Visitors & Locals Mourn The Passing Of “Flea”

February 12, 2013

The passing of one of St George’s unofficial ambassadors — a cat named “Flea” — is being marked by visitors and locals alike after the feline passed away on Sunday.

The cat had a Facebook page — “Friends of Flea in Bermuda” — dedicated to him, which launched in 2010 and saw locals and visitors post hundreds of comments and photos of him. The famous feline also garnered some 120+ posts on the Trip Advisor website over the past few years.

A post on the group announcing his death said, “We regret to inform you that Flea has passed. He was well loved and will always be remembered. His birthday was April 4th 2000 and passed February 10th 2013. We miss you Flea.”

flea cat bermuda

“I am very said to hear this as will be my whole family. My oldest son is 6 and he made his 5th trip last fall and his first stop is always to see Flea. RIP Flea,” wrote one visitor – while another said, “Rest in Eternal Peace, Flea. We were only there for 10 days, but you certainly left your mark on us.”

Another tribute to Flea said, “I had read about Flea before our first trip to Bermuda and was on the look out for him as soon as the ship docked. He was a wonderful ambassador for St. George. He will always be in my thoughts when I have the chance to return.”

A frequent Bermuda traveler from North Carolina noted she headed straight to St. George every trip just to see him, which was echoed by a Canadian couple.

The page also contains posts from many of the St George’s retailers, with “Flea” having always made himself known to the staff at the various stores around the town.

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Kristin, Dueane and Teri of The Book Cellar said, “We are still very saddened that we will no longer see Flea walking around Water Street. He was a huge part of life in St. George’s – tourists loved him, residents loved him. He was just a lovely cat.”

“When we first bought the store last year, the day that Flea came in and settled himself on our bookshelves, we knew we were accepted. He had favourite spots to sit all around our store, and we just loved to have him visit.”

- Photos above by N Strickland of South Carolina & The Book Cellar

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  1. C.B.A. says:

    It's things like this that we need to keep going in Bermuda. Even though it may seem small, these small things help our Island maintain a certain charm that isn't usually found elsewhere.

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    • jon says:

      so very true...Bermuda is in desperate need of such unlikely ambassadors or something unique that would interest people. With Social media like FB and Twitter the world is a very small place.

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  2. James Rego says:

    It's amazing how gentle creatures like Flea will leave indelible marks on our hearts! We will miss you Flea.

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  3. sickened says:

    I for one will miss Flea my visit to Bermuda wasn't completed until
    I held him and kissed him, he was my special boy.I will miss him terribly.
    Love you Flea!

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    • Annie says:

      I live next door to a private home that is rented out to tourists. Before it was rented out, my cat would often go into the yard and sit off as he didn't know where our yard ended and the other one started. Every now and then the owner would come over and complain to me and try and drive my cat away.

      Well, eventually tourists started coming and would just fall in love with my cat. They would take photos with him and he would eat up the attention. When they'd return they'd ask for my cat. The owner eventually realized that my cat was a valuable attraction that would bring return visitors to his property. He actually started feeding my cat in an effort to keep him on his property for the tourists! He soon realized just how happy animals make people and how visitors to the island look forward to coming back to check on pets they have fallen in love with.

      I remember Flea. He obviously touched a lot of lives. Those who aren't pet lovers don't understand how much of an impact they have in our lives. I call my cat my 'child with fur' or my 'four-legged child.' I hate to think of the day he isn't around anymore...I get choked up just thinking about it.

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  4. Tricia says:

    Please will someone put up a memorial for him in town. I think it's important to remember this cat, who was always a big part of the old town, not just for visitors, but locals too? Maybe Mr. Fountain can make a small statue of him for Somers Wharf with a plaque. Please.

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  5. George says:

    So let me get this right....................the posters above believe we should make an animal an ambassador for St. Georges/make a statue of him? Have I got that right?

    Come on people have we reached such a poor state in our development as human beings that we would sooner put an animal up on a pedestal than another human being?

    Don't get me wrong I am an animal lover as well and I understand the emotional benefit that being a pet owner can have to someone but I think we need to take a hard and fast look at ourselves if our emotional attraction grows stronger for animals (especially ones we don't own and care for full time) than our fellow human beings i.e. There are a lot of people out there in the world that could do with your love and affection first and foremost - cats do very well for themselves, its in their very nature to do so!

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    • Eastern says:

      @ George

      You should be ashamed of your self. A much beloved cat passes away and all you have to say is a bunch of negative rubbish.

      You should be banned from St. George's for life.....

      This cat should be buried in Somers Garden's right next to Sir George Somer's heart (and George should spend a week in the stocks....where's the Town Crier?)

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      • ABM says:

        Same can be said of these young men passing away. They pass and instead of being nice an expressing condolences you have people expressing hatred and that same negative rubbish. I understand the about the cat, but what about our fellow man? George is simply saying where are these same peoples nice gestures when it comes to our fellow man?

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      • Leo says:

        @Eastern: I agree! Flea was a hero! I once saw him rush into a burning building and rescue a family of five! Once he got them to safety, he quietly walked away because he didn't want any praise for his heroic act.

        I also saw-with my own eyes and not somebody else's-Flea jump into St. George's Harbour and pull a drunken guy to safety! He then also gave the guy mouth-to-mouth resuscitation! Again, once he saw that the guy was breathing on his own, and safe with the knowledge that he, Flea, had just called 911 and responders were on the way, calmly walked away without any recognition for his brave act!

        Lord only knows what other heroic acts Flea carried out that we don't know about!!!

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    • Curiosity says:

      I think you're misinterpreting the gesture. Flea was representative of a certain spirit that filled the town. I don't think they are saying that the cat is more important than a person. It's just nice to have a little reminder of the smiles and love he brought to us.
      also, only ONE poster suggested a statue. it's not like there was a petition ;)

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      • George says:

        Points taken Curiosity - but to suggest that St. George's put up a statue to Flea was a little over the top! Hence the tone of my post!

        Having lived and grown up in St.George's I know there is a lot more potential to the Olde Towne in its spirited people than was representative in Flea! My post was a challenge to all those who posted above and to all who live/work in St. George's to look to your neighbours/colleagues and fellow human beings to build on that spirit that the Town was once well known for. St. George's has fantastic potential and that potential lies in its people not in animals that we project our emotions onto.

        Eastern - sorry for your loss, I did not know Flea and therefore obviously did not have the same emotional attachment to him as you and many others. Death is sad regardless who/what it faces.

        Do you get as worked up and angry about the senseless deaths of young people through road traffic accidents or gang violence on the Island? Why not? I encourage you to put your sentimental and emotional energy into doing something for those who need it more than the animals we make our pets.

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        • Eastern says:

          @ George

          I think you need to be a little bit more realistic. You say you are from St. George, but you were not aware of Flea. How much of a St. Georgian our you?
          And to tie this in with the death and destruction on our roads is a completely different issue. Unfortunately, until the police get portable breathalizors; the carnage on our roads will continue.

          Flea is an animal that has contributed to the comraderie and friendship that St. Georgians hold dear and you should know that St. Georgians are the most integrated and friendliest people in Bermuda.

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          • George says:

            Eastern - please re-read my post before commenting! I lived and grew up in St. George's (past tense) so unless Flea was some feline genetic miracle and was 30+ years old I wouldn't have known him, but I certainly knew a few 'stray dogs'who probably had as much character as Flea had, who lived and died in the Olde Towne!

            I genuinely think its a good thing to see so many people care about something that they don't own or don't get financial reward from - but at the end of the day he was a communal pet, so in my opinion, an emotional response is understandable but the level of sentiment displayed by yourself and in some of the other posts is over the top.

            I would put it to you that the potential for the camaraderie and friendships you formed was always there.As a people living and working/surviving in a similar environment you have common interests and goals and that's what the basis of the friendships is/was. The cat may have been a communal symbol of that friendship but it was nothing more than that i.e. your friendships didn't die with the cat. You were projecting your feelings onto/through the cat for your fellow St. Georgians simple as that!

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    • Who cares says:

      I'm with you pal. Get a grip people!

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    • BDA says:

      would you prefer Kenny Bascome..or Jennifer Smith??? at least Flea made a point to grace everyone with his presence, rather then cold glares.

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    • Free says:

      I agree. People are weird. I never got the obsession with this cat and never will. Talking about putting up a memorial and statues. Good lord.

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    • Peace says:

      Perhaps we need to look a little closer at what other posters have said. Flea brought unconditional love to not only locals, but to many visitors to our island. He asked for nothing and received the same love he gave. Why is it that only humans can be considered only worthy of recognition? No, Flea wan't owned by anyone. He was a free spirit. Does that mean he's not worth anything? Perhaps more humans should take a page out of his book! I am all for a memorial to this beautiful creature. It should serve to remind us all of what kindness is all about. Sorry George. You stand on your own here.

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      • George says:

        Thanks for the post Peace you've proved my point stated above to Eastern perfectly i.e. your grief is misplaced and you're projecting your human feelings onto/through a cat.

        It might make you feel good to do so - I don't contest that, but at the end of the day Flea wasn't capable of acts of kindness (not unless you believe in Leo's alternate reality above), or any of the other human traits/emotions you have attributed to him.

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  6. Concerned Citizen says:

    It's amazing some people love their pets more then they love human beings! You people are sick, and it reveals the mindset of many in this country, and the sad thing is that you don't even resize it. But many of us do realise the way you all think, and that's why this country is a long distance away from social harmony.

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    • Brad says:

      @ Concerned: Not once has my pet ever judged anyone, lied to me, robbed a liquor store, stole money from me, flipped me the middle finger in traffic, sucked his teeth at me, rolled his eyes, ignored me for not saying Good Morning....if the people we run into everyday were half the people my pet is, this island would be a better place. And THAT, my friend, is why we see people loving their pets more than their neighbors these days!!!!

      Rest in peace sweet Flea!! You have made an imprint on many lives and have been an amazing part of our tourism plan.

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      • George says:

        Brad I have a blow up doll I can sell you! Hardly used good condition, and fits all the requirements you outlined above. Won't cost you half as much as keeping a pet (just a bit of air to blow it up now and again) and provides 'emotional' stimulus as well, depending on the level and type you require of course! ; )

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        • R@s cl@d says:

          Hey George, Brad doesn't want a male blow up doll.

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      • Eastern says:

        @ Brad

        I couldn't have said it better

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      • VL says:

        Agree 100%!!!

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      • ABM says:

        And all of what just you said is ok? That is the problem today with Bermuda, people are preferring to treat their pets and other animals better than their fellow man/woman. I get what u are saying though, but because someone lied to you, robbed a liquor store, stole money from you, flipped you the middle finger in traffic, sucked their teeth at you, rolled their eyes, ignored you for not saying Good Morning does not give incentive to do the same thing or treat your fellow man just as bad. It sends the island as a whole into a downward spiral. We need to solve the problems not enhance them.

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      • Free says:

        That's a pretty sh!tty excuse for loving pets more than humans. But we all know what type of people live by that.

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  7. Orbit says:

    FLEA FLICKAAAAAA ............... NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

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  8. So sad says:

    Flea you will be sadly missed in my St. George's visits. A great character for St. George's, part of the charm of the lovely town.

    George, your negativity has no place here and is most unappreciated.

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  9. Annette Blaker says:

    So sorry to hear about Flea he will be a big miss ,will miss you Flea when I come to St Georges again.

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  10. Erica RM says:

    Reading how Flea meant so much to so many and how people made sure that during their return visits they checked in on him is a wonderful thing. Flea was a part of what made them feel a connection to here and that can only be seen as a positive. No this does not mean that they are not caring of humans as some have tried to twist it....you see people CAN actually have compassion and be caring of BOTH humans and animals.

    To those who will miss Flea you have my condolences. I think that a memorial for Flea is a nice idea.

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  11. MEOW says:

    I would never forget the time that Flea had almost sailed out of Bermuda on a visiting sailing yacht. The yacht turned around 2 miles off St. David to drop flea back to land.
    RIP Flea!! You will be missed.

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    • Eastern says:

      And once he got on the ferry and went to the Dockyard, but the staff on the ferry made sure he made it back to St. George.

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  12. Pastor Syl Hayward says:

    Although I did not know Flea personally, I totally understand how an animal can capture one's heart. @ Brad: Too true. Animals are not some-timey, you don't have to second guess what is going on in the relationship, and they don't play silly mind games. You can tell a lot about a person's character by the way they treat animals and children.

    RIP Flea. Clearly you will be missed.

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  13. VL says:

    Oh no, so sorry to hear this! I remember seeing Flea in a store and asking the storekeeper if he was hers. She replied, "He's everybody's." RIP Flea.

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  14. Nuffin but de Truth! says:

    George,ya cant miss me in the towne,remind me to throw you overboard!

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  15. FLEA MAY YOU REST IN PEACE, IWAS COMING TO SEE YOU TOMORROW I'LL STILL COME AND BRING SOME CATNIP LOVE U

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  16. Simon Sorrentino says:

    I miss Flea so sad i remember when i used 2 work at the former Crisson on Water Street and he used 2 sit on the welcome carpet n he loved the attention from all the customers espically the tourists such a miss he will be

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  17. Cats says:

    I never met Flea but he sounds like he made a lot of people happy, something we all need in our lives! R.I.P Flea!

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  18. Simon Says says:

    I love cats just as much as the next person but some of these comments are downright hysterical. I'm talking about the ones that say "I didn't know Flea personally" or "I never met Flea". What-was the owner making introductions when people came into the store or something? Sorry to break it to you, but Flea probably just tolerated most of you. He was probably thinking "Why the hell are all these people fondling me all of the time?!" I really, really doubt that he liked all of you as much as you all liked him-he probably just hid his disdain really well-he was a cat, after all!!!

    Still sad, though (don't get me wrong)...

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    • Cats says:

      Oh Simon, you sound Sooo foolish, no one is hysterical but you! As for the complainers who say people care for animals before humans you all sound foolish and simple too! I love my cats as they loyal and loving, can't say the same about some humans I know! I say let the people erect a statue in Fleas honor! By the way I love my family and friends too!

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  19. tt says:

    RIP little guy :( awwww

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  20. FEELY says:

    You obviously know nothing about the nature of cats! If he didn't like, love and enjoy the attention he would not have hung around and allowed people to touch him.

    It is a proven fact that pet owners live happier and longer lives. I would recommend for every household to have a pet and maybe the island can become a healthier place to live in.

    @George Animals do have their own personalities. It is not always us projecting our emotional attachments on animals but the spirit of the animal projecting us. I had a cat once that was full of personality. My friend hated cats until he met my little Jazzy.

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    • George says:

      FEELY - think about what you just stated. i.e. Flea had a personality. In order to have a personality he/she would have to be a person, cats are obviously not people. He/She might have behaved differently/more uniquely than other cats, responded positively to the attention and the extra food/better treatment that came with that attention but he/she didn't have a personality.

      You may want to believe that because of how it makes you feel (again my point - you're projecting your feelings onto/though the cat) but as a scientific fact animals don't have personalities and all the human traits/characteristics/emotions that come with personalities!

      I don't doubt that pets bring happiness to their owners (I have been a pet owner most my life), otherwise why would they own a pet, but you'll have to show us the scientific proof that proves that pet owners live longer than non-pet owners!

      I would also put it to you and others who believe in the'animal personality' (the acts of kindness of animals, camaraderie, friendship etc) that what in fact you are doing is allowing human emotion that is/maybe lacking in your lives to be substituted by animal affection/attention - see Brad's post above for an extreme example of this. Nothing wrong with this - I am simply stating it for what, in my opinion, I think it is in the context of people's perceptions of their relationships with animals, in this case Flea!

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      • BermudaGirl says:

        George, you are a bore. Please sit down and stop talking. Please don't get a pet, because you would probably abuse it. A famous quote is :" A society can be judged by the way it treats its animals." A man that does not like animals has a questionable character. RIP, sweet Flea!

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  21. spoons says:

    Completely true story...

    One day last year I was parked outside Somers Supermarket (St. George's). Flea, completely of his own volition, decided to get into my car when I opened the drivers door to get in. I drove him up to Wahoo on Water Street (all of 100 meters) and open up the car door. Flea popped out quite happy, to the total astonishment of three tourists sitting outside the restaurant. "It's okay", I said, "we are quite used to him here."

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    • Nuffin but de Truth! says:

      Had similar stories like yours,Flea was well known for getting rides and being picked up and taken back to Water Street.

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  22. Vicki Wilkins says:

    We are so sad about Flea's passing.

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