Watch Out, Grumpy Cat…

mr bear british shorthair

The internet sensation Grumpy Cat better watch out; I think that Mr Bear could give her a run for her money. I’ve been having a right chuckle at some of his expressions in the pictures below. It’s funny, because he’s always been a very cuddly, affable kind of cat and I’ve been carrying him about like a baby since the minute I brought him home. (At fourteen weeks. He’s now seven years old.)

mr bear british shorthair

But here he looks as though he wants to kill me. Perhaps he always looks as though he wants to kill me – perhaps he doesn’t just look as though he wants to kill me, perhaps he actually wants to – y’know – kill me.

mr bear british shorthair

He is a cat, after all, and we all know that cats are psychopathic, selfish human-tormentors trapped inside thick fur coats. Bond villains. They sit there on the sofa, eyes half-shut, thinking about how nice it will feel when they sink their claws into your unsuspecting foot. They dream about pinning a butterfly to the wall by its wing and maiming a mouse but not enough to kill it.

mr bear british shorthair

When you actually think about it, cats are quite horrible! They play with their kill. Torture it. Pierce and tear parts of it but then force it to limp around again for fun. If a normal cat was a character in a movie, it would be that guy from Saw who devises all of those horrendous death games and then makes a puppet ride a trike. (Honestly, I think about that Trike Puppet every time I need to scare myself.) (You may be wondering why I’d ever need to scare myself: I sometimes do it to feel invigorated and racy. I think it’s because I don’t drink caffeine.)

mr bear british shorthair

So anyway; it should come as no surprise that Mr Bear’s face, when caught on film, shows varying degrees of evilness and grumpiness. Cuddly on the outside, cunning on the in. And it’s not like I make him appear in these shots; every time we do any sort of photoshoot at home he always pads up to see what’s going on and – if the mood takes him – gets involved.

mr bear british shorthair

Now and again I force him to appear in pictures, which I suppose is a terrible abuse of power and makes him an unpaid model and me some sort of illegal pet labour overlord, but he gets free lodgings and loads of prawns so I don’t feel all that bad.

mr bear british shorthair

Anyway, Mr Bear the British Shorthair has managed every model face in the book, here, if the book was An A-Z of How To Lose Clients; he has perfectly executed all of the Ds – “disdain”, “disgust”, “dread” and made a good start on the S chapter. “Surprised” and “superior”.

mr bear british shorthair

I especially like the photos that were intended to be quite serious and lovely, “a lady and her cat” sort of vibe, that are rendered slightly absurd by Mr Bear’s grumpy expression. I think I only got two frames where he was smiling – or “smizing” and one of those was blurry because I sneezed. Here’s the keeper:

mr bear british shorthair

Look at that lovely Cheshire Cat grin. See, Mr Bear, isn’t life so much better when you look on the bright side?


  1. do you have a cat?
  2. is it evil?
  3. what is the most evil thing it has done/plotted to do?

mr bear british shorthair

Thank you so much to Made East Knitwear for sending through this jumper for my cashmere shoot (that’ll be up later this week): you can find The Tina on their website here, it’s currently in the sale and (at the risk of pre-empting what I’m going to say in the cashmere story!) is so supremely soft. It also seems to be loads denser than a lot of cashmere jumpers I have, I can see it lasting decades. So long as Mr AMR doesn’t put it in the boil wash…



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  1. Siena
    January 27, 2019 / 2:01 pm

    When I ‘m in the bath, relaxing, a paw appears through the gap between door and frame. Not long now and a grinning (I swear) whiskered face follows, Jack Nicholson style.

  2. Jane
    January 24, 2019 / 11:17 am

    I have had cats since I was 12 years old, every one of them adored in equal measure. One of them, a Siamese called Ptolemy, was a real nutter. We used to hang our coats on the post at the bottom of the stair banisters and he would hide under the coats and grab your ankles as you walked past. He also used to retrieve like a dog and loved having a soft toy thrown for him to bring back. I would tire of the game before he did. He would also snuggle up in my sister’s bed with her, which was OK until he got fleas one summer!!

  3. Susanamantha
    January 23, 2019 / 7:37 pm

    My aunt’s cat would walk along the back of the sofa and then suddenly bite your head. Why? Evil, for certain. She did this unprovoked and many, many times, but only from the back of the sofa.

  4. Marjorie
    January 23, 2019 / 5:27 pm

    Ouch. Have been extensively researching which cat breeds make the best pets. Narrowed down to Russian Blue, British Shorthair & Ragdoll. But conscience telling me to take a chance on generic rescue. After reading these comments it sounds like it’s a roll of the dice, no matter how good a cat parent you are. I think I’ll forget the whole idea. Too scared now.

    • Giedre
      January 30, 2019 / 9:21 am

      Norwegian forest cats are the best :) Very composed and nice. Also they like human company. We have a mixed breed of Norwegian forest cat and he could not be more perfect. Smart, friendly and loving.

  5. Trish
    January 23, 2019 / 2:38 am

    This made me laugh. Cats really are the silent judgers. Worst thing my ragdoll, Ruby has done was walk up to me while I was on a conference call and wipe her butt on the carpet in front of me. I had to clean the carpet while on the call. She played it well.

  6. donna kelly
    January 22, 2019 / 10:45 pm

    I don’t have any pets (allergies), but when I was little my friend had a tom cat who was the meanest cat I’ve ever known, someone tried to poison him once and my friends mum force fed him fairy liquid and swung him around til he barfed it was traumatic for all involved, he was fine and cranky as ever. If you cannot remember the entire face of gorgeous makeup then please at least remember the eyes, they’re stunning!!

  7. Jo.C.
    January 22, 2019 / 8:19 pm

    My last cat was a little bugger, he once shit in the space between the washing machine and the wall, it wasn’t just a turd (which would have been easy to clean up) no, it was a turd in a river of diarrhea. My parents were away and my brother was too busy retching in the other room so I had to clean it up. Marigolds on and a wet wipe shoved up my nostrils (the stench was awful) I did my duty whilst my cat was sat next to me watching and purring. The little s*#t! I do miss him. LOL

  8. Sue
    January 22, 2019 / 5:12 pm

    My cat would sit on top of the fridge freezer waiting for some daring mog to attempt chicken theft by creeping in through our open door. He would land heavily upon the intrepid thief, and then perform a ninja kick that would roll them out the door. Evil. On the nice kitty side, he would not actually hurt birds as I used to yell at him to remember he was a Buddhist! However he did bring me a mouse decorated with flowers. Beautifully decorated. But still dead.

  9. January 22, 2019 / 2:33 pm

    Well I have 13 cats. Yep, 13. I did have 15 but 2 rehomed themselves with neighbours! 12 rescues and one Maine Coon. I think the evilest thing any of them did was when my Maine Coon was a kitten. I sleep with one foot on top of the duvet. One night my cat got poorly and had diarrhoea on my foot. When I woke up I wasn’t aware straight away, but stood up in his pile of vomit next to the bed then looked down and saw my brown foot. And indeed my brown bed. I was not loving the little bugger that morning!! He also once stood in his own poop in the litter tray, hopped on the bed and came up and put his poopy paw IN MY MOUTH!!! You have never seen a person run so fast!

  10. Marine
    January 22, 2019 / 2:08 pm

    1. Yes
    2. He is not evil, he is antisocial and a bit egocentric. I live in his home, not the contrary. How dare I listen to anything without my headphones or put the light on in a room where he is resting. Also please open the doors for him even though he has multiple cat flaps.
    3. He will take his revenge if you cross him too much. He gently slides phones on the grounds, sits on your stuff and bites if you want to retrieve what is now his and so one. But we love him to death (and he knows it…).

  11. Rachel Mullin
    January 22, 2019 / 12:55 pm

    My cat, Melody, kills and kills and kills… She took down a weasel a couple years ago. The worst thing she does? Brings home victims to torment and kill in comfort.

  12. Clare Shah
    January 22, 2019 / 12:47 pm

    Yes, two cats…Athena who is a skitty, high maintenance, beautiful princess. She is definitely plotting to take over the world and is quiet but exceptionally determined to get her own way. Hermes, her brother, is a cuddly, noisy pee monster who….well he pees in the house! That’s pretty bad but he also brings in dead things (like a mouse when I was trying to have a civilised breakfast). The worst thing he ever did was pee on the handbag of the animal behaviourist we had come to visit about his peeing

  13. Melanie Woodward
    January 22, 2019 / 10:49 am

    Mr Bear looks adorable – even if sometimes on camera, he looks like he’s pulling his “no publicity” face. We were devastated to lose our beautiful beloved Bengal – Wally (who adopted us, after living rough in our orchard). Wally wasn’t evil, but definitely determined to get her own way (i.e. sitting on the area directly above your bladder, to get you up in the morning). I would recommend you read Lynn Truss’ novel “Cat out of Hell” – which is actually very funny & also offers some interesting fictional theories as to why cats bring you gifts of dead wildlife (i.e. to make sure you know they can kill ).

  14. Rachel
    January 22, 2019 / 10:39 am

    My old ginger Cattywampus, a gentle creature to humans but foe to all birds, would torture them endlessly, pulling off their feathers one by one. One day, the birds got him back. I heard a bunch of squawking in the garden. They had all ganged together on the edge of the garage roof. A dozen birds squawking at my cat, cowering in a window well. I didn’t really pity him, but I did scoop him up and bring him back inside.

    • January 22, 2019 / 10:41 am

      This is the most amazing complete short story! x

  15. Helen
    January 22, 2019 / 10:35 am

    Do you use fake tan in winter? if so, which one?

    • January 22, 2019 / 10:42 am

      No, I now and then use a gradual on my face but haven’t in around six months or so! The Deciem one or the drops from Clarins.. x

  16. Bev
    January 22, 2019 / 10:07 am

    1. I have two cats.
    2. They’re not at all evil – quite the opposite! They’re both the friendliest, most affectionate creatures I’ve ever known. One comes when called, like a dog. They don’t like being picked up or sitting on knees, but they’re otherwise perfect.
    3. They chatter at birds and I know that deep down they want to kill them, but I don’ think they’ve ever actually executed an evil plan.

    I love my cats <3

    • January 22, 2019 / 10:42 am

      Yes, Mr Bear is literally the softest, friendliest cat. But I know that his plans are definitely evil.

  17. Jane F
    January 22, 2019 / 9:25 am

    Yes, I have a cat.
    Yes, it is evil.
    I’m pretty sure she sits there all day long plotting my demise. We got her at 12 weeks from an owner who couldn’t handle her. She was pyscho – claws out first, scratching if you went anywhere near her. I just think she had a traumatic start to her life. She’s now 6 and I still can’t pat her she goes nuts! Only my husband has the courage to brush her – she secretly loves him I know! Perhaps they’re both in cahoots with each other so I better watch out! Haha!

    • January 22, 2019 / 10:43 am

      Hahaha – properly evil! x

  18. January 22, 2019 / 8:40 am

    I have a cat and she does the thing where she will be all snuggly in your arms, headbutting you and what not, and then suddenly she will get the crazed look in her eyes and go for your head. She also likes to attack my husband when he gets out the shower and has no amour to protect him, Apparently they like to do this as they don’t like it that you are clean and no longer have their scent on you. Also, they evil.

    Still love her so much though.

    • January 22, 2019 / 10:43 am

      Oh my God. Bear does this with feet. You can stroke him for half an hour then he’ll suddenly go into attack mode.

  19. Lou
    January 22, 2019 / 8:20 am

    We have an evil cat. She’s called Bella. We’ve recently moved house and her new favourite thing is to lie full length across the top of the stairs. She’s black so in the dark she blends in perfectly…I think she’s trying to take us out.

    • January 22, 2019 / 10:44 am

      She is absolutely trying to take you out. Make it clear to her that she’s not named in your will and she’ll probably stop.

  20. Annie
    January 22, 2019 / 8:16 am

    Last night our car decided to rampage through the kitchen knocking over glasses and licking dirty dishes in the sink. He did this at 10:50, 11:15 and midnight. Such a jerk.

    • January 22, 2019 / 10:44 am

      That’s why Bear’s banned from upstairs now. He used to career around the room like a drunkard, knocking stuff over.

  21. Miggs
    January 22, 2019 / 8:13 am

    Why yes, we have a cat. His name is Jet, he’s a black cat with a cute white spot on his belly, and he wears a perpetual judgey-judgey pants expession on his face 24/7. Nothing impresses him, he doesn’t like to cuddle, and the only time he wants your attention is when he wants to go outside, wants his soft treats, or wants you to turn the faucet on because he ain’t drinking out of a bowl like the rest of us peasants.

  22. Eliza
    January 22, 2019 / 3:28 am

    hahaha. this post made me literally lol at my computer, and for a second I thought how lame am I to be lol’ing at my computer screen, then I thought ah who cares. laughing no matter the sitch is essential for the soul. but anyway, it’s your, yes, your expressions, ms. crilly, that are funny here. you warm up with a benign ‘oh you’re here? we’re doing this?’ sort of come hither gaze that turns cruella de vil-esque that grows progressively menacing, then all of a sudden, carefree joy!, as in ‘ah, come on, I just playin’ with y’all!’, then a confrontational ‘you want some of this (fat cat) do ya?’…then a motherly love over the shoulder gaze at MrB, and then, finally, a wistful, yet assured look that declares, ‘MrB, it’s you and me babe. bff’s for better or worse forever and ever….NOW LET’S GO FIND A BIRD FOR YOU TO TORMENT.’ jkjk that last part. x. :).

  23. Emma Palmer
    January 21, 2019 / 10:09 pm

    Spada,the first cat we ever had, was a very good hunter and was always bringing us ‘presents’. One night I threw back the duvet to get in bed and found a dead pigeon inside the bed. Worst present ever, I think it was the fact that she had gone to the effort to put it under the covers that was the most horrifying thing.

    • Justine
      January 22, 2019 / 5:09 am

      I read that when a cat leaves “presents” it’s a sign that she is trying to provide for you because she thinks you can’t provide for yourself! I thought it was hysterical and also a completely cat-like thing to do. Ours leaves her toys in my son’s shoes, makes me laugh every times it happens. Thank goodness no pigeons. Stuff of nightmares.

      • January 22, 2019 / 10:45 am

        YIKES. No to the pigeons, just no.

  24. Jana
    January 21, 2019 / 7:54 pm

    Love his facial expressions… he clearly watched your shootings carefully and decided to try his luck on looking, well… grumpy. I’ve got a Tuxedo cat who is the most caring thing you would know. Even when the toddler harasses him he stays calm. But please don’t ever forget to feed him. He will try to get into anything… You cannot leave food on the counter for more than a second and he will be into it, with pasta, pizza, cheese and yoghurt being firm favourites of his. He often feels peckish in the morning hours and decides to sit on me purring while I am asleep. And if his heavy weight doesn’t wake me up he will start to bite my hand (lovingly I would like to thing) until I get up and feed him.

    • January 21, 2019 / 8:17 pm

      No way! Mr Bear only goes for prawns. Anything else, not interested!! : )

  25. January 21, 2019 / 7:39 pm

    You look absolutely amazing in these photos. I would like to hear about everything that you have on your face please. I do not like cats. Too smug. At university I lived opposite a cat (Smug Cat) who would sit on a purple cushion in the window and judge me.

    • January 21, 2019 / 8:17 pm

      I need to try and remember!! xx

  26. January 21, 2019 / 5:57 pm

    Oh heavens. We have a little siamese who has turned both our dogs into her minions. She chucks food off the counters, out of the compost bin, the dogs tear through whatever container it was in. Everyone feasts. It has become a downright arms race around here, humans trying to find new and inventive ways to hide the food stuffs; the furry army finding new ways to get at it.

  27. Anon
    January 21, 2019 / 5:15 pm

    1. Yes
    2. He’s not evil, he’s a chancer
    3. When my daughter was toddling down the garden he pounced on her back, knocked her down and ran away. Another time he was caught fishing the chicken out of a pot of curry on the stove.

  28. Stephanie-M-M
    January 21, 2019 / 4:17 pm

    Okay! I am honest…I want everything that’s in those pictures!
    The cat. The cashmere jumper. Those earrings. The rings. (I wouldn’t also so no to such a beautiful face, but you can’t have it all, right?) Where is the jewelery from, Ruth? Looks stunning on you.
    I don’t have a cat. Yet. But I want one. Those faces and especially eyes are the epitome of snootiness and pride and I love it. Well, the fur is lovely too. ;-)

    • January 21, 2019 / 7:13 pm

      The earrings are Hush – £30. Rings are: two stacked together, Kojis Diamond wedding band and Tiffany eternity diamond ring. On the other hand, the diamond ring on my middle finger is vintage and the star one, would you believe, was about six quid from either Warehouse or Oasis last year. Looks a LOT like a Chanel one and looks decidedly flash when paired with the real thing!! : )

  29. Jan
    January 21, 2019 / 4:17 pm

    What is it with men and boil washing jumpers? I got so cross with my husband and my jumpers that when I bought him one, he got so stressed about washing it correctly that he wouldn’t even spin it in the washing machine (even my Mum the queen of handwashing jumpers and bras and ironing pants, spins her jumpers on a short spin) and left it draped over a mesh dryer where it dripped sadly for the best part of a week – le sigh.

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