Dear friends, it is with heavy hearts that we inform you, if you did not already know, that we had to say goodbye to our sweet boy, Hobo, on Friday, Jan. 17th. We thank you all so much for your generous help with Hobo’s vet bills, as we struggled to find out what was making him so sick. Despite our hopes, it was confirmed that Hobo did, indeed, have a “mass” nested in his thoracic cavity, pressing against both his heart, and his esophagus and trachea. We kept him as comfortable as possible, but finally it just got too difficult for him to do even the most basic things, and it was time to let him go.
All pets are special. This is obvious to anyone who has ever owned a pet, and to many people who have never had the chance, but who still love animals. Both Kevin and Kasey have owned many pets, as have most of you — yet we all recognized that Hobo was an extra special guy. He was, in many ways, the community’s cat. He belonged to everyone who came to the bookstore, who found us on facebook, who read Hobo’s book, who had Hobo visit their library or school. He was a real gem, and he touched all of us with his gentle nature, his goofy antics, his affectionate attitude.
Hobo spent most of his life working in customer service. His first job was at Kevin’s gym, Touch of Wellness, where Hobo first adopted Kevin in the summer of 2003. In the beginning, Hobo worked outside as a greeter, then inside, checking on all aspects of gym life. After the gym closed, Hobo took some time off to find himself, as writers are wont to do.
After much quiet reflection and a few AWOL adventures (breaking out screened-in windows to go for a summer moonlight stroll or two), Hobo began work on his memoir, a children’s book entitled, Hobo Finds a Home. This was exciting, but Hobo once again yearned to be with the public. He felt customer service was his calling, and the bookstore was the answer. He began coming to From My Shelf, first only sporadically for book signings and children’s events, then more regularly, until he was a full-time member of the staff at From My Shelf, from 2010 to 2014.
Hobo’s jobs at the bookstore included playing with children, delighting crazy cat people, rearranging sidelines, regular maintenance on computers and the cash register, checking air flow of heating vents, and soaking up sunshine to spread to everyone he met. Hobo was also a regular model for photographs, as well as being the icon for a wooden sidewalk statue (by carver Bill Schlegel), a Christmas ornament (by Mary Wise), local children’s artwork, and for the weekly Gazette newspaper column, “Cat Tales: Writing about Reading.”
Hobo is not only survived by the humans he lived with, Kevin Coolidge and Kasey Cox, but by two girl cats, Gypsy and Velvet; all the people who have worked at From My Shelf as staff members, but especially Jen, Rachel, and Kris; regular bookstore visitors, both locals and tourists alike; and a community of people, near and far, who thought of Hobo as their special cat, too. Thanks for sharing him with us.
We’d like to thank Dr. Haas, and all the people who work at the Wellsboro Small Animal Hospital for the incredible kindness and patience they showed us during Hobo’s illness. We’d also like to thank everyone who donated to Hobo’s fundraiser. After paying Hobo’s bills, the remainder of the monies raised from our fundraiser will be donated to the Animal Care Sanctuary here in Wellsboro.