Sparkle left us a week and a day ago today, and ever since, the cat blogosphere has been in mourning. So today, instead of tears of sadness, let’s spread tears of joy for a life well lived. Sparkle was a small cat, never weighing much more than six pounds and often less, but her presence on the internet was larger than life. Any big cat would have envied her influence.
Sparkle’s beginnings were, to be honest, not humble. She was a purebred Somali cat who was privileged enough to know her exact birthday, who her parents were, and most importantly, that she was wanted from birth. Eventually she came to learn that so many cats were far less fortunate than she was, and she made the choice to fight for them, to write about them on her blog, spread the word about them through social media and to ask for donations for them. Often she encouraged her human to open up her own pocketbook and help out kitties in need.
But let’s start at the beginning. When Sparkle first came home to Los Angeles, she almost instantly became a blogging kitty. And she was just a kitten. Here she is at five months. Does she look a little like anyone you know?
At first her blog was just a monthly diary of the goings-on at her house.
But soon enough she realized there was a need to offer cat advice — from a cat’s perspective, so she began her cat-to-cat advice column. A few months later she also began reviewing books about cats and reviewing cat items. Back in 2003, 2004 and 2005, this was a novelty. Cats were barely a blip on the internet and blogging cats? Practically nonexistent.
Sparkle set out to change that — and she did! When she discovered that there were other cat blogs developing, and that the Cat Blogosphere had formed, she already had several accomplishments of note: she had become an award-winning model, with a photo earning top prize in a Cats USA competition, her blog had appeared in a book by Yanik Silver, Moonlighting on the Internet, and she had already begun promoting cat rescues via social media, by helping spread the word about Winging Cat Rescue on her MySpace account. Sparkle was a pioneer.
By the time Sparkle had found Twitter, the Cat Blogosphere, and so many of her friends, she was getting ready for her next accomplishment: she became an author. She had two books of her cat-to-cat advice published in her life time, and at the time of her death she had two more partially written and left unfinished.
But whether she was helping raise money for World Vets after the Japanese earthquake and tsunami, saving the life of one special kitty, or interviewing Jackson Galaxy, Sparkle always kept it real and down to earth. Maybe she got some help on that from her roommates Boodie, and especially Binga. Sparkle mostly saved her catitude for humans, those creatures who were born to serve kitties but who don’t always realize it, and for any organization or legislator who did anything to harm cats in general.
Over the course of her lifetime, Sparkle wrote over 2100 blog posts and two books, was featured on wall calendars 11 years in a row, and her image will live on in the cards, mugs and other items in her Zazzle store. She befriended hundreds of cats on the internet, and had a pawful of special pals. She had a lot of fun, a lot of laughs, and shared her bounty with her readers — it wasn’t so much generosity as she felt it was the least she could do to give back after receiving so much.
Sparkle’s legacy will live on, beginning with the commenthon attached to this memorial service. One of Sparkle’s favorite cat rescues and sanctuaries was Tabby’s Place, the Ringoes, NJ organization that works so hard to help cats in desperate situations. Many of their residents are special needs… and they do get adopted! This is a very special place, and Sparkle’s human has pledged $1 for each comment on this blog post, from now until the end of Labor Day weekend, Monday, September 1, at Midnight Pacific Time, up to $500 (you are also welcome to make your own donation to this special group). So please share your favorite memories of Sparkle below, or wish her well on her journey to… where ever she may be going. We all have different beliefs, spiritual or not, but there is one thing for sure — Sparkle did her best to make this world a better one for cats, and for that, she will live on in our hearts.
spookie the cat says
My human had a dream last night and guess what? You were in it. That was the only way I could get her to go look at your fabulous Page and see that you were up here with me now. Who knew! We’ve known you since Myspace. You’ve always been amazing…and you know it. I’m sure Summer will do a great job with your blog and Page. You had a fab life, your humans took super care of you, you were spoiled… uuuh…well cared for *wink*. I remember when she got those asian lilies… hahaha! Well, come find me, I passed last summer, in July…
My human says I must tell Janiss “I’m so sorry for your loss of Sparkle :'( ”
<3 Sparkle, you are going to be so missed by so many!
Spookie and her human, Suzanne
Sorry so late but my internet was down. Now the first thing I had to do was to say farewell to Sparkle. Godspeed Sparkle.
MR. Puddy says
Miss Sparkle, my comment probably is too late, but I want to do it to let you know you are an incredible pawsome kitty in this CBD. Never ever fell to visit every one of us every single day plus your wonderful blog. thank you for all you give us.
And many hugs to your human.
Best Purr for you and your family
Molly's Mom says
Dearest Sparkle â¤ï¸ You have touched my life and the lives of others in so many ways! I enjoyed following your adventures which always brightened up my days! I will miss you Sparkle and this is such a beautiful tribute that your mom has created for us to share our feelings with her and your family about your passing! Thank you for all of your paw tails and for everything that you have done for all of the causes you helped bringing awareness to and I will miss you Sparkle! You are an amazing writer Janiss and I am sending my deepest condolences to you, Brian and your other adorable fur babies during this time. You have all been in my thoughts and prayers! â¤ï¸ May your darling little angel “Sparkle” rest in peace! >^. .^<
Wendy, Brian and Molly Xo
Rest in peace sweet girl!
I’m late to the party. This is a wonderful in memoriam of Sparkle. I’ve been thinking about you all a lot, and hope you’re doing ok.
RIP Sparkles, you were one in a million!
Pawcific Purrsea says
Very nice recat for those of us who just missed getting to know her. She left the world a better place through her purresence and passed the ever-burning torch onto a new champion. Well done Sparkle. =^,,^=
Jill BARRELLA says
You will be missed, cool kitty!
Here I am ,darling Sparkle,determined to get you to $500.Summer is doing a brilliant job on the blog but then you already knew she would!!Always missing you.Love and purrs SheenaXXX
Boris Kitty (@BorisKitty) says
We all love (der is no past tense here da love for Sparkle goes on).
Kon king says
Sparkle was an inspiration to many! You are missed Sparkle.
Sue Farrell says
RIP Sparkle. We will miss you.
The Meezers says
Sparkle was such a trend setter! She will be missed, but we know that Miss Summer will do a smashing job carrying on the mission
Miss you Sparkle – Hugs & Purrs to your family.
Aimable Cats says
You were an early cat blogger, and made it easier for the rest of us. It looks like you had your blog before most of the rest of us could even spell blog.
Rest in Peace dear Sparkle. Say hi to Fat Balloon for me!
We’ll miss you, Sparkle. Rest in Peace.
Teddy Westlife says
Well, my sister Huffle Mawson was a big fan of Sparkle’s, and we even have one of her books on the shelf. She will definitely be missed, but I am sure Summer is going to do an excellent job taking over.
Terence Terrier says
Bless you Sparkle my pal. You are missed by all your pals. Fank yoo for so many happy memories. luv Terence xxx
From all of us who have spent tine in shelters, thank you Sparkle.
RIP Sweet Sparkle, you were an inspiration to all of us.
I always wished that Sparkle could have visited me in my garden. I will miss her.
I always looked up to Sparkle. Being the youngest cat in my home, I needed her advice to help me figure stuff out.
I may be a woofie but Sparkle was an amazing cat.
So sorry for your loss.
RIP Sparkle. Through your blog, you have shared so much with so many that you will never be forgotten.
So much good from such a little cat – Sparkle made her mark, and left this world better for her presence. I am sorry for your loss.
Thank you Sparkle for telling my story for me. You had a better way with words than I do and I appreciate everything that you did for me.
Blessings in memory of beloved Sparkle. Her photos and her well-lived life make me smile.
Zoe T. says
My second comment in honor of Sparkle — and what a great way to celebrate her life with this Commenthon and your donation. We will all miss you Sparkle, but I know Summer is trying hard to live up to your blog standards.
Rest in peace precious girl, you’ll be missed not only by your family but your readers as well.
Sparkle was such a beautiful cat. It breaks my heart that she have crossed over the bridge. 🙁 I will miss Sparkles beautiful face and her charming wit in my email and FB everyday. Sending prayers of comfort to Sparkles momma and family. Thank you for all you do to help the less fortunate kitties in the world. Thank you for sharing her with me .. she was a bright spot in my day. <3 RIP sweet Sparkle <3
I know the loss of any cat can be heartbreaking as each are individuals. But think back to those individual traits you both loved (and hated 🙂 about Sparkle and remember them. I’m sure both kinds of memories will bring a smile to your face!!
the cloister cats says
Dear Sparkle, we miss you so much… but at least we have your book and whenever we have guests in our house (cloister) we put the book on the bedside table so the guest can learn something while staying with us!
May the Creator Cat treat you well on the far side of the Rainbow bridge, and please send our purrs to our friends over there: Aragorn, Imma, Rufus and Conny.
the Cloister Cats
Bubble Thomas says
Thank you Sparkle for the joy you brought to my human and I every day with your insight, wisdom & humor. Thank you for sharing your life with us. You will be sincerely missed.
Well done, Sparkle. Now your real reward awaits you in Heaven with all other good cats. Blessing on you and all your good work.
Jim kurack says
Such a small kitty with a giant heart of gold. Thank you for sharing your gift of life!
Sammie and Lucy
Sparkle…gone from this earthly world, but never to be forgotten. Linda
Spitty the Kitty says
Okay, I am here to comment on behalf of Aggie, Wally and Madie Mitten Kitten who have no blog but whose dad always reads Spitty’s blog and all his comments and was very sad to hear Sparkle had left us.
That’s cool, right? Cause I think this is 455!
Very cool thing that you’re doing. I wish I had known about Sparkle years ago
Missy, Orson and Salem says
Going to miss you, Sparkle, but you did a lot of good in your little life and made a difference. Rest now, little one. Be at peace. xoxoxo.
We will miss Sparkle, we hadn’t known her as long as many others had, but she has been a regular commenter to my blog (whenever we actually make a post). Her insight was smart and sassy and that’s what I enjoyed about her postings, not to mention her good looks were a bonus (spoken with utmost respect from a true mancat). I hope you make your comment goal, although those rescue kitties will really appreciate any amount you send to them. Much love to Sparkle and her family. Purrs and head boops. William (and his Mum)
R.I.P. Sparkle. May your light shine down bright from the sky.