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R.I.P. - Claudio Van Buskirk III
Image by Duncan Creamer Born Claudio Van Buskirk III, simply known as Claude to his family and friends, died today of complications stemming from a lengthy battle with diabetes. A specialist in Lazy and Cranky, Professor Van Buskirk was an emeritus professor at Creamer University, where he had taught since 1998. He received the Purrlitzer Prize in 2001 for his first collection of poems, "Don't Bother Me, Just Feed Me" (Scribner, 2001). This turned out to be a banner year and in June he was introduced and married to Miss. Boomshackalak of Plano Texas - known as Kotoneko to her friends. In spring 2003, Claude left behind the rat race life of the New York area to retire, choosing Canada's laid back west coast. Claude ultimately settled into a nice co-op apartment on Vancouver's trendy Robson Street where he enjoyed basking in sunbeams, sleeping in the tub and eating... mostly eating. He was also know to enjoy the occasional walk in his rooftop garden, insisting even on his final day to have one last stroll around. The private funeral is scheduled for this Saturday, 20th of May, 2006 on the property of friends in Langley B.C. His wife and friend Kotoneko Busykitty will be unable to make an appearance as she is out of town and unable to return in time for the service. However family, friends and dozens of celebrities are expected to attend and pay their respects, including Mr. Bigglesworth, Garfield, Felix, Sylvester, Mr. Socks Clinton and Morris who will be delivering the eulogy. Born the 27th of December 1993 to Sir Blue Boy and Sandy of NYC Claudio was adopted into the Knapp family early in 1994. Chosen as pick of the litter for his alert nature and his playful effort to grab your arm when holding him upside down, he was immediately welcomed as a new member of the family. Hard times were ahead for Claudio when his position as only child was usurped by the arrival of an actual human child to the Knapp family in 1998. Amid cries of favouritism, nepotism and even speciesism, Claudio made the decision to adopt a new family home and name. From that time on he would be known only as Claude. It was speculated at the time that he preferred the foreign pronunciation of "Cloh'd" his new family brought, to the Americanization "Claw'd'eo" which he felt was an unkind reference to his complete lack of front claws which had been removed against his will during his young and formative years. Accompanied by Duncan Creamer; his faithful owner; litter box cleaner and guy that fed him, Claude passed away peacefully today at the Urban Animal Hospital at 3:43pm on the 19th of May 2006 at the respectable age of 12. Having no offspring of his own, Claudio Van Buskirk III is survived by his loving wife and owner and will be missed by all that knew him. The family requests that donations be sent to your local S.P.C.A. in lieu of flowers.