Goodbye, Kind Friend: RIP The Bear (1995-2016) - Tom Cox

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Saturday, 17 December 2016

Goodbye, Kind Friend: RIP The Bear (1995-2016)



My cat The Bear died yesterday morning. I’m pretty sure I know the exact moment he died because at about 2.40am I woke with a full body jolt that felt like a benevolently intended electric shock and my house felt very different to how it had ever felt before. A few hours later, as the lazy winter sun was finally beginning to rise over the line of bare trees overlooking my house, I went downstairs and found him on his side in the hallway, lifeless. I wrapped him in the towel I’d been recently using to dry him after cleaning his increasingly matted fur, and buried him in the garden. I wanted to dig a grave for him under the yew tree in the spot where he’d loved to sleep for the last three summers, each of which had seemed like a miraculous extension of his long life, during which rain, clear air and sun seemed to be performing a magic natural spa treatment on his brittle old body. In folklore yews symbolise longevity and immortality, which would have been perfect for The Bear, but the ground was too firm underneath my yew. Instead I buried The Bear on the opposite side of my house, near my shed. I dug the hole deep, recalling that badgers had made their setts near here in the past, then remembered that my concerns were unfounded, since, prompted by dubious scientific “evidence” about the spreading of bovine TB, some bastards have recently shot pretty much all of the ones who used to live around here.

I remember writing about The Bear slowing down and my fears about losing him towards the end of 2012, not long after his seventeenth birthday, but I was wrong: The Bear wasn’t slowing down then. When I look at photos of him from that period, and even at those from a year beyond it, what I see is a bright-eyed - if melancholy - cat with a shiny coat who was full of life and who most strangers mistook for a animal half his age. His actual slowing down was more a marked and painful thing to witness, although it was very gradual. First there was a hollow darkness around the eyes. Then an overactive thryoid gland that made it appear that overeating had the reverse effect on him that it has on most animals and people. After the weight loss came a pronounced arthritic wobble combined with unretractable claws that made it seem that he was tap dancing into any hard-floored room that he entered. He still moved fast, at any suggestion of food, exacerbating the campness of the wobble. 

In summer 2015, I realised his slight deafness had become a greater disability. What made me realise this was the time I was sorting myself some cheese on toast and set my kitchen smoke alarm off, causing my other three cats, Roscoe, Ralph and Shipley, to scatter but The Bear to merely sit at my feet, looking up at me in a way that seemed to say “Hello! Erm, did someone call?” The next, bigger stage of the slowing down didn’t really occur until the end of this summer, when he lost the ability to groom himself and his arthritis reached another level of severity. Sometimes, he’d try to scratch an itch with his back leg, but not be able to reach, scratching thin air instead. If I was around, I’d try to find the spot and scratch it for him. I’m not sure that I ever got it quite right.



I will try not to write more than is necessary about The Bear here. My latest four books - the last ones I will probably ever write directly about him and my other cats - tell the story of his life pretty comprehensively. In order to give the third in the series a boost at a time when I was struggling financially and contemplating giving up journalism - a decision I’ve since made and firmly stood by - I set up a Twitter account for The Bear called @MYSADCAT. I knew that if this became successful it would come with its downside, as well as its ups. Strangers who live through the Internet to the extent that they cannot see beyond life lived on it became furious that I had placed photos of my cat in their Twitter feed and that I had exploited my cat to sell very slightly more books than I already did, for each of which I sometimes received a royalty payment of as much as 31 pence. And it is true: it had been very dreadful of me to go to each of these strangers’ houses with a gun and train the gun on them as I shouted orders at them to scroll through a Twitter account and look at photos of my cat, especially when they had such busy existences and so much stuff they needed to get on with. It had also been dreadful of me to take photos of my cat as he followed me around my house looking at me sweetly, then transfer the photos to the Internet, accompanied by a deliberately absurd, carefully worded caption, when I had not even got my cat to sign any kind of contract or waiver. But those strangers were in the minority; as, much more so, were those who threatened to come to my house and kill my cat or announced they would celebrate his death. Mostly, I felt an enormous amount of love for The Bear radiating from my computer. A group of around two dozen bright, kind, lovely women who commented regularly on my photos of him and read my books became friends, then started to meet up in person, often supporting each other through tough times and personal crises. They named themselves The Bear’s Army and proudly introduced themselves to me as members of it at my spoken word events. 

Because of this enormous love for The Bear, I am nervous that the amount of mourning for him might be unjustly outsized, and, perhaps, the messages of online sympathy for me. While I am of course grateful for the latter, they are unneccesary: I decided to be alone during the final hours of The Bear’s life, and the few hours that followed them, but that was my own choice. I have plenty of friends around me who I know I can look to for support, if I need it. I’ve chatted to several of them and it’s been cathartic and good. As far as The Bear is concerned, if he did have the intellectual, empathetic character I ascribed to him, I don’t think he’d want you to mourn him. I think he’d want you to celebrate his life, maybe by doing a little something for someone else: refugees fleeing terrible situations or animals who have not had the luxuries he has had, since his awful start in life. I can picture people on social networks linking to this piece without having properly read it and saying “2016 deals its final callous blow”, in that part joking but serious but part joking but actually serious way people do on social networks, but that’s not true. This isn’t a callous blow. It’s just a natural ending to something good, that, as endings go, is as about as non-cruel as you could wish for. The Bear had an amazingly full and unusually lengthy life and for the last, prolonged chunk of it was clearly very content indeed, which probably explains his fierce will to stay here, in the land of the living. I tried to make it even better for him at the end, if that was possible. I feel certain that at my local village shop I am known as 'The Guy Who Buys All The Chicken'. They probably would never guess that I am a vegetarian.

Linocut of The Bear by my mum

Cats are supposed to have nine lives. The Bear undoubtedly went through far more. A few weeks before his death, around the time of his 21st birthday, when he became old enough to drink in America but disappointingly unable to take advantage of that fact due to never leaving my garden, I made a list of the lives I could think of, which of course were only the ones I knew about, and not the others, which were no doubt numerous.

  1. The time he was dumped on the hard shoulder of a motorway by his original owner
  2. The time most of his fur fell out because he was allergic to fleas.
  3. The time most of his fur fell out again because he was allergic to the treatment for the fleas.
  4. The time he escaped from my old flat in London and was away for over a month and came back smelling of death and cabbage.
  5. The time he got carbon monoxide poisoning.
  6. The time my other, more thuggish black cat, Shipley, shut the lid on the cardboard box he was asleep in then jumped on the cardboard box.
  7. The time feral cats ripped a hole in his throat then made rips in his ears so they looked like they had been clipped by a ticket inspector on a train.
  8. The time he developed asthma, due to the hole in his throat.
  9. The time my old nextdoor neighbour’s elderly lady cat, Biscuit, broke his heart by refusing his gentle advances.
  10. The time he somehow ended up on the opposite side of the river to my old house even though there wasn’t a bridge.
  11. The time he developed an overactive thyroid gland.
  12. The time he fell in my garden pond.
  13. The time he almost died from an abscess on his eardum.
  14. The time after that when he was diagnosed with cancer, which then vanished.

I really thought 13 and 14, at the start of September this year, would signal The End for The Bear, and had prepared myself for that. Earlier in the summer, when he’d started to look more visibly elderly, I’d stopped putting new photographs of him online. He was a dignified cat and I wanted to preserve that dignity by not publicly charting his decline. I had also never wanted this to be a situation comparable to those experienced by other well-known Internet cats, even though I began to see how I could make it one, as I received - and ignored - emails from TV companies and newspapers about him, and others from strangers offering to pay for time in his company. I was always firm in my belief that the minor celebrity of his online alter ego should not have any effect on his actual life, other than in the form of extra chicken. The Twitter account existed because I wanted people to read about his life, read the books I’d worked hard on, and because I wanted to have the luxury of continuing to write many, many other books. That was all. I had seen another disadvantage to The Bear’s online popularity, too: that for every person who read my books about cats and realised they were very different to other books in the notoriously syrupy cat book genre, and not entirely about cats, there seemed to be two other people who’d not read them but made a thinly gleaned assumption about what they were (and wanted to tell me about it). When the eardrops and antibiotics I gave him cured his abscess and, miraculously, the symptoms associated with the suspected tumour between his eye and jaw dissipated, I officially retired The Bear from the Internet. People still asked me every day if they could see The Bear but in all honesty I’d already gone on tweeting from his account for longer than I felt comfortable with.

After that, The Bear had two very good months. Despite his wobblier and wobblier legs, he still jumped up on the coffee table and my bed. He still enjoyed being outside in the strong Devonshire sun and appeared to gain strength from it. But when he took a turn for the worse a couple of weeks ago I was aware there would not be yet another miracle turnaround. He could not go on forever, despite multifarious previous signs to the contrary. At the start of this week, I knew he was declining in a more significant way, and I suddenly became acutely conscious of the shining fur and muscularity of my three other cats, two of whom are 15 and a half themselves. It began to hit me how much time I’d started to spend looking after him, cleaning him and cleaning up after him. I thought about other elderly cats not lucky enough to have homes and decided to give my earnings for copies of my book sold this week to my local rescue centre, in the form of food. Immediately after his death, I took the proceeds of this, plus a bit extra, to the Animals In Distress shelter in the south Devon village of Ipplepen. The shelter thanked me, but I felt wrong for taking the credit; they should have been thanking The Bear. It was his idea.

Right now I’m struggling with a few of the standard feelings that come with the death of a beloved pet or person: an emptiness in the house, where a small comical and loveable and apparently deeply thoughtful presence once was. There is part of me that feels that by burying him only mere hours after I was stroking him in his favourite spot on his chest and making him purr, I have in some way thrown The Bear away, even though I know it’s wildly irrational. I don’t believe such feelings are untypical. Neither, probably, is the way my mind tends to dwell on its more upsetting final images of him. In fact, I think this is perhaps an important part of acknowledging what has happened. Overall, I’m doing okay and, mixed into the ache in my chest, there is a feeling that, above all, there is something to be celebrated here: a longevity so extreme and death-defying it made you laugh, a unique character, and an end that could have been far worse. Many would argue that kindness isn’t in a cat’s nature but if there was ever such a thing as a kind cat, it was The Bear. To my knowledge, he never killed or even attacked another living being. When other cats - and, on the odd occasion, seagulls - appeared keener for food than him, he willingly moved aside. When I was poorly or sad - and I know this is less unusual in a cat - he seemed to know, and move in closer. Friends who came to my house initially fell in love with Roscoe, Ralph and Shipley for more obvious reasons but left besotted with The Bear, enchanted by a polite, curious, almost philanthropic look in his saucer eyes. After seeing the state he was in on the night before his death, I had steeled myself and decided that the next morning I would take him to the vet to be put to sleep, that it was the best course of action for him, the only course of action. But I utterly, utterly dreaded it. That he saved me that agonising experience could be viewed as his final act of kindness: a last quiet gesture from one of the cat universe’s gentler souls.


Read more about The Bear's brave, unique life here

Goodbye, Kind Friend: RIP The Bear (1995-2016) Reviewed by Tom Cox on 07:25:00 Rating: 5 My cat The Bear died yesterday morning. I’m pretty sure I know the exact moment he died becau...

576 comments:

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Ros Lucas said...

Oh Tom I am so very sorry to learn of The Bear's demise. Most heartbreaking news indeed; such an extraordinary little chap and your writings about him have touched all our hearts, and I can't imagine what sadness you must feel right now. Sending you and yours much love and healing vibes. RIP little man xxxxx

Maureen Kincaid Speller said...

He was a most excellent cat who brightened the world for so many people.

Anonymous said...

A beautifully gracious obituary. Go well, The Bear

Alice Bondi said...

Celebrating a wonderful life, well-lived (thanks to you, Tom) and well-loved. I smiled in recognition at the chicken bought by a vegetarian - my best-beloved, who died in 2009, was treated to organic skinless chicken breasts (yes, I know it's ridiculous) in his last months and I haven't eaten such stuff in 40 years. Huge, huge thanks for expressing The Bear to us in Twitter and book form.

Keira McKenzie said...

I know how hard it is to say goodbye to a feline friend that has been in your life so long. I am sorry for how you must be feeling. He had a good time with you & you shared him with so many. I am thank ful, and keep your heart warm. xxx

Jan Bullock said...

Thank you for sharing your life with this incredible cat. He was one in a million.

SN said...

Oh The Bear, we will miss you too.

Anonymous said...

Bye Bear Best wishes and lots of love Tom.x Welsh1,Sian

Carmen Stone said...

Thank you for sharing him with us. ❤️

Boodie said...

I am heartbroken, absolutely heartbroken. I loved The Bear as much as I loved my own cats. I know you said not to mourn, but I can't help it. Rest well sweet much loved Bear, I definitely know flights of angels sang you to your rest. The world is just that smidgen colder now.

Lisa Wrench said...

Thank you for sharing him with us xxx

Unknown said...

Thank you for sharing The Bear with us, Tom. He was an extraordinary soul. Sending all of my love.

Kirst said...

A lovely obituary for a wonderful cat. Thank you for sharing so much of his life with us. I'll give a little extra to Lothian Cat Rescue in his memory on payday. Sleep tight, The Bear.

Waving Cloud said...

So long The Bear. What a life. Well loved by so many he never knew.

Thanks Tom for sharing his philosophy and wisdom. The Bear will be sorely missed and fondly remembered.

All the very best.

mba63 said...

Much love.

fifowkes said...

I'm so sorry, Tom. Thank you for sharing such a gentle soul with us, and your tribute to him here is just wonderful, even read through tears. Just know that we all feel your pain, and hope you can take strength from that. The Bear will live on forever in your heart, and ours, because your wonderful writing brought him to life for us. I'm off to read your books now for the 4th time. Keep strong. xxxxx

sarah said...

RIP The Bear. You will be sadly missed but your legend will live on.

Rikki said...

Like others, I'm very sorry for your loss Tom. Thank you so much for sharing this magical creature with us. Sleep well, The Bear. You deserve it 😢 x x x

Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing his life with us. I'll miss him.

Minerva said...

I am teary-eyed but also feeling that his life was wonderful and his cycle is complete. Such an eloquent send off. Thank you for sharing The Bear with the world.

cmk said...

Oh Tom Cox, my heart breaks for you. (And selfishly, for me too.) Thank you so much for sharing The Bear. They're all special, but some are miraculous and mythical. Love you, The Bear.

"Tee" said...

*Waves goodbye to Bear* Carry on, old fella. And thank you, Tom, for sharing him with us. Blessings to you both.

Anonymous said...

Eun free sweet Bear. Beautifully written as ever, Tom. Thank you for sharing him with us

Joan Childs said...

Thank you, Tom, for your graceful tutorial on grief and goodbyes. The Bear found the right person to be with.

Julie Duncan said...

Goodbye The Bear. Warm wishes Tom. Peace be with you both.

Kathy said...

My sincere condolences. Thank you for sharing your Bear stories with us. I have said goodbye to many cats and it's never easy, especially when they're as special as The Bear. RIP sweet professor poet.

Shelly Arredondo said...

I've enjoyed your funny post about your cat and I'm deeply moved by your article. Sorry for your loss. May The Bear live on in our hearts.

Jennifer Dean said...

I am very sorry to read about The Bear and your sad loss. Wishing you all the very best

Danny said...

Boldly go, The Bear. You'll be missed.

Anonymous said...

He brought laughter into my life and the lives of my friends with whom I shared his pictures. My best to you and your other cats in this time of healing. He lived such a full life of love with you, and he is free of pain now. Remember that when times are tough. Love from me and my cat (who is rubbing his face on my screen as I type this) from the US.

Jennifer Dean said...

I am sorry to read about the loss of The Bear and you losing a friend. All the very best

Michael Coates said...

Thank you for this Tom.
I have been thinking, researching and planning to adopt a rescued cat for a year or more now, and your life and experience with The Bear has made up mind. If I can make a little life as content as you and The Bear made each other that will be a wonderful thing indeed.

Anonymous said...

Awww mate. So so sorry, but what a full life he led, and his stories have given so much happiness to so many people - and to a fair few cats too, I bet.
Sweet dreams Bear. xxx

Anonymous said...

So, so sorry to hear about The Bear.

Some find it hard to see how such small, and cantankerous beasts can provoke such love in us. But they do, and the loss we feel is a measure of the love.

Best wishes to you all


Christine Oliver said...

Go safely over the rainbow bridge lovely Bear. Our little Saffie girl crossed it in February aged 18. Like Bear she had a long happy life and was much loved. She spent eight years of it in France. I loved the account of moving house with your cats Tom. It brought back the two day hellish journey back from France with three cats. They break our hearts but our life is better for having had them in it. xx

Nick Dawson said...

Lost my 17 year old Ozycat and so many of your words mirror how I feel. Good old the Bear. Like my Ozycat, a small comical, living furry gap is in my life and home. Xx

Ella said...

What a beautiful tribute to a beautiful cat, from a beautiful cat dad. Goodbye, sweet Bear. Much love and soft head bumps, from the Three Black Cats (Sadie, Sophie, and Sally), along with Cat Nos. 5 & 6, Lucy and Spotty (not black). We will all miss the Bear's keen insights and soulful eyes. And Sadie, Black Cat No. 1, especially thanks the Bear for making her feel better about her ear slit (courtesy of Black Cat No. 3.). Hugs to you, Tom. xox

Anonymous said...

He will find Leonard Cohen. Thank you for sharing this cat and good luck with your new books

Anonymous said...

Keep well, Tom. Its very sad when your cat dies. Thinking of you.
Sue.

LG said...

I'm so sorry. I lost my very beloved soulmate kitty Boris this week, at nearly 18 years old. You were fortunate to have each other. RIP The Bear and Boris.

Michael said...

Thank you, Tom, for sharing The Bear with us, and for allowing us to share in your grief over the loss of a Very Special Person.

I am reminded of the words of Henry Scott-Holland:

Why should I be out of mind because I am out of sight?
I am but waiting for you, for an interval,
somewhere very near,
just round the corner.


Good night, The Bear.

Anonymous said...

He will find Leonard Cohen. Thank you for sharing this cat and good luck with your new books

Anonymous said...

So sorry for your loss. Beautiful words and a fine obituary for a wonderful cat. I have so enjoyed reading about him and am glad he had such a long and wonderful life with you. Rest in peace The Bear.

kelvix said...

Thank you for letting the bear meet us. I hope he is now sauntering around in some sunny meadow where good cats deserve to go. Although some say my cats behave more like dogs in their desire for human companionship and their gentleness, I know they are more than just malevolent killing machines embodying Darwins theory on a daily basis.

rip sad cat.

Anonymous said...

Just so beautiful. Thank you for sharing him with the world.

Weaverbird said...

What a lovely obituary for an extraordinary cat. It must be heartbreaking to lose him, even though, as you say, his end was natural and as non-cruel as possible.

Thank you for sharing him with all of us, who have come to love him and will treasure his memory.

Farewell, sweet The Bear.

Lynne Rees said...

The Bear will always be part of my life. A really beautiful eulogy. x

Geoff Bell said...

I'm sorry for your loss. I lost my black cat Magic about 2 years ago, I was 44, she was 19, so I had had the pleasure of her company for almost half my life. It's horrible losing them, I was still in mourning for my other 15 year old tabby whom I had lost about 6 months before, so believe me, I feel your pain.

Birchsprite said...

Goodbye The Bear. You were an extremely good cat and we shall miss you dearly xxx

gale barnes said...

Janet had been waiting a long time for you to join her so you can doze in the eternal sunshine. You will always be with us because Tom has bless us with your life's journeys.I shed a tear for your passing but l will remember you for the joy and laughter your life has given me and your many fans across the globe. RIP dear Bear.

Viqui Savage said...

Thank you Tom, and thank you The Bear xxxxxxx

childtasticbooks said...

What a lovely eulogy for a lovely friend. The Bear was definitely what many refer to as an 'old spirit' - you can see it in those gorgeous eyes. You showered him in kindness and he did likewise in return. I feel your ache, having experienced this myself, but thank you for sharing your thoughts and memories, and I hope the happier times become easier to remember soon. Sleep well, Bear.

gale barnes said...

Janet had been waiting a long time for you to join her so you can doze in the eternal sunshine. You will always be with us because Tom has bless us with your life's journeys.I shed a tear for your passing but l will remember you for the joy and laughter your life has given me and your many fans across the globe. RIP dear Bear.

Art by Steve Rozic said...

Much love, our pets are amazing beings. We are blessed to be their stewards not owners and they in turn bless us with unconditional love....

Hans (thefreeze) said...

That's really horrible news! Bear has given so much joy to so many people that I am sure that he gets the best place in cat heaven. The warmest place with the best view. All the best!

Claire Connor said...

Goodbye, sweet Bear. You brought joy and laughter to so many.

Tom, thank you for sharing him with the world. He really was special.

victoriaslore said...

M heart breaks for the loss of your beloved friend. I lost my 16 year old buddy Eros in June and I'm still not recovered from that. It is obvious how much you loved Bear. He passed knowing he was loved and cared for.

Heather said...

I'm sorry for your loss. It's never easy losing a furry companion, especially one as long lived as The Bear, this is a lovely tribute to him.

Jane Allardyce said...

Oh Tom, what a beautiful tribute befitting such a precious friend. Thank you for sharing him and for giving him the life he deserved. Take care of yourself.

Heather said...

I'm sorry for your loss. It's never easy losing a furry companion, especially one as long lived as The Bear, this is a lovely tribute to him.

Sibylle said...

I had so much joy, and so much laughter from your sad cat posts, and so much "awww"ing over the sheer cuteness of The Bear on your pictures of him. I'm genuinely sad about his death, and can only imagine how you must feel. Much love sent over from Ireland!

Lesley Bourke said...

A beautiful tribute to The Bear. He enriched so many lives through your writing. My nearest rescue centre will be getting a donation in his name x

Kelsey Pilkington said...

Aw, I'm so sorry for your loss :( The Bear was so gorgeous and your posts about him always put a smile on my face. Thanks for sharing him with us, and thank you for these beautiful words. Losing a beloved pet always cuts deep - I hope that in time you'll feel better. ❤

Anonymous said...

Having lost many cats over the years, I feel your pain. There is no doubt that The Bear was unique and wonderful. You were lucky to have each other for so long. I always feel they stay with us though, thinking of you all at this hard time X

Kathy Middleton said...

The saddest day, all your words about this most extraordinary little cat have touched my heart. They make our lives perfect but we know one day it will end.... we all celebrate his wonderful life and all the joy your stories have given us.... thoughts are with you Tom at the very sad time, we will all remember The Bear with so much love, he was definitely a 'one off' I for one will never forget him, it has upset me so much, how much harder is it for you and Raaaalph, Roscoe and Shipley, you are all in my thoughts. Thank you Tom for sharing him with us......

akdmanassas said...

I am so sorry The Bear has left you and us. Your stories about him are enjoyable to read and I'm glad I have all your books about him and the others. My condolences on your loss.

SB said...

Sending much love your way, Tom. What a sad day. Thank you for sharing such a sweet and gentle soul with the world. Sleep tight sweet prince!

Claire Pitts said...

A beautiful obituary for a beautiful cat. RIP The Bear.

iamJan said...

Will raise a glass to The Bear tonight. Sleep tight sweet boy.

Colin Powell said...

In bits here, it's like losing someone you know. So sorry for your loss, Tom.

iamJan said...

Will raise a glass in honour of The Bear tonight. Sleep tight sweet boy - you'll be remembered with love by so many people across the world. Be kind to yourself Tom, thinking of you. Jx

Shane Smith said...

Thank you for sharing his life with us Tom. He was loved by many. Hugs to you mate.

Ducky said...

You made it possible for this dear soul to relax and enjoy life. I am grateful to you for that, and for giving us all a chance to learn about him. I have laughed and loved him from afar, and now I'm so sad to know he is no longer among us. But I'm not sad for him. He lived well and long, and was so loved by his family. And so much love came his way from far away places. God bless you, The Bear. Enjoy the heavens.

Squirl said...

Oh, Tom, you gave him a wonderful life and he gave so much back to you. I'll be forever grateful that you shared him with us. He was a special little guy. Your sense of humor with his wonderful looks and poses brightened the day for many of us. I was feeling mournful, but after reading this I'll celebrate his life. Thank you again, Tom, and many, many hugs from this side of the pond.

Peg

Anonymous said...

What an incredible summation of the lives of The Bear, and the thoughts of a loving companion on his passing. May his next set of 9 (14?) lives find him with another Tom Cox. Thank you for sharing The Bear with me (and others). He made my life better, happier, more thoughtful...thank you. Lynn

Lesley Bourke said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lesley Bourke said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lesley Bourke said...

A beautiful tribute to The Bear. He enriched so many lives through your writing. My nearest rescue centre will be getting a donation in his name x

Mercy said...

Thank you for writing about him. Rest in peace.

Anonymous said...

I'm so sorry :'(. This is a beautiful obituary and thank you, thank you for sharing this. Lost my little guy recently, and all of this...you are not alone. Thank you and the Bear for a life well loved!

Unknown said...

Tom, I read with sadness that The Bear has crossed the bridge. It seems useless to offer condolences as there is nothing that hasn't been said in the many comments on this post. Just know that I eagerly looked for every post about him and do, in some ways, feel like he was also one of "my cats". I'm sure your other cats also feel the loss in their own ways. My hope is that, in time, you will fill in the hole left by his absence with joyful and loving memories of the sweet little man that was Bear.

Postitnotes said...

The description of Bear's declining health pretty much matches the life of my old 21 year old kitty. It leaves a hole in our hearts but we just fill the hole with all the memories. RIP Bear

Anonymous said...

Goodbye sweet Bear xx

Karen said...

First Leonard Cohen and now The Bear... we knew the end was coming, but it's still hard when it actually does. Both have enriched my life and I feel fortunate. The Bear was an exceptional cat; thank you for sharing him with us. My condolences, Tom.

Alison said...

What a wonderful The Bear he was. Thank you Tom for letting us share in his amazing life.

Alexandriaweb said...

I'm so sorry for your loss :(
Sending love to you and the other cats xx

Alan O said...

Tom, I am so very sorry. I have been there in almost identical circumstances with my late cat Haggis &
if I could I would love to offer you a big huge hug. I am glad The Bear went in his own time, on his own terms.
You gave us the wonderful gift of knowing The Bear through your writings & we'll remember him with great affection.
(((Hug)))
Alan

Gillian Russell said...

What a beautiful farewell to an very special cat.
Thank you Tom for sharing the Bear with us. He worried, loved, cared, and thought for us all; those world weary eyes never tiring of his intellectual, yet sweet burden. He always reminded me that we are all rather small but capable of making a difference, and of the importance of good music. Leonard Cohen seems like appropriate listening tonight.
Sending love and sympathy to the Cox household, and to all the Bear's friends, both online and off.
Take care, Gill.

Caroline Tobin said...

Thank you for a beautiful sane and calm obituary. I'm sorry for your loss but only in the sens of the absence you are suffering - it sounds as if Bear had had enough. Much love to him and you.

Marie said...

I'm so sorry, Tom. What a lovely tribute to a lovely cat.

Anonymous said...

Good-bye Bear. Rest well.

Lin Sierra said...

Your description of Bear and your relationship is beautiful. I am so sorry that you lost your lovely and sweet friend. I lost a senior black cat also this year named Spike, and I continue to mourn him. I feel better knowing that I had saved him from a life on the street and that he was very happy for the few years he had in our home, being loved and pampered. He had a very generous spirit, and I am grateful for the time we had with him. I am sure that Bear had great love for you and appreciation for all you did for him. Thank you for sharing your story. Lin

Anonymous said...

Thank you for such a beautiful tribute to a wonderful cat. Cherish your memories of him. We loved seeing him and thank you for sharing. Michelle and Seth

Jeannine Lanigan said...

So sorry, Tom. I can't say anything else in praise of The Bear, as you've already said it all in your very moving eulogy. And in the words of his many, many friends.

But please remember that while we should celebrate The Bear's life, anytime we love and lose someone, we must mourn them, too. It's possible, perhaps suitable, to do both.

I've found myself unexpectedly losing almost everything this year, and things aren't looking good for recovery or repair. Reading, sometimes interacting with you and The Bear's buddies online, was one bit of brightness I could hang on to during an otherwise grim existence. I hope memories of The Bear will continue to sustain us all.

Trish D said...

I discovered the Bear through My Sad Cat and it did lead me to your books, which I have read and loved. It would never occur to me to think you exploited The Bear. Rather, I feel like you were given the gift of an extraordinary cat and you shared it with the world. I knew this post would be coming, but it still made me sad. Thank you for sharing your tribute to him and thank you to you and The Bear for so many smiles from My Sad Cat. I will celebrate him, and you, with a gift to the Animal Prtective League here in Cleveland in the U.S. and will be buying some books for fellow Cat-loving friends. I think they'll enjoy reading about the Bear and his friends. RIP dear Bear.

Eileen Ducksbury said...

Goodbye dear Bear. You touched more people that you could ever guess. You were a cat in a million and will be so missed. So pleased you and Tom found each other. Best wishes Tom, we are thinking of you. Hug the other guys for me, they'll be missing him too. Eileen

Anonymous said...

However Heart-Breaking this all undoubtably is I realise, now, that it is still worth it if it is the 'ultimate price of admission' into the Bear's world. Thank You for sharing him
-denis. X

Anonymous said...

In tears here. So sorry to hear of the passing of The Bear. The love you have for your cats (and theirs for you) shines from your books and I felt nearly as fond of your cats as my own! Thank you for giving him the wonderful life that you did.

socgrrrl (aka, Lisa) said...

Tom, I felt as though I personally knew The Bear through your writing. I loved MySadCat as well as your many stories about him. Thank you so much for sharing him with all of us. Recently, I've donated food and money to several cat rescues and shelters. I think The Bear would have approved. He was a good soul.

Suzanne Landels said...

So sorry to read this. I have loved reading about the bear and his clearly lovely life. I feel so sad as if he was my family cat. Thank you for sharing him with us all.

Jeannine Lanigan said...

So sorry, Tom. I can't say anything else in praise of The Bear, as you've already said it all in your very moving eulogy. And in the words of his many, many friends.

But please remember that while we should celebrate The Bear's life, anytime we love and lose someone, we must mourn them, too. It's possible, perhaps suitable, to do both.

I've found myself unexpectedly losing almost everything this year, and things aren't looking good for recovery or repair. Reading, sometimes interacting with you and The Bear's buddies online, was one bit of brightness I could hang on to during an otherwise grim existence. I hope memories of The Bear will continue to sustain us all.

Rachael Burrows said...

I'm so sorry to hear of the passing of The Bear. I had to go and have a cuddle with my ginger Tom, who of course was perturbed by me disturbing his bed bo. What a grand old age he lived to though and certainly a celebration of his life. Perhaps a quick weep and a raised glass. Here's to The Bear and many more stories of cat tails or perhaps tales 😉

P Thomas said...

Rest in peace, beautiful Bear. And thank you for lighting up my Twitter feed courtesy of Tom's efforts. Thanks to the internet, The Bear will never truly be forgotten.

bromtom said...

A moving obituary, as the owner of my own old cat who's sat with me as I type, himself replete with sunken eyes, greying black fur, and a world weary demeanour, I shed a tear.

You gave him a fantastic life, he went to sleep full of chicken and freshly groomed and departed this realm happy.

Thank-you for introducing us all to The Bear, I'll be making a donation to my local cat sanctuary in his honour.

Jillishness (JD Frank) said...

The grief from the loss of a pet is the hardest to handle.
May all the positive memories of Bear, and the number of fans he had, offer some level of comfort.
Bear reminded me of our old lady, Dottie, and I always enjoyed your sharing of his antics.

jeesau said...

I'm sorry for your loss. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and feelings about The Bear's passing. I've so thoroughly enjoyed reading about The Bear in your books and let go a few tears while reading this post -- tears for a cat I never met, cats I've lost myself and have yet to lose. What lovely and funny friends they are, aren't they?

Anonymous said...

I'm so sorry for your loss. I have enjoyed him through your "tweets" for some time and I want to thank you for sharing him. You and The Bear were very lucky to have each other. Cherish the memories.

Penni said...

Rest well Bear.

Anna Hales said...

I am devastated. The Bear really has had a profound effect on my life. Due to him, I have met some wonderful people, who will be friends for life. I fell in love with his gorgeous face the first time I saw him on Twitter. Thank you, Tom, for sharing him with us.
I'm sobbing as I write this. I honestly loved him like he was one of my own.

Fucking fuck off 2016.

Love to you, Ralphy, #LovelyShipley and Roscoe. xxx

Claire said...

What a lovely obituary. And how typically kind of the Bear to spare you the last journey to the vet. (I had to take my own 16 year old cat on that journey earlier this year & it still haunts me, even though I'd chosen the moment carefully & carried her in a blanket so she could feel the rain on her nose.) I am sure that he is sitting at Leonard's feet listening even now.

Megen DeLano said...

Thank you for rescuing him and giving him an amazing life thereafter. I am deeply sorry for the loss of this kind and gentle life.

Anna Hales said...

I am devastated. The Bear really has had a profound effect on my life. Due to him, I have met some wonderful people, who will be friends for life. I fell in love with his gorgeous face the first time I saw him on Twitter. Thank you, Tom, for sharing him with us.
I'm sobbing as I write this. I honestly loved him like he was one of my own.

Fucking fuck off 2016.

Love to you, Ralphy, #LovelyShipley and Roscoe. xxx

Anonymous said...

Tom what you wrote is exceptionally beautiful and i hope cathartic, i know it wasn't written to be "beautiful" but not only did it make us cry + joyful at same time for the wonderful being of The Bear, it also, if I may say, resonated too for folks who lost pets long ago or very recently and all in between, and it was a great help for that. But more than anything I am sorry your friend and accomplice and mentor has had to pad his way upstairs. He'll wait for there. What a life of love he had with you. Hope your other cats are doing ok with him gone. Loss for everyone

Rachel J. Milewski said...

This was a beautiful tribute. The Bear touched many lives and the world is a better place because of it. His presence will be missed, but his life will be celebrated. Wishing you peace and comfort, and thank you for letting us know him through your writing.

Anonymous said...

It's amazing how our pets crawl into our hearts, filling them with nothing but LOVE LOVE LOVE!!! You wrote an immensely prolific obituary for your dear friend and I do appreciate your sharing it! Know that his little paws rest on your shoulders forever and ever now! Namaste.

Marie said...

I too lost a most precious boy last May at the same great age. You have done The Bear proud with this eulogy and managed to make me laugh and cry whilst reading it.

Thank you for letting us all share in life with The Bear.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing The Bear and his adorable nature with us. He was very lucky to have been loved and cared for by you for most of his long life. Thinking of you X

Karen F said...

I am so sorry to hear about the passing of The Bear, such a hard thing to deal with. RIP The Bear and take care Tom.

Hillary said...

Good old Bear. Thank you for sharing him with us, Tom. x

Anonymous said...

I'm so glad The Bear got to spend his life with you, who loved and appreciated him so much. I've loved reading about him and seeing photos of him and I am sad he's gone, and sad for you because I know you miss him. But I am a bit comforted knowing that he had a good (and very long) life and was loved. I'll make an extra donation to my local animal shelter in his honour, and drink a toast to him as well. And I think I'll go and give my own cat an extra hug right now too.

sablebombe said...

Loved your eulogy Tom, it was very moving. I am smiling through my tears. The Bear was so special - God love his eyes, so deep, will miss your updates of him, but I guess we all knew given his majestic kitty age that this was coming sooner rather than later. I hope you will spend this Christmas remembering the good times and smiling about them. Don't know what else I can add just RIP Little Bear you were the most.

Anonymous said...

I know the pain of losing a furry friend, what a wonderful life you gave him and a beautiful tribute to The Bear. Thank you for sharing him...

Janet Ray said...

Many thanks for sharing your furry friend with us. He was beautiful and so like my old Lucifer. Revel in his memories and friendship

Janet Ray said...

Many thanks for sharing your furry friend with us. He was beautiful and so like my old Lucifer. Revel in his memories and friendship

Josie-Mary said...

Thank you for sharing The Bear with us, my heart goes out to you at this painful time x

Anonymous said...

The stories and photos you shared of The Bear were wonderful and I love reading your books about all your cats. I'm so sorry for your loss. I hope that you and your other cats are doing ok and my thoughts are with you all. Take care xxx

Lynda said...

Oh, The Bear, how you'll be missed by all those lucky to have known you through Tom's books and Instagram. I'll be making a donation to my local cat rescue in your name. You live on in our hearts and memories.

JaneySeager said...

Heartbreaking news. RIP The Bear. From being given your first 3 books by my sister (and putting them on a shelf for a year because I had no idea what they were about and I preferred history books) to finding myself with nothing to read one night so finally picked up the first book and sitting with it in the bath until the bath water was cold because I couldn't put it down, and then avidly reading the next 2 and buying the 4th myself, I have felt like I have known The Bear all my life. His life was well lived and I am sure he will be telling long tales of it to the other cats he is with now.
Thank you for allowing us to share in his life.
Gone but never forgotten.

Anonymous said...

So sorry. I'm an old old lady and have enjoyed your wonderful books and all your adventures - your Mum and DAD - your many cats - your longs walks - and, of course, The Bear. Thank you for sharing him. Be well, Tom Cox. Be well.

Juliana Grundy said...

Tom, I am so sorry to hear this. The tears that have sprung to my eyes are not just for The Bear, who I never met but felt close to through your evident love for him, but also for the three elderly cats that me and my husband have lost over the past year - 19 year old Tikka, 21.5 year old Mojo, and Mojo's sister and lifelong best friend Emma, who struggled on until a month or so past her 22nd birthday before emulating The Bear by slipping quietly away the night before her last journey - unlike the other two who had sadly forced us to make that heartbreaking decision. We now have only three cats, outnumbered by the seven little graves in the garden (plus two in a previous home's garden), each one marked with its own solar light to celebrate the lives of the cats who enriched our lives for so very, very long. Like The Bear, all our cats have been rescues, and it is so fitting that your beloved Bear should continue to help his fellow creatures even after he has gone. You gave him a wonderful life, and he, through you, enriched the lives of your readers. RIP The Bear, you are no longer old and infirm.

Linda Jones said...

i was deeply saddened to hear of the loss of The Bear - you both always made me smile a lot and having cats you can immediately relate to much of what is said, i so looked forward to the regular updates they were brilliant and i thought to stop posting photos when he became poorly was so respectful. Your article today has made me cry and whilst i know how much love and respect you had for The Bear, i think he was pretty darn lucky in life to have found you too. Thank you for sharing his antics and thank you to The Bear for the laughs he provided with his poses. Bless you both and know between you, you brought many people such joy xxxxxxxx

Unknown said...

This is such a remarkable tribute to a truly remarkable soul. I'm so sorry for your loss, but so grateful, too, for you sharing The Bear with readers.

It feels almost wrong that your essay has given me a great deal of comfort - shouldn't you be the one receiving comfort right now?

Anonymous said...

Farewell, Bear. Many years ago I had a little black cat called Douglas, who arrived in a cardboard box from the Isle of Man. He was the best cat I ever had, and I sadly lost him when he was only 10. He looked so much like The Bear; maybe they're together somewhere now....

Heather said...

I too have the honor of caring for an elderly and very sweet black cat. My Vinny is two months shy of his 19th Birthday. The Bear was his hero, or I assume that he was because he often sat on my copies of your books or my Sad Cat calendar and frequently knocks the box of cards by your mum onto the floor. My fondest hope was that he would follow The Bear's lead and live to 21. Sadly, he may not make it to his 19th birthday on Valentine's Day 2017. We discovered two weeks ago that his has a mysterious mass in his throat that makes him meow funny. Other than a deep, gravelly meow and a bit of trouble swallowing his dental treats that he insists on having, he seems his old self. Despite my wish for him to be around for many more months or years, the sad truth is that he has already had a long life and it is not right for me to be greedy for more.

Being the caretaker for an old beast is hard. I empathize with your recent challenges with making the right but hard decisions and mourn along with you the loss of The Bear.

Hugs from America
Heather

Karon said...

So sorry Tom, I know we try to prepare ourselves when we know one of our animals is in their final days but it's stil never easy. Thank you for sharing him with us. RIP sweet Bear xx

Becky Lefeuvre said...

So so sorry to hear this Tom, weirdly I had a feeling this was coming a couple of days ago. Rest well darling The Bear, you really were a unique and wonderful creature. Tom, all our lives were made a little brighter when you shared The Bear with us, for that we are eternally grateful. He will live on in your books and of course in your heart, thank you for giving him the absolute best life a cat could ask for, he was loved. What a beautiful tribute to him this piece is - and although sad, I was smiling whilst reading it. Love to you, Shipley, Ralph & Roscoe. Run free The Bear, you will be sorely missed xxx

Anonymous said...

So sorry to hear this. I lost my wonderful partner (one of The Bear's Army) a few short months ago and have been trying (and failing) to overcome those feelings of shutting her memory out of my mind after anything involving her belongings or her name. I still haven't been able to wash the last clothes she wore or even move the bag I brought them home in on the day I lost her for exactly that reason. The tendency of the mind to fixate on your last sight or memory of the deceased is also an obstacle that once climbed, sneaks around into your path again to trip you once more.

The Bear was a gentle soul and you gave him a good and long life. While you grieve, try and hold on to that.

Anonymous said...

Mow. x

Anonymous said...

Oh, Tom,i've cried a river reading this beatiful words you had written about the poor The Bear :'( RIP The Bear

Gracie said...

Thank you for the beautiful way you've told us the news, Tom. Your beautiful boy mad so many of us happy through you, so thank you for allowing all of us into his life. Always remember that they pain we feel when a loved one dies is because of all the love we had for them, it's so hard, but it's all about the love.

Finally, thank you for giving The Bear such a lovely and happy life. He was a special boy and you were both lucky to have each other. Take care of yourself and Roscoe, Ralph and Shipley. Much love to you. x

helen said...

So sorry, reading in your books about the Bear's long and adventurous life has given me, and clearly many others, many happy moments. Thanks for sharing him with us.

dave said...

So So sorry to hear your sad news. Thank you Tom for sharing his exploits with us all.
Sleep well and go with god Mr Bear.x

Whiskybob said...

beautiful words for a true friend, i cannot properly express the feeling of losing such a beautiful and graceful friend but reading your beautiful words brought tears to my eyes as I remembered the pain at losing Jasper this year. They come into our lives and enrich them in a way that is not possible for me to articulate but for which I'm forever grateful.

I raise my glass to you and The Bear

Mardi Michels said...

Beautiful writing. Sending warm hugs. The Bear had a beautiful life with you.

Michael said...

Thank you for sharing The Bear with us all. What a wonderful kitty he was.

Sharon said...

Such a beautifully written piece Tom, love your writing and thank you for introducing us to The Bear. We'll be raising a glass to him tonight. Hope Roscoe, Shipley & Ralph are bearing up. Big love ❤️ x

Meredith in North Carolina said...

Condolences from someone who knows too well the saddness you are going thru. I have enjoyed your books and enjoyed getting to know The Bear. So very sorry for your loss!!!

Anonymous said...

I am so sorry to hear that The Bear has left this world. I started following MySadCat in its earlier days and was just struck by the volume of character and personality that emanated from his photos and this little cat. You could tell he'd lived a colourful life and he seemed to carry the world in his eyes. I firmly believe every animal has a unique personality, but there really was something special about the Bear that so many obviously realised. What a special soul he is. I hope he's enjoying a bright sunny spot somewhere. Goodbye sweet Bear.

Anonymous said...

I am so sorry for your loss. The Bear sounds like an amazing guy, & I'm sorry I didn't get an opportunity to be part of his Army.

Elissa Marshall said...

What warm, funny, sad and fitting words for such a unique cat. I'm in tears. A big hug to you, Tom and a salute to The Bear xxx 😿

Anonymous said...

Beautiful tribute!

MissLucy Cat said...

Oh Tom, I am so sorry for your loss. The Bear was extraordinarily lucky to have you as his human companion, and as one (elderly & slowing down) black cat person to another, thank you so much for sharing him with us.

Is there contact information where we could also contribute to the organization in Devon, to honor The Bear's life?

Stevi Apel said...

Oh, Tom. He was so special. I have shed many tears at the loss. Thank you for sharing him with us.

Stevi Apel said...

Oh Tom. He was so special. I have shed many tears over the loss. Thank you for sharing him with us.

GILLY BOLTON said...

Tom

So very very sorry for your immense loss. I know he had an excellent innings, but some how right now, that doesn't seem much consolation. I adored him from afar..

I'm glad he died peacefully at home. That seems very fitting.

Do you have details of the local charity you mentioned? I'd like to donate some cash as a memorial and in lieu of Christmas cards.

Thinking of you and the rest of the gang.

RIP Mr Bear

Best wishes

Gilly

Anonymous said...

Sad that he's gine, but a good life with you and the others.

Laura said...

RIP The Bear..thank you for everything you brought tomus. And thank you Tom..thinking of you all

Mairéad said...

Tom, I am so sad to read this. Your tales of The Bear have given me (and many others) the escape from the daily grind so often needed; even if everyone stared at me as I roared with laughter one lunch break in the office.

You have given us all a glimpse into your life so entwined with cats and allowed us to get to know The Bear and grow to love him. We didn't know him as well as you, but share the sadness as you have said goodbye to a big member of your family.

The Bear is a the "one of a kind" cat that everyone will remember. Thank you for sharing him with us.

jules said...

Oh, so sad to read this. Goodnight sweet Bear. And Tom, you gave him a wonderful life. Take care.

Jackie Morris said...

xxx

Mel said...

Thank you for celebrating The Bear's life with us Tom! I enjoy the character you ascribed to him. I also enjoy reading about the other cats and your mum and dad!

Leslie said...

Tom, no words can adequately express the joy and laughter your stories about The Bear have brought to my life. Thank you for sharing him with us and for being the best possible person to care for him that ever could be.

The Bear is with the Stars now, one less light here on earth but one more gently twinkling star to gaze down upon us and help guide our way and bring us hope when things are dark. For that is what The Bear brought, hope, smiles and love.

Each day I would eagerly read your postings hoping for more The Bear photos and stories of his daily life. For the small daily things are what help us most when we need help and encouragement.

While you were ready to give him your final gift of love by not making him linger, The Bear gave you his final gift by going at home on his own time and terms.

His little furry body and sweet face may no longer be with us physically, but the light humor and joy he brought to all of us through your written descriptions will live with us forever. Thank you for sharing him with us.

I know all too well the pain of watching a beloved family member (for they are family) slowly fade and decline. My Cossack was 21 1/2 years, slowly fading from a cat of 19 lbs to a faded shadow of himself. Ralph who as a lost or abandoned cat who adopted my one bitter cold day in January in a parking lot, Punkin' my first tiny ball of fluff who left me at 20 1/2, Ed Norton, perhaps the saddest of all, who came to me through the kind mercy of the local Vet, he was 2 then, born Feline HIV Positive, we had 3 1/2 years together before it went into full blown AIDS, and I took him to the Vet for the last time rather than let him suffer. Now I live with Edwina (in memory of Ed)and Simon, both lost-abandoned cats who now allow me to liv
e with them and tend to their wants, whims and needs.

My apologies for such a long message, but may 21 years of good memories and love with The Bear bring you peace and comfort at this saddest of time. R.I.P. dearest The Bear, you brought much joy and laughter into our lives.

Anonymous said...

Bear brought a lot of joy to many people! Thanks for sharing his life with us! I'm sorry for your loss. 💜

PJD said...

Tom, I have been where you are too many times this year....I lost half of my cat family to elderliness and disease. In 8 short weeks, this house changed completely, and I did not know if I could deal with it. My other animals, from the youngest to the now oldest, clustered around me, offering extra purrs and lickings, even cuddles from those not usually inclined to it. Cats are far more social than most people know, and they take care of their own when there is pain.
The shifting of your world will level out, but I daresay that old fellow will ever be there. I know my dear Simi is, and I miss her terribly.

love and light to you and the other kits. May 2017 bring us both some peace.

Jazz

Peter Ashby said...

ours that died this year was called Boo (short for Boots- short for Wellington) he made it to 24 and I can relate to every one of your sentiments expressed above, all the things, the deafness, scratching mid air, not washing properly, and even the back legs not working as well as they used to.
my sympathy is with you, our little family members leave a hole in our lives that cannot be filled, over time the memories will be those of the good times spent with them, but they will never be replaced or forgotten in our hearts.

julie jackson said...

I am so sorry. Take care.

Anonymous said...

I am gutted just seen this news so sorry for you, I got to the end through tears it was a lovely tribute. grieve as much or as long as you need other pet owners understand these pets are family. looking at my black cat molly now & she is 15 cant begin to imagine life without her. thank you for sharing.

Liz Falconer said...

Dear Tom. I think that is the most beautiful and moving tribute I have ever read. Thank you so much for sharing The Bear with us and we will all miss him greatly but please don't stop writing about the rest of your funny furry family. That would really break my heart. Yours sadly. Liz Falconer

nelliejean said...

This is a beautiful tribute to your friend. I am so very sorry for your loss, Tom, but I'm also glad that you shared The Bear with us.

Anonymous said...

I am so very sorry for your loss. Run free over The Rainbow Bridge sweet Bear.

rewak said...

Sending many many hugs :(

Anonymous said...

Sincere condolences to you Tom. Take care.

thecrazysheeplady said...

We will all continue to love The Bear. I am so sorry. Lots of really, really good days spent with a cat and one (or several) really, really bad ones. {{{hug}}} Thank you for sharing him with us all.

Tom Roberts said...

My the holy Emperor watch over his soul as he passes into the immaterium.

Tom Roberts said...

My the holy Emperor watch over his soul as he passes into the immaterium.

Lisa Hirsch said...

Aw, I am so sorry. Thank you for this lovely memorial to your dear cat. I am sorry never to have met The Bear.

Lisa Hartley said...

So sorry Tom, run free little bear xxx.
I lost my 21 yr old moany old woman 6 months ago and here I am crying for a cat in never had the pleasure of meeting an falling in love with personally but I'm crying in a mixture of losing the bear an Masklin but giggling at the unretratable claws as I think of Masklin doing that before she left me an scratching thin air. Masklin took a piece of my heart with her like the bear will do for u but we have so many amazing memories of them been with us.

Kay Hammil said...

Thank you for sharing The Bear with us all these years. Your beautiful eulogy captured the essence of a gentle soul possessed of a long and happy life. That last bit is due to you, and never forget that. You did well by The Bear just as he did well by you. Please know that I have had a similar experience and I mourn his leaving and celebrate his life with you. I wish you peace and that you can feel the love and support, not only from your real-world family and friends, but also from your virtual friends. You and your entire family, two-legged as well as four-legged, have become very special to many.

Claudia Em said...

RIP The Bear
A sad day indeed. Sorry for the loss of your amazing and wise cat The Bear, Tom.
We'll never forget those eyes but at the same time there's is an extra-ordinary life to celebrate.

We are all so lucky that you gave us the chance to read about The Bear and his incredible life and your life together - experiences, adventures, happy and sad moments, touching stories and ... these memories will stay as will the endless love for these beautiful creatures that are cats.

Q Arnold said...

Thinking of you Tom at this sad time. Thank you for sharing The Bear's life with us. I shall light a candle in his memory and hope his spirit is now flying high amongst the stars.

Kay Hammil said...

Thank you for sharing The Bear with us all these years. Your beautiful eulogy captured the essence of a gentle soul possessed of a long and happy life. That last bit is due to you, and never forget that. You did well by The Bear just as he did well by you. Please know that I have had a similar experience and I mourn his leaving and celebrate his life with you. I wish you peace and that you can feel the love and support, not only from your real-world family and friends, but also from your virtual friends. You and your entire family, two-legged as well as four-legged, have become very special to many.

Kay Hammil said...

Thank you for sharing The Bear with us all these years. Your beautiful eulogy captured the essence of a gentle soul possessed of a long and happy life. That last bit is due to you, and never forget that. You did well by The Bear just as he did well by you. Please know that I have had a similar experience and I mourn his leaving and celebrate his life with you. I wish you peace and that you can feel the love and support, not only from your real-world family and friends, but also from your virtual friends. You and your entire family, two-legged as well as four-legged, have become very special to many.

Anonymous said...

Bye bye Bear. And furryhugs to Tom, who will miss you so. Sleep well, little one xxx

Anonymous said...

Goodbye sweet Bear.

Erin M said...

Thank you for sharing The Bear with the world; his sweet face has brought cheer to many.

Ann said...

"My Dear Friend”,

We are strangers. Friends through the connection to a love of our furry companions. I feel your pain and the loss. There is a quiet hush and emptiness where they took up the house. Bear may have been small, but, his loss and the emptiness he left behind is is keenly felt.

Please don’t fret about filling too much room on the page... As you share your euology to Bear you are helping others grieve as well.

Thank-you for sharing him with all of us.

I am a member of an army of strangers from a Labrador page. You have to realize what a gift you have given those women. The internet as so many positve stories. YOUR bringing women and forming friendships and connections is a wonderful result of your stories.

Please don’t consider giving up journalism,. Please relaize that you and Bear have brought so many gifts to so many lives. Your stories are a lifeline and a hopeline.

I send you a cyber hug.



Anonymous said...

Beautiful. As you say so very sad but he had a good life & gave pleasure to you & your family and also his cyber family and your readers. Thanks for sharing him with us (& your other cats). I have all your books but am still reading the first one so still have some Bear adventures to look forward to. He will be sorely missed by all. I loved reading & seeing the daily posts & often shared them on my Facebook page.
xx

Kurt Hitchen said...

So sorry for your loss. He touched all our lives and we will miss my sad cat. God bless The Bear xx

Stuart said...

So Sad to lose such a life long friend, But WOW look at the longevity of his wonderful long life
a credit to you as without you, The Bear would surely not have lasted as long and the love and support you gave Him in his later years, If I was in your shoes, I would count myself lucky to have been chosen by Bear <3

Lucy said...

You are the best of men and The Bear was the best of cats. Thank you for sharing him with us but most of all thank you for the love you shared with him. Bless you, you kind, beautiful man and a thousand hugs of comfort are coming your way.

Colin Powell said...

This sprang to mind :-(
"I'VE GOT A PAIN IN MY HEART"

lyn said...

I'm so sorry to hear about the bear. I lost one of my own boys a few weeks ago and know how devastating it feels. My thoughts are with you x

Karen Ashbrook said...

Beautiful writing about a beautiful cat. You gave him a good life Tom. Karen x

Christiane said...

Goodbye, little bear! And thank you, Tom for sharing the Bear's story with all of us. The two of you were lucky to have each other <3

Lynne said...

Our personality transfers to our beloved animals and when one dies so does that part of ourselves. Everything goes quiet in our home and that special place in our mind. We weep for ourselves as we will. Sending love.

lyn said...

I'm so sorry to hear about the bear. I lost one of my own boys a few weeks ago and know how devastating it feels. My thoughts are with you x

izzie latham said...

Goodbye, The Bear. I have donated to my local shelter in your memory so that other cats have a chance at extra chicken and their very own yew tree

Jan Lash said...

I know you have said not to leave any tributes, but thank you for sharing the bear with us, it is so hard to lose a pet who has been in your life for so long and brought so much joy.

Skimbleshanks said...

I am weeping as I have lost my own cat... how is it that we can love so deeply? Your unabashed loving of Bear shared with the world prove that it is not shame, but love that drives us to take up with one pet or another. Our faithfulness is expressed through the photos and comments you shared for so long. We got to know the Bear, but also our own capacity to love... I thank you...

Jeff Falconer said...

So sorry to hear the news Tom, although you have been preparing your readers for it for a while. What a great life he had and what a muse he has been for you as your writing has moved on. I'm looking forward to the next book and hope you will still keep us informed of the doings of Shipley, Ralph and Roscoe.

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