. As a pet owner i understand the loss of losing a long lived pet and condolences to Cat writer Janis .Garza on the loss of her celebrity pet “Binga”.

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