We’ve been following the travels of the “dog-cat-rat man” for quite some time, as have many others — one video of the quartet garnered nearly 10 million views on YouTube. Last we heard, back in September, was that Greg Pike was taking his 12-pawed pyramid of unfettered joy back home to Colorado, to allow elderly Booger, a Rottweiler-Lab mix and the foundation of the act, to live out the remainder of her days in the town where she was born, among friends.
She did. Booger died on Monday in the care of a vet, while suffering from kidney failure and liver failure, according to the Denver Post.
“I think my eyes are drained. It really hurts,” Greg Pike said Tuesday. “She didn’t die in pain at all. She passed away in comfort in Telluride, where she loved to be.”
Booger had hoisted a few rats during her time, but there’s only been one cat on her back: Kitty. Booger adopted Kitty when she was a kitten, treating her like one of her own and letting Kitty spend a great deal of her time on earth atop her back (provided Kitty hoist a rat).
“The dog raised the cat,” Pike told us back in September. “The cat thought the dog was her mama. They’re family. Even the rat. It will crawl up under the cat’s chin, and the cat will use it as a pillow or start licking it.”
Now, Kitty just has the rat. The act is no more.
“I’ve never seen her curl up to me this much,” Pike said of Kitty, after Booger’s passing.
The show may not go on, but Pike still needs money. He’s going to work as a ski lift operator in Telluride while he brainstorms his next big adventure, where he will “focus on animals and bringing joy to people,” according to the Post. He said there will not be another dog-cat-rat act. He said it was a once-in-a-lifetime thing.
Booger will be cremated, and Pike plans to spread her ashes on Telluride’s Gold Hill. If you’re ever in the area, take a moment to remember the remarkable dog who let not one, but two animals spend their lives on her back.
“My dog earned her last few years to be in her favorite spot,” Pike said in September. “She always loved the high altitudes and the cold. I’m happy for what I did, and I’m glad I touched people. I have no regrets.”