Printer-friendly version
Mendy Smith

In Loving Memory

May 19, 2008 at 12:03 AM


This morning, at daybreak, my beloved friend and companion of 16 years died in my arms.

Hacker was adopted by my other cat Tommy when he was a kitten. They bonded immediately. I could not help but make him a part of my family.

Hacker got his name from having this uncanny ability to launch programs from my computer by walking across the keyboard. He loved eating tortilla chips, chicken, and grass, sunning himself outside, and "singing" to the birds. He was a lover, not a hunter.

When he got older, every time I would take my viola out of my case to practice, he would climb in the case and stay there for hours listening and "humming" along. During trio practice, he would often sit in the middle of us listening. In my recording of the Clarke Sonata posted on this site, you can hear him humming along.

He will be cremated and I will be getting his ashes back in the next week or so. There is this little compartment in my viola case under the base of the neck that I have never used. I will be placing some of his ashes in there, close to the place where he loved to nap while I practiced.

All day I've agonized on how to honor him. A regular memorial just didn't seem to do justice to such a long time companion. But when I began playing the Clarke Sonata today, my heart almost burst on the last page of the first movement. That is when I knew how to best memorialize Hacker.

Now on the front of my sheet music of the Sonata, above what Rebbecca Clarke wrote, I added:
"In Loving Memory of Hacker. Friend, Companion. 1992-2008"

Come softly, sweet death
I do not fear you.
Your kiss brings rest
And comfort
To my ailing flesh.

My memories
I give freely,
To comfort those
Who I left behind.

Remember me,
When you are sorrowed
Or overwhelmed
With the joys of life.

I have no regrets.
We shared a love,
That is everlasting.
It has no beginning,
Nor end.

Come softly, sweet death.
I do not fear you.

Rest in peace my friend. You will always be in my heart and in my music.

From Lucy Henley
Posted on May 19, 2008 at 12:10 AM
I'm so sorry for your loss.


From Yixi Zhang
Posted on May 19, 2008 at 12:32 AM
It's so sad and I'm very sorry! Hacker seems to have had a great life and he was a very lucky cat.
From Pauline Lerner
Posted on May 19, 2008 at 1:10 AM
I'm so sorry you lost such a good friend. He looks great in your violin case. I think you've figured out the right way to memorialize him. RIP, Hacker.
From Mendy Smith
Posted on May 19, 2008 at 1:15 AM
Pauline - that is a 16" viola case. He was a big kitty (he was 25 pounds when this photo was taken last year). He would never have fit inside of a violin case.

Thank you all for the support.

From Ruth Kuefler
Posted on May 19, 2008 at 2:10 AM
Aww, I'm so sorry to hear about Hacker! It sounds like he was very dear to you.
From Ray Randall
Posted on May 19, 2008 at 4:41 AM
We understand what you feel and are so sorry.
From PM Rolf
Posted on May 19, 2008 at 8:18 AM
I'm so sorry... my eyes swelled up just reading your blog. I'm sure he enjoyed a great long, loving life.
From andrea B.
Posted on May 19, 2008 at 8:21 AM
I am so sorry to hear that ... I too am experiencing a little sorrow cat 8lives is sick .. I hope it will not go further than that ... well ... bless hacker ... I hope you'll feel better..

Rest in peace hacker ... :[

From Rosalind Porter
Posted on May 19, 2008 at 10:22 AM
Ohh, that's so sad. :-( Losing beloved pets is always heartbreaking and my heart goes out to you.
From Karen Allendoerfer
Posted on May 19, 2008 at 10:56 AM
I'm so sorry! What a nice kitty! You must miss him a lot.
From Neil Cameron
Posted on May 19, 2008 at 12:28 PM

My sincere condolences Mendy. I dread losing either of our two cats.


From Debra Wade
Posted on May 19, 2008 at 8:42 PM
What a beautiful tribute to your kitty!
From Karin Lin
Posted on May 19, 2008 at 9:25 PM
What a loving tribute, Mendy. I love the picture.
From Donna Clegg
Posted on May 19, 2008 at 10:07 PM
I, too,am sorry for your loss. I shed a few tears for you and Hacker. It is so hard to lose pets.
From Drew Lecher
Posted on May 20, 2008 at 1:12 AM
That was beautiful. No one knows what it is like to lose a dear pet, unless they have had one. They are truly part of our lives and families.

You have wonderful memories.
God bless,

From Mendy Smith
Posted on May 20, 2008 at 5:43 AM
Thankyou everyone for your kind words. The intense pain has lessened some.

One supprisingly beautiful thing has happened though. Hacker was diabetic and I still have many of his supplies. Some of my friends and colleagues also lost pets recently.

We are collecting all of these unused kitty medical supplies and donating them to the Kitty Hill Resort in Santa Cruz. A place where Hacker and his brother Tommy spent alot of time at when I traveled on business. I e-mailed the owner and she said she would love to have those supplies. She has some kitty residents who could put them to good use. What she does not need, she will donate to a local rescue group she works closely with.

This entry has been archived and is no longer accepting comments.

Facebook YouTube Instagram Email is made possible by...

Shar Music
Shar Music

Pirastro Strings
Pirastro Strings

JR Judd Violins
JR Judd Violins

Los Angeles Philharmonic
Los Angeles Philharmonic

Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra
Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra

Dimitri Musafia, Master Maker of Violin and Viola Cases
Dimitri Musafia, Master Maker of Violin and Viola Cases

Anne Cole Violin Maker
Anne Cole Violin Maker Shopping Guide Shopping Guide

Metzler Violin Shop

Southwest Strings

Bobelock Cases

Johnson String Instrument/Carriage House Violins

Jargar Strings

Bay Fine Strings Violin Shop


Los Angeles Violin Shop


String Masters

Nazareth Gevorkian Violins

Laurie's Books

Discover the best of in these collections of editor Laurie Niles' exclusive interviews. Interviews Volume 1 Interviews Volume 1, with introduction by Hilary Hahn Interviews Volume 2 Interviews Volume 2, with introduction by Rachel Barton Pine