“It comes with great sadness that our outdoor cat, Guillermo, and everyone’s best friend in Mount Pleasant has been killed by a hit and run speeding vehicle”

by Prince Of Petworth July 25, 2016 at 12:55 pm 52 Comments


“Dear PoPville,

It comes with great sadness that our outdoor cat and everyone’s best friend in mt.p has been killed by a hit and run speeding vehicle at 1656 irving st. No tags were able to be witnessed. It happened around 745 am 8am…my wife jennifer and I recieved a call from our next door nieghbor…I went outside to the scene and asked my wife not to come out.

He was a foot into the bike lane on irving when he was deliberately struck. It has been very hard for ourselves as well as the nieghbors. Hobart st. Threw him a huge block party 1year ago and the children had a banner competition for the hobart st. Block party. “We love guillermo!!!” Was the banner..

We loved him…..and his sister marmalade is still waiting for him to come home.”


  • Hill Denizen

    Awww, I’m so sorry for your loss. He looks like such a handsome fellow.

    • mmm

      very handsome, indeed. RIP

  • Anon

    This is horrible and I’m very sorry for your loss, but I’m not sure how you can come to the conclusion that he was “deliberately struck”.

    • kd21

      And also that the vehicle was speeding. But, anger is part of the grieving process.

      Regardless, condolences. It’s always hard to lose a beloved pet.

    • Brentwood

      This – I’ve had the misfortune of seeing a few animals get struck by cars at/below speed limit. Most have been thrown a few feet, crawled a little further. Unless the neighbor who called also witnessed – although, again, swerving might look deliberate to someone in their yard, but could actually be trying to avoid the cat moving erratically in the street. But also, there’s terrible, terrible people in the world and this is a crappy way to start the week.

    • ParkViewneighbor

      I’m sorry for you.
      Remember though that streets aren’t really made for cats or kids either. Especially in urban areas

    • *

      +1. It is very sad that he died but I would give the driver the benefit of the doubt (pending other info not shared by the writer) and assume this is an unfortunate accident.

    • [rrrrr]

      There was a witness, so I would assume those facts were based on what they saw. Regardless, really sad news to start a week on.

      • TJ

        Very sorry to hear this.
        Assertions are the best we can do. Facts are elusive, especially when conveyed by eyewitnesses.
        The timing of this incident is rush hour on a thru street. While possible, it is improbable someone swerved to hit the cat.

  • Woodridge

    I’m so very sorry about Guillermo – what a terrible thing to happen. Rest in peace, little buddy.

  • Jill

    Very sorry for your loss; we have a similar orange tabby on my block who is beloved by everyone. I know some people have legitimate concerns about cats being allowed to roam outdoors, but they can add a lot of character to a neighborhood.

  • Cam

    So sorry to hear about the sudden loss of this clearly very beloved cat. My sincere condolences.

  • Someone

    Isn’t it illegal to have outdoor cats in DC?

    • Angry Parakeet


      • Anon

        You can’t really convert an outdoor or partial outdoor cat to a life indoors though (believe me I’ve tried). Some might say the cat should have been rehomed in the country but I think that’s just as difficult.

      • Volunteer

        No, free roaming cats are community cats in DC

  • Allison

    I’m so sorry for your loss. I ran into Guillermo a few months ago; he was so charming I took several photos. I’m not a great photographer but I can send them to you if you would like.

  • Mamasan

    So sorry for your loss.

  • Emma

    I am so sorry for your loss. That is awful. I lost my childhood cat that way and it was truly awful. I hope he didn’t suffer. Thoughts are with you and your family.

  • wdc

    How awful. I had a ginger cat who took his ambassadorial duties very seriously. He would spend hours sitting on the retaining wall; when someone came down the sidewalk he would crane his whole body to rub up against them as they passed. For months after he died, strangers would ask me where that giant orange cat was. Orange kitties are the best.

  • erin

    I’m so sorry for your loss. This is never easy, but I cannot imagine being in this particular situation. Guillermo was loved, and he definitely knew that. Your family, Marmalade, and all the neighbors who also loved him are in my thoughts.

  • BloomingdaleRes

    it’s illegal and nonsensical to let your cats outside in a city. Sorry for your loss, but this was a completely avoidable outcome.

  • I feel sorry for the owners but I guess I’ll be that guy. Why was Guillermo was outside to begin with?

  • nw_dc_1988

    Wow. Former Mt Pleasant resident here and I am just so sad and in shock over this. Guillermo was such a sweet heart, everyone knew and loved him. RIP buddy.

  • Pcat

    I am so sorry for your loss – but PLEASE keep your kitties inside!

  • FriendofCat

    This is a horrible story. I imagine that there are only a few roads that the car could have come from or gone. Since you have a time frame and possibly a description of the vehicle you could probably track down video footage of the vehicle. I remember a few months back someone was struck by a van (hit and run) and they were able to catch the person by checking with city and local CCT along the probable path of the vehicle. It may not bring closure, but at least the person responsible might face some consequences.

    • Anon

      Seriously? Put those kind of resources towards finding a car that hit a cat? Someone – as in a person – was struck by a van, sure. But a cat?

      • mdtodc

        Ya its aggressive, but I would do that if happened to my cat. 100%.

  • wdc

    PoP, did you have to let the “I told you so” crowd in? They don’t have any manners, so perhaps you could step in.

    • Someone

      “keep your cats indoors” isn’t the same as “I told you so”.
      Imagine if I complained in a popville post that my dog got hit because I had him off leash around traffic.

      • textdoc


      • Anonymous

        I think “Why in the world would you do “X”? is a form of “I told you so.”
        But in any event, the background rule of this forum is that you can’t post anything without expecting it to be challenged in some way by someone. If you had your dog on a leash and the dog bolted away from you unexpectedly and got hit by a car, someone would put up a post questioning why you didn’t have a better hold on the leash.

        • Someone

          So now you’ve made up two false arguments. You’re the only one saying those things or maybe you just can’t see the difference.
          Comparing it to a dog that bolted away unexpectedly (an accident) is different than having an outdoor cat (an on-purpose).
          When (not if) someone posts complaining about running into a sign post while playing Pokémon Go, I will also suggest they stop being dumb.

  • Really sorry to hear this :( My wife and I used to live on 17th and Irving and would frequently find him chilling on our front steps and he was the most friendly cat with strangers I have ever seen. He was so friendly he snuck in our basement when our door was open while doing laundry and accidentally got locked in overnight until we heard him the next morning. He would also scratch at our door to be let in frequently so we’d let him come in and hang out. When we moved out we had our doors open and he kept sneaking in and almost got left in there until I spotted him in one of our kitchen cabinets and snapped this photo. http://imgur.com/a/vDgSk

    I always had cats growing up, but didn’t have one here in DC so it was nice to have him around and seeing him always made my day. He lived one hell of a life and I’m sure made everyone on Irving St smile.

    • Here’s another nice photo my wife snapped of him wanting to come in our house. http://imgur.com/a/Ss1Nw

      • I Dont Get It

        I love this pic!

    • Anon

      I can’t have a cat which makes me appreciate my neighborhood outdoor cat even more. I get a cat to pet and play with without any of the responsibilities!

  • Anonymous

    I am sorry for your loss. I lost a cat to natural causes a few months ago.
    As far as why someone would allow a cat outside, I have known a number of folks who owned outdoor cats. In most cases the cats were either outdoor cats when they were adopted, or were brought up by the owners as outdoor cats in a less congested, more suburban area. The reason the cats were still allowed outside by the new owners (or in the new area) is that the cats were just miserable being kept indoors all the time.

  • AnonJohn

    Outdoor cats kill between 1.3 and 4.0 billion birds per year in the US. (cite: Smithsonian’s Conservation Biology Institute). That’s 1 kill / 17 hours outdoors. And they only bring ~23% of kills back home. Sure, it may be less in the city, but it’s still a problem.

    • Sydney

      Hey, it’s Jonathan Franzen — who surely knows that study has been laughed off the charts. The economic costs of the lost birds, if you want to continue, go to $55 trillion, or five times the US GDP. What about the poor city rats? Anyway, if we cared about birds, we wouldn’t be letting millions of acres of habitat get destroyed by suburban sprawl. Yes, urban cats do better indoors, but they can be happier outdoors part of the day.
      Guillermo looks and sounds like he was a fine fellow who enjoyed an utterly happy life and community. Here’s to that time and our memory of him.

  • Neighbor

    Such terrible, sad, tragic news. We are so very sorry for you and your family. Guillermo would greet me practically every day along my commute, purring or rubbing against my legs and bringing a smile to my face. He was an extremely clever, friendly, mischievous, and adorable cat who charmed every soul who walked by. Everyone on Irving Street was fond of seeing him lounging on the retaining walls or surveying his kingdom from the stairs. I’ve watched him magnetically draw pedestrians toward him for a pet or an affectionate word. I’m not even that much of a cat person, but Guillermo was irresistible and special. He endeared himself to every passerby. What an amazing companion and beloved family member. We in Mt. P are all grieving with you. We will miss him dearly.

  • textdoc

    Sorry to hear of Guillermo’s passing. I never met him, but it sounds like he was a great and well-loved kitty.

  • SRCK

    I’m sorry for this pet owner’s loss. I had to clean up the body of my neighbor’s beloved cat and notify my neighbor when he died after being hit by a car. It was devastating.

    I’ll add my voice to the crowd begging cat owners to keep their cats indoors, but not only because of the danger from cars. My dog has killed two cats that have come into our backyard. I was a tearful mess both times but there was nothing I could do. A commenter noted that this great cat got into his house one day without him knowing… If it had been mine, it would have been a tragic end. Please keep your cats indoors and your dogs leashed!!

    • Anon

      This seems to be the appropriate response to me. It is truly a terrible thing to lose a family pet. And “I told you so” does absolutely no good at this point. However, a gentle reminder isn’t awful, either. What happened here is just gut-wrenching. But maybe it can be prevented.

    • Anon

      I know someone whose cat got mauled while she was walking him on a leash. And another person whose indoor cat was killed when someone opened the door and a loose dog can running into their house. So it can happen even if the cat’s not roaming free.

  • Barbara

    RIP Guillermo. You’ll be missed.

  • I’m so sorry to see this news. I loved that kitty, he was so friendly and vocal. I lived on the 1700 block of Irving St for 5 years. The day I moved he stopped by my door and I took some adorable pictures.

  • hupster

    This hurts my heart a bit. I live on that block as well and always enjoyed getting a visit from Guillermo. He was so friendly and inquisitive that once when he had company over, a guest brought him inside, thinking he was our foster cat and had gotten out. And totally understandable that some cats can only really live as outdoor cats. My deepest condolences for you.

    • Anon

      Are orange cats more likely to be incapable of being indoors? Seems like most of the outdoor cats I’ve seen are the orange kind.

  • msisme

    A stray cat in my neighborhood (that I persuaded to come in to the porch to eat but beyond that did not want to have anything to do with indoor life) was almost struck very intentionally by a bicyclist right in front of me in the evening a month or so ago. I was pretty enraged, people are awful.

  • Alisommy

    I’m terribly sorry for your loss. My husband and I have lived on 17th and Irving for two years now, and Guillermo’s determined attempts to charm his way into our apartment became a bit of a running joke with our friends and family. He truly was the friendliest cat ever – “the labrador of cats” was what my dad called him. We referred to him as “Hello Cat”, due to the circumstances through which we met him: my husband left the door to the apartment open for a while, and as I was getting out of the shower later, I heard what SOUNDED like a tiny raspy voice saying “Hallow?” at my feet. It was just Guillermo wanting to be let back out after being trapped inside (he had a rather unique meow), but I screamed bloody murder and scared us all. He will be greatly missed around Mt Pleasant.

  • Clare

    How terrible — I’m so sorry for your loss. I recommend remembering Guillermo by giving a donation to Homeward Trails, an excellent rescue organization. You can do this on their website, homewardtrails.org


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