Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Troy, Star of Funny Stories, Is Dead at 13

Baby Love: Packed and ready to go in 1994

Troy, whose four-legged high jinks and absurd love of luggage made him the star of countless stories, died Aug. 28 at his Manhattan apartment. He was 13. The cause was complications of lymphoma, said his father, Kenneth Walsh.

After moving to New York from his native Washington, D.C., in the late '90s, Troy became a star on the Manhattan party circuit. His frisky and very public violations of a Woodstock stuffed animal both shocked and delighted his admirers. Troy had previously starred as the villainous home wrecker in the real-life telenovela "Un Gato, Dos Hermanos" and later gained national recognition when a story about his effect on his two dads' relationship ("Love Allergy") appeared in the February 2007 issue of Instinct magazine.
In addition to being a plushie, Troy loved the wrappers and stickers across the top of new compact discs, all things tuna, having his belly rubbed (but only for as long as he wanted it done -- watch out, after) and rolling around on pieces of luggage, any shape or size. For reasons that remain unclear, Troy was terrified of any type of plastic bag.

Troy was born Feb. 8, 1994, to a stray cat mom in the Washington Animal Rescue League. By early April he was so cute that he and his four siblings were moved to the Pet of the Week display window where he was discovered. But despite his adorable pink nose and deluxe stripes, his father recalls that Troy wasn't even his first pick:

"Having grown up with a Siamese cat, I was instantly drawn to Troy's cream-colored sibling. We took (the cream cat) into the visiting room but Rafael (Kenneth's boyfriend at the time) kept saying he liked the 'more active' cat who was pounding his paw on the glass trying to make us notice him." Notice him they did and after another family showed a sudden interest in Troy, Rafael became highly protective of the little critter and nearly knocked the competition down to get him and declared, "He's ours!" Troy went home with them that day and was randomly named as his fathers shouted out names that they thought would be fun to call out. Kenneth liked "T" names because his childhood cat was named Tweet.

"Everyone who ever met Troy immediately fell in love with him," Kenneth recalled. "He was a very good boy. Without Troy here this house is not a home. I'm truly heartbroken."

In addition to his father, Kenneth, Troy is survived by his stepfather, Bernard Michael Smith of New York; two uncles, Bill Walsh of Washington, and Terence Walsh of Chandler, Ariz.; an aunt, Jennfier Jaurigue of Chandler, Ariz. grandparents Molly and Gary Chilinski of Phoenix, and cousins Gordie and Guga of Washington; Mack of Chandler; and Guinness of Chandler.

(Editor's note: Yesterday was one of the worst days I can recall.)


  1. Anonymous5:41 AM

    Oh boy. My condolences for that.

  2. I'm so sorry to hear this. It's been moving to hear your last few months with Troy, and that was a beautiful tribute. My thoughts go out to you.

  3. Boooo! That sucks. My condolences to you, the family and Woodstock. Very sad.

  4. Aw, I'm really sorry to hear about Troy. I know you had worried about this happening awhile back, but at least you got to spend more time with him (and with him apparently feeling better) before he passed away. I know what you're going through, and it's anything but fun or fair. I know after my cat passed away, I had this hollow spot in me... One of the worse things was the daily rituals that you're so used to going through... You're still there, you're still trained to feed him, expect him to hop up in your lap, expect that tail to wrap around your leg... This doesn't get any easier for me.

    As callous as it sounds (and can feel), it really does help to give it a little time, and then if you think you're ready, maybe adopt another kitten (or two!) in need of a good, loving home. There's plenty of them out there. It's not that you're replacing Troy - you're just giving that love and attention to another animal that needs it, and having a distraction to hopefully take your mind off the sadness a little bit.

    My Notch has been gone for about a year now, and it STILL hurts sometimes.

  5. Anonymous8:26 AM

    As a fellow north-suburb Metro Detroiter in the news biz and, especially, a fellow cat parent, I couldn't let the day go by without offering my condolences. I wish I'd been able to go to the NLGJA convention so I could give you a hug, because I know it's gonna be tough.
    I can't think of anything to add to what jeph said without sounding incredibly sappy.
    That was a very nice tribute, and I wish you and Michael all the best in these difficult days.

  6. :-( My condolences for your loss. Viva la Troy!

  7. Anonymous8:45 AM

    Sorry for your loss.

  8. I am so sorry. I lost the kitty love of my life a year and a half ago. I can honestly say I know exactly how you feel. Hugs.

  9. That is the sweetest story I've read in a long time. I love cats and your loving Troy makes me love you even more. Richard

  10. :(

    I'm so sorry to hear about Troy, Kenneth. Obviously I've been following his health on your blog, but I thought he was doing better. This news comes as a shock, as I'm sure it was to you.

    He was such a sweet cat. I'll never forget the way you would shout out his name in that short, stacatto way: "TROY!"

    He'll definitely be missed by more than you. I'm so sorry for your loss.

  11. Anonymous10:54 AM

    Sympathies from our house to yours, Kenneth. Not much else to say. Hang in there!

  12. Anonymous11:33 AM

    My condolences and deepest sympathies for your loss.

  13. So sorry to hear about your kitty, Troy. I've had cats since I was five, and it's always devestating to lose "a family member." :*(


  14. Anonymous11:41 AM

    OMG, i'm sorry to hear that. Very sad....huggss!


  15. Anonymous11:58 AM


    I am so sorry to hear about the loss of Troy. I remember when my cat Tiger passed away growing up and it took a long time to get used to the notion of him not being there when I got home from school. It was especially hard on my mother because he was her company throughout the day while everyone else was out. Pictures of Tiger are still prominently displayed around the house.

    Thank you for sharing Troy's adventures with us. Know that he is at peace now and that you will be remembered for sharing your love and providing a true home for one of God's creatures.

  16. Anonymous11:59 AM

    Hi, Kenneth. I'm so sorry to hear about your loss. We're cat lovers in my family, and our cats really are more than pets: they're part of the family, too. I always enjoyed your posts about Troy and I felt like I even got to know him, in a sense. You are a good guy and a kind soul and so I have no doubt at all that after your time on earth is over, you will see Troy again, and he'll be young and happy and healthy, and really glad to see you! But in the meantime, I know you'll miss him a lot, and that loss will never be filled, and that sucks. But I pray that in time, you will not think so much of the pain of the illnesses and this loss, but rather of the good times that he brought into your life and into the lives of all who knew him. It was not an accident that you two found each other! The loving hand that guides the universe brought you together, and so I can't believe that the separation will be a permanent one. Your journey together will continue! You will be in my prayers in a special way today, and I'm sure you'll be able to feel the love and consolation being sent to you by all your friends and faithful readers!

  17. Anonymous12:00 PM

    Kenneth, I have been reading your blog now for awhile and I am so sorry to hear this and my heart goes out to you. I had to put my dog (black Lab) of 15 years down last year and it was perhaps the darkest day I have ever had. I felt like I wasn't going to make it another day without that dog. I did but not without many tears. Dont forget to grieve and dont ever let anyone get to you that says "Oh come on it was just a cat/dog" I heard that a couple times and have never come closer to striking out at someone in my life. Your Troy is happy were he is now and memories will bittesweet at this time, will help you later. Jeff in iowa

  18. Kenneth,

    So sorry to hear about Troy. You have my condolences.

  19. Anonymous12:54 PM

    Kenneth, I'm saddened to read about Troy. My condolences to you, I'll hug a suitcase in his honor and send you a long-distance hug as well.

  20. Anonymous12:57 PM

    So sorry about Troy's untimely passing! You have my deepest sympathies!!!

  21. Anonymous1:17 PM

    I miss you so much already Troy. I am doing my best to take care of your Daddy Kenny, like i prmoised. We know you are sitting on a big fat luggae in the sky, or maybe sitting on the sofa begging for some Cicken Kickers.
    Miss you buddy.

  22. Anonymous1:30 PM

    So sorry to hear about Troy, tonight I'm going to give my cats an extra hug in his memory.

  23. Sorry to hear about the passing of Troy. Our thoughts are with you...

  24. SO sorry to hear this, KW... Even more sorry I never got to meet Troy in person. Hope to see you when you return from your conference.

  25. Anonymous2:49 PM

    Kenneth, my deepest condolences. I have a 10 year old named Stella and a 1.5 year old name Tony and they are both my life!!

    Hope you enjoy San Diego! I live here if you have questions.


  26. Anonymous2:54 PM

    I was really sorry to hear of Troy's passing. I have enjoyed your updates about him, and love your eulogy.
    Troy was a cat, friend and family member who was truely loved!

  27. Dear Kenneth,

    Sending you lots of love during this very sad time.



  28. Anonymous3:16 PM

    I'm so sorry for your loss. As a regular reader, I know how much joy Troy brought to your life.

    My thoughts are with you.

  29. I am very sorry to hear about your loss. The loss of a pet can be very difficult so take good care of yourself during this sad time!

  30. That's got to be tough. So sorry to hear that. Hang in there.

  31. Kenneth: I'm so sorry. :(

  32. Even several thousand miles away, reading about and seeing the pictures of Troy and his exploits brought a smile to my face. Heartfelt condolences to you on his passing.

    - Another resident of the Valley of the Sun, Peoria Arizona.


  33. I'm so so sorry. I can't imagine how heartbroken i'd be. My little fluffy one is still here and kicking and even though he has the sourest moods and is, thus, NOT instantly loved by all who meet him as Troy was, I personally love him enormously.

    my condolences.

  34. Oh, poor baby!!! Please take solace in the fact that you gave Troy 13 wonderful years. I know it's tough, I have three myself. Just know that Troy was fortunate to have been your companion and his life was rich and full. It will take some time but when you look back remember the good times and smile. Love to you and the family.

  35. He loved you and you loved him and he knew that. Losing a pet after so long is a terrible thing. I offer you my best thoughts and a ((WARM HUG)) if I may?

  36. Anonymous7:41 PM

    It made me sad to hear this... what a beautiful cat he was.

    But what a beautiful tribute as well! I couldn't stop laughing. Troy would be proud.

    Lots of love to you.

  37. Anonymous8:38 PM

    Very sad news, Kenneth. I have often said that, next to the day my mother passed away, losing my dog was the most painful moment of my life. Pets really do become a part of our hearts. My thoughts are with you.

  38. Anonymous8:44 PM

    My deepest sympathy on the loss of such a treasured friend and loved member of your family.
    It has been six years and I still miss my Belle, with her "I own you, Buster!" style while using my chest for her evening pillow and my back for her bed.
    As journalists, we do have one advantage in such times of sadness: We can put into writing and publish for all to read concerning our grief and memories of someone that held such a special place in our lives.
    My "obituary" column was simply headlined: "Belle was a very good cat" and she was and in my memory always will be as Troy will be in yours.

  39. Anonymous8:58 PM

    Oh, Kenneth, so sorry to hear the news. Nothing can prepare you for that. Hope you feel better as soon as possible.

  40. Anonymous9:02 PM

    That was a beautiful story and as a Kitty Kamp sponser, it broke my heart to read it. So sorry.

  41. Kenneth, I am so so sorry to hear about the loss of Troy. My thoughts are with you. I am sure yesterday was the worst day ever. xo Paul

  42. Anonymous10:16 PM

    Sorry to hear about Troy, my condolences.

  43. Anonymous1:02 AM

    Very sorry for your loss, my condolences.

  44. I'm very sorry for your loss, Kenneth.

  45. Anonymous4:27 AM

    I'm so terribly sorry. I know how difficult a time like this can be.

    I wish you strength and comfort.

  46. Anonymous9:58 AM

    I am so sorry to hear about Troy's passing. I put the love of my life (my 16-year-old lab) Venus to sleep on March 8th so I know how you are feeling. Every passing day makes the pain ease a bit less but the memories of them remain so clear and wonderful. I loved reading about Troy and his obit was beautiful. I wish I had done something similar....take care of yourself.

  47. Anonymous10:08 AM

    I'm sorry to hear about your loss. Your words are a touching tribute to Troy. My thoughts go out to you.

  48. If he were able to read, I know that Troy would have loved your blog as much as we do. My own dear departed kitty waltzed into the living room once and, in *perfect* pitch, meowed the first four notes of that old barbershop quartet number "Sweet Adeline." A one-time-only performance. Such great memories our beloved pets leave with us.... Peace & love to your home, Kenneth.

  49. Anonymous1:25 PM

    I'm very sad to hear about this and very touched that you eulogized Troy with a New York Times-style obit. Sorry for your loss!—Matt

  50. *hugs* Sorry to hear the news.

  51. Anonymous2:51 PM

    I just got home from the vet and got some very sad news. My own little man, Barry, has intestinal lymphoma. He had stopped eating and I was concerned. And this is the result. I am a wreck. I know how hard it was for you to go thru this period with Troy. I have to face all the same decisions you made a few months back. Hopefully we still have a few months of quality time left.

    Your words about Troy clearly show how important he was and will always be. You're a great Dad and he was lucky to have you.

    My heart goes out to you.

    -Doug Short

  52. Oy. Of all the stories I've written for the MSM, the two that got the most response from readers were a long account about the death of my partner, from AIDS, and an op-ed about putting my dog to sleep. Writing from the heart hurts, but it heals, too. My condolences.

  53. Anonymous6:31 PM

    Kenneth, I know that this is incredibly hard for you, but I hope you know that Troy had a much better life because you were a part of it. Your heartfelt, funny, touching posting on Troy is simply brilliant and should somehow make its way to the blog hall of fame if there was such an institution. Love you!!!

  54. Anonymous9:26 PM

    Very sorry to hear the news

  55. Kenneth,
    I'm very sorry to hear about the passing of Troy. As a cat lover with 3 rescued 4-legged kids (cats) I can only begin to imaging the pain you are feeling. Remember the good moments and smile, remember the annoying moments and laugh.


  56. Anonymous1:20 PM

    I'm very sorry for the lost of your friend.I'll
    pray for you and for him.
    I have two cats here who sending you a big Hug...

    Sylvain,Zazye and Fifille xxx

  57. a great cat!!!! sorry for the loss


  58. Anonymous6:00 PM

    Kenneth, very, very sorry to read of your loss. Troy was an awesome cat.

  59. Anonymous8:41 PM

    Oh I'm so sorry for you loss.I've always loved reading about Troy.

  60. Anonymous8:51 PM

    hey Kenneth, Was checking out your blog and I saw that Troy has passed away. I know you got many condolences but please let me add mine. I'm so sorry for your loss. I remember watching an episode of 90210 where Donna (I think) had a pet who passed away, and I remember one of the characters saying how the loss of a pet can be just as difficult, if not more so, then a family member because with a pet your feelings aren't complicated, they are just about love. And I quote it because who doesn't love a quote from 90210 to teach us about life (I think we all learned a valuable lesson about losing our virginity on prom night from Brenda and Dylan) but more so because I do think the sentiment on that episode was definitely true. I know how much you loved Troy, and how important he has been to you. I hope you are doing ok. I'm keeping a good thought for you, Troy and Michael.

    Thinking about you

  61. Anonymous8:52 PM

    I'm so sorry to hear of Troy's death. I have to second what Jeph and Jeff of Iowa said on your blog -- give yourself time, and I think
    you'll probably recognize that the best way to honor all that Troy did for you would be to return the favor, now that he's gone, to another creature with whom you can share your home and love. My last experience with loss was just in July, when my beloved dog Gomez died of liver failure. I still miss him terribly, but I relieved a lot of my pain by going to the
    animal shelter and adopting two dogs who needed homes. Life isn't
    better without Gomez, it's simply different -- but it would have remained emptier without the newcomers (Sophie and Greta), and whether you choose to adopt again or not, emptiness is no way to honor any loved one. Time and honoring Troy, in whatever manner you choose, will comfort you.

    Take care.

    Love -- L

  62. Anonymous8:54 PM

    OMG I just read your amazing post about Troy! I am so sorry for your loss. I recently had to have my 22 year old cat put to sleep, and I promise I feel your pain. It's like losing a child. I guess you just have to try and think about the fact that he's free of sickness now, as little as that helps. :( My heart is with you!

  63. Anonymous8:55 PM

    I just read the blog with the sad news of your beloved. I know that when my first cocker, Fergie, went home there were many sad days, but now 6 years later, I have a beautiful lab who is loving and cares for me in different but very loving ways too.

    I will think of you during these days, because you bring much joy always to my day with your blog and incredible reflections on life.

    Thank you for being you and for making my life better through reflections on your own life. The pain will be hard, but in eternity all those we love will always be with us, so keep on loving and living and know you are loved

    Peace and love in the midst of sadness

  64. Anonymous8:56 PM

    Dear Kenneth in the (619):

    Please add my name to the list of friends who are saddened by the loss
    of your boy. He was one very lucky kitty. You and he are in my heart.

    With all best wishes,

    Mitch in the (504)

  65. Anonymous8:57 PM

    hi kenneth - sorry to read about troy. i know he was a good pet and a great companion.

  66. Anonymous8:59 PM


    I wanted to pass along my sincere condolences about Troy. I've been keeping up with his recent illness with considerable anxiety and concern, and frankly I also cried like a little girl when I saw your post yesterday and learned that Troy had passed away. Your tribute to him, though, was wonderful and playful, and very fitting. My partner and I have had a family of seven guinea pigs, all brothers (the offspring of a boy and girl guinea pig owned by my goddaughter), and one by one they passed away until now we only have two left, and each time one died, we were inconsolable. There's something about how dependant animals are on their human caretakers that makes us especially protective, I think, and that makes us feel the loss especially deeply, both because we miss their company and their unique personalities, but also because we feel anguish if we think they suffered at all.

    Anyway, the important thing is that it is obvious that Troy was especially lucky to have you as a Dad. Your posts about him have always shown how deep your affection for him has been, and how you appreciated his own unique personality and quirks. You can console yourself with the fact that you must given him a very, very happy life.

    Enjoy your vacation.

  67. Anonymous9:08 PM

    Dear Kenneth:
    Words cannot express the sorrow of losing a companion like Troy. It's a generous universe that gives us cats, and a cruel one that takes them away long before we can legitimately go along with them. I'm so very sorry you have to go through this loss. If you were in Pasadena, or I in NYC, I'd bring a bottle (or three) and toast your luck in finding Troy and your loss at seeing him go before you.
    Again, my deepest regrets.

  68. Anonymous9:09 PM

    Kenny, I am sooo sorry to learn that poor Troy has gone to his great reward in Cat Heaven.
    I only had the pleasure of meeting him once, but he was nice to me.

    It is devastating to lose one's cat. I know, we have lost three. You will go around your
    place for weeks seeing footprints and knowing that you hear them.

    I had to throw out our electric can-opener when Count died. Because everytime I used it, he would come running thinking it was his can of cat food being opened.

    Thinking of you.

  69. Anonymous9:09 PM

    Kenneth, I'm so sorry about Troy. Your story was incredibly sweet. I hope you're doing OK.

  70. Anonymous9:15 PM

    As the father of 3 Ferrets, 2 Rats, 3 Saltwater Tanks and a lifetime of Dogs, Cats, Horses and Birds I sympathize with you on the loss of your baby. My thoughts are with you.

    What a beautiful tribute to your son.


  71. Anonymous9:15 PM

    Hola Kenneth,

    Thanks for publishing the Carlos Moya's pictures.

    Sorry about the lost of your cat, Troy. I lost my 16years old cat two years ago. I'm sure that you're full of good memories Troy provided you during his long life.

    You'll be sad for a while until suddenly you discover yourself in the future smiling when you think of him.



  72. Anonymous9:16 PM

    As a faithful reader with a boyfriend of 6 months who has two cats,
    I'm slowly becoming a convert from a guy who grew up with big German

    I'm very sorry you lost your beloved Troy. Stay strong if possible and
    rely on your partner and your friends.

    With sympathy,


  73. Anonymous9:18 PM


    I read your blog nearly every day and have been especially taken by your stories of Troy. I lost my cat last year after a 6-week battle with lymphoma, as well. It's brought back many sad and touching moments for me to read what you've been going through.

    In any case, I can only imagine how devastated you must be. I know too well what a unique and special place a pet can hold in our lives. My thoughts are with you.

  74. Anonymous2:30 AM

    My deepest sympathies to you - which sounds so trite, but I mean it. I've just given my cats Dusty and Lucinda large hugs and kisses that annoy them and I hope I'm lucky enough to have them for as long as you had Troy. I hope your memories help you through this hard time.

  75. Anonymous7:51 PM

    My condolences to you and your family for your loss. My spouse and I lost our dear little Cleo who was seven the day before our four year wedding aniversary. Our home and family will never be the same even though, Cleo has two little sister's Ashley and Maggie.

    I can imagine how your heart is trampled on. Just remember that you will be joined again some day and that Troy is with you each and every day loving you as much now as he did when he was physically there. Love Cleo's Daddies


All comments must be signed, even those using the "anonymous" options. Thanks.