The reviews may have been mixed, and the box office relatively low, but the Pet Sematary remake did create one break-out star; Church the cat, otherwise known as Leo. So, it’s with sadness that we have to report Leo has passed away.
Read more: What Happened To These Famous Movie Animals?
The news came from animal trainer Kirk Jarrett, who adopted Leo after filming, who announced the news on Instagram.
“It is with great sadness that we tell you that Leo has passed away. He will forever be missed by his human and fur family. May his star always shine bright,” Jarrett wrote.
While more than one cat played Church in the movie, to comply with animal safety laws, Leo was the feline star who appeared on the poster, as he was the cat most comfortable playing the undead version of the character in the film.
“Leo is a confident sit-stay cat. His role is as the undead Church; that was his whole purpose, to be the poster child. The cat you see all across the different platforms, and in the trailer, almost any time he’s in in the undead makeup—that was Leo,” Jarrett said in an earlier interview with AV Club.
Leo became a firm fan favourite, and a bit of an online meme, so it comes as no surprise to see there’s been an outpouring of grief online.
Leo the cat from Pet Sematary died and I think this is the hardest celebrity death I ever had to deal with, tbh. 💔 pic.twitter.com/7vkrFdtah1— Lena (@namjoonjimin) May 30, 2019
I just found out one of the cats from the new Pet Sematary movie died and I am upset.— Stacey Grant (@Stacey_Grant91) May 30, 2019
Leo the cat from pet sematary passed away. 2019 is the year of cats in cinema and this simply left me heartbroken. my condolences to his owners. Leo did an incredible debut and will be forever missed 💔— кєн 🧡.•* (@yooobbba) May 30, 2019
Leo’s acting skills also made an impact on reviewers, with almost every critic mentioning his performance in their reviews - so he leaves behind a positive legacy as a performer.
Tragically, Leo isn’t the first celebrity cat to pass away this month, we also lost the iconic Grumpy Cat a couple of weeks ago.
RIP Leo. You were a good cat.