A Tribute to Merlin

Originally found as a stray, a nice gentleman took Merlin into his home and they both became the best of buds for years. Unfortunately, after some time, the gentleman had to move to a skilled nursing facility and was unable to bring his furry friend with him. With nowhere else to go, Merlin was invited to the Sanctuary in 2018. At the time Merlin was 10 years old and shared a room with another senior sweetie, Clementine. They both had their fair share of health issues, but were both always the kindest cats and made many friends at the Sanctuary. Eventually sweet Clementine passed in 2019 after becoming non-responsive. Merlin enjoyed having his own room, but was thankful for all of his friends that kept him constant company, while they both reminisced on the memories of Clementine.

Given his calm, mellow nature, he was one of the first cats new volunteers got to meet and was always a welcoming presence to the Sanctuary. Merlin was a professional snuggler and coined the title “champion lap cat”. You’d often find him out on his catio sunbathing or even enjoying the cool, brisk breeze of winter. The cat team made sure he had a heated hut out on his catio and blankets for him to be cozy while being outside.

Over the years, he had his own medical ups and downs, but in recent months it seemed he was showing signs of his age. As we always do, the team went above and beyond to make sure he was as comfortable as can be. When we do take in these older cats, even when we know they are living with serious health conditions, it’s still difficult to accept that they won’t be around as long as we’d like, no matter how many trips to the vet. The team still worked diligently on keeping track of Merlin’s quality of health and would even make sure he had an afternoon stroll to build muscle once they noticed he was consistently losing weight.

At 14 years old, Merlin passed away in his sleep. Even though we knew the time was coming, it doesn’t make the time any easier. His affectionate nature always made the people around him feel content and at peace. He simply loved to be a wonderful companion to his friends while he enjoyed the simple things in life. We’re incredibly grateful for four years we had with Merlin and the opportunity to be his family during this time. It’s the beauty of the Sanctuary- a place for these types of cats to be loved and cherished no matter age or health. A place where they can rest, recover, and readjust after having their former lives upended. We did hear that his previous owner passed away last year and we hope they have reunited on the other side. We’re all so lucky to have known Merl and to have loved him. To show how adored he was, we wanted to share just a few of the messages that was sent to Lindsey, Feline Volunteer Manager, upon news of Merlin’s passing. We’ll think of you always, Merlin.

-So sorry to hear of Merlin passing.  He got the best care from everyone and now he will RIP – Frances

-Oh my gosh. How very sad that sweet Merlin passed. He was such a sweetie. He had love care kindness and peace in his time at OC. I will surely miss him. Rest In Peace sweet old man. – Silvia

-So sad to hear about Merlin.  But yes he was so loved at Our Companions.  You are all angels!!!  Thank you for everything you do!  – Christiana and Amber

-aw I’m so sorry Lindsey. he was the best boy <3 – Jocelyn

-He’s now at peace with all his friends. Maybe that’s the happier side right now. – April

-So sorry to hear of Merlin’s passing, and although I didn’t really know him very well, it’s always a very sad day when we lose one of our charges. – Dan

-Oh, that is so sad, Lindsey. Merl was such a sweet cat. I know you folks who are there every day will miss him even more than we volunteers. Peace to you, Nan

-Very sorry to hear about Merlin. I remember him well as he was always my go-to cat when I first started volunteering at the shelter.   He was so friendly and I found it interesting how much he enjoyed hanging out on the catio. Thanks for sharing the information and memories of Merlin. – Joe and Amanda

-so sad to hear about Merlin.  He had a great run, so glad he was at the Sanctuary. – Wendy

-Merlin was a wonderful cat. He loved being outside in the catio, soaking up the sunshine, smelling the air. He enjoyed everyone’s company but was not dependent on it. I will miss him, but like all the cats and dogs here, he had the best love and care found anywhere. He like all the rest, was one of “Our Companions”. – Clyde

-Sending hugs. He was one of my first cats as a volunteer. Could always count on him for cuddles.  – Allison B

-I was glad I was able to spend time with Merlin on Monday.  He was a dear, sweet cat who gave a lot of love to all who knew him.  He’ll be in my prayers.  This was yet another hard one for you Lindsey and the staff.  My thoughts are with all of you.  Sheila

-I’m so sorry ♥️ I’ll miss that fuzzboy  – Joanna

-I’m so sorry Lindsey, he was such a sweet kitty. – Maria

-❤❤❤❤❤ So sorry for your loss. Merlin was such a sweet boy. So lucky to have all of you. Maybe he and Clem are running and playing together like they couldn’t do here. – Alison, Aidan, and Ed

-Such sad news.  I’ll always remember Merlin out on his beloved catio.  The Jane’s Place greeter!  He was the first one I saw walking up the hill when I got there, and I’d always stop to say see you next time when I left. Merlin seemed content at OC. at least he didn’t seem stressed like some of his fellow guests.  I think the sanctuary was a good retirement home for him.  Getting lots of pets and good food, just watching the world go by from his favorite perch. Rest In Peace buddy.  You will be missed ❤️❤️ – Sue P

-<3<3<3 XOXOX oh Merlin, we will miss you – Carina

-So sad about the loss of Merlin… the sweetest boy. Even though I haven’t been with the cats in months, I miss them and I used to see Merlin in his catio when I walked by.❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️ – Mary F

-Oh no! Sweet little Merlin…. I loved this boy and his roommate clementine. Such special boys! He was a sun bathing angel and loved his cat catio ! So sorry, Lindsey. I know, you being so close with these sweet little angels, makes it even harder to say good bye So sorry !  – Isolde

-So sorry about Merlin. I always visited him when I was at Janes Place. He was a good boy. – Mikelyn

 -I am so sorry to read of Merlin’s passing. I remember him back from when I used to come to massage Clementine. But Merlin never liked it. You are all angels taking care of these beautiful kitties. Thank you for all you do- Lyn

What a wonderful life Merlin had at our beautiful sanctuary surrounded every single day with people who loved him dearly ❤️ – Mandy

-Oh I knew this was coming….loved this guy….but he definitely seemed to enjoy his stay at the sanctuary…he was always outside on his catio overseeing his “estate”……it’s sad to think that he didn’t have a forever home at the end of his life but he did have a caring home with many caregivers.  And I’m glad he went peacefully in his sleep. – Mary D

-So sorry to hear.  I remember sitting in the Catio with Merlin watching him enjoy the sun.  ♥️  Sharon

-I don’t have a smart phone with memes and the like, but I just wanted to say how sad I am about Merlin’s passing.  He was one of the first cats (along with Clementine) that I met when I started volunteering at the sanctuary, and I have a real soft spot in my heart for him.  I tend to try to sign up for Jane’s Place because I like to make sure to pet him, as well as Acacia, who has also been there longer than I have.  And Lucky…Oh well, just wanted to share my feelings with someone who knows Merlin.  Thanks for “listening.” Nancy


  1. Michelle Desaulniers on March 3, 2021 at 2:13 pm

    Such a sweet boy was deserving of a peaceful passing. Rest easy, Merlin! -Michelle

  2. Barbara K Andriks on March 3, 2021 at 2:16 pm

    I am so sorry you lost such a wonderful kitty.

  3. Kim on March 3, 2021 at 2:41 pm

    Such a lovely story. Thank you OC and all the volunteers for making Merlin’s life so wonderful.

  4. Cat Tailer (my real name)☺️ on March 3, 2021 at 2:57 pm

    Dear Merlin,
    I bet my fur kids where there along with many others (including Clementine) to greet you at the Entrance of the Rainbow Bridge. We will see you again along with our own transitioned furry loved ones when it’s our time to head home💕. So keep running, jumping, playing and napping and enjoy your beautiful lovely flawless and well deserved place in Heaven🥰😘

  5. Ellen Conlon on March 3, 2021 at 3:38 pm

    Merlin’s story really explains why I love Our Companions
    So glad you were able to care for him
    My sympathies to all of his friends

  6. Denise on March 3, 2021 at 4:20 pm

    This story brought tears to my eyes as I remembered my own feline companions who have crossed over the Rainbow Bridge and who, I truly believe, are enjoying all the beauties of the afterlife, reunited with each other and the humans with whom they lived. In a world where the Bad Guys seem to be having ever-increasing sway in some areas, it’s reassuring to know that there are places like Our Companions and people like your staff and volunteers who make this world a better place, not only for the animals you care for but also for the humans who come in contact with you. Thank you for all that you do!

  7. Kim Gordon on March 3, 2021 at 4:26 pm

    Merlin sounds like he was an Angel and I’m sure he is enjoying himself on the other side. My sympathy goes out to everyone who was close to him and all who knew him.

  8. Allison Buikus on March 3, 2021 at 5:05 pm

    He’s with his buddy Clem. I think I am most grateful to Merlin for his unconditional cuddles. Any bad day I had could always be turned around with those gentle snuggles. I’m so happy he was loved and so well cared for. I truly believe he was a happy cat. I know the goal is for each cat to find a forever home…I think for Merlin it was always supposed to be the Sanctuary where he could spread as much love to as many people as possible.

  9. Katie on March 3, 2021 at 6:02 pm

    Merl was such a good boy, patrolling in his front catio, watching over everyone like he was the grandpa of the place. So glad he didn’t have to suffer, but will be missed. Rest In Peace buddy❤️