You’ll get plenty of cat advice books telling you how to stroke and hold a cat, but in my experience, the rules can be complex, and are all a matter of personal preference. My oldest cat, The Bear, for example, is a polite, quiet cat, who loves having his stomach rubbed, whereas if you touch his step-brother Shipley anywhere around his midriff, you’re likely to come out of it with at least one fewer digit. The Bear accepts affection willingly on floor level, but he’s not a cat to be jostled about in the air, and will take appropriate revenge if you try it. Shipley, meanwhile, is a potential ASBO on the ground yet pick him up and he’s utterly pliable: a purring love bundle who’s happy in virtually any position, upside down or right way up. Due to this, he was the obvious candidate for the first cat beard.
It’s hard to pinpoint when exactly the first cat-on-human beard was made. The online phenomenon began with the photo below a couple of years ago and, by spring this year, had escalated so much that a cat beard had almost taken its place as one of the most widely recognised kinds of selfie, along with “the moodily angled myspace” shot and the “holding my cameraphone in front of a mirror” pout. Dog beards have also become prevalent recently, too, although, as ever, canines take the role of the copyists here. Followers of The Bear on Twitter (click for Twitter link) have sent him several very impressive photos of their cat beards, of which this is arguably the best: click to view. My own attempt with Shipley didn’t work out too well, and the impact of it was perhaps lessened by the fact that I already have my own beard, but I might give it another go soon, when he’s in a less sweary mood. Failing that, there’s always Ralph, my hirsute tabby. He’s less pliable than Shipley but if I’m looking for a heavier beard, he could work out well. He even has his own mutton chop sideburns, which could bring a whole new element to the process.
Tom’s latest book, “The Good, The Bad and The Furry” was released 10 October, 2013.
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“The Good, The Bad and The Furry” can be ordered online HERE.
WE ARE RUNNING A CAT (OR DOG) BEARDING PHOTO CONTEST! Ten winners will be chosen to receive a copy of Tom’s fab new book, plus a 2kg bag of Applaws pet food. TO SUBMIT YOUR PHOTO, CLICK HERE: http://woobox.com/k8r8wz