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The adventures of Ollie the Dead Cat

This story originally aired on February 17, 2018.

Ollie was a gray and white tomcat, a bit of a tough guy, but with a soft side. He’d often curl up on Tom Paulson’s chest at night. Tom is more of a dog person, but he and Ollie bonded — maybe because Ollie was “not weird and scary like a lot of cats. [He] had more of a dog personality.”


But pets are mortal, and one day Tom got a call at work from his wife with the news: Ollie was dead. Please come home and deal with him. So Tom headed home, and collected the cat.


What are you going to do with him, his wife asked? Tom had not really thought that through yet.


“‘I don’t know, put him in recycling or something?’ Well that freaked her out, she was not in favor of that. I said, ‘we can just bury him out in the backyard.’ She didn’t like that idea, because we might forget he was there and, when we’re planting a rhododendron, find his bones,” Tom said.


So began something of a comedy of errors — part “Weekend at Bernie’s,” part “Pet Sematary.” Tom Paulson joined Sound Effect in our studio to tell the tale of Ollie the Dead Cat.

Gabriel Spitzer is a former KNKX reporter, producer and host who covered science and health and worked on the show Sound Effect.