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
I don’t write for any mainstream media publications and chose to put my writing on this site instead: around 200,000 words of it so far. I’d be delighted if you took the time to have a read of some of it. It’s all free, but if you feel like donating a small monthly amount to help me keep going, you can do so either by paypal or GoCardless. You’ll also find a subscription link on the home page if you’d like to sign up to be notified when a new piece is published.

Read my latest book, Help The Witch.

My new fiction book, Ring The Hill, is now funding for autumn 2019 publication.


589 thoughts on “Goodbye, Kind Friend: RIP The Bear (1995-2016)

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  21. 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

  22. 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

  23. 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

  24. 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.

  25. 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.

  26. 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.

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

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

  28. 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.

  29. 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.

  30. 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.

  31. 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

  32. 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.


  33. 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.

  34. 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.

  35. 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

  36. 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

  37. 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.

  38. 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.

  39. 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.

  40. 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

  41. 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.

  42. 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.

  43. 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!

  44. 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

  45. 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……

  46. 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.

  47. 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

  48. 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!

  49. 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. ❤

  50. 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!

  51. I'm so terribly sorry for your loss of the Bear. 21 years wow! What an amazingly long life he has had. I will miss the wonderful posts of his beautiful face on the Internet. May his beautiful gentle soul rest in peace. Big hugs to you and my sincerest condolences. The world mourns today in Honour of The Bear ❤️?.

  52. So sorry for your loss, Tom. Thank you for sharing your life with The Bear with us as you did. Very much feeling for you ; can sympathise with the ache but I hope it will be a little softened by the knowledge that you gave him all the support and love a cat could possibly wish for. X

  53. I love The Bear, and all other cats, including my own two black beauties, who enrich our lives and give us the opportunity to enrich theirs, and to love them, even though the price of that love is excruciating in the end. Still, it's worth it, for us and them. Thank you for sharing him with us. Bless you.

  54. So sorry to hear this, I hope you remember all the funny things Bear did and smile. I lost both of my cats when they turned 16, and even though I have dogs, it isnt quite the same. Take care, Bear is running around in heaven xx

  55. ‘On a Favourite Cat’

    Your house was a palace, full of arcane nooks
    to discover and rediscover; all your life

    a long imperialist adventure, where
    kingdoms bowed down to your triumphal tail.

    How can a little marble dish, abraded
    by a rough tongue, so shake the heart? The fall

    of sparrows is not man's concern: I took
    no thought of what must leave me for your grave.

    Under the mirabelle tree in my godson's garden,
    be earth’s pet now. What can I do?–but wish you

    a matriarchy of blackbirds to teach you peaceable manners
    and a Malplaquet of a mansion, to stalk and explore for ever.

    —Mick Stow

  56. Bless the Bear, a gentle spirit who will be remembered fondly by so many people. Every time I saw a photo of that wee face my heart melted – thank you for sharing him with us.

  57. If eyes are the window through which our souls shine through, then The Bear had more than one living within. Thank you for sharing him with us, he was a little spot of sunlight in a world that can be so cold.

    Blessed be The Bear and Tom, Ralph, Shipley and Roscoe. Love, light and peace to you all.


  58. I was vegetarian while custodian of the late Kenzie, another glorious black cat. I remember the reaction of the fishmonger in Waitrose when I bought her Scottish loch salmon (to be cut into matchbox-sized portions and frozen as a weekly treat, to soothe her arthritis and also to give her coat an extra lustre). Worth it! RIP, fluffy angels.

  59. He looks such an intelligent cat, I have three, lost one before and it broke my heart. "The Bear", brilliant name for him too, he looks just like a little teddy bear. xxxx

  60. So sorry to hear about The Bear Tom. I have loved reading about him, and your life with your feline family. It prompted me to rescue our own Missy a few months ago. I gave her an extra special hug this morning when I heard about The Bear, and she is sitting purring very loudly on my lap as I write this message. Hugs to you Tom, and thanks again for chronicling his life.

  61. Goodnight sweet Bear.
    Dear Tom – your sensitivity to your wonderful friend has been beautiful to witness. Thank you your generosity – this post is a wonderful tribute x x x

  62. So sorry to hear about The Bear Tom. I have loved reading about him, and your life with your feline family. It prompted me to rescue our own Missy a few months ago. I gave her an extra special hug this morning when I heard about The Bear, and she is sitting purring very loudly on my lap as I write this message. Hugs to you Tom, and thanks again for chronicling his life.

  63. So sorry that Bear is gone. Having had similar relationships with several past animal family members, I think I know what you're going through. You have expressed the whole of your 21 years with Bear beautifully. RIP Bear. Your human loved you.

  64. So sorry to hear about the Bear but your books will keep him alive in hearts and minds. I was going to take some things that I've been sorting out at home to my local animal sanctuary tomorrow, I'll take some extra food for them as well as a gesture of kindness and a hat tip to The Bear. (I don't think they'll accept actual Chicken – probably be a riot unless I took enough for all the Cats and dogs and i can't afford to do that)

  65. So sorry to hear about the Bear but your books will keep him alive in hearts and minds. I was going to take some things that I've been sorting out at home to my local animal sanctuary tomorrow, I'll take some extra food for them as well as a gesture of kindness and a hat tip to The Bear. (I don't think they'll accept actual Chicken – probably be a riot unless I took enough for all the Cats and dogs and i can't afford to do that)

  66. I am so very sorry for your loss, Tom and family. <3 ((((((((^^)))))))) <3 Fly free, whole, healthy, and forever Loved, Bear!

    Last November our own amazing guy of 21 left us. This year, within four months, three precious souls have gone on. As a writer, I am rendered wordless and completely unable to be eloquent.

    But I, like you, revel in having had the love, friendship, camaraderie, and all of the experiences with these treasured family members.

    May your many memories of Bear bring comfort, in due time, and laughter, and love always.

  67. Thank you for writing about the Bear. I have loved reading your books over the past couple of years and always admired Bear for his good looks and gentle nature. I have a black cat named Dionysus who reminds me of Bear though he just turned 6 this December and often has that same look which I loved about Bear. His unique life and exploits brought me so much joy. It is evident how much you, your family and friends loved him. And your Mom's linocut of him is priceless. He is a happy place now with a close black kitty friend of mine, Meow Meow kitty who has been gone several years now who helped me find my own black cat to love. Take care! Ginger

  68. I'm so deeply sorry for your loss. I've had to put 2 cats to sleep within about a year of each other and it's never easy. I completely understand your feelings about burying him. Ours was laid to rest in the pet cemetery and I had a much harder time dealing with it than I thought I would. A few days afterward, there was a huge summer thunderstorm. I kept thinking, "But Lucky is out there! She's so scared of thunder and must be terrified!" I knew it wasn't rational, but I couldn't help it. Lucky was a black cat, too, and they are certainly special. Thank you for sharing The Bear with us.

  69. We shared your joy in his living, now we share your sadness at his dying. How lucky we all were to know of him and even luckier that you lived with him for so long. There's a gap that can never be filled, I still weep at losing my lovely Poppet 3 months ago. Thank you for such a lovely obituary x

  70. Goodbye, dear sweet loving the Bear!! I have followed your story on FB, and feel like I have lost a familiar friend!! I am feeling sad, but I also know that you had a long happy life! And you brought happiness to an awful lot of people with your wisdom and pictures!! RIP dearest the Bear!!❤️️❤️?

  71. That is a beautiful tribute to a lovely cat who I only knew through @mysadcat. I loved his character, his wisdom, his comments. You have him many lives and he clearly gave you as much. Whilst you don't need signs of condolence, I do know that if it feels a loss for me who never met The Bear then you must be experiencing a mighty sense of loss. RIP little fella and take care of yourself Tom.

  72. Tom – if you read this –
    As a writer myself – much too shy and lacking in self confidence to try publishing anything – I just want you to know I find you and your work inspirational. Your tales of the bear in particular have captured many a person's heart. Goodbye the Bear. Nicole England.

  73. I can't say much more than what people have already expressed above. I've only just learned this news and read your wonderful moving tribute. I just want to say that I loved The Bear and the way you wrote about him. Heartbroken for a dear soul that I never met but came to know through you. Thank you Tom, for sharing him with us. You are in my thoughts.
    Always in my heart, dear Bear. Sleep well. xx

  74. Tom, please accept my deep condolences on the loss of dear, dear The Bear. What a life and blessing to touch so many around the world. He's immortalized and will live forever bringing smiles to future generations. For now, it's dark and it sucks.

    On a more esoteric note: I was happy he left naturally on his own terms. In the U.S. we over-euthanise. When my 21.5 yr.old Merlin wavered near Beltane, I contacted a Buddhist teacher and cat writer I know and he suggested if possible to allow a natural death. It's karmically kinder and easier for the soul's evolution. As a cat behaviorist with grief counselling experience and research study, I thought I knew all about grief but Merlin's death pulled all assumptions out by the roots. You have Nature to heal and guide you on your journey. Don't be surprised where it leads. Soul cats like The Bear enter and exit at pivotal points in their person's life. Happy discuss more in private. You have my email.

  75. On tuesday I had to put down my elderly cat Moses. I've no idea how old he actually was as he was a former stray but he must have been older than 18 years. His symptoms were much like The Bears'. It's sad that he's gone, but the years he stayed with me were good. His life came to a natural end and I feel honoured that I was allowed to accompany him some of the way.

  76. So sorry to hear about The Bear's passing, but thank you Tom so much for sharing his (and your) life with us all for these years. Whether you were attributing human thoughts and feelings he may or may not have had, it is how we see our beloved pets. And for the greater part of his life you gave him a wonderful home and the love he deserved. He was known around the world and loved by many who only knew him through your words.

  77. I'm so sorry for your loss, Tom. We all loved The Bear! He lived a full life of love, fun, and happiness and that's all any cat can ask for. My cats Socks and Bella will play with him on Rainbow Bridge!

  78. I am so sorry to hear of The Bear's loss.
    Living with a 19 year old cat ourselves we are constantly aware of his mortality (recently buying him some steps as he was struggling to jump onto the bed and grooming he his arthritis stops him from being able to do as good a job as his one dapper self would like).
    The Bear was lucky to have you and you were lucky to have the Bear.

  79. We lost our Bear (Neo) a few weeks ago. He was a complete shit, a large black mass of highly mobile trouble and noise. We weren't sure how old he was as he was a rescue but taken from us well before time. He'd been missing for a week but had been dead that long, hit by a car on our quiet estate and then taken to the local vet who didn't seem to contact us even though he was chipped.

    I loved the "my sad cat" updates, humour and sadness in one go. Your tribute did him justice and I'm sure the missing part of your life is just as big as ours right now. I don't usually leave comments on these things and I seem to have something in my eye as well.


    PS, those badger killers really are bastards.

  80. My family owned a cat who lived to the grand old age of 21 just like The Bear. On the July day that she died, I was sat at Berryhead in Brixham and saw the most perfect cat shaped cloud in the sky – never seen one before or since. Since then, I still hear her old lady cat claws on my parent's hall floor and regularly hear her collar bell!
    I have loved reading of The Bear since I first discovered him on Twitter. He has brightened many a day in our house. Thanks for sharing your stories of him with us.

  81. Hi Tom,

    Just want to say that reading about The Bear (and his feline companions, and that strange human that he shared a home with, of course) brought me a bit of light when I was in a not as brilliant a space. Thanks for sharing the The Bear with all of us – and thank you for this wonderful reflection.


  82. My he art breaks with you as my 21 yr old beloved Squawk left me last year so I understand. I also celebrated with you as the world is a better place for having known the Bear. I thank y9u for sharing him with us through the years.

  83. Sorry to hear about The Bear! He was so funny and I always waited to see his MY SAD CAT on Facebook. But he doesn't have to suffer anymore. Rest In Peace Bear. So sorry Tom!

  84. Sending you love. Reading my sad cat posts over the years was the whole reason I caved in and rescued an older black cat from the RSPCA. I wanted a cat who looked like the Bear. She doesn't. But because of the Bear ( and your lovely writings and photos of him ) a six year old fluffy black cat, found abandoned, now has a home and a happy life. Xxx.

  85. People who say that cats aren't affectionate, or they have no personality, or that they just see us as 'warm furniture', have never loved, or been loved by a cat. True, they chose their own time and way of showing that affection, but it makes the giving of it all the sweeter. I cried reading your obit of The Bear–it reminded me of a little friend of my own that left a long time ago, but who saw me through many sad times when I was younger. As I type, my current ball of floof is sleeping at my elbow–curled into a ball, with his nose tucked under a paw, and I already dread the day when he will have to leave. How they steal our heats. Vive le chat!

  86. Oh Tom I'm so sorry to hear of the loss of your sweet boy. My heart is with you, as are the hearts of all those who loved reading about the gentle Bear. The Bear couldn't have asked for a more lovely owner and you couldn't have asked for a sweeter more gentle cat x

  87. Bear. You had a magnificent life and brought joy to so many. Tom, you must feel so proud of The Bear's legacy, forever memorialised in your books and your mother's tender prints. Love.

  88. Bear. You had a magnificent life and brought joy to so many. Tom, you must feel so proud of The Bear's legacy, forever memorialised in your books and your mother's tender prints. Love.

  89. So long, Bear. Thank you, Tom, for sharing this most amazing, loving, and gracious soul with all of us. I'm so sorry for your loss. The Bear was, and shall remain, a fine figure of a cat.

  90. Bear. You had a magnificent life and brought joy to so many. Tom, you must feel so proud of The Bear's legacy, forever memorialised in your books and your mother's tender prints. Love.

  91. So sorry to learn The Bear is gone. He was clearly a most wonderful cat who lived extraordinary lives. Thank you for sharing him with us all a little. Take care xxx

  92. Very sad news but I think he had a wonderful life with you. Tears are rolling down my cheeks as I write.

    He was a beautiful cat and I think you got the balance just right.

    After the first phase of grief, you will see images from all of his life, not just the last few days (at least that's my experience of losing a beloved cat).

    Best wishes

  93. Thank you for sharing this wonderful tribute to Bear. I can 'bearly' see through my tears to write this. My heart goes out to you. Cherish the memories…


  94. Please know that the Bear brightened many moments for so many people. I can assure you of this. Please accept my sincere condolences. In honor of your cat, I will make a donation to my hometown animal shelter. Be well

  95. I'm so sad for you, The Bear was very special . It's wretched when they go but what a great life he's had with you. xxxx

  96. Dear Tom,
    I am perhaps a neighbour (same neck of the woods) and stumbled along your feline family long before I realised that The Bear was close by to us. I just wanted to say (and I am never, ever moved to say things to people on the internet) that I am truly sad to have read this news. Please take my love and my absolute best of wishes with you. Thank you for sharing him with us. With love, Lou.

  97. I have read the Books and both Tom and The Bear are delightful characters. You really get to know them both, even though you know not much at all, except that he loves his cats dearly, and the Bear was such a unique and inquisitive cat. This is very sad. RIP Mr Bear. For such small creatures of this world they leave such large holes in your heart.

  98. I am so very sorry for your loss, Tom and family. <3 ((((((((^^)))))))) <3 Fly free, whole, healthy, and forever Loved, Bear!

    Last November our own amazing guy of 21 left us. This year, within four months, three precious souls have gone on. As a writer, I am rendered wordless and completely unable to be eloquent.

    But I, like you, revel in having had the love, friendship, camaraderie, and all of the experiences with these treasured family members.

    May your many memories of Bear bring comfort, in due time, and laughter, and love always.

  99. God speed, Bear! Tom, so very sorry that Bear has gone on to the next world. I've enjoyed reading about your adventures together and know that such a dear friend as Bear will be missed.

  100. It is with a sad heart we say goodbye to our fond friends who have given so much love to us over the years unconditionally of course. The World is a far better place for having such close friends in it and they leave a gaping hole in our lives when they breathe their final breath on this Earth. What joy he brought you and you to him. Be sad at first for that is so right but let that pain drift away and be left with wonderful memories of your most beautiful friend The Bear. X

  101. I have followed your stories about The Bear and always felt you hit the nail on the head managing to say precisely what he was thinking. It is always hard to lose a beloved pet but I think you have treated his passing with great dignity. Your donation was exactly the right way he would have wanted to be remembered I am sure. We do our best to look after the numerous cats round us who are sadly neglected and will continue to do so in memory of The Bear. You are a good kind person and the longevity of all your cats lives prove this.

  102. Tom, thank you for sharing the lovely Bear with us. I'm sad that you've lost him, but very glad that you had so many wonderful years with him.

    Towards the very end of our wonderful 18-year-old cat's life, I was quite certain he was holding on purely from love, both given and received, until finally his tired old body couldn't be sustained even by that force. I'm sure love was a huge part of the Bear's astonishing longevity, too.

  103. Sorry for your loss, Tom. Bear with be missed by all his fans but he is still your special wee man. My foster cats were (sort of) named after him – "The bears", Asha, Jorah and Lyanna send you their love. You gave him a fantastic life and introduced him to a lot of people. Thanks for sharing his antics with us all. x

  104. Dear Tom, his passing on has made me so sad, but I know you said we mustn't be. My darling girl Lottie is 20 and ever since I met The Bear, it has made me very conscious of cherishing every minute with her. I fear we are now on borrowed time as she starts to wobble, fails to reach her itches and looks a tiny bit scruffier everyday. The world is a fuller place with out The Bear's bright eyes. Sleep well old friend and wave to us from the rainbow bridge. Xxxx

  105. I'm so very sorry that you've had to say goodbye to this divine little being. I'm glad that you had The Bear for so many years; and I'm glad that he had you.

  106. Im so very sorry for your loss. I have loved your Bear from this side of the pond for a good while now. Im so sad to read hes onto his next adventure. May he rest in peace and may you find some solace in the time to come. Xoxo

  107. Thank you for sharing a story of The Bear with us – it warmed and enriched many people. Animals uniquely remind us of our humanity, and your portrayal of The Bear did this with the utmost grace and good humour. My fondest wishes to him and to you.

  108. We are so very sorry that it was time for Bear to cross the bridge. He had a wonderful, long life with you. We must look for your books now! Very well-written blog post about him. It is so difficult to lose our furry ones. Hugs from all of us at Forty Paws.

  109. Deepest sympathy to Tom and family over Bear's passing. He will always be with you, watching from the shadows, or just out of sight, a great character and fantastic blogger. Love you Bear rest in peace.

  110. so very sorry to hear that The Bear has died. May he see with eyes of light in the everdark. Thank you, Tom Cox, for sharing his life with us through your books and photos and your Mom's art work. The Bear will be missed.

  111. So sorry to hear the news. The Bear's epic healthy, contented life is testament to how much you cared for him, and his gentleness and charm were a reflection of the love you showed him – no wonder he followed you round the house all the time, Tom!

    We'll miss you, The Bear, and remember you fondly, safe in the knowledge that you were never really sad at all.

  112. Hail and farewell to The Bear, from someone who only discovered your stories about him after you'd already stopped sharing them. And my deepest condolences to you, who loved him well.

  113. Thank you so much for this wonderful story about you and The Bear. My girlfriend and I just had to put down our black kitty, Magik, last year at age 19. She was my little girl and I still miss her very much.

  114. The Bear always made me smile when I saw his gorgeous face on twitter or Facebook, and the witty captions that accompanied these photos gave me some of my favourite laughs! I will certainly remember his beautiful soul, that could clearly be seen in his shining eyes. Tonight, I shall light a candle for him, to help light his way to Star Clan.

  115. I'm so sorry to hear of your loss of such a sweet, gentle cat like the Bear. The two of you made a team that brought so much joy to all of us, thank you for the gift you gave us all of giving us a glimpse into the life you shared.

    You and the Bear had one of the loveliest friendships I have ever seen. Your eulogy to him was beautiful. You have a huge group of people thinking of him and you, from around the world, mourning with you, thinking of the Bear, with sadness of now, but then hopefully later of everything wonderful about him and the friendship you shared. I hope you are ok and just know Bear's light will still be felt by all of us. Thank you both for being in our lives thorough your social media and your books. (and continuing to be)

    Thoughts and love to you both

  116. Thank you Tom for sharing The Bear with us. Through your wonderful books, tweets and beautiful photos, I feel I know him as well as my own geriatric bunch. Will raise a glass in his honour. RIP The Bear. Gone, but definitely not forgotten xx

  117. To all animal lovers this is a must read. A beautiful farewell to a friend. Theyvate all special and unique. But i say to you, many have the kindness to all species too. The wonderful cat. Unforgettable and a blessing to have had the connection & friendship. Those that love an animal know and ate thinking of you and your furfriends. Thank you for this piece of celebration of your mate

  118. Oh what glorious words. You have a way of spilling your heart for that sweet Bear. My Bear died May 8, 2015 at age 15 minus a few days. He was born June 4, 2000 at my next door neighbors. As soon as Bear was old enough, he began coming over to my house. Bear and I had a connection by heart. We loved each other. If I could write as well as you I could tell you he spent half his life in my lap, in summer, spring fall and winter (by the real wood burning fireplace. The neighbor finally realized Bear and I belonged together and gave up on trying to keep us apart. In closing, I offer you my condolences, I do understand that no words can ease your pain but know that I care. Bear lives on in your heart and my Bear lives on in my heart forever…

  119. I have enjoyed your writing about the bear and seeing that an obituary was popping up on my feed did bring a tear to my eye. I love your pragmatic, loving but disrespectful relationship with your cats. In a demonstration of heartless cat activity my Artemis, (age 16 3/4) is very relieved as it's stopped me practicing Christmas carols whilst reading and making her feel obliged to demonstrate some teenage complaining "wtf is that racket" behaviour when she really wants to be a grumpy old queen. You're right, cats do not necessarily have the personalities we assign them but they wrap little bits of fur and claw round our hearts and give them a little yank on a regular basis.

  120. Sorry for your loss, Tom. The Bear has now gone over the Rainbow Bridge where all animals go. I think of it as a place where they can run and play until the day when they can be reunited with the ones they love, so Tom, The Bear and you will meet again.x

  121. OMG how heartbreaking, I am so sorry for your devastating loss, bear was such a beautiful boy, my heart goes out to you and bear.
    RIP sweet beautiful little angel xxxx ??

  122. OMG how heartbreaking, I am so sorry for your devastating loss, bear was such a beautiful boy, my heart goes out to you and bear.
    RIP sweet beautiful little angel xxxx ??

  123. I am so sorry to hear about the death of The Bear. He had a long and eventful life and was very lucky to have spent his time with you and the others. It will be a large hole in your life – my Prudence Kitten also died at 21 – but you have all your treasured memories of him to help. And I am sure wherever he is, other cats will be looking out for him.

  124. I will miss your pretty little face xx Thank you Tom, for sharing the legend that is, and always will be, The Bear xxx

  125. So sorry to hear about The Bear. I've adored reading about him in your books and seeing him on Twitter. I've always had a soft spot for The Bear as our lovely Nero is black with a little white spot on his chest. I'm sure that he had a wonderful life with you.

  126. A wonderfully eloquent memorial/ obituary/ celebration of a wonderful friend. As an avowed dog Lover seeing The Bear on the net always made me smile at your wit and the perfectly appropriate picture of The Bear. I'm genuinely sorry for you losing your friend and envious of all the memories beyond those you documented that you have of him to look back on.

  127. I'm so sorry for your loss, Tom. I lost my dear old boy Zorro a couple of weeks ago and I know how hard it is. Thank you so much for sharing him with all of us. Your love for him and all the other cats shines through in every word you write. Take care of yourself and rest in peace dearest The Bear. X

  128. Oh, Tom, what a beautiful eulogy for a special cat. I have missed seeing The Bear with his reasons for being sad lately, but he has joined the feline pantheon through your writing. The Bear's musings and adventures kept me going through a very tough illness, and I shall raise a toast to him tonight. Thank you, Bear. Enjoy the after-nine life.

  129. Beautiful words Tom, so sorry for your loss. Will miss his gorgeous eyes popping up on my timeline but he's out of pain now. Mind yourself.

  130. Thank you for sharing The Bear with us. He has brought such joy to my life, and I am deeply grateful. Please accept my deepest sympathy for the loss of your (our) beloved friend.

  131. Thank you, Bear. And thank you, Tom, for sharing part of him and your relationship with us. I think there are people and small pieces of the world that are better because you did. I know I am. And I hope The Bear would have liked that.

  132. Oh, that last paragraph. I found The Bear late in life, but I am all the more richer for it. Have cuddled Chloe (as much as she will allow) and have donated to my local Cats Protection in his name. I hope he would approve.?

  133. Somehow I find myself sad for a cat I only knew through FB and books.
    Perhaps it is sadness for all the cats I've lost and still miss.

  134. I came across your page in someone else's comment about your lovely cat. I read your obit and I'd like to send my condolences to you on the passing of this most excellent feline. My cat Lucky died at the age of 19 in very similar circumstances. The night before, he came and said goodbye to everyone. He knew. Cats enter your soul and never leave.

  135. I'm really sorry The Bear has passed away. You've helped him have a lovely life, thanks for sharing it with us.

    I'm thinking of him at the pearly gates now giving St Peter that special stare.

    RIP The Bear.

  136. So sorry, so sad. The Bear was a remarkable cat and thanks to your wonderful talent for writing we were all able to get a glimpse at him. My thoughts and love go out to you at this time. You gave him love and dignity and that is wonderful. Xx

  137. So sad to read about the passing of your dear The Bear… Sounds like he left in the most unobtrusive way possible, just like he lived his life. Goonight dear kitty, may you join Bowie in some awesome duets in the fields forever green. We will all miss you xx

  138. So sad to read about the passing of your dear The Bear… Sounds like he left in the most unobtrusive way possible, just like he lived his life. Goonight dear kitty, may you join Bowie in some awesome duets in the fields forever green. We will all miss you xx

  139. So sad to read about the passing of your dear The Bear… Sounds like he left in the most unobtrusive way possible, just like he lived his life. Goonight dear kitty, may you join Bowie in some awesome duets in the fields forever green. We will all miss you xx

  140. I'm so sorry for your loss and offer my sincere condolences on the passing of your friend The Bear. Thank you for your generosity in introducing us and sharing him with with us, we are all better off for having known this gentle melancholy soul. Peace

  141. I'm sorry you've lost your little mate. I have always been a big fan of this character, great eyes, great ears, great cat. I lost my cat Fred a few years ago, he was 22 and had been declining for a few years. I was almost grateful for that though, because I said goodbye to him a lot of times (in private of course), and I knew that he would go when he was ready. It was still horrible when he passed away of course. The one thing I did take comfort in was that we gave him a great and happy life, just like the Bear had. It also meant we were able to adopt another one of the many many many cats in need of a warm and loving home, which even though he was a grouch some of the time, Fred would have wanted too! I will always remember as the happiest sad cat.

  142. Thank you for sharing The Bear's sweetness with us in your wonderful books. I've heard it said that we are the sum of how others remember us when we're gone. If that's the case then The Bear will be remembered with so much love and affection, by so many who feel like they knew him even though they had never had the pleasure of meeting him. Sending you kindness in his absence. We'll all miss his sweet face.

  143. I only got to know of The Bear in the last maybe year and half. What a wonderful companion for you. I am sorry that there now exists a Bear size whole in your heart and no other will be able to fill it. I wish you the best. Thank you for sharing your friend with the rest of us.

  144. 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.

  145. 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…

  146. 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.

  147. 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.

  148. 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

  149. 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.

  150. 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

  151. 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

  152. 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.

  153. 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

  154. 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.

  155. "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.

  156. 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.

  157. 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.

  158. 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.

  159. 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.

  160. 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.

  161. 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.

  162. 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.

  163. 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

  164. 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.

  165. 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.

  166. 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.


  167. 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.

  168. 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!

  169. 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.

  170. 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


  171. 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?

  172. 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

  173. 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

  174. 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!!!

  175. 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.

  176. 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.

  177. 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

  178. 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.

  179. 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

  180. 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

  181. 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

  182. 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….

  183. 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?

  184. 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

  185. 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.

  186. 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.

  187. 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.

  188. 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.

  189. 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

  190. 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…

  191. 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.

  192. 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.

  193. 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

  194. 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.

  195. 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.

  196. 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.

  197. 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

  198. 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

  199. 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.

  200. 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

  201. 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

  202. 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.

  203. 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.

  204. 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?

  205. 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.

  206. 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.

  207. 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.

  208. 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 ?

  209. 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.

  210. 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.

  211. 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.

  212. 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

  213. That is the sweetest most heartfelt Obituary for your beloved pet. So sorry for your loss. Dreading the day my to 15 year olds follow in his footsteps, inevitable but painful to consider. My son lost his much loved cat 2 years ago and it almost broke his heart. I encouraged him to reach out and love again as love is the only thing that mends a heart. A few months later he reluctantly started looking, (truth is I was feeding him photos of rescue cats). He fell in love with 2 brothers and although he has never forgotten Samson, Smoky & Maverick have helped to fill the void. You sound like someone who has more love to give. Bless you.

  214. Oh Tom, I have no words. Tears streaming down my face as I write this. RIP beautiful Bear. You will be missed by some many darling boy. Love from me and my fur kids here in Australia.

  215. Hello companion to The Bear. I had not known of the existence of either of you till tonight. But I can tell that you were placed her on Earth to chronicle the times you've shared and make them come alive in the books narrated by someone with a wealth of feelings and a nicely sized vocabulary. I trust you will do the same for your other four footed friends…..if you have time….do the same for a two legged creature as well…..

    and between the words….nap and eat…poop at your own risk


  216. So sorry Tom to hear of The Bear's parting. He was kind right to the end to save you from the terrible last trip to the vet – been there, done that and not so good. R.I.P. The Bear, safe journey over the Rainbow Bridge…..

  217. Thank you Tom. What a lovely story about your friend. Shed some tears for you both. Have a good rest darling. Xx

  218. My condolences… We, who are owned by cats, understand your pain. Bear had a blessed life by your side. And so did you…

  219. *cries* Rest in peace, dear boy. I look forward to meeting you in person when it's my time to cross the Bridge… <3

  220. My Forever Pet

    There's something
    missing in my home,
    I feel it day and night,

    I know it will take
    time and strength before
    things feel quite right.

    But just for now,
    I need to mourn,
    My heart– it needs to mend.

    Though some may say,
    "It's just a pet,"
    I know I've lost a friend.

    You've brought such
    laughter to my home,
    and richness to my days.

    A constant friend
    through joy or loss
    with gentle, loving ways.

    Companion, friend,
    and confidante,
    A friend I won't forget.

    You'll live forever in my heart,
    My sweet, forever pet.

    – Susanne Taylor

    Deepest sympathy on the loss of your fur angel 🙁

  221. Dear Bear, I will always have you on my mind when I think of good creatures and people. Forgive my tears tonight. I will be smiling in the happiness you gave by Tom's allowing us into your life, the thoughtful worrying you did for us all, and your pleasure at a bit of ham at dinner. Love.

  222. Well done Tom, that must have been so hard to write and it was a fitting and eloquent eulogy. My own neurotic rescue cat is worried now because I'm upset. The Bear achieved a lot more, through your unique writing, than most people ever do. Hugs and heartfelt sympathy xx

  223. Well done Tom, that must have been so hard to write and it was a fitting and eloquent eulogy. My own neurotic rescue cat is worried now because I'm upset. The Bear achieved a lot more, through your unique writing, than most people ever do. Hugs and heartfelt sympathy xx

  224. Sorry for your loss. My cat Kush is very ill now and i am dreading the day I will have to say goodbye. I feel our pain. Take care.

  225. My companion cat Boo Boo Girl and I send our deepest sympathy's and love. Thank you for sharing your Bear with us. My Boo is a very kind and well mannered cat too.She was diagnosed as terminal last sept 2015 and yet by some miracle and a lot of prayers and tears, she's been better the past 91/2 months. I even had her in prayer groups. I had become disabled a few months before She was born and I had this thought,"If my son's cat has a black kitten,it's mine".. and his cat Charlette had one little girl black kitten on june 4th, 2003. She's been such a blessing to me and we're together pretty much 24/7;so I'm really going to miss her, when God calls her home. I even have a God Father(one of my best friends) to take care of her, if something should happen to me. She weighs about 24 lbs and she doesn't even eat that much. My one friend saw her and said< Holy, bear cat"…ha ha ha… We are given these little blessing cats for typically a short time and when we're as in love and bonded with them,as so many of us are, there really is never enough time with them. They are often like our own children and so much more. Some people just don not understand that and I hate it when they say"it's just a cat"! absolutley not, just a cat! They're our babies, our best friends, our companions and such wonderful blessings and so much ,much more. i know you can relate. again, thank you so much for sharing you and The Bear with us and for always being there for The Bear. I hope and pray that we'll be with them again some day in Heaven. they will always live on in our hearts and minds. my cat Boo Boo Girl is laying here on my desktop, where I have her special blanket. I give her treats, rub her tummy and chest,sometimes she looks out the window and chirps at the birdies and I'm always telling her what a good girl she is, how much I love her forever and ever no matter what and ect. I know, you and your home doesn't feel the same without The BEar. Boo Boo Girl and I send our love ,prayers and blessings. God Bless. We love you and The Bear.

  226. Tom, I saw your announcement on Facebook this morning and started crying my eyes out at the loss of a gentle creature who felt to me like someone I knew. I hope that putting your heart into words in such a beautiful tribute to your lovely friend gives you the same comfort that reading it between tears has given me. The Bear, that kindest of cats who stole the hearts of so many humans over all these years will always have a place in mine. Please accept my deepest condolences. My very best wishes to you, Roscoe, Ralph and Shipley.

  227. I was so sad to hear about The Bear's passing. Your cat looked so much like & reminded me of my cat, whose name was simply Bear. It's been over 5 years since my Bear-Tat passed over the Rainbow Bridge, so I'm sure she welcomed The Bear with open paws. I feel your grief and hope you are comforted by the fact that The Bear lived his life with you, knowing how much he was loved & valued. Please keep writing about your cats. I love all cats, & derive so much enjoyment reading stories about them.

  228. So very sorry to hear the news; it was the worst thing to wake up to, and I shed a few tears at his passing.

    I'm glad he at least got to go in such a peaceful way. When one of my own cats died, well, I wish it had been at home, at least.

    Thanks for sharing him with everyone, and for writing this tribute to him. May he live on in all our hearts.

  229. Loved "the bear" for many many years. Always took him on annual holidays to Torcross (in book form). He'd be bewildered I expect if he knew he'd stolen so many hearts. Great little critter. Well done Tom, very dignified and fitting tribute to his deciding to shuffle off to his next adventure.

  230. Bless your heart. I am so sorry for your pain. I read once that when cats leave this earth they go to Heaven to sit in God's lap. I am sure your sweet Bear is there now. RIP sweet, gentle Bear.

  231. Im so sorry Tom, for the loss of your very beloved Bestest Black furry boy The Bear. Tears are completely flooding my eyes, so Ineed to get tissues. Monday, for a Random Act of Kindness, i plan to buy lil stuffed Black (Teddy) Bears and give to the kittens & cats that need furever homes. I hope this brings you a little comfort. My heart aches for you too, for all youre going through right now. Thank you for sharing The Bear with his many many fans. I'm one of them….. Sandi, in Bullhead City, Arizona. USA. (My cat Baxter passed 4 years ago last week, he looks just like he coukd be your Ralphs twin). May our Beloved Cats always Rest in Heavenly Peace for Always

  232. Tom… I am so sorry to hear about the Bear you have made me laugh and cry with you books and posts…
    Stay well buddy – merry xmas…Brad McNaly an Louie ( my special cat) Perth Australia

  233. My condolences on the loss of The Bear. We just had our 19 year old cat put to sleep a couple of weeks ago. It sounds as though he and The Bear must have looked very similar in their declining months. Best wishes to you and your other cats.

  234. What a beautiful little animal.
    You saved him, and made every day of his life the best it could be.
    Thank you for sharing his story.

  235. The Bear is a extrordinary soul. The depth a cat brings to one's life and the willingness to go deep with them is profound. Thank you for sharing that with the world in a way that only you could. It was important. Now that the Bear's mission is complete I wish him fair winds and following tides on his journey home.

  236. I am here visiting from NY State because I follow "Gail F" on Twitter, who follows you. I shall have to look up your books!

    I had a wise, fat, black Pooh Bear like your Bear. When he died, it was so painful, I rearranged all the furniture in the house as a kind of counterirritant to the agony. And I've thought of re-naming my farm, "Hundred Acre Wood," in honor of Pooh, Tigger, & Miss Muffet, but at the moment, I only have 70 acres!

    I stumbled upon a wonderful article about another extraordinary cat lover, Jake Perry. May it warm your sad heart. Hugs!

  237. So so very sorry Tom for the passing of Bear.
    I too had a cat that lived until he was 23 and you have perfectly describe the steady decline of elderly cats, I myself was in denial and couldn't bring myself to part with him, but eventually I had to and on the 3rd of November 2000 at 12pm, my wonderful boy was put to sleep while he was asleep on my bed in his usual spot. He didn't struggle or resist but took along time to pass away, my vet saying that he is a strong boy and a fighter, even in the shell of a body that lay in front of me.
    Unlike you, I had him individually cremated and I have his ashes indoors as I feel I couldn't bury him for the exact same reason you described, as if throwing him away.
    I still have 6. Cats and in total have I have been fortunate enough to have 13 companions, all individuals and all outstanding in their own little way.
    The death of a companion is heart wrenching and I have experienced this more times than I want to and I still have to go through this painful episode again with my current. Companions.
    It breaks my heart each and every time and my grieving is unmistakable. I make. No apologies for this as each one is part of our family and have been major parts of our everyday. You have a routine with them and this you do while on auto pilot, it is that familiar to you.
    But we all know that the time will come and we will have to say goodbye, it never gets any easier and isn't somewhere you get used to.
    I have amazing memories and a library of pictures to look back on, you have a much more documented.
    Bear will be remembered by so so many people and also missed greatly. He will always be with you, never far away you.
    So after much waffling on I send you my deepest sympathies for the loss of such an amazing little man, don't bottle anything up, cry , laugh and talk about him as much as you like, he deserves it. ❤️❤️❤️❤️

  238. What absolutely wonderful words for a Grand wee man. I've lost my fair share of best friends and is never easy. I like to believe they are all waiting at the Rainbow Bridge as I'm sure Bear will be. Thanks for sharing his life. Take care.

  239. Tears sprang to my eyes and my heart fell upon seeing your post on Facebook this morning. I couldn't read it straight away. I'm very sorry Tom for the loss in your life of precious The Bear, but glad you have Shipley, Roscoe and Ralph for comfort. I'm so glad to hear of your generous donation to your local rescue shelter. Keep writing. I will be hugging my cats a little tighter today. Take care xx

  240. Tom, I have sponsored a cat on Cats Protection in memory of The Bear, hopefully helping other feline refugees to find the sort of home that he and the others found with you. Our cat Friznet came from the Philippines 10 years ago and worried the life out of us this week with an illness that fortunately our great vets have diagnosed and cured. Best wishes to you and yours for a Christmas that will be a bit hollow but enjoy it with Ralph, Shipley and Roscoe!

  241. It makes the heart ache to lose a pet – I'm so sorry. I recently lost my beautiful 15 year old – I'd like to think that my sweet little Jenny might now be enjoying the gentle company of the Bear. I'm so sorry that you had to lose him.

  242. All I would like to say is thank you to The Bear and you. I'm the incredibly awkward girl that our mutual friend messaged you about me before your Sheffield spoken word evening , I was extra awkward because finally meeting a big part of your recovery and ongoing wellbeing is nervewracking! Said mutual friend said that she had never seen me nervous and was flabbergasted!

    It has been another really difficult year physically and as a result mentally. One day my friend ( not said mutual friends …you need to talk to them about being better at your promotion!) bought me one of your books to read whilst recovering from a particularly bad flare of my Ulcerative Colitis. I was fed up, exhausted, and my mind very dark. Your book got through all that and seriously it took some of the pain away. I bought your other books, and then I discovered @MySadCat. Tom, I have a life. I'm not a computer zombie and I don't live my existence vicariously through online personas, but your online stories of The Bear. your other beautiful cats and your fascinating life have really helped me keep sane and able to feel the release of serotonin when I thought it was impossible. I am sad about the loss of your friend and now mine too, but I feel blessed that you shared him with me. It's a crazy concept of loving an animal you have never met, but that crazy love had been carthartic and the best mental health treatment I have had.

    Thank you again, and please keep up the good work. I'm off to celebrate the life of the miracle that was The Bear.

    Zoe Hrydziuszko

  243. I too have lost two elderly cats this year, and know how you feel… People seem to assume,because they are cats and not dogs, that they are disloyal,aloof,unfriendly self-serving creatures, but they are not.Its just that dogs are loyal whatever and you get back from cats what you put in. Im so sorry for your loss x P.S We have recently re-homed a young cat and are enjoying him so much.

  244. I am so very sorry to hear of the passing of The Bear your touching tribute to your wonderful friend and family member brought tears to my eyes. I know that you have been preparing yourself and his fans but it doesn't make the loss any less hard. Through your books we have gotten to know him too and feel for you. May he rest in peace and deepest sympathies to you all.

  245. Through your wonderful books and writings I came to feel that I knew The Bear. What a beautiful cat he was inside and out. Your final goodbye to him touched me deeply, he was lucky to have you and you him. Through your sadness I'm sure you will also be able to celebrate his extraordinary life. RIP The Bear

  246. Such very sad news but The Bear had, on the whole, such a lovely life. He chose you as his human companion many years ago and I doubt he would ever have regretted that choice. Thinking of you xx

  247. I could write pages, Tom, but I will say I loved The Bear even without personally knowing him and I love your obituary as I love all of your writing.

    You gave The Bear the best life you could and he gave you his companionship and love too.

    Ruth x x

  248. Good by dear Bear, and for you Tom big hugs and love. It is very nice to think that he is in a good place, just waiting for you. And over all, that for Bear has had a good life with you.

  249. Dear Tom
    Goodbye dear Bear. It is very nice to think that he is in a good place, just waiting for you. And over all, Bear has had a good life with you. I remember to my "little friends " that I lost, so, for you big hugs and love.

  250. Occultists all over England spent last night invoking Pan in readiness for the Solstice. I like to think that The Bear went with him.

  251. That must have been such a difficult piece to write. I recognise the symptoms of dealing with the decline of an elderly cat, particularly the irony of two vegetarians buying chicken as a treat for a cat (and the impossibility of giving one cat a treat while ignoring the other three). You've immortalised The Bear and the two of you have enriched thousands of lives. Thanks to both of you. Allan.

  252. I am so sorry, Tom, for your loss of The Bear. We have loved The Bear from afar, and your writings about him for a long time. I will miss his beautiful little face and your posts about him. I have loved your books and am very grateful that your cat Janet friended me on Facebook all those years ago so that I could find your writings. Sending you love through the internet either from my cat family to yours. Emma

  253. I knew the day would come and have been sensing that maybe it would be soon. I am sorry. I love your writing and The Bear's and your personalities and utter respect for each other despite the humour. I will miss hearing about him and knowing he is there physically. The ache is felt here too.

    Even Georgie, my rescue cat has stopped jumping on the table and playing, she's gone quiet, knowing something has changed in the World.

    My deepest sympathy, and love to you all
    Alex x

  254. So sorry to read about The Bear. The chicken bit made me smile; I lost my sweet Tallulah two weeks ago and, yesterday, had a hard time throwing away her last piece of poached chicken from the back of the fridge. You gave him a lovely life, and thank you for sharing him.

  255. Sending love & prayers. He had an exceptional life & was loved every day! He shared that love by making people smile! Thank you for blessing us with reasons to smile! RIP Sweet Bear!:))

  256. So sad to hear. Such a gentle soul, Off to cat heaven in a field of sweet grass where butterflies flutter bye.
    Leif 20 not out, final innings. She can relate to most of The Bears ailments,
    You and he brought great delight. May he rest in peace.

  257. I have no doubt The Bear is feeling the love from his thousands of fans right now. I always felt like my cat had taken over a part of my heart when he was alive. When he died a few years ago, I was left in no doubt. Hope you are keeping well in this.

  258. Oh no,please accept my deepest condolences Tom,I know wot if feels like to lose a beloved cat,I have lost 6 of my own over the last few yrs and just this year I lost my beloved Reesy,may Tom be chasing butter flies at Rainbow Bridge.

  259. What s beautiful obituary Tom. Thanks for sharing The Bear's life with us. I lost my 19 yr old cat Sophie this year and I take comfort knowing that after an awful start in life, we were able to provide her with a loving, warm, safe forever home. I hope you're also able to celebrate The Bear's long and happy life. Thinking of you at this difficult time……

  260. Just cried my eyes out reading your obituary of The Bear. I was trying to regain my composure as I neared the end of your piece but the photo of you and The Bear set me off again. What a wonderful soul, no, two wonderful souls. I'm so glad that you had each other for so long. x

  261. Lots of us (I mean lots) feel genuine love for your cats thanks to you sharing their lives with us and we are so sad too about the loss of your boy. Aw the dear sweet Bear and his beautiful small face are lodged in a happy part of my brain where they will continue to reside. RIP dear sweet cat. XXX

  262. Dear Tom, so sorry to hear this news but thank you for all your writing about the Bear. He lived a long and happy life and it sounds like he had the best end you could provide for him. I've made a donation in his name to a cat shelter. Please keep writing!

  263. So sorry to hear this news Tom. You shared so much of The Bear with us all on Twitter that I feel like I knew him as one of my own. We lost our eldest (15) this year. She was the runt of the litter when she arrived at 6 weeks old, she shouldn't have made it this far and we gave her the best life we could. You did the same with The Bear, he easily exceeded those nine lives. He was loved by you and many thousands of others.

    The Bear will forever live on through your lovely books and the record of his life that you made public for us all to share. God bless.

  264. Thank you Tom for the most moving and uplifting piece of prose about your beloved companion. We have followed his adventures via. your books and via. Twitter – if idiots choose to blast you for it – their loss I'd say. I lost my buddy (also Tom) more than 10 years ago and barely a day goes by without my not thinking about him. The same with our rescues over the last 30 years of married life, and childhood in both cases. And we will experience similar grief when it happens again, as it will – we just feel privileged to share their lives and it's up to us to ensure they are are happy and safe.
    Thank you again.

  265. Oh, my heart. Thank you for sharing his life with us, and giving us this news with such dignity – as he would have wanted. Love and condolences to you and yours, from me and my two furry dudes. Chloë, Vince and Thorin xxx
    Sleep well, The Bear.

  266. Dear Tom: So sad, hearing the news of The Bear. Your moving elegy is worthy of his quiet presence. Farewell to a good and faithful friend. He was lucky: from the moment you rescued him from abandonment he enjoyed wonderful love and care.
    The Bear seemed to me be an ‘old soul.’ His wry outlook on the world was endlessly patient, if frequently puzzled. As you wrote last year, not so much a cat as a philosophical poet making the best of a bad situation. He gave so much, not only to you but also to all of us who read your work.
    The decision The Bear saved you from is a resolution we might all wish for our elderly cats ~ a natural ending, departing on the final journey from a familiar home where they are loved.
    And we all recognize that cat-shaped gap that only one unique character can fill.
    Sometimes you swear you can feel a small spirit ghost-footing in the house, or half-hear a faint but familiar voice.
    x JAS + little black Bonnie (18½ yrs, and hyperthyroid).

  267. Happy Nine Lives, The Bear.
    Hugs Tom. I know how it feels, and even though his ilife turned out just purrfect for The bear, to love so much means we must also endure the sadness of loss. That in itself is testament to an amazing character.

  268. sending you lots of love, Mr. Cox. this was a beautifully written tribute to The Bear. i i am sure that you know how much his kindness and gentleness touched so many of our lives, my own included. i think his old soul had been waiting for you to come along, and that in his quiet way, jad so much joy from sharing such a long lifē with you. i wish you much gentleness amd kindness in these coming days, weeks, months – and the every-so-often odd moment when his spirit calls you – i know you will know it is him.

    to The Bear, thank you for all the kindness and quiet wisdom that you shared. i will miss you, even though i never met you in real life. run free, where the other cats are kind, the grass soft, the food plentiful, and the sun warms a special spot just for you.

    love to both of you,
    and Mr. Cox, The Bear brought me to your writings, and i will look forward to your comtinued gifts to us. The Bear's spirit speaks through you.

  269. I am so very sorry for your loss. I lost my beloved Mewmis last month and I am so sad to hear of Bear's passing. I really like the tribute that you made by donating food. You have inspired me to do this in honor of my Mew. Thank you.

  270. Thanks to your sharing his stories over the years, we got to know what an amazing cat The Bear was. So sorry for your loss. I made a donation to the local shelter in his honor, and will raise a glass to him as well. Hugs.

  271. Tom, there are no words. And despite your wish that we not cry, but remember a kind, long and happy life – which I will do – I am sobbing as I write this. Like many readers, I feared the worst when you shut down @MySadCat, but hoped for a bit more time for you and The Bear. Thank you for sharing The Bear with us all these years. He will be missed. More than you know. Condolences to you, Shipley, Ralph and Roscoe.

  272. So sorry to hear the news of The Bears passing
    we all feel we know him due to your wonderful way with words and photo’s,
    and because of this I am not embarrassed to admit I have shed a tear for The Bear as I cuddle my black cat Sammy – maybe just a tad too tightly
    I do think all our lives are a little bit richer from having followed his life with you, and for that I want to ‘thank you’ for sharing, he will be greatly missed.
    My thoughts are with you, Ralph, Shipley and Roscoe

  273. So sorry to hear the news of The Bears passing
    we all feel we know him due to your wonderful way with words and photo’s,
    and because of this I am not embarrassed to admit I have shed a tear for The Bear as I cuddle my black cat Sammy – maybe just a tad too tightly
    I do think all our lives are a little bit richer from having followed his life with you, and for that I want to ‘thank you’ for sharing, he will be greatly missed.
    My thoughts are with you, Ralph, Shipley and Roscoe x

  274. Dear Tom…….all of these condolence posts could become a new chapter in MySadCat…… My heart truly aches for you, Ralph, Roscoe & Shipley. Your parents as well . I'm crying with each post I read here.

  275. Thank you for making Bear such a great personality, and a much loved cat. A tribute to a wonderful cat and a very good writer. The Bear will be missed by many, but through your words, his memory lives on.

  276. So sorry you've lost The Bear. It was great to read all about him and your love for him shone out in all your work. My puss, Humbug, is nearly 18 (1st January) and has lost half his thyroid (overactive thyroid) and half of one ear (cancer), but is still bouncing on. He is sitting under my desk in my office on his bed sending healing purrs to you. Thank you for sharing your cats with us.

  277. Tom – so sorry to hear of the sadly inevitable loss of a gentle and exceptional cat that, thanks to your incredible writing talent, we all came to know and love. I can't believe how sad I feel, but perhaps it is not that surprising, given that everyone who has lost a well-loved pet knows how painful it can be, a true bereavement in fact. We all empathise and sympathise with your loss, but also celebrate a long life well-lived. RIP Bear and thank you Tom for allowing us to know him too.

  278. Oh Tom, I was shocked to read about The Bear just now. I lost my cat Mummy just over a year ago and I know what an ache is left behind. But The Bear , what a life..
    well-lived and well-loved! I'm glad you felt able to share his life and his death with us. Hope Shipley, Roscoe and Ralph haven't taken it too badly. Take care of yourself too. X

  279. This broke my heart when I saw this yesterday. I have so enjoyed getting to know him these last few years. May every cat have a loving home like he did the last part of his life.

  280. As I read this, music in the background of Daryl Hall and Todd Rungren doing a duet "Last Ride"
    I'm not sure if that's what they are singing, but quite lovely in a sweet sad way. The passing of a beloved one and pet
    has been so challenging for me the last 8 years I can't catch my breath at times. While everyone grieves quite differently, it seems
    to me, that I always feel that nagging question "can I have just one more day please"

    Have enjoyed your written words and The Bear's experiences
    You provided a fine home with so much love
    Sending love across the pond,
    L. Baker

  281. So sad to hear about the Bear, but as you say there are worse ways to die and he had a good life with you. He surely knew he was loved and that's really any of us can hope for – animal or human.

    RIP little guy. You will be sorely missed.

  282. So sad to hear about the Bear, but as you say there are worse ways to die and he had a good life with you. He surely knew he was loved and that's really any of us can hope for – animal or human.

    RIP little guy. You will be sorely missed.

  283. What a gift The Bear was … Thank you, Bear, for making this lousy world a bit more kind and bearable (didn't mean to pun, I swear) with your gentle presence. Thank you, and may your journey continue on, full of joy, with perfect health, in the beyond.

  284. Thank you for letting us get to know and love him. He will be missed. I hope he finds my Nani at the Rainbow Bridge, who preceded him by just a few months.

  285. Bear lived a long and, for the most part, happy, satisfying life. It is hard to not mourn him. I type this with tears–so sorry for your grief–Bear seemed to be part of you–the part that is loving and wanting to share your sweet kitty with us all. Thank you Tom…

  286. I loved Bear as he had such a dear face. I too had to face the loss of two of my beloved cats this year. In February Hector, 6 mths old, got knocked don by a car outside our house. By the time I found his little body, although he was still warm, I was too late to save him. He is buried in the garden and I found a rose bush named Hector which is planted on his resting place.

    Last month my Tabitha 14 years old died at home during the night. I woke and found her on the lounge floor. She looked like she had just fallen asleep. She had not been ill and there were no signs of trauma. She too is buried and as I could not find a rose called Tabitha or Tabbie she has a purple one, my favourite colour. She is the logo for our cattery.

    We still have eight cats two of which are 16 yrs so fingers crossed for next year. The best an owner can do is give their cats the best life possible, have fun and be there for each other. /my cats give me a good life and Ihope I do the same for them.
    Take care Patsy x x x x

  287. you truly loved Bear, and he loved you…his life was a beautiful life.My Omei, lived for 20 years and he died in 1997. His life was short compared to mine, but my heartfelt memories are very strong and I feel he is still with me everyday.I have other pets and each one has their story. Each one has a place in my heart. Rest in peace, sweet Bear….

  288. Tom, you are in my thoughts and purrayers… I have never missed a single one of your books. Please keep them coming! You are an amazing human being for doing what you did for The Bear. And you have brought so many people smiles and laughter. Those who don't understand aren't worth a bit! The good far outweighs the bad… RIP, The Bear. You will be sorely missed!

  289. Tom, I am so very sorry for the loss of your beloved Bear. I can relate to many of the things you thought and felt. My oldest cat, Tabitha, turned 18 this past July. I consider every day a blessing. She has some arthritis in her front legs but her eyes and coat are bright. I know you will carry Bear in your heart and thoughts forever.

  290. I am so very sorry for your loss; you gave The Bear a wonderful life. Now, take care of yourself, your other kitties, and stay strong. Thank you for sharing The Bear's life, it was an amazing ride. Lots of love, M.

  291. PS,

    I'm glad I was able to buy barest lovely book while he was still on the side of live‼️

    Thank you Bear & thank you Tom for sharing Bear with us‼️

  292. What a heartfelt tribute to such an adorable gift of God

    Please send greetings & my Deep L❤️VE to my "firstborn" Llady Precious Sogwa in Miss Cutie over there across The Rainbow Bridge Bear‼️

    And like George Glenn and Dr. Spock, may all of you guys "over there" Rest "Long & Prosperous" In Peace‼️


  293. Thank you for bringing joy into my life, you sweet creature, Bear. Tell my cat hello if you ever see him, now that you've crossed the rainbow bridge, and that I miss him dearly. We all loved you and miss you dearly.

  294. Goodbye, gentle soul.

    Thank you for sharing him with the world. He made it a brighter place, in his own, small way.

  295. So sorry to hear the news.. writing this on so many places to ease the mind. It is so silly to see what a cat i know from four books can do. You are in my mind Tom with Shipley, Ralph and Roscoe and hope you wil do alright. Byebye to the Bear it was a pleasure knowing and reading about him. I very much hope you can find again pleasure in writing about your cats and you making a 5th. Take care and all the best

  296. So sorry to hear the news. Actually, I had never read about this cat but from your kind words, The Bear must have been a very loving companion, probably waiting for you to be strong enough to let him go with as little suffering for you as possible.I´ve often wondered if they know how much we learn from them. May he rest in peace and may you hold him to your heart with sweet memories.

  297. So sorry to hear the news. Actually, I had never read about this cat but from your kind words, The Bear must have been a very loving companion, probably waiting for you to be strong enough to let him go with as little suffering for you as possible.I´ve often wondered if they know how much we learn from them. May he rest in peace and may you hold him to your heart with sweet memories.

  298. So sad to hear the news about The Bear. What a beautiful, wise and gentle soul he was. All any of us can hope for is to love, be loved and to share a little bit of ourselves with the world. The Bear did so and then some!
    I'll be giving my fur babies an extra helping of organic chicken tonight and plenty of tummy rubs in honour of your beautiful boy xxx

  299. So sad to hear about The Bear. Maybe he's keeping company with my lovely Lulu who also passed away this week at the magnificent age of 21 x

  300. Thank you for sharing this special cat with all of us. I'm glad he left on a weekend… i was hoping I wouldn't see the news while at work. Godspeed little fella.

  301. I don't remember how I came across "My sad cat" but I do remember instantly become obsessed! Bear reminded me of my black cat named Emily that I recently lost at a very old age . I was instantly smitten . I'm so sorry for your loss, truly a loss for us all . I will always cherish that sweet little face .

  302. The Bear has made the world a better place, and not all of us can say that. Tales of The Bear and his thoughtful musings have rescued me on many difficult days. I am ever grateful to him. Love to The Bear, wherever he may be, and to you, Roscoe, Ralph, and Shipley.

  303. I wanted to add my condolences for the loss of such a unique & splendid companion, The Bear. It's never easy to lose such a big part of your life but I hope in time things will be easier by remembering all the wonderful times together you've had over the years. I have loved reading your books & blogs about your life together & have encouraged friends & family to read them too. I shall very much miss hearing updates of The Bear but I look forward to reading of the future adventures of Raaalph, Shipley & Roscoe. R.I.P. The Bear, a most wonderful cat. Xx

  304. Thank you for writing this, Tom. and providing some closure for us. I will miss The Bear in his 'Sad Cat' role very much. I hope you keep posting the occasional pics of Shipley and Ralph.
    Sorry for your loss, it is hard even when you know the time is right for your beloved pet.

  305. Thank you Tom, and thank you The Bear. Through My Sad Cat I discovered your books Tom, and for that I am grateful. I look forward to future books, regardless of how much cats might or might not be involved. Never be in doubt though that through sharing The Bear with us you've given many readers much joy, even just at the sight of his beautiful face. His memory will live on with many of us I'm sure, but let's be sure to give as much love as we can to all of our feline friends from all over the world. X

  306. Beautifully said. You have been a blessing in Bear's life and he has blessed you. I pray you will be comforted knowing you will see him again in God's kingdom!

  307. Very sad news, but you obviously enriched each others lives immeasurably.
    I will keep this posting as I'm sure it will be of future comfort to others suffering the same loss. Wishing happiness to you and your other cats.

  308. Cried my head off at work reading this. Sorry to hear of your loss Tom, to me "Sad Cat" was one of those things on the internet that acted like a soothing balm to all the horrible crap in the world.

    He'll be sorely missed.

  309. As many people have shared here, our family lost the best, caring, most loving companion this year at 16 yrs old. What you have written for Bear captures the feeling mix perfectly. I am so glad you had each other and thank you for sharing him as well as your unique storytelling voice with us. I hope you continue to do the latter as you explore a life as proportionally long and as love-filled as the Bear. RIP small, big hearted Bear.

  310. The Bear has been a huge presence in my life for years, and your books about him helped me through some very tough times. Thanks to you his legacy will live forever, helping more people, and that's a huge, wonderful achievement. Rest in peace, The Bear. Have a nice Christmas, Tom. xx

  311. I lost my own beloved cat of 16 and a half only 6 weeks ago. Your post has said far more eloquently than I could ever hope to exactly how I have felt since that day. Thank you for your words, they are a great comfort and also made me chuckle a little too (as they always do).

    We are very lucky to have known such fabulous feline characters who helped to shape our lives. I am gratefully for everyday I had with my little mate Kevin and I too can't be angry as I know I was lucky to have had him stick around with me for as long as I did.

  312. Lovely tribute to The Bear. I've enjoyed his sadness for a year or so.
    I'm glad you gave the rescue cats food. They may have spent the money on booze, drugs or cat nip.

  313. Oh my, Tom…What a beautiful tribute to The Bear, I totally feel your loss.
    My Benny, who is supposedly almost 15 but my vet thinks he's much older, is showing his age very much…his arthritis is terrible and makes him look hunchbacked, his hips have little mobility and, though he rarely complains, I know he walks with pain. Sometimes he just yowls and I know he's hurting. He looks scruffy and I work much harder to groom him. Sometimes I pick him up and carry him to his food bowl (he still loves to eat, and unfortunately is fat due to good appetite and no exercise). His eyes are rheumy and he doesn't see so well any more and I think he has problems with his hearing, too. Sometimes I worry, when I don't see him around, that he might have crawled off somewhere and passed on…then I'll discover him in some unlikely place (he's an indoor cat now and always in the house), and he'll quack with surprise when he realizes that I've found him. Oh, senior cats, I love them, I love them…it's easy to love a kitten, but it's a total gush of the heart to love an old cat. The Bear was so lucky to have you. What a good life he had and such love that you have for him. Your encomium brings tears to my eyes.

  314. As a cat lover I have shed tears whilst reading about your special relationship that you had with 'The Bear'. I have not previously read anything before about 'The Bear' so I've come in at the very end. I just wanted to say that in Australia (and hopefully England too) you can pay extra for your veterinary to come to your house when the hardest but kindest decision you have to make in your life has to be made. It means that your special furry family member does not need to be moved in their final hours and you can morn in the comfort of your own home. I think it is the kindest all round and the vet doesn't mind. Hopefully this is a choice you may have in England too for your other furry companions when the time comes.

  315. Hi, I stumbled across this completely by accident but just read about your wonderful cat. My cat died last year but was literally the female version of the bear. Sounds like he had a very long, happy and wonderful life. My thought are with you – it's like losing a very close friend.

  316. I am so sorry to hear that the Bear has died. I'm sending love and a big hug, hoping that you have people around you who understand the loss.

  317. I'm so sorry for your loss Tom.

    I lost my little man, Foggy, at the end of August. He was 20 and the spitting image of The Bear but grumpier.

    I originally wrote this long message about it but realised that was all about me and not in the slightest bit helpful and kinda self-indulgent. So I'll just repeat how sorry I am and how glad that you had him in your life.

    No matter how sad I feel, I know I wouldn't have missed a second of my time with Foggy for the world.

  318. Goodbye and farewell from a friend online who adored you. I weep for the loss of your life, but in full understanding your life was a happy one for the majority of it. Rest in peace knowing you have been loved by many. Now I shall go and cuddle with my little feline, much loved friends….

  319. Sorry to hear your sad news, know what it feels like to lose a cat, lost 3 to the road since 2011, all under three years old, they leave a hole in your life and your heart.
    R.I.P Bear

  320. Thank you The Bear, for giving so may of us a brighter spot in so many of our days. It's a well known fact that a black cat brings love into a home, as your life so well informed Tom Cox. Thanks also, Mr. Cox, for sharing The Bear and his exploits with us all. Death is a part of life, but that doesn't make the reality of it any easier. Godspeed, The Bear.

  321. Oh, Tom, I just saw this…I had to put my Maat down this August…I know so well what you are feeling. The Bear has been my personal smile since I discovered you and he online and now there is a whole in my heart on hearing this news. Thank you for sharing Bear with me. I will never forget him. HUGS.

  322. Sorry for your loss dear friend.
    Energy can never be destroyed, only transferred. He is somewhere out there in the universe, happy and frolicking. 🙂

  323. What a beautiful tribute to a very clever and dignified soul. Thanks for sharing The Bear with the world. Go well old boy. And my thoughts to you for the sad loss of a great feline friend.

  324. Sorry you lost The Bear its hard but sounds like he had a good innings, We lost our 21year old Jack Russell Cross Frisby just before we came to Scotland he'd have loved it here he just loved swimming in the sea, we cam up to Scotland three years ago and out two British Blue Cross cats came with us they were brother & sister she died after a year and he died a couple of months ago I buried their ashes in my Garden under an Olive Tree in a new oval flower bed we are now looking for another old dog & cat

  325. I am sure you are correct that you knew the exact moment The Bear died. This happened to me as well. I was bolted awake at 2:40 in the morning and found my cat the next morning under my bed. I buried him in my garden under the black eyed Susan's. Thank you for your story and for My Sad Cat. It's the only cat thing I followed and it made me laugh every time I saw it.

  326. It's never easy to lose a friend. I think our feline friends hit us in a place that is undefinable. He was a lovely soul and he will be missed by the many folks, like me, that followed your writing about him. You are brilliant and I hope to read more of your work in the future.

  327. So sorry to read this but glad he found someone with whom he could have a long life. I lost my equally elderly cat not so long ago, your tap dancing comment made me laugh Elmo was the same!I miss him but it wasn't unexpected and it was the right time for him as it was for The Bear.

  328. Tom, I know others can understand that sadness you must feel–but NONE more than myself. Nolan, my oldest cat is now 23, and though he seems to be doing quite well, I know our time together is limited and precious. He has been so very much a true and dedicated friend and companion. About 20 years ago, the woman I felt was my soulmate and I broke off what had been a wonderful relationship. Unfortunately, she was 18 years younger and we just wanted different things in life. The sadness I felt must have been so obvious to Nolan because anytime I was blue, or especially when I cried, both of which were often and lasted a long time, he would clearly try to offer comfort and wouldn't dare to leave my side. A few years later I was involved in a very severe bicycling accident that basically severed my arm at the shoulder. Following hours of surgery to (somewhat successfully) reattach the arm, I had it immobilized for about 14 months. During that entire time he was even more of a physical and emotional companion. I could ONLY lay on my back because of the angle of the arm and he would almost always lay down, ever-so-gently, in the nook my arm made on my chest–always so he could look at me. There is no doubt he knew how much pain I was in. I feel your loss so personally and wish you luck in the ability to remember all the fond memories you have with Bear. I will continue to value the time that Nolan and I have remaining together and beyond, and now, especially more fondly after reading your story. Thank you for sharing. I know how difficult it must have been,

  329. I'm sorry for your loss. I started following him on twitter because he reminded me of a cat I had as a kid. Thank you for sharing him with us all.

  330. We feel your pain and sadness Tom. We had to say goodbye to our beloved boy, Alaksa, last week too. He has been with us for almost 17 years. Although we still have our little Bella (6 yo kitty) the house feels somewhat different without him. We still 'see' him at his usual places around the house, and sometimes expect him to just show up again, but sadly this will not happen. We hope we made the right decision by him, and that he had a wonderful life with us. We certainly had a fuller life because of him.

  331. Benevolently intended was urgent to him to be sure he told you goodbye. My beloved Bob left me with a similar message. He passed in my arms at the vets. I felt as if I had been stroked by a massive gentle hand across my chest, and the tears I had been shedding for an hour or more suddenly completely dried up. There was a beautiful sense of peace, thanks and joy almost at the same time. Then the tears began again. Cats are our window to other ways of being, and if we are lucky, we learn some important bits of life not usually found in books. You were very lucky to have the bond you did with him, and he is not gone, he has moved on..good journey Bear.

  332. Your story of Bear has broken my heart Tom Cox, I've shared your experience also, and have felt your pain. My Cat, "HOSS" passed at age 21 also, this last April 8th.

    I think of the quote by Alfred Lord Tennyson: 'Tis better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all.

    I think you and I can understand this, along with many other cat stewards who have had their "Fur Bags" cross the Rainbow Bridge.

    Again, my condolences Tom, without knowing you, I'm sure Bears heart was full of love for the man who cared for her the 21 years she so enjoyed with you.

    A friend from Upstate New York.

  333. What a beautiful tribute – compassionate but not sentimental. I've been a Bear follower for a while, because his face reminded me so much of my own late, much-missed, philosophical cat. Also, all of the symptoms of old age that you describe so well are very noticeable in my surviving 19 1/2yo cat so this piece is helping me prepare for his own, probably fairly imminent, demise. Sad, but inevitable and an essential aspect of life and love.

  334. Dear Tom,

    I have only just found this. I am so very sorry, he was a wonderful and amazing cat. Just as you are an amazing cat owner. Bit lost for words here, but what you wrote hit hard; I've lost two much-loved cats in the last year and you tell it how it is. Much love and hugs to you all. Jxxx

  335. There is a little space reserved in Poets Corner in the sky for The Bear. I know exactly how you are feeling Tom having lost a few of my feline friends over the years but we all know that the last bit of heartbreak is more that worth all of the joy they give.
    I feel privalideged to have known The Bear through all your wonderful tweets and writings, rest well.

  336. I know that you don't want to much by way of sympathy but I do thank you for allowing us a glimpse in to the depth and thought of such a beautiful cat's life. It is always hard to say goodbye to a pet because they really do become another family member (we lost one of the guinea pigs last week, despite us knowing it was coming to the end and Kaiba was losing his battle against his eye ulcer, both my partner and I wept when we found he had left us). It is wonderful that you are channeling your personal passion for cat welfare, as there are too many moggies out there who are begging for a home (and a lap) of their own and not every cat is as lucky as The Bear and his brothers/sisters to have had such a great life full of love and compassion.

    I hope that you have a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

  337. I am with you in spirit, Tom, and can't thank you enough for sharing The Bear with all of us. We lost our sweet girl, Mocha, the same day you lost Bear. She had just turned 18 and had been in a steady decline the past couple months. Some of your words above could have been taken straight from my heart. Thank you for putting into words what it means and how it feels to lose a beloved member of the family.

  338. Tom, I've been dreading reading about this day for months now. Having read all your cat-related books, I got a sense of just what a unique character he was. What a great few years you gave him, after a pretty lousy start to his (long) life. Every cat is special, but he seemed to have just that little more.

  339. Absolutely beautiful writing, Tom. You may have given up journalism but please never give up writing. You've recalled and prognosticate so many of my own emotions. Damn you. Thank you.

  340. It's no consolation — yet — to say that the Bear will live on in your books and, thanks to them, in all our hearts. Thank you for sharing him.

  341. Ak Tom you're great. The Bear was a lucky wee dweeb to have you as Alphadadcat/furrless-fleshbag-who-provides-food. Keep writing, we love it.

  342. So sorry. Anybody who's been through this will know that losing a beloved animal is nothing to do with sentimentality but is a great and genuine sadness. We're privileged to have known them.

  343. As my family comes up on three years since our beloved Ginger, born same year as The Bear, died and left the world a much stranger, somewhat less comfortable place, I'm sorry to hear of your loss. In the course of things, it's ironic that perfectly natural losses amount to leaving us feeling so out of sorts. Thank you for your very accurate words, thank you for loving and being loved by The Bear, and most of all, thank you for sharing him with us.

  344. A beautiful tribute to a very special cat, The Bear. Your love for him shines through with every word. RIP sweet Bear, you two will meet again. "Hugs" ?

  345. I am so, so very sorry for your loss of the kind, gentle, resilient soul that The Bear was. As I sat in my living room, reading this article again and sobbing, the sun suddenly peaked out through the overcast sky and made me feel like The Bear was smiling down from heaven and is happy and at peace, which gave me comfort. Bless you and the rest of your furfamily.

  346. Hello Bear,

    Perhaps you DID run into my most adorable "1st born" Siamese cat, Lady Precious Sogwa /aka/ Fat, as she came and visited me in my dream this morning. I don't often have dreams of her or my other long lost lovely pets, but this morning I dreamed I was visiting back home at my parents home, and I was preparing to leave when I suddenly got worried about leaving Fat alone for so long. Who was going to feed her, etc. I felt horrible and urgently realized I needed to get home ASAP. When lo and behold, here comes Fat, all lovely, fluffy, and chatty!!

    She hugged my legs and I hugged her as I was so glad to see her!! My mom just looked and smiled. My mom along with my dad are ALSO over there with you Bear as I am now an adult orphan with no siblings, parents, or any kids.

    When I woke up, I thought what a lovely dream I had of my baby Fat and how I miss her and adore her so. So perhaps she came to visit me along with my mom over the Christmas holidays since I'm here all alone.

  347. i have read this twice now and twice i have had to wipe away tears to be able to get to the end. such a beautiful piece of writing. i have no knowledge of you prior to this, nor of the bear, but i am overwhelmed by your words. really, just a wonderful tribute.

  348. What a lovely post. Only just read of his passing, had a good cry then realised he is now with my Jack having a theological discussion and roast chicken. RIP Bear xxx

  349. This is heartbreaking news! I only recently was introduced to The Bear through "The Good, the Bad, and the Furry" (and I definitely intend to read your other books!) and of course I instantly fell in love with him (and Shipley, and Ralph, and Roscoe…). He was outstanding. Thank you so much for sharing him with us – he has touched my life in a good way. RIP with love, The Bear. <3

  350. Tom, I am devastated to hear about The Bear's passing. The news brought back the memory of the time I lost Sumo, a very elegant lady who went to sleep a month shy of her seventeenth birthday in May 2007.

    I had been dropping in and out of Twitter more and more infrequently but I had read your post about your concerns for The Bear. Given his awesome age and his many adventures, it was news I was dreading to read.

    I dropped in again this morning (Saturday Jan 7) and my fears were realised. I didn't want to believe it. I followed your link and read The Bear's obituary.

    I cried.

    I'm still crying.

    I empathise with your loss.

    Losing a beloved pet, one who so strongly impacted on your life and whose gaze probed the very corners of our souls, is incalculable.

    Even now, I still become overwhelmed at how much Sumo had touched my heart. Despite her name, she was very svelte. It was a reference to how she would play fight, wrestling like a sumo. She was also known as The Darling and I still refer to her that way.

    Since Sumo's passing, we took in Jurgen who had a sub-lingual tumour and went to sleep in 2009 and Kizzy, who initially kept her distance but after losing a front leg in a fall, now divides her time between her Summer Palace (the greenhouse) and coming indoors for Winter when the temperature is too low.

    The news about The Bear has knocked my Saturday morning plans for six. This will affect me and I will have to find something to occupy my thoughts.

    I will always remember The Bear's eyes and the melancholy look.

    Thank you for sharing his life through Twitter and your many books – which I own.

    The Bear will be missed by many, many sympathetic souls from all over the world.

    Farewell, The Bear, I hope to meet you at The Rainbow Bridge one day when I see Sumo again.

  351. I'm so sorry Tom.
    You gave Bear the most wonderful life, and the feelings of wrongdoing and uncertainty do pass in time, and you will feel at peace with how that morning played out.
    Much love, as no words will ever help xx

  352. Wow, what long, full life he had with….I'm sorry for your loss, but know that he's never far and that you gave him a fabulous life in a living home, and that means the world in this crazy life

  353. Wow, what long, full life he had with….I'm sorry for your loss, but know that he's never far and that you gave him a fabulous life in a living home, and that means the world in this crazy life

  354. I know you wont want any focus on you Tom but I'm going to say it anyway-What a kind, thoughtful,wonderful person you are and what a lovely life you gave your friend. So many comparisons to my own wee old cat and all the scrapes he has been through. To give an animal a good home is the least we humans can do.Love and best wishes to you.Rose x

  355. Tom I am quite a private person but felt moved to write to you upon reading your news. I have followed you and The Bear for some time now and was blubbing like a big baby when I heard he had passed away. There are so many similarities to my own wee cat Rocco who is in his final weeks/months. They both obviously didn't get the memo re the age old cat rule of having only 9 lives as he has defied death on many occasions too. what a kind, thoughtful and humble person you are and love and best wishes to you for the future.x

  356. I have just heard the news. I wanted to thank you, Tom, for giving The Bear such a wonderful life and such dignity when it was over. I'm glad you still have Shipley, Roscoe, and Ralph to keep you company. Losing a friend is always painful. Maybe The Bear will find my melancholy but kind fur baby, Mogli, in the afterlife. They would be great friends, I think.

  357. Dear Tom,

    Please accept my heartfelt condolences for your loss; Abby's, too. We send you comforting purrs, hoping they might help during this time. The Bear was exceedingly special, indeed, and so well loved. The Bear's spirit lives on and is celebrated in your wonderful writings. I'm sure The Bear and our Dodger are happily romping the Edenish gardens of cat heaven together.

    Most sincerely,

    Cat McMahon

  358. The Bear's story here has been very affective for me. My 21 year-old cat, Melvin, just died yesterday and must have been The Bear's spirit brother. Melvin was a sweet cat and shared many of the same qualities as The Bear. I'm feeling quite empty today and The Bear's story came at a perfect time. Thank you.