Friday, February 22, 2008


Yesterday would have been my mother's 78th birthday....

Today I heard through the grapevine that Guruji has not been seen in the shala, and may be on around-the-clock care....

My cat-activist friend Deb recently dug up the following obit, which I wrote seven years ago....

FRITZKA T. KATZ (nee Cacananda), August 1987 to June 7, 2001

Fritzka T. Katz, 14 (that’s 70 to you and me), died in the hospital on June 7, 2001 after fluid in the lungs, most likely the result of a tumor, cause her to go into respiratory failure. Her cat mom was holding her when she passed.

Fritzka was the sweetest, softest, best cat in the world, and many songs were written in her honor. If more people had known about her, there would have been long lines to see her. On her second-to-last trip to the vet, several strangers peered into her carrier to inquire about the “beautiful, wee cat” and were surprised to learn that she was a dowager with only four teeth to her name (although more discerning fans, including performance artist and filmmaker Brigid Murphy, knew right-off that she was a grand dame of the old school).

Fritzka was born at Tree House in Uptown, where she was known as Franzia and lived in the office with her late, great littermate, Snarfee (nee Spumante) and an unnamed sibling whose whereabouts are unknown. After climbing onto prospective cat-owner Tim Hurley’s shoulder on March 4, 1988 and chewing on his hair, she was adopted by the rock star-to-be and her cat-mom, Caca.

Her many nicknames included Kitskin, Birdsong, Songbird, Eena, The Fritzkinest Kitzka, Little Miss Cat-Food-Naow, Toe-Cute, Princess Stinkybottom, Blackmouth and Kitty-Cat Mauser.

Although she liked to make guttural mewing sounds at birds and flies, Fritzka was not enamored of the great outdoors, and when she ventured forth it was with great crouching, sniffing and hesitation. She craved heat and enjoyed sitting in the sun. In the early days, when it was cold, she would sit with Snarfee on the stove above the pilot light. In later years, she would take a seat under the desk lamp, next to the computer; or on the modem or VCR. On particularly bitter winter days, she sat in front of the radiator and waited patiently for it to come to life.

She also loved affection, and enjoyed strewing her food all over the place. Sometimes her waste stuck to her bottom, which caused vigorous kicking of the hind legs, not to mention many artistic creations (including one particularly elusive and odiferous installation on the refrigerator door). She invented poo strings and poo poo paw printing and could clear a room with her output in less than 30 seconds.

A letter of hers was published in NewCity in 1994. She had her own E-mail address, doorbell and mailbox, and was admired by not one, but two of Nick Cave's Bad Seeds. She occasionally did consulting and voiceover work.

She was a paper-sitter who liked to rub her lips on plants and bike spokes, play with dental floss and roll on her back in the bathtub. Her favorite snack items were basil olive oil, soy margarine, macaroni and cheese, pancakes and certain baby food. She drank exclusively from the toilet.

When she liked a song – such as the Velvet Underground’s slower anthems – or a person, she’d roll on her back as if she were a grub, and sometimes would get so carried away that she’d smack her head on the floor. She was a top-notch player of Get Caca, Fake Bird and The Door Game, and could jump two feet in the air. She spent many a happy hour burrowing her nose into the elbows or armpits of the lucky few she allowed to get close to her. She did not like children.

Fritzka is survived by her cat-mom Caca, who is devastated by her loss; her beloved surrogate parents Doug and Natasha; her estranged cat-dad Tim, and countless friends and fans.

According to longtime yoga teacher Suddha Weixler, who knows about such things, she has already come back as “something even more beautiful.”


  1. Many the time it was that I climbed up your stairs looking forward to seeing Frrreeetzka! It is all true what you say, this cat had her own personal class and it wasn't an elitist one.

    She was amused by many of us and that made us feel special.

  2. Anonymous11:32 PM

    that was probably the sweetest thing i've ever read of yours