1. He has never, to my knowledge, killed another living creature, although did once eat a strawberry Pop Tart followed immediately by some broccoli, and appeared to enjoy them both enormously.
2. He has been in love with Biscuit, the old lady ginger cat who lives with my nextdoor neighbours, for nine years, but she has shown no interest in returning his affection. In Last Of The Summer Wine terms, you might call her the Nora Batty to his Compo, were it not for the fact that he is WAY more intelligent than Compo ever was.
3. In his early years, his fur fell out a few times, as a result of both an allergy to fleas AND an allergy to basic flea treatment. He now goes to the vet's every few months for a special (expensive) flea-proofing treatment.
4. He once deposited a turd neatly in the pocket of my ex's freshly laundered dressing gown.
5. Whereas my other cats are at their most vocal just before feeding time, he is only ever noisy immediately afterwards, when, if he is really happy, he will make the noise "MeeYOY" repeatedly, whilst wandering around the kitchen.
6. His nemesis is Shipley, my other black cat, who is very mouthy, and has a kind of "office joker" personality, with none of The Bear's decorum or appreciation of high culture. The Bear never retaliates when Shipley chases him, but he does sometimes make the noise a small dragon might if it was gargling with TCP.
7. When he was younger and more agile, he liked to be higher than floor level at every possible opportunity. I would often find him sitting on top of his scratching post, exuding a calm that was both Zenlike and owlish.
8. In every house I have lived in with him, a neighbour has reported a sighting of him staring dolefully into their kitchen with his nose pressed up against the glass.
9. He is the cat of a broken marriage. Not only was he my ex's cat; he was my ex's EX'S favourite cat.
10. He almost always leaves the room when I play albums from Deep Purple's celebrated, mk II, Ian Gillan incarnation, but doesn't seem to mind their early, more psychedelic work.
11. Everyone who's met him comments on how sad and soulful his eyes are, but he's not actually sad. I've now known him for twelve and a half years, and he's never seemed happier, never purred more, never had plusher fur.
12. He has been known to piss on my alphabetised LP collection, following the example of - or simply trying to get even with - a feral cat I named Graham, who used to break into my house. The Bear tends to stick to the W-Z section. Bill Withers and Neil Young have been notable casualties. He occasionally works his way as far back as The West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band, but never quite as far as Scott Walker. Mercifully, he seems to have stopped doing it altogether now.
13. When he is not following me around, asking me questions with his eyes, or moop-chirruping at me, he is usually asleep these days: his favourite spots are on the garden furniture on the balcony - which serves as a kind of roofless summer bachelor flat for him - or anywhere near radiators or books.
14. If you smooth down the white fur on his chest, it reveals an almost perfect heart shape.
Read The Bear's life story so far in Under The Paw and Talk To The Tail.
Read a piece about him in The Guardian.
Follow The Bear on Twitter.
I love his little white heart, very appropriate for valentines day! Xx
Aww, I think I might just be in love with the Bear, just dont tell my beloved little ginger.
Super cute. Just found you both. My Ronan has a few white hairs on his chest which I sometimes think to dye as jet as his coat but now I think I should take a closer look. Maybe there's a heart there too...
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