March 2011  -  April 22, 2016
Bear went to rainbow bridge on April 22, 2016 after being with us for five years.  
For the first few months after he arrived here, he'd come at seven thirty p.m.,
have dinner, and stay till I went to bed.  I wouldn't see him until the next evening
at seven thirty.  This routine went on and on for about three months, him showing
up like clockwork.  I think he was abandoned and when he wasn't here he was at his
deserted home waiting for his humans to return.  Once he gave up is when he
started staying here full time.  I don't know this for sure, I'm only guessing.
He had health issues from the beginning, and we didn't know how old he was, so
maybe he was older than we thought.  I hope so, because I feel better thinking that
he had a long life.  The vet we asked to estimate his age said he didn't like to guess,
so we had no way of knowing for sure.  He wasn't very playful and didn't like toys
His favorite thing to do was fight with all the neighborhood cats.  At first he was
an outside cat even after we decided to adopt him.  The reason was because he
wouldn't get along with the cats we already had.  I think he liked to fight because
he was abandoned and had to make his way on the streets for awhile.  When we
first met, he looked good - big, fluffy and clean, so I don't think he was on his own
for that long, but for whatever reason, he didn't like other cats and wanted to
During the time he was free to
roam, whenever my husband would
go out to work around the yard or
house, suddenly Bear would be
right there to "help."  He had
places around where he slept
where he could keep an eye out.
We'd let him in the house and our enclosed backyard, trying to get him used to our cats,
and sometimes he acted nice and as if he'd be okay around them, but then he'd all of a
sudden run after them, and not in a playful way.  So, for the first years we let him stay
out front and after awhile, we started having him sleep in the garage at night.  As time
went by, we'd worry more and more about him out wandering around, so we decided to try
again to keep him in more.  For a couple years we worked and worked with him,
determined to integrate him into the family.  We tried everything, including putting him
on a harness and walking with him in the yard so he and the other cats could sniff each
other with no chance of an altercation.  After that, we tried a "calming collar" which was
supposed to have something on it to make the cat more docile....some days we thought it
worked, others we didn't.  Mostly one of us had to stand in the yard close by so we could
intervene when problems arose.  As things improved we'd stand at the window and observe.
We have two big trees with a bridge between that my husband made, and only two
of our cats had ever learned to use the bridge, but Bear soon figured it out which
was surprising because of his size, and it must be a bit tricky since only two of the
others have used it.  He looked like he was really doing something fun when he'd
climb the tree and go across the bridge to the other one.
As he became thinner and less healthy, he calmed down, plus I think he finally
realized the other cats weren't going to take his food and things, so finally we could
go inside while he was out with the others, and after awhile we could actually go out
on errands and leave them all together.  It was a huge accomplishment.
Things were going so well, but he was getting worse health wise, until he passed
almost five years to the day when I first saw him.  It was obvious he had been a pet
because he was neutered when he came here, loved to be petted and brushed, and
we could even vacuum him with the hand held vacuum.  He had the loudest purr!
When he first came here, I called him "Big Boy."  He got up to seventeen pounds at
his heaviest.  Then we started calling him "Biggie."  We have a Christmas ornament
with "Biggie" engraved on it.  But then my husband decided his name should be
"Bear," so that became his official name.  When he started failing and losing weight,
Bear didn't really fit him anymore so we started calling him "Barry."
He was a great hunter, birds being his favorite - mice came in second.  He stirred up
this household that's for sure, but he was worth it, and we miss him very much.
Here he is making sure enough time is taken to
assure a job well done.
Here he is making sure the stepping stone bed is done just right.
Here he is making sure that appropriate break times are taken.

He had the tiniest meow, very high-pitched, and definitely not the sound you'd
expect to come from such a large cat.