Tuesday, February 25, 2020

My Day of Remembering

Today is my Day of Remembering. I have lost three cats and, considering the ages of my current beasts, I will lose more, relatively soon. Rather than commemorating their lives separately, on the dates of their deaths, and thus collecting a sombre catalogue of memories, I will remember them together, on this day.

Bear-Bear died on this date, six years ago.

This long and very friendly mancat came to stay with me in April, 2013. He had been found, a vagrant, wandering around an apartment building. He seemed healthy, and was neutered. He loved people. I suspect he had been abandoned.

He turned out to be not as healthy as he appeared. He was anaemic, and so could not have stood the anaesthetic of a dental procedure he needed for his gingivitis. Eventually, it was determined that he had cancer. He died on February 25th, 2014.

What I recall most about the BB is his friendliness. He would have been such a good family cat. He would have been perfect for children. He got along with my beasts, though they didn’t really care much for him. He talked quite a bit, and when he spoke, it was in a conversational tone. Even on his last car-ride, going to the veterinary hospital to leave me, he spoke casually, as if discussing the weather. It was a sunny day; Bear-Bear liked sunny days.

It is always sad when death takes a living creature, but it is particularly regrettable when it takes one who would have been made happy so easily, and who could have made others happy so easily. It angers me that more people didn’t know Bear-Bear, and were unable to meet such a marvellous fellow. They missed their chance, and in so doing, caused him to miss his.

But I knew the BB, and he will survive in my memory. To me, he was ‘the ugly brute’, my conversationalist. Now and then we still talk, he and I.

Tungsten died thirteen months later. She was my first cat, and suffered from my ignorance of feline ways. But she was stoic about it, for the most part, and very forgiving. She taught me a great deal. Despite my lack of knowledge, she and I became good friends.

She was very little and light to hold. She never weighed more than seven pounds, I think, but even in her middle age could leap five feet straight up, if she wanted to be somewhere. She liked to be on my shoulders, often jumping there, sometimes when I wasn’t prepared. It was a good thing she was light…

On my shoulders she lie facing left. On my lap, it was to the right, usually curled clockwise. She loved being on my lap, with my hand on her tummy. She would curl around it. She would lie there while I read, or watched tv (I had television in those days.) At night, she would slumber in my hand, or in the crook of my legs. She enjoyed my company.

When I brought other cats to live with us, Tungsten established that she was top-cat. She was the ‘tiny terror’ and, though not dictatorial, she let the others know when they had done something wrong. She became chums with Renn; the only pair of my cats who were friendly toward each other. The big and the small, they sat and lie together, and groomed one another.

Tungsten had hyperthyroidism, which we were able to control. But she had something else, probably cancer, and she became sick and died on 26th March, 2015. I think of her often, and miss her always, the feline queen of my heart.

My sturdy boy. That’s what I called Parker. This hefty orange fellow came to me in January, 2017, because he was having trouble managing his diabetes. He and I and his doctor worked on it, and were able to drop the dosage of his insulin from seven units twice a day to four, and that, though still high, seemed to work for him.

He was friendly with me from the start but I knew a threshold in our relationship had been crossed when I picked him up from his dental surgery a few months into our acquaintance. He was brought in his carrier from the operating room of the hospital; his back was to the cage’s door. When he heard me talking to him, he turned around and rubbed his face against my fingers through the carrier’s bars. We had become friends.

Parker tried to be amiable to the other cats, but it was rough going. In fact, he and Tucker had a knock-down brawl at one point. It was only after Raleigh was introduced into the household that Puck, as I sometimes called Parker, and Tucker settled down to making the best of each other’s presence.

He loved his food - he could eat half or even two thirds of a big tin of food at a sitting (I loved to see him put it away) - and he enjoyed playing, but his real joy was being outside in his harness. He knew the sound of it and would paw at the door, purring with anticipation. Once outside, he would talk, delighted in being in the fresh air. He liked meeting people on his walks, and was widely admired for his handsomeness.

In February, 2019, he was diagnosed with cancer. The doctor said that Parker had a few weeks to live. My tough little Die Hard defied death for four months. Even the day before he left me, he was outside, no longer sturdy, not walking much, but loving the early summer’s air and the cool grass. He didn’t want to go when his time came, and I didn’t want to let him go, but it was undoubtedly his time. I will always think of him outside, in his orange glory.

These are the three I recall, when I think about the cats I have lost. Each was unique, each irreplaceable, each my friend. I will remember them.


  1. this is an amazing remembrance day post for bear bear, tungsten and parker; 3 cats who touched your lives and three cats who touched the lives of your fellow bloggers over the years. it was nice to read about the personalities of bear and tungsten, as we were fairly new to blogger still, in their time. there's a bit of similarity between bear and parker; coat wise; as well as a similarity to tuna. I know each one was beyond happy to call your place home; call you "dad", and the impressions they left on you, will remain always ♥♥♥

  2. Each and every cat has their own personality that is expressed in so many ways when they become used too, and then, come to be our dear friends. We remember each of these special cats and thank you very much for sharing Bear-Bear, Tungsten and Parker with us all over the years, we are the better for it, and many join you in their remembrance.

  3. Woooos, a beautiful remembrance indeed. May we all meet again,


  4. What a lovely little tribute. I was already reading your blog when you had Bear-Bear, but I didn't realize he was with you such a short time.

    I'm old enough so that there are quite a few cats I've loved and lost. I think of all of them often.

  5. My heart goes out to you, on this remembrance day.
    Thank you for sharing your stories of Angels Bear-Bear, Tungsten, and Parker, so we can send prayers to them in heaven.

  6. It is hard to lose beloved kitties. They truly do leave pawprints on our heart.

  7. Hugs as you remember those special sweeties who touched your heart with many purrs.

  8. A lovely remembrance. I didn't realise that Bear-Bear was with you for less than a year. I can't agree that he was an ugly brute though! He always reminded me of Eric even though he had white fur around his nose.
    I remember Tungsten very well. She was slightly bigger than Kitty YB who also liked to be on my shoulders.
    Who could forget dear Parker! I think he found his way into everyone's heart.

    1. The BB did look a bit like Eric, didn't he? Your boys were and are well-loved in the Blogosphere...

  9. Oh hell I'm crying in the tea room at lunchtime.


  10. MY heart goes put to you as well. I never met Bear Bear, and I met you all shortly before Tungsten passed away. I remember Parker vividly and I was very saddened when he passed. I understand the remembrance of these dear friends. I too will always love my dear little ones, even those who have passed from my view. They loved me...I loved them and they had a good good life. It's what I hold to. Yours were cherished too.

  11. What a wonderful post. It's always hard when we lose a beloved pet. They're part of our family, after all, and I think they become part of us. But we will always remember the love they gave us and therefore, they will live in our hearts forever. My Jessica, who I've had since she was 5 weeks old, will be 20 tomorrow, and I know she will have to leave me sooner than later. But what wonderful memories I'll have of her, just as you have wonderful memories of Bear-Bear, Tungsten and Parker.

    1. Happy birthday, Jessica. You are a lucky girlcat to have lived almost your whole life with a caring mum. Whatever happens in the future, no one can take away the wonderful life you have led.

    2. Thank you for your lovely comment, John!

  12. Hang on! Hang on! Ah! That's better..
    I can see the screen now! :(.

    I was happy to read this John..though
    of course very sad..but..l've caught up
    on your pussy~cats l've missed out on..
    And of course besides yourself, we as
    followers can carry and remember your
    I certainly will 'NEVER' forget mine!

  13. A heavy, heartfelt sigh from me, as I sit here with tears in my eyes. You've written such a beautiful and loving remembrance post for three very special Beings who were lucky to have found you (and you them), and whom we were lucky to "know" in a small way via your blog. (((Hugs)))

  14. A lovely tribute John. You've brought the three: BB, Tungsten, and Parker to life again with your words. I remember reading the stories of their days with a glad heart they were with you. I know it was difficult to let them go, but they live on in your memories.

  15. Three truly handsome orange tabbies. We humans live so much longer,
    that as we take in our beloved pets and live with them for any
    length of time, it is hard to lose them. I still think on my previous
    cat Seney every day after 7 1/2 years. She was with me 19 1/2 years.
    Precious is wonderful, but each cat is unique in themselves.

  16. What a loving tribute to your cats! I was a new reader to your blog when you took in BB. I cried every time you lost one of your cats and crying now writing this. Losing my very first cat, Lucy, to cancer was devastating. Like your Tungsten, Lucy suffered a little with my cluelessness about cats. But she never judged me. Thank goodness!

  17. Thank you for sharing your memories of your three angels. They were all beautiful. I have lost so many over the past four years, most to kidney disease. I've lost three to cancer, and lost one to lymphoma. I've loved each one of them as long as I could. Also, thank you for visiting my blog and your kind words regarding the passing of Ginger.