Bill Fitzhugh and Crusty Boogers: Pet Spotlight

Editor’s note: Anyone that knows Bill Fitzhugh, or has read one of his books, won’t even blink at a name as odd as Crusty Booger, but the story behind the cat shows that Bill, despite being a little off his rocker, has a heart of gold.

About a week before I left for a book tour for The Organ Grinders (9/10/98 to be exact), I saw Crusty wandering down a sidewalk when he was a days-old kitten. I was 2 miles into my 8 mile bike ride. I stopped and knocked on a few doors but no one claimed him. I didn’t want a cat. We had two dogs at the time. But I told Crusty that if he was there when I came back at the other end of my ride, I’d take him home.

He was there waiting for me. So I kept my word. My wife fell for him immediately. We took him to the vet. They called later to say that it would take less time to say what WASN’T wrong with the cat than what was. He had everything but ear mites. About $1,700 later, they stopped charging us for their services. They fixed him up on everything except a viral problem in his sinus. The viral problem leads to a bacteriological problem that led to his name: Crusty Boogers.

As if to prove the adage ‘no good deed goes unpunished’ Crusty has ruined our living room sofa and two or three chairs and has chewed the corner of every table at his level. After he goes on to big heated cat cup in the sky, we’re going to have to spend a fortune on new furniture. At 13 + years, he’s starting to have some ‘senior needs’ like subcutaneous fluids which I give him. He’s not crazy about it and who can blame him?


If you have not read Bill’s work, might I suggest PEST CONTROL? It was his debut novel and Bill recently released a follow-up, THE EXTERMINATORS, on Poison Pen Press. – Jeremy