There once was a black cat named Fum (‘foom’) whose best friend was a barn owl named Gebra. They belonged to Jordi Amenós Basora, a falconer in Spain, who raises and trains owls.
Fum and Gebra were born around the same time in 2010, and first met at about one month old when the kitten was often allowed to mingle with the owlet. The bond of friendship they formed lasted a lifetime.
‘Fum’ means ‘smoke’ in the Catalan language; the word ‘gebre’ means ‘frost’. Like Spanish, Catalan indicates gender with masculine and feminine nouns. Jordi created the name Gebra out of gebre, presumably because Gebra the barn owl was female: it just wouldn’t do to use a masculine noun (ending with ‘e’). He transformed gebre into a feminine noun by replacing the ‘e’ on the end with an ‘a’, naming her Gebra.
Once Gebra was old enough, Jordi took her out to the fields and woods to train her to hunt for her food. Everything was going fine until, one day, Fum showed up. Jordi was immediately concerned for Fum’s safety but he needn’t have been.
This video, and the story of Fum and Gebra, went viral back in 2011. It has kind of a fun and artsy music video quality to it. The music is Deixa’m Dir Una Cosa (Let Me Say One Thing (Catalan to English, via Google Translate)) by Sopa de Cabra (3:25).
The fans wanted more, so in 2012, Jordi created another video. The music in this one is Avui Si (Today Yes (Catalan to English, via Google Translate)) by Roger Margarit (3:06).
Tragically, Fum fell ill in 2013 with Feline Urologic Syndrome (FUS). Veterinarians were unable to save him, much to Jordi’s sorrow. In dedication to Fum, and the friendship between Fum and Gebra, he wrote a beautiful eulogy that reminds us, first, that if cats and birds can be friends why can’t we humans get along? And second, life is short: “love and friendship are the most valuable treasures” that we should cherish, appreciate, and be grateful for while we can.
If you need more Fum and Gebra, here are a few more videos to enjoy.
The beginnings, how Fum and Gebra met (1:17).
The flight of Gebra (2:56).
Fum, on free time (1:49).
And the final video, Fum and Gebra: a summary of their story (6:04).
Question of the night: What’s the most important thing you’ve learned from animals?