Friday, May 14, 2021

Losing One's Identity with the Loss of a Famous Fur Kid

 This past Sunday Momma Kat lost her beloved Bear Cat.

To those outside of the Anipal community, Bear was "just a cat." I'm blessed to be on the inside of that ridiculous notion. I know, like everyone reading this post, that Bear was more than just a cat. He was Katherine's everything. He changed her life, and gave her back her sense of well-being, just by being there for her.


For those who build their social media around one predominant fur kid, losing that kid knocks the breathe out of you. Katherine herself said how she now feels like she's lost her identity with Bear's passing. 

It's understandable. For me, I started building my social media around Herman TattleCat, never once contemplating what TattleCat would be once he passed. As he aged, tolerating camera intrusion less and less, I leave him be. And therefore, TattleCat's social media with 12,000+ has faded into a shell of what it once was.

Of course I have lots of cats to take his place, but NO ONE can ever take Herman's place. He is one of a kind. And so, with Herman in retirement, I struggle to find my voice. I knew the voice of Herman!!! (he never goes anywhere without his 3 exclamation points). Just like I know the voice of Dori and Rabbit (God help me). Herman has always been sweet and soft, as opposed to brash and unashamed of being naughty, and I miss posting current photos of him. And when his time comes, I will not announce it to the world. He is in retirement ... for good.

Losing Herman, like Katherine lost Bear, hits me in the heart unlike the other cats I've lost. Yes, there have been many before him who could have easily hit high social media numbers because they were truly awesome. But Herm is exceptional. Half Turkish Van, half Angora, his round head, round intelligent eyes, and tiny body reach deep into my soul and have never let go since the day I found him. We bonded instantly, like Love at First Sight. It's that connection, like an addiction, that makes losing him agonizing to even think about. And that's why I choose not to share his passing with the world. I will grieve in private. I cannot bear to see his name on a rock during the Tribute Rides, nor announced every year on his Angleversary. To me that's like ripping the scab off a horrific wound, Every. Single. Year. I'm told many people take comfort in the celebration of Angelversaries. I am not one of them.

It is my opinion that by sharing our fur kids with the World elevates them into another realm. They become 3D; larger than LIFE. I saw for myself the way people reacted when they met Herman at Blogpaws. I have a photo of women surrounding Herm in Mosey, his stroller. He even got mobbed in the hotel bathroom! Herm took the adoration of his fans in stride, sitting patiently while they took his photo, often posing with him. At his first Blogpaws in Vegas a group of Japanese tourists surrounded him, on their knees, excited to be taking pictures of "TattleCat," like he was Harrison Furred, David Meowie, Catrick Swayze, or The Cat Formerly Known as Purrince.


The fur kids have no idea what all the fuss is about, but their manager moms and dads sure do. So when we lose them, we do experience a particularly heartbreaking realization that it's all over. We all cried when Debbie lost her Katie, but luckily we had our love for Waffles who was ready to step forward. Cathrine had her B-Team when Bionic Basil passed. Jacqui lost Eric and Flynn, but turned her blog into a celebration of their lives.  I'm confidant in time Katherine will find her footing and do the same with Ellie. 

Herman's TattleCat account will soon undergo a change, featuring him in retirement, enjoying such recreations as lawn bowling, fishing, croquet and boating with his beloved wife, Belle. I have allowed Rabbit to successfully dominate Instagram with his notorious, unashamed naughtiness, and soon will bring him forward on Twitter to bump tails with the other Bad Boys of Twitter.


I asked Dori if she wanted to take over Herman's account with his high numbers, but she said she is satisfied to have a small group of close furends, and doesn't like the spotlight shining too brightly on her. I'm not surprised considering she spent her only Blogpaws appearance reporting LIVE from under the bed and behind the bath towels.

 

Since Herman went into retirement, I have struggled to find the spark I once had when blogging and tweeting. I cherish my memories of those fresh fun days when the Anipals were young and vibrant, and we had to deal with indecent spammers infiltrating our Twitter pawties. We set up Jail Accounts because we would tweet fast and furious, and Twitter would put us in Jail for an undetermined amount of time to cool us down, especially at charity fund raising pawties. At the Anipal Prom, Herman went to jail five times. He set a record that night. 

And the Anipal Weddings... Herman and Belle had the largest wedding party Dana Pixie ever made. The wedding and reception trended Number One on Twitter. 


Afterward, Dana recruited me to join the AWP helping her to make the scenes, which was an eye-opening experience. But that was yesterday, and living in the past ain't my thang.

My heart goes out to Katherine during these first days and weeks following Bear's passing. She in particular shared so much of herself through Bear. I got to hang out with Katherine in person at three Blogpaws, in fact stepping out of an elevator and directly into her arms! Always felt like I was reconnecting with a dear dear friend. I will never forget how she wanted to meet Dori so bad, but Dori was in seclusion until the very last day when I dragged her out for breakfast. Kat had just sat down to eat when I casually mentioned Dori was here. Kat said, "Screw breakfast," and ran to kneel beside my darling fraidy cat and fawn over her. 


I send Katherine, Ellie and The Boy my sincere condolences, and to Kat in particular my love and support while she searches to find her new voice. Her New Normal. It's necessary. We cannot survive living in the past. We are born to live, and born to die. And everything in between is a series of events meant to live and learn.


9 comments:

  1. no words ~~~~~ just

    ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥

    (( =^..^= ))

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  2. Yes, it's so tough and those thoughts are front and center here too. We're so sad about Bear and my heart aches for Katherine. We met her, and you too, at BlogPaws, and you are both super special.

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  3. We'll all miss Bear. I hope Momma Kat finds some comfort in all the tributes made in his memory.

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  4. I agree with all you have said. It is so hard to lose a beloved family member and you never get over it. I worry for Kat as she was in a bad place when she met Bear and he changed her life around. I hope she will be okay. I was also in a bad place due to being told my cancer had metastasized amongst other things when we lost Flynn, and I know how fragile it makes you feel.

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  5. Bear was very special and will be sorely missed by all who knew and loved him.

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  6. We have never had the large following that you famous kitties have had but when we downloaded our followers due to the changes coming in Blogger were surprised that we had well over a thousand. I now am in my twilight at only 14 due to what Dad feels is the dreaded. Rumpy also ill so we hope to continue as we move forward. We send Kat and family all our prayers that they find strength. Thank you so much for an insightful post that put to words much of what we have been thinking. Purrs friends
    Timmy, Dad and Family

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  7. Oh, Kim. I don't know what to say. So many things are going through my head as I'm sitting here kicking myself for not seeing this post earlier. For years, I had panic attacks just at a glancing thought of losing Bear. I've managed my panic in relation to just about everything else - but losing Bear. Now I have freedom from those panic attacks - but the trade-off is even more hellish as I feel alone for the first time in 15 years. I don't think I'll ever be able to talk about losing him - I'll mourn in private - save a post here and there saying I miss him. You just can't put some things into words without doing them a huge injustice. The beauty of my relationship with Bear was that I didn't need to talk at all. Years of talking got me no where.

    Losing Bear is so much harder for so many reasons. Bear stories were how introverted me related to the world. He was the reason I got up in the morning. He wrote our blog. Most people don't understand this: they look at me sadly like I just lack confidence. It's not a lack of confidence. With every stupid and wonderful thing Bear did, he fleshed out his character. There's a reason I can't write humor about any other subject. Bear GAVE me his character. These last few years, as he slowed down, I've not known how to continue blogging; this can easily be seen in a pretty dramatic decrease in the number of posts I get up. Now, with him gone, I just don't know. He wasn't just inspiration - he WAS the blog. He wasn't just a heart cat - he's the reason I chose life every day when all I wanted to do was give up.

    Thank you for your amazing friendship. To this day, I have no idea what I did to deserve your friendship - but I treasure it like little else. This post means more than you'll ever know.

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  8. Katherine, Bear is still helping you by forcing you to see those panic attacks and deal with them. He is with you and stands beside you all the time. When the scary things start overwhelming you, just think about what Bear would have said about it. He knew how strong you are and brought out the real you. You have shown Bear's character to all of us so we can enjoy him too.

    Huggies,

    Jean and Shoko

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  9. Pussycats have saved a lot of humans over the years in many ways. It takes special humans like you who acknowledge that, are thoroughly appreciative, and who recognize the marvels that we are and how we make the world a better place by being in it. Bear and Basil knew they had special mommas, ones who let them shine in all their glory and who didn't hold them back.

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