This character marks a pretty signifcant event in my life. My childhood pet, my tabby cat Tolly passed away this week. Its really not easy for me to write this or do the character design this week because I had a bond with this little guy, had him for 12 years and he died really unexpectedly. Anyway as a bit of a homage to his life I want to share his story with you guys.
It all started about 15 years ago, when a stray tabby cat with half a tail turned up at my sisters bedroom window meowing. My parents had never really wanted a cat or a dog so me and amy both thought we werent allowed to have a cat so we never asked. But Amy saw this as a bit of an opportunity to unofficially own a cat, so she let the cat in. We called her Lucy and looked after her for the next year or so until a neighbour started taking her in and that was the last we really saw of lucy. Next up, My sister used to know someone who owned a lot of cats and didnt treat them particularly well at all, so she decided to coax one of them home (she was only about 7 by the way so it was innocent childhood cat theft) This cat was called Milly. Beautiful tiny little Tabby with a white mane. Turned out Milly was Lucy's sister. We noticed Milly was kind of fat and uncomfortable for her size.
Then one night at Milly's owners house, we witnessed her go to the bottom of their garden and give birth to three kittens. One of these Kittens, a tiny little runt with a white belly and socks became our cat. We actually thought he was a girl until his first check up when we realised he was a boy. So he started life as a Tilly, and became Tolly - or Tolkien - I was obsessed with The LOTR books at the time.
Tolly was a serial killer, used to bring us back disembowled crows and limbless animals - always with a look that butter wouldnt melt haha. He was hit by two cars and survived both occurances. I remember Tolly used to follow me all over the place when I would go out on a night, and stalk me through the hedgerows, bounding through bushes and scaling trees as he went. He was a real little bag of furry mischief. I loved the shit out of him.
Tolly passed really really suddenly one day he just got so ill that within 4 hours we had to put him down. It was me who gave the nod and I think that will probably haunt me forever. But I remember him as a beautiful little murderer tabby with a heart of gold. He was more like a dog than a cat in his nature - he loved people and was a very aware animal. He often used to remind me that life is great and I have alot to be thankful for.
Thanks for everything dude, RIP Tolly.
I was trying to capture his mischief and flippancy at smaller animals mortality, because I found it at times funny and at times disturbing, but there was two sides to this guy and I wanted to try show them both at the same time, a sense of beauty and kind of that he is a hunter.
Im gonna miss this guy!
See you next week