Thursday, August 20, 2015

All About Bear (and Pictures!)

After finding the following list of questions on Facebook, Bear answered these questions about Momma Kat in a previous post {HERE}. Momma finds herself at a loss trying to share what Bear is really like to our readers - all the little particularities that make Bear, Bear - and I never shared a general post about Bear's likes, etc. - so I thought I'd use this format to share some of the basics about my favorite kitty. Plus, I can jam a bunch of random items in this post that may not fit neatly or cohesively in a post about one topic - please excuse that I've seemingly written a book to answer each question. And yes, Momma's well aware that Bear thinks it's all about Bear, all the time. And he isn't wrong; when you share your life with a feline as unique and wonderful as Bear, I dare you not to love him to pieces (even in those moments when he frustrates you to pieces at the same time). 


Me and my Bear: ***LOVE***
 

1. What does Bear always say to Momma? 

"I love you, Momma." 

"Feed the Bear! It's Bear's food time!"



"I'z ferocious tiger! MROW!" 




"Momma! Pet me! Pet me now!" (includes when Momma is sleeping, in the shower or otherwise indisposed - especially when he's just "testing" Momma to make sure she'll drop everything to pet him - and then bites her after 2 seconds) 

"I hate you!" (usually when Bear's claws are being clipped, his teeth are being brushed or Momma is trying to corral Bear back inside . . . basically any time Bear is forced to do something he doesn't like) 

"Don't pet me!" (when we're playing and Bear is just. too. cute. so Momma needs to pet him, when he's in his cat tree, or when he's laid in the same bed or furniture as Momma but positioned himself so that we're not touching)

"I'm glad you're home!"

"You are the best back scratcher/ear-rubber/belly rubber EVER." 


 


2. What makes Bear happy? 

Going outside.

Snuggling with Momma.

Loves. Bear is funny in that you can pet him just about anywhere except his butt and his paws. And he usually prefers that you not be gentle either (except for his belly - he likes gentle there). His lower back, just above his tail, is his favorite spot to get rough scratches. 

Eating.

Playing with Momma. Or anything that belongs to Momma, especially if she's trying to use it at the same time.

Napping in the sun.

Showing Momma who's boss (with fangs, claws and/or misbehaving).


3. What makes Bear sad?

When Momma's not around. 

When his kitty friends don't come visit. 

When Momma is sleeping.

When Momma doesn't let him go outside and eat grass.

When Momma doesn't give him all the treats he can eat. He also doesn't like cheese.

That not all kitties have Mommas that love them, full bellies and homes.


4. How does Bear make you laugh? 

By being his bear-hearted and bear-spirited self. This includes his ploys for attention (licking my face or sticking his wet nose in my ear when I'm sleeping, the plots he comes up with to misbehave, him demanding attention when Momma is working), how he hides behind his toy mice and thinks Momma can't see him, how he stalks Momma around the house and thinks he's so slick hiding in doorways or behind things that are completely obvious that there's a 15 lb cat hiding behind them, and when he's enthusiastic (about play, or food, or love). Descriptions of his most infamous shenanigans can be found {HERE}

It's also pretty funny to watch him try to stop purring . . . you know, when Momma finds that purrfect spot and Bear doesn't want to give in - because he's mad - and he purrs despite himself. 

I also enjoy his penchant for playing in his water bowl - either by dropping his string or one of his micey into his water bowl and then batting them out or just for the heck of it. He's also been known to dip his paw in Momma's drinks, bowls of batter, and the toilet (and then act offended that his paw comes out wet).



One of my favorite Bear stories: because of his inclination to chew power cords, and because my bedroom is the only place in the house with any exposed cords, I used to close him out of my bedroom whenever I went out of town. After a handful of incidents where I came home to find heavily shredded carpet just outside the bedroom door, I decided to place a large, very heavy, water bowl in the place where he tended to shred the carpet. I was gone for a weekend and came back to find the water bowl completely empty, dry as a bone, and moved out of the way. I have to give him credit - the carpet wasn't wet and there was no indication he'd consumed it all, so there's a pretty baffling mystery as to what happened to the large quantity of water in the bowl. Not to mention the bowl being heavy enough by itself, that he normally can't move it. That's determination.

The one thing that always makes me laugh is when Bear hisses. He NEVER hisses - except when I'm trying to get him back inside. I can count the other times he's hissed on one hand - but he hisses EVERY TIME I try to corral him back inside after his grass-eating session. That he hisses just because he's displeased - and not scared or feeling threatening always seems funny to me. Plus that it's ONLY when I make him go back inside. Full disclosure on letting him outside: my yard is fairly contained and set apart from the road - the only times he's tried to run away are the times I've chased him. So instead of never letting him outside - and chasing him in circles every time he snuck out - I decided to let him out for a minute under supervision. And he gets freaked out easily - by other cats, people or dogs up to a couple hundred feet away, birds, squirrels or buzzing insects - so he quite often decides to go in on his own. You can read more about these escapades {HERE}.

He has a strange thing about the bathroom mirror - he likes to prance around the bathroom sink (and watch himself in the mirror) and meow at himself (usually he wants me to be there too - to admire him - but I've caught him there at other times too). 

He also has a strange thing with open doors; ever since I adopted him, he likes to sit behind open doors (between the door and the wall) for no reason. At first, I'd stick things under the door and we'd play, but he really seems completely satisfied to sit back there anyway. 

For a cat that is terrified of boxes and any enclosed space (Momma can't close him into or out of a room - he carries on for literally hours and tears up carpet) - he likes to sit in the pantry. When I open the door, he just walks in, plops down and sits there. And a few times, I've closed the door without realizing he's in there - and gone for a few hours before he meowed to be let out. It's just strange. Of course, he also knows the pantry is where I keep his toys that he's not allowed to play with without supervision - but when that is what he wants, he usually makes a big commotion and then carries the toys away.









He's also been known to get in tug-of-war battles with Momma over his toys. Bear does not like to lose and the toys are his!







Another of the things that I love about Bear, is that he likes "talking." He talks when he wants food, to play, or just for attention. More than once, he's meowed loudly once Momma got in bed - just to make her get up and check on him. He is a loud kitty - whether he's talking, purring, or even sleeping (he has a tendency to snore and meow in his sleep; though he no longer sleeps with his tongue halfway sticking out - now THAT was cute).




5. What was Bear like as a kitten?

Since I wasn't around when he was born - I only know about after the 8 month (or so) mark. Of course, I adopted him because he was more interested in love than food, thereby endearing himself to Momma (to read more about this, see {HERE}). Once inside, he was mostly one big furball of love; he always wanted loving and to be near his newly adopted person. The post on how he got his name is found {HERE}He also loved playing flashlight, with string (and things that look like string like power cords and cables), and batting things around (toy mice, Momma's pens and other belongings). To read about his kittenhood pen fetish where he made off with a significant number of Momma's pens, see {HERE}.



He seemed relatively fearless: he followed Kitty around everywhere and insinuated himself into her life, he opened his mouth to catch the water from the squirts we tried to discipline him with, jumped on top of the cabinets in the kitchen on a regular basis, tore up carpet when he was closed into or out of a room, etc.



He watched the television when it was on and also wanted to be in the same room with Momma when she took a shower.



He had one mouse he loved that I named Mr. Moto. Bear would literally play with him for hours - batting him around until he got stuck somewhere Bear couldn't reach. Then Bear'd wake me up or beg or otherwise ensure Mr. Moto was "rescued," only to get him stuck again in 30 seconds (Momma's life was essentially digging out Mr. Moto and whatever she could fit in between incidents - Bear is quite persistent and NEEDED Mr. Moto). Unfortunately, Bear played with Mr. Moto quite literally until he fell to pieces and there was nothing left. 

Bear followed and watched Kitty EVERYWHERE - in the litter box, to her food bowl, when she slept . . . EVERYWHERE. He was completely captivated by her and really wanted to be her friend. To get an idea of what their interactions were like, a collection of their conversations can be found {HERE}. Many surprises occurred with Bear's arrival in our family - read about those {HERE}. Of course, he also ate her food and drank from her water bowl because it was just so much cooler than his own (not really, he had premium kitten food and her food was diet).


Bear watches Kitty sleep . . . under the bed
Drop of water on Bear's chin, from Kitty's water bowl




6. How old is Bear?

Nine and a half (approximately - I don't know his exact birth date).


7. How tall is Bear? 

He is a long kitty - almost freakishly long. When he stands on his hind legs, he can reach door knobs (which he bangs at to open the door), the top on the kitchen counter, the top of chairs and couches. His length allows him to weigh 15 pounds without the doctor saying he needs to lose weight.




8. What are Bear's favorite things to do? 

Cuddling with Momma. Getting love from Momma.

Sleeping.




Playing (string, flashlight, micey). He also likes bows (he's been known to rip them off presents and walk away with them) and Momma's things that he's not supposed to play with (pens, bras {the straps are like string}, pants with a drawstring, the strap on Momma's camera. etc.). Watching him play with his micey is pretty incredible - he doesn't just bat them around - he picks one up in his mouth and flips his head so the mousie goes flying. The good part of this is that he can entertain himself for a while tossing his mousie around - the bad news is that he flips it so well, I've found micey on top of our 7 foot tall entertainment center - and other high up places you'd never suspect a mousie to be hiding. We used to play fetch with the micey, but over time, he's lost interest. If Momma's lucky, he'll bring the mousie back once and then watch me throw and fetch the mousie.


Momma's camera strap




Though it often changes (at one point he was OBSESSED with pens), he always goes back to his "string." He carries it everywhere (in his mouth), the rest dragging behind him, like a blankie - and it's the only toy he's always in the mood to play with. When he brings his string to me, I usually struggle to figure out whether he's offering to snuggle (with me and the string) or because he wants to play - or both. Full disclosure: Bear isn't allowed to play with "real" string without supervision. The "string" shown in the picture isn't actually string, but shreds of an old t-shirt that I curled up and tied together. Bear likes to chew through "real" string - and knowing the danger that ingested string can create for cats, I made him something he can't chew through, but looks close enough to string that he's happy. When I adopted him, I gave him a catnip piggy on a string - and he kept chewing through it, no many how many times I tied it back together . . . and so now, he's not allowed toys with "real" string either (at least not without Momma supervising).




He also loves the printer - whenever Momma turns it on, he's right there watching for the little, quick-typing elves inside the printer (since he has nine lives, he's convinced he gets nine life missions, and this is the second; his first is catching the little red dot and he refuses to tell Momma the other seven). He also loves the light from the scanner.


"Scan me, Momma!'


9. What does Bear do when you're not around? 

I'm not sure I want to know. Especially after the mystery of the empty water bowl I mentioned in #4. Other than that, I LOVE (sarcasm) coming home to the obvious remains of some kind of "cat party." Some shredded paper, toys (his and mine) and kibble scattered all over the house, a half-empty water bowl, a missing toothbrush, towels pulled off their bars, a mousie floating in the toilet, paw prints all over the kitchen . . . Though I have to admit, I wish I'd been invited because it must have been fun. Oh, and this all happened when Bear was only alone for a few hours. 


10. If Bear becomes famous, what might it be for? 

The blog. I hope he does! He certainly deserves it with the gusto with which he lives his life.

His paper bag bandit skills.


 



11. What is Bear really good at? 

Getting Momma to react. If he feels neglected, he knocks stuff in the toilet, steals Momma's pens, shreds the paper Momma is working on, sticks his paw in the toaster . . . he's also very creative so the rotation constantly changes. To wake me up when he wants attention, he bangs his paw against the wall and between the furniture and the wall, licks Momma's face, and sticks his wet nose in Momma's ear (which progresses to licking and biting Momma's ear if she doesn't react).

Destroying things. Mr. Bear has quite the portfolio of artistic expression: shredded carpet, destroyed blinds (he refuses to go around, so he chews through/off enough slats so that he has an easy access hole), furniture (except for his cat tree and scratching posts, which are pristine), plants (which Momma can't have because of his desire to eat the entire plant and just leave Momma the pot and dirt) . . . Plus, he's very rough on his toys. He really likes to get in there with his claws and fangs and tear them up - at least that part of his destructive tendencies is cute.

"Claiming" Momma's things. Good luck getting him to move without losing an appendage. As he often says, "Bear doesn't share." And Momma is left trying to fit on the couch or bed the best she can. Also, just about every single thing Momma owns is marked with a fang mark - I'm guessing that means they really belong to Bear.


 


Showing Momma she's loved.




12. What is Bear not very good at? 

Being patient.

Dealing with not getting what he wants.

Negotiation. Bear's often told Momma, "Bear doesn't negotiate {or compromise}."

Following directions.

Staying focused when we play - he'll stop himself mid-pounce to clean himself.

Keeping himself from purring when he doesn't want to.

Being alone.

Tolerating Momma's singing or dancing.


13. What does Bear do for a job? 

Be cute. Being the awesomeness that is Bear is an exhausting, backbreaking job. 

Keeps Momma from doing things she's not supposed to do. 

Rids Momma's bed of blanket monsters (he loves "helping" Momma make the bed which means there are fang marks all over Momma's sheets and blankets).





14.What are Bear's favorite foods? 

Everything. Fish (especially sardines), poultry . . . beef a little. Whatever he can nab/steal from Momma. He's gotten Bodacious Onion Dip (with horseradish that Momma couldn't stand), Oreos, and just about everything else on Momma's plate. He likes to drop his micey in Momma's drinks. And if he can't figure out how to eat it, he'll lick the heck out of it. But no cheese! Bear will not eat cheese. 


15.What makes you proud of Bear? 

The way he lives his life and does everything with such enthusiasm and determination. And the best part is that his heart is just as bear-sized as his spirit.

That he seems so secure around me - he seems to feel safe and like he can be himself - in all his wild and wacky ways - and knows that I still love and appreciate him (and maybe love him even more for his spunky personality though I don't always appreciate it in the moment).


16. If Bear were a character, who would he be? 

Bucky Katt from "Get Fuzzy." Momma hasn't read many of the recent strips, but the old ones are pretty funny.


17. What do you and Bear do together? 

Cuddle. He's pretty incredible in what he allows. Most cats don't like to feel "enclosed" by their humans, but he has no problem being wedged between Momma and the couch, or wrapped up in Momma's arms. Momma can give him full body hugs and he's happy.

Play with micey or string. Occasionally, we chase each other back and forth in the house. 

Life seems like a constant power struggle or battle of wits . . . with Momma sorely lacking. But I wouldn't have it any other way.


18. How are you and Bear the same? 

We both act tough (especially around people we trust) but are just huge softies at heart. Our fierceness is only rivaled by our extraordinary capacity for love.


19. How are you and Bear different? 

He's scared of birds, squirrels, bugs that buzz, and just about everything else (his shadow, any toy that makes noise, etc.). Momma isn't scared of much.


20. How do you know Bear loves you? 

Cuddles, cuddles, and more cuddles. He likes being by his Momma. And just like when he was a homeless kitten, he still takes love over food just about every time.

He brings me his favorite toys to snuggle with. He views his toys (the string and his micey) like teddy bears - so when he "gifts" them to me, it's a big deal. Though he carries them around when he needs comfort too. 

He likes to regularly come to me for a few pets (to be reassured) and then goes off to do his own thing.

After he had his tumor removed, he was especially clingy and needed me to stay by his side. That I could provide him so much comfort, just by being there - and that I knew just what to do - made my life.

When he's really scared (storms, weird noises, etc.), he's THISCLOSE to Momma at all times.


21. What does Bear like most about his dad? 

Nothing. He's a big dodo. He hasn't seen Bear in YEARS - and he's just fine with that - which shows you he has a few screws loose because Bear is awesome.


22. Where is Bear's favorite place to go?

His cat tree. Whenever Momma's not available, he spends most of his time on his cat tree sleeping. He also really likes the corner created by his cat tree - between two couches. Momma originally put the cat tree there so it wouldn't be in the way, but since then, Bear's taken over the entire corner and gets very upset if I go back there for any reason (including when his toys are stuck back there). He's been known to dive bomb Momma from the perches as she's contorting to reach back there. It's safe to say that corner has seceded from Momma's house and now enjoys autonomous government by Bear as the king of the castle.




He also has a hiding spot that Momma is completely clueless about - which is where he spends his time when other people are visiting Momma.


23. What nicknames has Bear given you?

Momma, MomMA, MooooommmMMMMA! Or any variation on Momma. Kitty's personality made me think she'd call me "mom," but Bear's personality is more whiney and fits "Momma" perfectly.


Do you have any questions you want to ask me about Bear? As you can tell, I LOVE to talk about him - so comment below or contact us via the contact form or by e-mail!

No comments:

Post a Comment