Caturday felid duo: the cat with 17 lives, and Brad Pitt channels Henri

December 22, 2012 • 5:06 am

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
The Bear: “Can you tell me why I am a cat, please?”

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

Moar of The Bear, looking pugilistic.

The Bear (a cat)


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:

h/t: Harriet

13 thoughts on “Caturday felid duo: the cat with 17 lives, and Brad Pitt channels Henri

  1. Bear is awesome and beautiful, and Henri is more moving in his pathos than Brad. Cat 1, Brad 0, though he is an atheist so he has that going for him, no doubt both Henri and Bear are atheists too.

  2. That add doesn’t do him any favours – been seriously slated. What was it he got paid – 6 million US?
    Anyone want to comment…?

    1. The ad in itself is incomprehensible gobbledygook, unless you see it as an attempt at a Henri video – then it all makes sense :p

      Still, I’ll give Chanel this much credit: for once they made an advert to sell a product to women that might actually make women look.

      1. They should have got the ‘thieving filmmaker’ to write it for them if Henri was not available instead of an ad company that does not truly understand ennui.

  3. Having read the article over at the Grauniad I am surprised that the mog has lived this long:

    “The Bear is also the moggy of a broken marriage. He was originally not just my ex’s cat, but ex’s ex’s favourite cat. I got to keep him when my ex and I broke up, as we agreed that he got on better with me (for example, he had never neatly deposited a turd in the pocket of my freshly laundered dressing gown).”

    1. “(for example, he had never neatly deposited a turd in the pocket of my freshly laundered dressing gown)”

      That is awesome.

  4. The beautifully written Bear article might hold the record at the Graun for having almost entirely positive comments posted. Rare at CiF.

  5. The Bear is not the only cat with an articled name. I once had The Honey Cat, named after his coat color.

    We don’t give cats their names; we merely find out what their names are.

  6. I’m not sure I’d want to be Brad Pitt even with all the money. Well, maybe when in the 18-25 time frame of life. But, after that, it would probably be almost as bad as being a Mormon. You older guys will probably get that. You younger guys are probably wondering WTF I’m talking about.

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