From the Guardian comes the sad but ultimately inspiring tale of The Bear. Yes, that’s this black moggie’s full name, complete with the article. If you’re an ailurophile, you simply must read the whole essay by Tom Cox. If you have kids, read it aloud to them.
Here are three paragraphs to whet your appetite:
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 then all fallen out again due to an allergy to flea treatment medicine. 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, moved house a dozen times, and been rather brutally given his marching orders on countless occasions by Biscuit, my nextdoor neighbours’ cat, whose Last Of The Summer Wine affection he pines for.
. . . The Bear is, by some distance, the most polite cat I have ever met. He has never to my knowledge started a fight with a contemporary, or made any cliched or obnoxious demand for attention. He is the only feline I have ever known who signals his hunger not by cursing, miaowing or using my leg as a scratching post, but by nodding subtly towards the food cupboard. I found him with his first ever dead mouse not long ago, but I suspect one of the others had killed it and, having mistakenly thought it was still breathing, he’d moseyed over with the intention of reading it some elegiac verse as a send-off.
. . . “Wow, man,” said my hippie pal Michael, who once looked after The Bear for a few weeks. “When I first cuddled him, that was intense. I’ve not felt anything like that before.” I knew precisely what he meant.
The Bear is getting older and less mobile, and won’t be with Cox much longer, but it’s a beautiful piece on an amazing cat.
And the author?
Tom Cox is the author of Under the Paw: Confessions of a Cat Man and Talk to the Tail: Adventures in Cat Ownership and Beyond. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/cox_tom.
Moar of The Bear, looking pugilistic.
Finally, as alert reader “bric” pointed out in a comments, Brad Pitt, every woman’s heartthrob, has produced a commercial for Chanel that looks for all the world like a parody of Henri. The only difference is that Pitt doesn’t speak bad French.
Here, then, is Brad Pitt the Existentialist Hunk, selling perfume: