After discovering one of his pet cats dead in the road, it had been a while since Scott Ewels had had a reason to smile. However, when he found a touching note from his neighbor about his late cat, he was overwhelmed with pride.
Ewels lives in Norwich, England. He works as an IT technician, and in 2016 he shared his home with his two cats Teddy and Bear. The kitties were four-year-old tabby brothers, and they were extremely close.
In fact, Teddy and Bear did everything together, often venturing through their cat flap to enjoy days out and about with one another. But in February 2017, Bear sadly didn’t return from one such escapade.
Ewels later found Bear’s dead body near his house. He believed a driver had run over the poor cat. Naturally, the awful discovery devastated his owner. “[It] makes me so sad that he was taken from us so young,” he wrote on reddit in March 2017.
“One morning on my way to work I found him laid near a parked car, only a few doors down from our house,” Ewels revealed. “It so upsetting finding him like that, when both him and his brother are/were so full of life.” However, it soon emerged that Ewels wasn’t the only person on which Bear and his brother had left an impression.
A couple of weeks after Bear’s death, Teddy returned from his nightly hunting spree as usual. However, Ewels noticed something unusual on his collar. It seemed that someone had gotten hold of the cat and attached a handwritten note to his collar.
Upon opening the letter, Ewel realized the sender was writing to him. It transpired that Teddy and Bear had been making regular trips to a neighbor’s house for quite some time. And now the neighbor was concerned that they had not seen Bear for two weeks.
“Dear Owner: I’m your neighbor, living in [number four],” the note read. “I’m also your cats’ close friends as they – two cats – are used to coming to my room everyday. But one of them has disappeared for two weeks.”
“Is he OK?” the note continued. “I’m so worried about him. He is so lovely cat and always touched my heart. Wish he is fine.” Recognizing the love in the letter, Ewels knew he had to respond to the sender right away.
“I wrote a note back to number four, and posted it straight away, even as it was late in the evening,” he told The Dodo in March 2016. “I mentioned that Bear had passed away, and was so glad that he had brought joy to their lives too.” Ewels also included his email address in case the neighbor wanted to chat some more.
And she did. During their correspondence, Ewels discovered that his kindly neighbor was a Taiwanese student at the local university and that Teddy and Bear had been visiting her regularly. The cats’ double lives came as a surprise to their owner. However, his neighbor’s stories about the late Bear warmed his heart.
In one email, for example, the student explained how Bear and Teddy had become a part of her life. She had been studying for her thesis in 2015 when the cats appeared at her back door. She joked that she felt they were supervising her work as she prepared for a presentation.
After that, the brothers returned to the house every day and would play with the student and her friends. Sometimes, Bear would also take long naps on the sofa. He was so content there, in fact, that his loud snoring would occasionally keep the student awake.
“[Bear] was just like an angel for me,” the neighbor wrote. “He was a good listener when I needed a ‘person’ to help me for rehearsing my presentation. He was my best friend even [though] we couldn’t speak in English.”
“He entirely touched my heart,” she continued. “I miss him so much. I have a lot of stories about him to say. But I’m so sorry at this moment that I cannot keep a clear mind to write properly.” Needless to say, the sincere exchange provided Ewels with plenty of comfort.
Realizing the student was grieving just as he was, Ewels reached out to her and invited her around to visit Bear’s final resting place in his garden. The neighbor agreed to come and lay some flowers on the cat’s grave.
Later, Ewels decided to share his moving encounter with the online community on reddit. The uplifting story proved popular on the site and attracted more than 350 comments in a matter of days. Meanwhile, many people offered words of support to Ewels and his neighbor.
“Such handsome little men. The fact that they’ve touched the lives of other people should make you very proud,” wrote one user. Meanwhile, another pondered, “This is so lovely and heartbreaking. I wonder if your neighbor is lonely?”
Luckily for Ewels and his neighbor, they still have Teddy to keep them company. And Ewels is considering getting another kitten so that he has a feline friend. However, for now, the family are still coming to terms with the loss of Bear.
That’s the thing about cats. Although we’d do anything to keep our pets safe, some pusses just want to wander freely. Maybe it’s because they can make so many more friends that way and touch so many lives during the time that they have on this planet.