Big Bear - Personality and Background

THE MYTHIC SERIES is a story about stories and Big Bear the character was the logical place to drop a bunch cat-related myths—everything from Bast to Dick Whittington and Puss in Boots to having multiple lives. Big Bear the character is also based on Big Bear the real cat so, equally, what’s on the page is my interpretation of my beautiful boy’s larger than either-real-or-fictitious life personality.

Cat O' Nine-Hundred Tales

Chief Big Bear of the Great Maine Coon Nation is a storyteller, and but they appear so tall—most especially the fact that he had been a Chief—as to be unbelievable. One of the most fun things in THE MYTHIC AND THE ILLUSTRIOUS LIE was to reveal that he had been telling the truth, at least about the Chief part. This, then, cast doubt on the assumption that everything Big Bear says is a lie. Just how many of his tall tales are real and how many are the flights of fancy?

There are a host of braggart characters in fiction, including braggart feline characters. I would love to tell you that big-talker, narcissistic Big Bear reflects Puss in Boots from Shrek or the pampered kitties from The Aristocats but Big Bear’s personality truly is me channeling the real Big Bear.

Cat Burglar

Fictional Big Bear is incredibly materialistic, believing everything—from property to copyright—belongs to him. I imagined that’s what real Big Bear thought for he was a thief, regularly bringing home loot he had stolen from neighbours, most often toys, gardening gloves, and washing—towels, socks, and much to our endless horror, underwear. Although it’s not stealing if it was already yours… Fictional Big Bear’s tastes run to silver, of course, rather than old gloves but I imagine the real thing would have nabbed himself some precious metals if he’d had the chance.


Big Bear is immortal. We don’t know how he acquired this ability but there is a reason—and all will be revealed in Book Seven. In fact, it forms a key part of the plot of that tail…I mean tale.

That’s not the only thing we don’t know about this cat. Big Bear is at once very familiar and yet completely unknowable. Just as Kipling described he is “the cat that walks by himself”. True to this wild nature, Big Bear has kept most of his past a secret.

Let The Cat Out of the Bag

But we have learned that Big Bear is from Phoenice (revealed in Book Four) and, indeed, from a place in that land called Singbad (revealed in Book Five).

In Book Four we also learn that he is incredibly wealthy, a wealth that has only grown by the time Book Five rolls around. He was a multi-millionaire but now he’s a billionaire. How? That also hasn’t been revealed. It could simply be a case of the mega-rich getting mega-richer. Or maybe Big Bear’s just that good at business. Why did I make him so wealthy? First, it felt in keeping with the character and indeed his real life inspiration. Big Bear is materialistic so of course he would do what it takes to achieve a life of luxury. Second, I needed to fund Lucy’s attempts to save our world and, as Batman or Iron Man will tell you, saving the world is a lot easier if you are filthy rich.

We also know that the French language is based on Big Bear’s mother-tongue Cat-lish. Why did I do that? Because apart from English, French is the only language I’m vaguely proficient in. And by vaguely I mean very vaguely. But it makes smattering Big Bear’s dialogue with Cat-lish a little easier than if I’d chosen a language I’m not at all familiar with.

Pushy Cat

Big Bear regularly threatens to sue…everybody, on the basis that he owns the rights to plots,characters, storylines, images, well…everything. Again, it’s never clear how much of this is hot air and how much might be based on fact, but he’s a billionaire so if he wants to do something, there’s a good chance it will get done.

But this cat has a heart of gold. Or silver since it goes better with his black and white fur. When Lucy suffers a nervous breakdown Big Bear is the one on her bed every day. This too is based upon the actions of the reali life Big Bear in helping me through a very dark time. That cat barely left my side for weeks. I cannot tell you how much I miss him.

Bonus Round

As of Book Five, Big Bear is the only one of the Fictorial Four to have helmed a story by himself. In the Illustrious Lie he helms the entire B-story. No one, not even Lucy, has had solo billing like that!