The Bear, one of our three blind Tuxedo cats, was a frequent co-host on HamRadioNow. I'd be recording a studio segment and I'd feel a paw (or a claw) tugging at my pants leg. It could be either the Mouse or the Bear, and they wanted attention. I'd interrupt whatever was going on to pick them up.
We lost the Mouse in May. Renny, the third of the Three Blind Cats, died while I was on the way back from the 2014 DCC in Seattle. And now the Bear's time was up while I was at the DCC in St. Petersburg FL. Our non-tux - but 3-legged - cat, Popoki, died suddenly a few weeks ago. This has not been a good year for our cats, and apparently the DCC isn't a good omen, either.
I found out that a lot of you at the DCC watch all the shows and were big fans of the Bear. Many of you asked how he was doing. I knew there was a pretty good chance that Cyndi was going to have to take him to the vet to let him go on the Saturday of the DCC. I asked her not to tell me until I called at the end of the day, because I didn't want to be crying behind the camera. I saved that for the hotel room.
I prefer to celebrate the lives of people and pets who have left us, and not mourn their passing quite so much. The Mouse was the World's Smartest Cat, and The Bear was the World's Friendliest Cat. Bear would greet everyone at the door. We called him our Wal-Mart Greeter. He even loved going to the vet (and they all loved him - he owned the place). About his only character flaw was that he liked to torment poor Popoki, who didn't realize that she could find sanctuary at the top of the cat tree that she could climb, but he couldn't (or wouldn't - the Mouse could, so it wasn't a blind thing).
The Bear was one of the main reasons I have a backlog of programs to edit. Instead of working long into the night as a good entrepreneur should, most evenings I'd sprawl on the couch, and the Bear would sprawl on me (see the picture). The Mouse was more demure, and she'd cuddle on my arm. We'd watch some Netflix... and some more, until bed time.
Tonight, it's 11:30 PM, and I'm writing this as Episode 268 is cooking in the encoder. I've been fighting the technology all day, and right now it just might be letting me think I'm going to win. If you see a video, you'll know.
But I'm thinking about the Bear.