Advocaat left Sunderland at the start of the month, after failing to win any of his opening eight matches in the 2015/16 Premier League campaign.
And rather than make an emotional gesture towards the squad, he simply told the players of his decision to walk away in simple terms.
“Dick was great for Sunderland," Cattermole said. "He got connected with the club and really involved and emotional. But this season he made a few changes and, for whatever reason, it just didn’t happen for him. At the end he came in and said: ‘I’ve made a decision to walk away’. We have a lot of respect for Dick, the lads have given their best for him."
Advocaat kept Sunderland up against the odds last season, but he was unable to help them progress in the new campaign.
Cattermole admits that these comments took him by surprise, but he still feels no resentment towards the Dutch boss.
"I was a bit surprised by Dick’s comments,” he added. “He’s obviously not been happy and he’s said something but we can’t read too much into that. We know what’s gone on inside the dressing room."
Advocaat has been replaced by Sam Allardyce at Sunderland, and the 60-year-old boss will be hoping to get their season up and running by beating derby rivals Newcastle United at the weekend.