Ellie Mae gets promoted

Today, Bear prepares Ellie to do his job of rescuing his Momma. Things don't go smoothly, but Bear insists that Ellie step up and be there for his Momma. I suspect Bear knew the end was near for weeks - but kept it to himself. I can't imagine he wouldn't do everything possible to prepare Ellie for how to take care of and love me.

Before we start today's story, thank you to everyone - for the emails, comments, cards, support and love in response to Bear's passing. To say that I'm shocked and devastated is an understatement - but so many of you are absolutely fantastic in being there for me. Larry (The Boy - my fiance) especially is wonderful - even when the only verbalization I manage of my experience of intense feelings of loss and missing Bear amounts to saying I miss Bear [thirty-two times a day]. 

Ellie Mae seems to be trying new things in relation to cuddling and being close to me - which gave me the idea for this post. While Ellie Mae surely gets promoted in this post, this post is also about Bear's final masterpiece - his final love letter to his Momma.

BC: Bear Cat Kat [handsome tabby cat] 
EM: Ellie Mae Kat [black, gorgeously floofy cat] 
MK: Momma Kat [Bear and Ellie's human Momma, named Kat] 
The Boy: Momma's fiance 

To read more about the characters, please visit our Characters page.

BC: Ellie, we need to talk.
BC: Ellie!
BC: {mumbling to himself} When I want to talk to her, it's like I'm not even here. But if I DON'T want to talk to her, she never shuts up!
BC: {poking a claw into Ellie's side} ELLIE!
EM: WHAT?!?! You always call me Smellie! How was I supposed to know you were talking to me?
BC: Because there's NO ONE ELSE HERE!
EM: Oh, right.
BC: We need to talk about something really important.
EM: Erm ... you and ME?!? Talk?!?
EM: Oh. You mean to talk as in insulting me? Haha. Yes. I'm a "low-rider" and I drag my belly when I walk.
BC: NO! We need to have a conversation.
EM: Okay. So that means I can insult you in return?
BC: NO!!! We're going to talk ... like ... HWAK! HWAK! HWAAAACK! ... friends.
EM: Oh.
BC: I need you to do a very important job.

EM: HA! I'm not falling for THAT again! "Smellie, I'm giving you a very important job! Stay under the bed and hold it up!" Hmph. And then you stayed out here and took a long nap!
BC: This is for Momma.
EM: Uh huh. "Smellie, Momma needs you in the other room." When you KNEW she and Daddy were away for the day! I waited ALL DAY in the other room while you slept out here and you ate my wet food!
EM: Right! "Smellie, JUST LISTEN TO ME FOR YOUR OWN GOOD! Stay in the litter box because little monsters will eat you if you leave." So I sat in the litter box for HALF A DAY while you slept in Momma's bed!
BC: Hmm. This is for REAL!
EM: "For real, Smellie. Don't eat the plate of wet food. It's a trap set by the boogeyman!"
BC: HEY! To be fair, Momma IS the boogeyman and you DIDN'T listen to me and you got grabbed for claw-clipping and toothbrushing.
EM: Fine. Fine. What "job" are you giving me now?
BC: You must take care of Momma.
EM: But that's YOUR job!

BC: Yes. But I might not always be around to do it.
EM: Are you running away to visit Mudpie or Amarula?
BC: No.
EM: Chasing flightless birds around the world?
EM: Then why wouldn't you be around to take care of Momma?
BC: Because I might have ... erm ... other things to attend to.

EM: More important things to do than take care of Momma?
BC: No. Nothing's more important than taking care of Momma. I might not have a choice.
EM: Does Momma know you're leaving?
BC: NO! And she doesn't need to know.
EM: Don't you think Momma should know that you're leaving?
BC: Stop asking questions and just listen to me!
EM: Sometimes it seems like that's ALL I do!
BC: {mumbling to himself} I dare you to review this conversation.
BC: Taking care of Momma, 101. Momma is different from a lot of humans. She's special.
EM: Are you calling her stupid? Because when you say I'M special, you're insulting me.
BC: No. I'm being serious. Momma's delicate.
EM: I don't believe that! She's stood up to your best claws and teeth explosions. AND she got over an eating disorder that almost killed her! She's more bad-@$$ than you.
BC: Now, wait a minute. I'm the Lord Princess of Bad-@$$ery. I'll have you know ...

{Bear sighs}
BC: Never mind. Well, yes. She's tough and she doesn't give up. But she FEELS things differently than most humans. Living in the world with other humans exhausts her. She feels other humans' pain as if it were her own. She senses things about people that most other people miss.
EM: You mean like how she knew you were being mean to me even though she was in the other room?
BC: Not exactly. Momma's just SENSITIVE to tiny changes in her environment. She sees a person having a bad day and thinks that person doesn't like her anymore. So she hides.
EM: Well, to be honest, yesterday when she brushed your teeth, you TOLD her you don't like her anymore. And what's wrong with hiding? If a monster's running rampant in our house, why wouldn't one hide?
EM: But ... I don't know how! I'm not you!

BC: You can say that again.
EM: I'm not you!
BC: This is so much harder than I expected. Momma NEEDS you.
EM: But I'm just a pretty girl! SAVING humans is hard!
BC: Do you think I knew how to rescue Momma at the beginning?
EM: You didn't?
BC: I just sensed that she needed love. Momma won't ask for stuff - so you just need to know what she needs.
EM: I can show her my pretty tail!
BC: THAT'S NOT HOW THIS WORKS! You give her what she needs - not only what you can give easily!
EM: But you make taking care of Momma look easy.
BC: In a lot of ways, it is! A couple snuggles here, some purring there, knock some $#!+ off the counter, fight the couch, get your paw stuck in the toaster ...
EM: Wait ... the toaster may EAT ME?!?! The couch might ATTACK ME FOR NO REASON?! And what about the $#!+ I'm supposed to knock off the counter - do I do that because they're mean to me?
BC: No, see, nonsensical things are FUNNY! You don't attack the couch because it attacks you - you attack the couch because there's no reason to attack the couch.
EM: Erm ... so are you saying that when you attack me, you do so because there's no reason to attack me? And you think I'M stupid?!
BC: Now listen here, you ...

{Bear sighs}
BC: Stop asking so many questions! 
BC: Are you ready to learn how to take care of Momma?
EM: Erm ... I guess. I mean, you really should do it.
BC: Do you need to take notes?
EM: Okay. Let me get a pen.
BC: What about paper?
EM: Oh. Right.
BC: Gosh help us.
BC: Step one of taking care of Momma: Make Momma laugh.
EM: Hold on! Slow down! 'M ...'
BC: 'O - M - M - A ...'
EM: NO! I'm on the FIRST word!
BC: Oh, for Pete's sake.
EM: How do you spell 'make?'
BC: Maybe I should write them down for you and then you can ask questions.
BC: Oh, &@*#&. This is going to take forever. If I write down how to take care of Momma, you can read, right?
EM: I can read and write!
BC: No! You can read.
EM: I just said so! And I can write!
BC: I know you can write.
EM: So then why did you ask if I can read and write?
BC: I didn't! I said, "You can read, right?"

EM: Exactly!
BC: As frustrating as this is, I need to know Momma will be okay.
EM: Why wouldn't she be okay?
BC: If I'm not here.
EM: That seems like your choice. I mean, you don't have to leave for anything. 
BC: Ellie, I need you to promise to take care of Momma.
EM: Erm ... okay.
BC: NO! I'm serious! Can I depend on you to take care of Momma?
EM: If you're sure I can ...
BC: I think you can love and take care of Momma as well ... err, ALMOST as well as I do.
EM: Really?!
BC: ALMOST as well. Here's the list of my tips to take care of my Momma.
EM: B ... iiiiiiiiig ... no ... BAAAAAAD ... Cat's ...
BC: BEAR! BEAR CAT'S! You said you can read!
EM: I'm just messing with you.
BC: Oh, sure. NOW you get a sense of humor.
BC: {handing Ellie the list} Here.

EM: {reading the list} Mmm ... hmm. Hmm ... mmm. Makes sense. That's a good idea! Mmm ... I can do that. Okay.
BC: Can you handle all of this?
EM: I don't know about being snuggly. You know I like laps - but sleeping humans are ... boring.
BC: How about you try it?
EM: Erm ... okay. But, Bear, this is A LOT of work!
BC: Tell me about it!
EM: What do I get out of this?
BC: Momma will do all those things for you in return.
EM: Will she still feed me? Because that's not on the list.
BC: It's not on the list because she can feed herself. Usually. OH! I thought of another item! Before Momma leaves the house, make sure she's wearing pants! And her hair isn't crazy.
EM: Ummm ... her hair ...
BC: Yeah. I know. Scratch that. We'll settle for making sure she's wearing pants.
EM: Okay.
BC: I've trained you well.
EM: You have?
BC: YES! If Momma gets all teary, pretend you don't know her. Be the boss.
EM: The boss? You mean, like the boss that bosses people around?
EM: Oh. I'm more of a follower.

BC: No kidding. Oh, and you have to let Momma wrap her arms around you and hold you tight.
EM: WAIT! NO! She'll kill me!
BC: Then why am I still alive?
EM: Oh. Hmm. What if I don't remember to make sure Momma wears pants?
BC: Stay away from the windows for two weeks.
EM: How does that help her wear pants?
BC: It doesn't. It just ensures that no one will know you know her. But, wait, I'll add it to the list.
BC: There. You are officially Caretaker in Training.
EM: I get a title?
BC: Yes.
EM: Like a book!
BC: NO! Like a ... position!
EM: Cool. 
BC: Hmmm ... no. You still have to come up with your special name.
EM: My what?
BC: Remember how I demand people call my Princess Buttercup Black Bear Cat of the Forest?

EM: Erm ... no. I remember you demanding we call you The Shark and The Quack Daddy and B-Cube.
BC: Well, you need a name to demand respect from Momma and The Boy.
EM: They can call me Ellie Mae. 
BC: No. It must be ... strong.
EM: Daddy calls me Pretty Panther Princess.
BC: {sigh} We'll think about it - and I'll add it to the list. 
BC: OH! An audience! A cat worth his caretaking salt must d
emand an audience and give them a show they can't ignore or forget.
EM: I don't know about that ... I'm a good girl!
BC: Pretend! Other than a name, you are set to take care of Momma. 
EM: But what if I mess up?
BC: You don't have to take care of Momma alone.
EM: Did you decide to stay?
BC: Daddy's here.
EM: The Not-the-Momma?
BC: Yes. The Not-the-Momma. He loves Momma too. All you really have to do is make sure HE takes care of Momma. And if he doesn't - use this list to make sure Momma's okay.
EM: Hmm ... he DOES do all these things. Well, except sit on Momma when she has a nightmare. And he wouldn't kill himself if he was mean to Momma.
BC: SEE?!? For all the years it was just me and Momma, I had to do all the hard work by myself. But since Daddy moved in, he's taken over most of the taking care of Momma jobs!

EM: But Momma still needs you.
BC: I know. Bear snuggles aren't duplicable by anyone - much less a Boy. I know The Boy will take care of Momma - as he should. But he's not exactly capable of furry snuggles and furry purry love like us cats are.
BC: But you're right. We should keep The Boy honest. Keep The Boy in line with disdain, indignance and plenty of teeth.

BC: My masterpiece is complete. I'm exhausted! I need a nap!
EM: But ...
BC: You'll be fine.

Bear Cat's Tips For Taking Care of His Momma 
[If you couldn't read them in the graphic]
  • Make Momma laugh. Don't be scared to live boldly and seem ridiculous. Don't apologize, and don't second-guess yourself. Be fricking stubborn. You're the boss, and Momma will love you for it! Come up with a bad-@$$ nickname for yourself and demand everyone call you by that nickname.
  • Don't let Momma feel alone. And don't let her distance herself from you. Check in with her every hour or so to remind her of your furry loving. Let her be vulnerable and need you.
  • Walk beside Momma every day - follow or lead her if necessary.
  • Snuggle with Momma at least a couple of times a day. You might not think she needs it - but she usually does. Snuggle even if she starts crying and your fur gets wet. Sleep with her when possible.
  • If Momma has nightmares - sit on her until she calms down.
  • If Momma does stuff that she shouldn't do - stare at her and then rub up against her until she stops. Demand Momma pays attention to you. Make sure Momma wears pants before she goes outside.
  • Keep Momma guessing. Just stare at her while she works. Steal her desk chair one day and ignore it for the next two months. Sometimes bite Momma - not for any reason - just because you can.
  • Demand Momma pays attention to you. Challenge Momma to ignore you. Let Momma pet your belly, and don't take no for an answer. Fix everything with cuteness, cuddles and comedy. Demand an audience and give them a show they can't ignore or forget.
  • Give Momma a reason to get up every morning.
  • Make sure Momma knows you need her - for more than just food. Tell Momma you love her.
  • Don't make or expect Momma to talk about her feelings.
  • Love Momma even though she's weird and she does stuff you don't like. Love Momma no matter what - even when you're mad - and you want to give her a middle claw.
  • If The Boy gets out of line or is mean to Momma, kill him: quietly, swiftly and as painfully as possible. Keep The Boy in line with disdain, indignance and plenty of teeth.

© 2021 Momma Kat and Her Bear Cat - Published by K. Kern. 
All text, pictures, images, and other content are original and copyright by Momma Kat and Her Bear Cat [K. Kern], 2015-2021. No content on Momma Kat and Her Bear Cat may be used without the owner's [K. Kern] written permission. If you see this post posted on a site that isn't Momma Kat and Her Bear Cat, please contact cats@mommakatandherbearcat.com. 

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  1. We knew that Bear would make sure that Ellie was prepared, he's watching from afar just in case though. Hugs sweet Ellie, you can do it.

    1. Erm ... if he's watching me, does that mean I'll get in trouble if I lay in his unicorn bed or eat wet food from his plate? ~Ellie Mae

  2. Bear has made sure Ellie knows what to do even though it took all his patience getting through to her. Sending love and hope The Boy is taking good care of you too.

    1. It won't be the same - but I think Ellie finally gets it.

  3. You can do it, Elllie. Your mom needs you to!

    1. Yes, I certainly do. The last few weeks would've been insurmountable without Ellie and The Boy.

  4. I'm glad that Bear made sure to give Ellie instructions on how to care for you, Momma Kat. I'm sure she'll do her best.

  5. Bear wise Cat that you were you left us all with lots of smiles cherished Memories. Ellie Mae has some big paws to fill. Now if she will just get over herself (MOL MOL) and pay attention to your detailed letter she will manage OK.
    Sending hugs and understanding to Momma. Here at Angel Madi's Manor we speak of her daily and all the memories of craziness she left with us.
    Hugs cecilia

    1. Madi was a force of nature and larger than life - just like Bear. That kind of legacy makes it hard for later cats to follow. I miss Bear badly - but Ellie Mae knows what she's doing.

  6. bear; ya done did good dood, and we noe ewe will walk bee side yur momma everee day; we hope her noez that ♥♥♥

    ellie; fite de couch... bee coz we guarantee DE BOY boy will make sure momma leevez de houz with pantz
    on....and if heez knot home when her leevez de houz, and her iz pant lezz goin out de front door... de pole leese will take care of that ....


    1. Hahahaha. But who makes sure The Boy leaves our house with pants? ~Ellie Mae

  7. You can do it, sweet Ellie, Bear prepared you very well. Purrs

    1. I hope so! So many people are depending on me! ~Ellie Mae

  8. This brought smiles and tears . . . Ellie had the best instruction possible . . . and I know that with Bear's help from the Rainbow Bridge, she will do fine. Hugs, purrs, meows from us.

    1. Thank you. This post was heartwarming and heartbreaking to write. I miss Bear so badly.

  9. Ellie, something tells me that you are going to go far in your new position!
    Hugs and purrs.

    1. I have some pretty big paws to fill! And not just because Bear was chunky. ~Ellie Mae

  10. We know Bear did a good job teaching Ellie. She'll be great in her new job.

    The Florida Furkids

  11. I have no doubt that Bear made a list just like that for Ellie. And she probably sensed he would be leaving. I know Astrid was aware Mauricio was going to get his wings, when I had no clue. Like Bear, he had a huge personality, and I miss and talk about him everyday. I have no doubt Ellie Mae will step up and take her duties seriously. And always remember, Kat, you have lots and lots of friends who love you and are just an e-mail, text or phone call away. Sending you several big, warm hugs, Janet (and the Kitties Blue Crew)

    1. Thank you. Your offer means more than you could ever know or I could ever express. We're definitely adjusting to Bear not being here - some better than others. I do believe Ellie is trying - and maybe even enjoying her time as an only cat.

  12. P.s. Our mom always checks to make sure our dad has on pants before he leaves the house. What’s that about anyway? We don’t wear pants and do just fine. XOCK, angel Lily Olivia, angel Mauricio, Misty May, Giulietta, angel Fiona, Astrid, Lisbeth, Calista Jo, Cooper Murphy, Sawyer & Kizmet

  13. Elie, Bear has handed the sword to you which means he thinks you're ready. We know you can handle this hefty task. Look at the prize you'll get. Momma wll be there for you and you will learn how to support mom.

    Shoko and Tyebe

    1. It's a lot for one cat to handle on her own! ~Ellie Mae

  14. Tears and loving thoughts to the three of you. Ellie Mae, Momma Kat and Thee Boy. I know that you will be able to walk in Bear's paw prints; and they will soon become just your own. Follow Bear's instructions and it will all come to you quickly when you need it. MK was right, that IS Bear's love letter. That's why there are tears here at my house.
    Love always to you and your momma. And I was and still am here of you need me. Email, phone or text.

    1. Thank you. This post was heartwarming and heartbreaking to write. I miss Bear so badly.

  15. This made me cry, because I know it is exactly what Bear would have told Ellie to do. Especially the kill the boy if he is mean to momma. XO

    1. Yes, it's heartbreaking and heartwarming at the same time!

  16. I know Ellie Mae is up for the challenge! ~Ernie

    1. You might be biased, but I'll take it! Black cats must stick together. ~Ellie Mae

  17. Bear was terrific to write it all down for Elle Mae! We know that she is up for the task. After all she is a cat! (BTW Mommy wept when she read the post and we had to wait until today to comment). We send you LOADS of love, virtual hugs and strength.

    1. Thank you - these last few weeks have been really hard. I like to think that Nellie is teaching Bear a thing or two.

  18. There's no doubt in my mind that Ellie's been prepped by Bear to take over giving comforting
    purrs and cuddles for the Momma. Meow!

  19. We knew Bear would make sure Momma Kat was and is always taken care of and loved. Ellie Mae, we know you are up to the job, just like we know that Bear will be watching over and guiding you. Love is like that ... ever eternal. Hugs and love to you all.

    1. So many people believe in me! It's kind of scary and good at the same time! ~Ellie Mae

  20. We have faith in you, Ellie! You can do this job!

    1. Really?!? Wow. I'd be honored if I weren't so scared! ~Ellie Mae

  21. Aww Ellie Mae -- big paws to fill but Bear knows you can do it. I suspect you'll get a few hints from beyond the Bridge now and then to help. But Bear chose wisely, and you'll be a fur-tastic MCCE (Momma's cat caretaker extraordinaire). Karma-Kat sez to "tread softly & carry a big schtick...to make her laff." Karma knew about Bravo-Dawg far in advance, and now Karma's training the Shadow-Pup. The furry torch is passed on--the legacy continues. You'll make Bear proud.

    1. It's weird to think that us humans were the last to know our furbabies were sick - and that their siblings likely had some inkling. We think Karma and Bear are excellent teachers.

  22. This was so hard to read --i can only imagine how hard it was to write! Feel like crying but am glad that Bear is preparing Ellie Mae to do a good job!

    1. Oh my gosh! It was so hard to write! I couldn't get the right tone though! Maybe I tried to hard to make it funny?!

  23. You lost the best, now we hope Ellie-Mae can be the support and love you need because you are amazing - and you do what YOU want.

    1. She'll never be Bear - but she's special in her own ways and I'm in good paws.

  24. Sharing his knowledge about how to properly take care of the mama, Mr. Stripey Pants shows his final act of love. Well done, Bear (and we hope you'll make some cameo appearances in the future to check in on how your sister is carrying on your legacy. Tell your mama we're thinking of her and sending oodles of tail wags and butt wiggles. 💙

    1. Thank you. If anyone knows how to take care of me, it's Bear! I haven't decided his place on the blog going forward - but I'd be surprised if he disappeared. He's got more to say - if I can manage to write it without sobbing.

  25. I think Bear has prepared Ellie well! (What a very sweet post this is.)

  26. I wish my purrdecessors had left me instructions like Bear left for you, Ellie. Even though Bear liked to pick on you, deep down he loved you for loving Momma Kat. That's why he knew that she'll be able to go on without him. And you are not alone, 'cause you have me and all your other pals to call on if you need some advice. For many years, I was the only kitty in my household so I took care of both Mom and Dad. OK, the doggy helped, but it was mostly me. Tee hee hee.


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