In Loving Memory – Barstow the Prediction Cat

In Loving Memory – Barstow the Prediction Cat

Some sad news today – Barstow the Cat has died. Attacked by a dog while playing in his backyard, he was rushed to the vet as soon as possible, but, sadly, succumbed to his injuries.

We here at AWITP and GNN extend our deepest condolences to Barstow’s owners Ian and Ali. Barstow was an Internet sensation, thought by many to be the smartest cat they knew. Famously, Barstow could actually tell time, knowing exactly when his feeder would dispense the day’s last morsels, and beating the other cats to the bowl.

His acumen and intelligence – not to mention his good looks – led him to become one of the iconic symbols of this column’s football picks, and soon “Barstow the Prediction Cat’s” handsome face, frayed-edged ears, and tuxedo coat appeared every November to lend an assist to the other animals making their weekly football selections.

As is to be expected when your owner is one of the world’s most gifted computer scientists, you’re going to be pretty smart too, and Barstow racked up an impressive 16-3-1 last year alone.

“That cat was a good luck charm,” noted AWITP correspondent Rodney Zilla. “Every time he showed up in an article, he triggered a rally. He made us all smile.”

Barstow also had an impressive following on social media. One of the most well-traveled cats of his generation, Barstow made friends from Edinburgh, Scotland to Los Angeles, California and every town in between. He drove across the entire Untied States, toured Ireland and Scotland, and even crossed the Grand Canyon. To meet him was to become his loyal friend. And through his owners’ various social media accounts, he made even more friends who followed his world-traveling adventures. Both literally and metaphorically, he was one of a kind. He defied physics with his cage-breaking puzzle-solving exploits, while capturing hearts with his personality. His sugar-sweet disposition, smart coat, and dark fierce eyes were inimitable.

Oh, those eyes! The “Barstow Death Stare,” as it was known to friends and family, also became an Internet sensation. It was usually reserved for Ian – either he forgot to fill the feeder, or he interrupted Barstow while hunting squirrels. Either way, the Eyes of Barstow were upon him. Cue the theme from Jaws.

It was quite a phenomenon; through the Internet, people really got to know Barstow – some vicariously, others in person, and so his greatest success was in bringing people across the globe together. That’s why people get pets in the first place – to feel the love, and the outpouring of love at his passing is only surpassed by the love, friendship, and laughs he brought about while he was with us.

So while a bright light has gone out in our hearts, there’s a little more happiness in Kitty Heaven. Tonight Barstow will feast on caviar and tuna and sweet cream. Then it’s off to caterwaul on the fence with all the other cats. My guess is they’ll sing…errr…meow…1999, Let’s Go Crazy, and Purple Rain. After all, as Ian and Ali’s cat, he’s probably got great taste in music too. Via con dios, our friend. We shall never see your like again.

BARSTOW (R) DOING A GREAT JOB TEACHING THE DEATH STARE TO BAKER (L)  "YOU GOT IT, KID!"

BARSTOW (R) DOING A GREAT JOB TEACHING THE DEATH STARE TO BAKER (L) “YOU GOT IT, KID!”

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Jay Flemma