We played "Last Goodbye", sung by Billy Boyd for the credits of the last episode of Peter Jackson's "The Hobbit" ("Battle of the Five Armies")...the lyrics were eerily appropriate. Kevin and I were both right there with him to say our last goodbyes and his Grammy, Raxl, and Sookie were near by as he drifted off to sleep.
Another reason for the general appropriateness of having a song from "The Hobbit" for Frodo's passing is tied in with Frodo's links with Peter Jackson's series "The Lord of the Rings" and "The Hobbit"...
I first met Frodo before he had reached 8 weeks of age during (Canadian) Thanksgiving weekend in 1999 at a pet shop in Fergus, Ontario. I would never now encourage someone to get a cat or dog from a pet shop as it is likely they would have come from a puppy or kitten mill, or a "backyard breeder", but in this case, the Fergus pet shop was selling four lovely Siamese kittens on behalf of a local family whose cats had had a happy accident. ;)
I was looking for a companion cat for myself and for my other cat, Prea. Dr. David Steeves, my vet and my boss at The Cat Doctor at the time, advised me to pick up a cat that was younger and male, as this would likely be the best match for Prea. Only one Siamese kitten at the Fergus pet shop was still available, and he was a male blue-point. I looked at him and he looked at me...he swung his paw at the pewter Winnie-the-Pooh pendant I was wearing...he looked like "a Frodo"...I knew it was meant to be instantly.
Also happening during the fall of 1999, "The Lord of the Rings" film series had begun production in earnest. This is partly why I was thinking of naming my new kitty Frodo, but to be honest, Frodo just suited his name right away. We spent sixteen years together, and now that he has passed, we happen to be awaiting the soon to be released extended edition of "The Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies". Frodo's life has been book-ended by Peter Jackson's film series of Tolkien stories - my absolute favourite films and the stories that have meant so much to my whole family for years. Strange how things fall into place like that.
But that was not Frodo's only association with films, as many of my friends and family already know...
Frodo was the feline star of the film "Space Zombies: 13 Months of Brain-Spinning Mayhem!", co-written and co-created/produced by my husband Kevin and I. For an official synopsis of the film, check out my Scripts page. Prea, and several of the clinic cats, as well as The Cat Doctor (as a location, of course) also starred in the film, which started as three separate short films and were combined into one. Frodo was such a good sport during filming - he was a shy and neurotic boy, but put up with it all! And this was not his introduction to the film world. His first film was a short experimental film I co-wrote with one of my best friends, R. J. Downes. We shot it up at what's now a convention centre at Downsview Park. Frodo had to run past an elevator set piece - my Mom released him from his carrier inside the elevator and my Step-Dad caught him off to the side, just out of frame. He did a good meander out of the elevator when the doors slid open...the whole scene was a very long, single shot, and I believe we had 29 takes (and the last take was the take that was used). My Mom worried that he would hold a grudge against her and my Dad forever, but the moment they reached home and let him out of the carrier, he sort of re-booted and any anxiety he had had was gone and all was well.
"Sketch TV" was the last separate film/video project Frodo was involved in, shot shortly after most of the initial "Space Zombies" footage had been shot. Though, he will make a posthumous appearance in an episode of a new web series we are doing that it linked to "Space Zombies" - Moral Man will be issuing warnings and advice to the world next year, and Ju-Jube (Frodo) from "Space Zombies" will be interviewed "via satellite"! ;)
Frodo spent most of his years after "Space Zombies!" screened (September 2004) resting on his laurels, approving of his new Dad, Kevin, getting to know many of our friends (who were, in some cases, his fellow cast and crew), gaining sisters (and losing toys), enjoying his profile on CatBook briefly where he met some cyber friends (including a hedgehog named Zoe and a turtle named Ceasar), having his portrait painted, and becoming a character in a few of my stories (still yet to be completed). He had his own chair all to himself. He snuggled with us, hung out with us, yelled at us in his Siamese voice (lovingly, I think ;), and treasured his sparkly tinsel foam toys we called "sporanges". When he watched TV with us, he liked Muppets, explosions, and Tom Baker's voice above all things. He occasionally enjoyed watching his DVD, "Birds and Squirrels Gone Wild". He liked to eat All Bran and plain Rice Krispies. Frodo was profoundly weird...and wonderful.
Kev and I love you from the bottom of our hearts, Mr. Frodo. Your Grammy and sisters love you. You are forever in our hearts. We'll meet at Rainbow Bridge when the time comes. Until we do, Prea, Mila, Boof and my Dad will all look out for you.