Cole the Black Cat died today. He was part of a former duo that became a quartet, of the Cole and Marmalade YouTube channel. Chris and Jess Poole reported that Cole had lost his battle with cancer, despite responding well to radiation therapy and being well-behaved considering the previous visits to the vet. Marmalade had also received a cancer diagnosis and tested positive for FIV, a feline immunodeficiency disorder. He has been cancer-free for several years, and his family celebrated by letting him maul an artificial Christmas tree for a few hours.
It’s hard to know how to feel. Nine years doesn’t feel like enough to thank a cat and his humans, that have given us so much entertainment. Chris also used various videos to explain cat health, ways to entertain in the hottest of summers or the coldest of winters, and when to investigate signs of naughtiness. Cole was a good sport through it all, whether or not he got to imitate the scariest shark in film history or demonstrate the benefits of frozen tuna popsicles. He may not have always agreed to stay still, but he moved and performed like a star.
Chris and Jess rescued Cole after a friend found him at a busy intersection, with no mother nearby. They had to bottle-feed him because he was only about a month old, wash the fleas off him — there’s a video showing his displeasure about that situation — and socialize him. As a result, he became a rather friendly cat, always interrupting Chris and Jess’s work for cuddles. He inspired Chris to make videos showing that black cats are cool, to break down the stigmas of bad luck.
Cole, like many cats on the internet, was a goofball. There is a video of him as a kitten suffering a few harmless falls, before getting back up and acting as nothing happened. He stood out by being a goofball with dignity. Putting reindeer antlers on him meant that he would give his humans a dirty look, and kick off the antlers in a matter of seconds. He also would refuse to interact with nose trimmers, or costumes unless they came with treats and training. Cole, however, deigned to dress up as a dragon while Chris put on a Hiccup outfit, making every fandom member squeal in delight. He even commandeered a batmobile or impersonated a dinosaur alongside his adopted brother Marmalade. Cole entertained while giving and receiving love.
Thank you, Cole, for making the Internet a brighter place. We know that your family misses you, and we do too. You gave us your best years, and so much more.