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  1. #1
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    The Bear at 17: on life with a troubled yet dignified, wry and all-knowing, cat

    Your basic "I love and appreciate my cat" essay, but better than most.

    The cat with 17 lives (Guardian)
    At mealtimes three of my cats eat on the floor, but the oldest, The Bear, eats on a chair above them. The Bear is 17 now, missing several teeth, and likes to eat at his own sedate pace, carefully sucking the jelly off each chunk. He pauses to glance up nervously every 15 seconds or so, as if paranoid an adversary might be creeping up behind him.
    ---
    The Bear was named for his resemblance to a teddy bear, but, the more you get to know him, what he becomes most reminiscent of is a sad owl. Looking into those his eyes, I feel I can see all the world's pain. "What is it, The Bear?" pretty much anyone who has ever spent any significant time with him will soon be tempted to ask. (...) While others shout and swear their way through the day, he continues to offer his silent commentary: all-knowing, wry, dignified, troubled.

    He was originally found in a plastic bag on the hard shoulder of a motorway, along with several of his siblings. Since then, his fur has all fallen out due to a flea allergy (...) He's withstood carbon monoxide poisoning, had a hole ripped in his throat by a feral challenger, developed asthma, lost chunks of both ears, gone awol for almost six weeks in south London (...) and been rather brutally given his marching orders on countless occasions by Biscuit, my next door neighbours' cat, whose Last Of The Summer Wine affection he pines for.
    ---
    He looks plusher than ever - it's a long time since his hair last fell out - and is far more accommodating than he once was to house guests, although the beeline he makes for those with a history of depression or a penchant for 19th-century gothic literature has been noted.
    ---
    But in the last few months, I've noticed the difficulty The Bear has climbing down from any object higher than his own head. The customary camp wobble to his walk is starting to get more wobbly, but in an arthritic way. His back feels worryingly brittle when I stroke it. He'll sometimes shuffle towards the cat flap, see that it is raining outside, then look up at me and turn around, as if to say, "Oh, it's all a bit too much. I don't think I'll bother."
    ---
    Yes, he could be young and scar-free. He could still have perfectly intact ears and the confidence to hurtle up a tree, not believing anything bad could happen to him, or rip a vole's face off. And that would be great for him in many ways. But what wisdom would he lose in the process? What enigma, which layers? Would he be quite as interesting to be around? And - most crucially of all - could you then still say that he was truly The Bear?
    the entire essay at the link above
    Last edited by wfgodot; 01-15-2013 at 03:33 PM.

  2. #2
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    Incidentally, if anyone does Twitter, be sure and follow The Bear @mysadcat, Why My Cat Is Sad. Hilarious stuff.

  3. #3
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    more from The Bear's person:
    ---
    I have four cats and I’m lucky: these days, none of them often strays far from home and, on the rare occasions they do, they always send me a text to let me know what time they’ll be back. However, the most mercurial of them, The Bear, who is now heading towards his 18th birthday, was responsible for several disappearing acts in his youth. He once vanished for six weeks, returning smelling of death and cabbage and looking like a malnourished stoat.

    The Bear, who is better known to many Twitter users as @MYSADCAT, has deep, soulful eyes, which seem to hold all the world’s sadness. He has a way of looking at me like he knows stuff, big stuff, and I often wonder if much of his wisdom was picked up on these excursions. I’m tempted to speculate that during his six weeks away he went on an Orwellian trip, seeing a brutal side of life in soup kitchens and dosshouses, and realising he had it pretty good with me after all.
    ---
    When the cat’s away: new system allow owners to track their errant moggies' movements (Independent)

  4. #4
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    From Buzzfeed - 21 Cutest Reasons Why This Cat Is So Sad

    http://www.buzzfeed.com/samimain/cut...-cat-is-so-sad

  5. #5
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    I love you wfgodot! I always treasure reading the stories you choose for us... I rarely comment, but always applaud! Albeit silently ...or sometimes gently high fiving my noble feline, James Bond...while we sip our shaken Martinis together ...
    This story was brilliant, poignant, bittersweet and just all around " lovely"....
    Thank you for sharing!
    I will always wait for you gladly!

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by wfgodot View Post
    Incidentally, if anyone does Twitter, be sure and follow The Bear @mysadcat, Why My Cat Is Sad. Hilarious stuff.
    Yes it is, I love Why My Cat is Sad! So funny!
    Rescuing one animal may not change the world, but for that one animal their world is changed forever! -Unknown

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by basilcat View Post
    I love you wfgodot! I always treasure reading the stories you choose for us... I rarely comment, but always applaud! Albeit silently ...or sometimes gently high fiving my noble feline, James Bond...while we sip our shaken Martinis together ...
    This story was brilliant, poignant, bittersweet and just all around " lovely"....
    Thank you for sharing!
    I will always wait for you gladly!
    I could tell my own cat stories! But then people would think, "Uh, wfgodot - slightly around the bend, that one," lol. Just about the one cat I've ever had, the late, great Osbert.

    Thank you so much. I cannot tell you how much your words mean as to me tonight they are priceless.

  8. #8
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    oh shucks, a cat thread

    this could be even better than a dog thread :P

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by wfgodot View Post
    I could tell my own cat stories! But then people would think, "Uh, wfgodot - slightly around the bend, that one," lol. Just about the one cat I've ever had, the late, great Osbert.

    Thank you so much. I cannot tell you how much your words mean as to me tonight they are priceless.
    Just out of curiosity, what do you imagine them thinking now?
    Every murderer is someone's old friend ... Agatha Christie

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Confusion View Post
    Just out of curiosity, what do you imagine them thinking now?
    Midway between....

    "Wow, it's like being on the bus with Kesey and the Pranksters!"

    and....

    "Hel-l-lll-p! This acid trip just won't end!"

    or....

    "Reading his threads is iike being in the pass with Roland at Roncevaux!"

    and....

    "I've just taken an arrow through the old brain-box!"


  11. #11
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    Okay, now actively soliciting cat stories for this thread. They won't be off topic at all.

  12. #12
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    And, as I'm sure that The Bear would approve - though it would not make him happy, exactly, it might work to alleviate the general ennui for a time - I think that this can go here:

    Stray cat blues no more: Cat Lady of Collinwood Debbie Gulyas gives 'em shelter with boutique cat hotels, er, I mean, shelters. (cleveland.com)

    Article plus great-looking cat, at the link.

  13. #13
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    The Bear celebrates his 18th birthday tomorrow - 10.10



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