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Franny Syufy

Remembering The Man Behind the Cats

By May 2, 2013

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Over 16 years ago, a friend emailed a group of us, telling us that a new company, The Mining Company, was hiring writers with experience writing HTML for a variety of topics. I was in a semi-limbo as a real estate broker, and decided to take a look. My husband stood behind me as I scrolled down the list. Suddenly, he said, "Cats! You could write about cats." At that time the requirements were a thorough knowledge of the subject, strong writing skills, and a working knowledge of HTML. That was the start of my career writing about cats, and my husband, Asa, the man behind the cats became my strongest supporter, and remained so until he went to the Rainbow Bridge on May 2, 2008.

Photo of Asa and Billy at 5 months

It's been five years since he left, and I miss him as much now as I did then. (Although it is sometimes amusing to picture him in Heaven converting all the men he meets to cat lovers.) I know he would still be as proud of me as he always was, and as devoted to our cats. I couldn't let the day pass by without acknowledging the effect he has had on my life, my love for cats, and my choice of a career.

More on Men and Cats


February 14, 2008 at 6:24 am
(1) redhead57 says:

Of all the adorable cat stories I have ever told in my 50 year relationship with cats the most touching involves my ex.

I wanted a kitten so desperately and had finally convinced my “tough guy” to share our apartment with a one. When I brought Percy, a beautiful Siamese kitten, my partner wanted no part of this little furry boy. Percy purred and rubbed him ,he acted unmoved. At bedtime I made Percy a little bed and went off to bed. I woke up a few hours later to find my partner out of bed, I got up to find him and check on my new baby,what I saw is as fresh in my memory as if it happened yesterday. Mr. “Tough Guy” was on his knees playing with our new baby under the couch, like a little boy with a shiny new car. When he saw me standing behind him with a huge smile on my face he proclaimed, “Okay, I just love him, but you may not tell a soul”. He and my Percy had a wonderful relationship and the love they shared brought out a soft side to this big, rough, tough man.

February 14, 2008 at 7:23 am
(2) Chris says:

I’m a recently retired special forces trooper who has spent the last 7 years in all the hot spots around the globe and I’m a HUGE cat fan. My wife and I have six cats between us. I consider myself a manly man of sorts and don’t understand why men are deemed soft if they have an affinity for cats. I guess the same could be said about minivans and “foo-foo” coffee. Real men love the puss!


December 27, 2012 at 9:49 pm
(3) doris says:

I was never a cat person until my husband brought this kitten home one night. It ran across the road in front of him, picked the kitten up and broght him home. I was allergic to him but he clinged to me like crazy and I just loved him and cuddled with him because he was only 3 months old. He is two now and love’s more attention and gets along well with my Bassett Hound since the day he came here. He cuddles with Sadie and wants to play with her but she 10 years old and just wants to hang around. She gets jealous sometimes when you pay to much attention to the cat. She goes outside and he goes out with her and comes back in the dog door no problem.Could not ask for a better cat because my in-laws have three and they are so mierable to us. We can’t even go near them without them hissing at us clawing at us. Santa bought 2 Cat towers and a new bed for the dog and treats

May 2, 2013 at 2:55 pm
(4) Karen says:

Frannie- Asa was a great man-so kind and gentle-it was my pleasure to have worked with him for all those years.. I still miss having lunch with
him at Stanfords in Walnut Creek-our long conversations about out cats and of course the movies that were coming out. What a great guy your husband was-still miss him alot.
Hope you are doing well.


May 2, 2013 at 4:15 pm
(5) Franny Syufy says:

Karen, thank you so much for coming here. I well remember Asa talking about you and your lunch get-togethers, talking about cats and movies. I think I may have even called you to let you know he had passed away in 2008, because I knew he thought of you as a good friend. I’ll email you with more info in a few days.

May 2, 2013 at 5:08 pm
(6) Irene says:

I can’t believe that time has passed by so quickly. I miss Asa as well – never having met him in person, I felt like I knew him thru you and your stories. I’m confident that he is just as proud of you now as he was back then. I’m sure every kittie at the Bridge knows who Franny is!

May 2, 2013 at 7:52 pm
(7) Franny Syufy says:

How sweet of you, Irene. It’s comforting to think about all those kitties hanging around, waiting for me. :)

May 3, 2013 at 2:04 pm
(8) MiltonandMolly says:

There was a story on CNN (and various others) yesterday about a soldier from Afghanistan who adopted a feral cat during his tours of duty in Afghanistan.

It’s a great story with a happy ending – the soldier brought his adopted cat home to Oregon! He didn’t have to leave him alone in Afghanistan.

May 3, 2013 at 2:38 pm
(9) Franny Syufy says:

Thank you for your comment, MiltonandMolly. Although it is slightly off-topic, my deceased husband would have appreciated knowing about, as am I.

May 5, 2013 at 1:37 pm
(10) Chelsea S. says:

What a beautiful and wonderful story!! Thanks so much for sharing. I have been with About.com when it was the Mining Co., and I am glad that you are still here. :-)

May 5, 2013 at 7:59 pm
(11) Franny Syufy says:

Chelsea, thank you so very much for your kind comments. And thank you for being such a longtime loyal reader. I’m glad you are still here too! :-D

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