Brother Cream, Hong Kong's famous celebrity and charity cat, has crossed the Rainbow Bridge at a time his hometown needs him the most.

Brother Cream, Hong Kong's famous celebrity and charity cat

Brother Cream – also known as Tsim Tung Brother Cream, Cream Bro, or Cream Aberdeen – enjoyed a career as Hong Kong's most beloved cat for well over a decade. The slightly chubby male British Shorthair was born in 2005, and he lived at a convenience store in Tsim Sha Tsui East, Kowloon, Hong Kong with his owner, Ko Chee-shing.

Brother Cream's fame was decidedly local until one day in July of 2012 when he disappeared – stolen, some said. His human family and friends mounted a frantic search for him complete with posted notices and online alerts. Almost one month after he vanished, Brother Cream re-appeared in an alley near his home... healthy but 3 pounds lighter. Both the intensive search and subsequent “miraculous” recovery served to cat-apult – so to speak – Brother Cream into Hong Kong pop culture.        

Brother Cream, Hong Kong's famous celebrity and charity cat

The photogenic feline soon found second homes on Facebook and Instagram where he rapidly accumulated tens of thousands of Likes. He also – with some help from his owner.manager – has appeared in several photo books after formally retiring as "manager" of Ko's store when it closed. Brother Cream wasn't one to rest on his laurels, however, as he graciously lent his “star power” to charitable campaigns supporting stray cats and animal shelters in and around Hong Kong.

All good things (not to mention all good cats) must come to an end, and such was the case with Brother Cream. On May 24 of 2020, the quietly impressive moggie went to meet his maker after a short but valiant struggle with stomach cancer.

Brother Cream, Hong Kong's famous celebrity and charity cat

“We miss him terribly and treasure the time we had with him in our lives over the past 14 years,” to quote the official notice at Brother Cream's Instagram account. “He will always be the most lovely, kind-hearted and handsome boy in our heart.”

Brother Cream is survived by his “wife”, a black & white Scottish Fold cat named Mui Mui. Our condolences to Brother Cream's extended family and adoring fans around the globe, but especially to the people of Hong Kong who are already enduring multiple difficulties. (images via Jonathan Leung)