This summer I have been missing having a cat around. It's the first time EVER in my entire life that I have not had at least one cat to love and follow me around the house since Moses (Christy's cat we adopted) met an untimely death. I decided I would do a little tribute to my very favorite cat Bear, or little Bear as we so fondly called him. Bear passed away from kidney failure 3 years ago at the age of 11. He was small for a Persian cat weighing in at only 10 pounds. He looked big but it was all hair. The lady that we bought him from was a chain smoker and we're pretty sure this caused some damage. The poor thing smelled like nicotine for 3 months no matter how many baths we soaked him in. I think his growth was stunted from the cigarette smoke. I had always wanted a Persian but they were expensive and not many people had them 15 years ago in Boise, ID. But one day luck was on my side and there was an ad in the paper for Persian kittens for $75.00. We had to go see them! We did and they only had one left - a little black 6 week old male kitten - the runt of the littler. I never wanted a black cat or a male but decided this might be the only Persian I could find so I took him home. He was so tiny he fit in my palm. Just a little bundle of fur and looked like a bear or a Buffalo. He slept in a box in Jayna's room for a couple of months. We all grew to LOVE him and he became my favorite cat. He really did have nine lives. Here are some of his adventures:
(1) Bitsy our other cat tried to eat him on more than one occasion. She thought he was a mouse.
(2) One day as I was taking Curt to school he shouted,"Mom, look at the garage!". I looked up to see Bear on top of our "swing out" style garage door almost ready to shut with him on it. I grabbed the garage remote and stopped it at the last second!
(3) We moved to another house and kept getting calls from the owners of the old house that Bear had shown up again. He made his way through busy streets of traffic without getting hit.
(4) Got his tail caught on something and he pulled it free causing the bony end of his tail to be exposed. One day I noticed drops of blood on the floor and realized finally that it was coming from his tail. We never knew what happened. The Vet had to amputate part of his already short tail.
(5) Got a call from the Larsen girls telling us they had found Bear all beaten up and wet in a field by their house. I didn't believe it was him but it was! He had been out fighting.
(6) Got a really bad infected ear that I let go way too long; not realizing the terrible stench was coming from his ear!
(7) Got an abscess on his back from fighting and had to have surgery with drain tubes that I had to get to drain everyday by massaging them. GROSS
(8) Blew out his ACL and had to have surgery and had to spend 6 weeks in a dog kennel in the house with a blue cone on his head. One morning I woke up to find that he had gotten the collar off in the night and had burried it in his litter box!
(9) Had some sort of trauma to one of his eyes and it turned blood red. I had to put 2 kinds of drops in it for 10 days. He would run & hide from me.
Bear was free to roam the great outdoors for the first 8 years of his life but we had to keep him locked up the last 3 years because he kept getting hurt. Every summer we would shave him and he looked so funny and sad and he knew he was ugly. One day after I had him shaved he was particularly funny looking (they shaved him way too close) Dan & Curtis started laughing so hard when they saw him they fell on the floor. They sang "In the Jungle". Bear hated to get shaved and totally knew he was ugly. Poor thing - but he hated getting brushed worse so it had to be. But as his hair came in it would grow in curly - it was so cute! Bear loved paper of all kinds -especially wrapping paper and we couldn't wrap Christmas presents without Little Bear there. He would hear us and come running. If there was an empty box he would be in it. We would ask him if he would like paper or plastic and he always chose paper first but he did love laying on plastic bags too. He loved to sun himself and was always asleep in the sun. He loved catnip - it made him wild! His little ears and round paws were just the cutest thing. He never meowed but he would "talk" to us. It was so cute. He knew his name. He loved to eat pumpkin pie and baby food. He sat on the edge of the litter box to go potty and then reach in with one paw and bury it! Dan used to say he was stupid but that takes real talent! He hated his tummy rubbed and would get so angry if you tried to rub it. We would tease him with "the hand" and he would stick out his tongue and hiss at it. He would come and sit by you and put his paws up on you. He always knew if you were sad and would come and lay by you. We would dress him up in baby clothes and he thought he couldn't move and would just stay there all day. One day we had our dog Sadie at the house 2 years after we had given her away to Allison and Bear just walked right up to her like, "where have you been?" It was hard to get a picture of him where you could see his eyes because he had so much hair. My nephew Taylor once asked me, "but where are his eyes?" He was just the greatest cat and followed me around like a little dog would. He would lay on my desk - just wanting to be near me. It was one of the saddest days of my life when he had to be put to sleep. I miss him still.