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Saturday, 6 July 2013


I have been asked quite a few times about the black cat avatar I use for this Nannying Tyrants blog, on Facebook and on Twitter. His full name was Bramulus Stumpy Bear. I called him Bram; my wife called him Bear. He had other names, too, (Bram-u-lee, Bram-u-lie, Bram-u-lo) as most cats tend to acquire about a dozen or more. But whatever his name, he was one of the finest examples of the feline persuasion to ever grace our lives. Because he always was so special, I chose his image as my avatar.

There are tears on my keyboard. Bram died today, 6th July 2013. He was 13-years-old. We don't know his actual birth date, but we know he was 5-years-old when he moved in with us. Eight years of joy, love, and adoration this magnificent cat gave us, each and every day, and I am so utterly grateful for all of that time we had together. And it wasn't only our lives he touched. Our neighbours and their kids loved him, too. He was gregarious, friendly, cheeky, silly, incredibly intelligent, and utterly charming. He made us laugh every day. He was a gentle soul. He was my best friend.  He will be sorely missed by all who knew him -- I know that much to be true as I wipe away the tears.

I also know that we gave him the very best life possible. I know he was happy. Bram truly loved life every day. He loved everything. I know he knew we loved and adored him.

We will mourn, for a long time, but we will not be bitter about his death or the circumstances that led to it -- as much as we are angry, we accept that it was Bram's time. We choose to remember him not for his death but for how Bram lived, which was glorious and fulfilling. There is no such thing as a premature death -- there is only death, and it comes for all of us -- all life -- eventually.

There are no guarantees in life, nor promises to reach any age, nor any certainties of good health, equality or fairness. Life is joy; life is pain. We would not wish it to be otherwise, for you cannot truly appreciate the former without knowing the latter. We choose to cherish each moment we spend here with those we love -- human, animals or whatever species you prefer -- rather than wishing for what could have been if only something hadn't happened after the fact. We would change nothing.

I have no regrets.

His name was Bramulus Stumpy Bear. He was my best friend. He will never be forgotten. I love him every bit as much as you love your children. I always will. I know that Bram knew this.

Goodbye, dear friend. You were magnificent.

Bramulus Stumpy Bear
If you will allow a slight indulgence, here are many of my photos of my gloriously wonderful cat. The finest cat I've ever known.