Simon the Cat was born some time in early November, 1996. The Humane Society was not exactly sure of the date because he was found abandoned at only five weeks old. When I walked by the pet store near the Marchelino in the Rideau Center (it’s no longer there), I saw this tiny black kitten curled up barely bigger than an apple, all alone in the adoption display area. Fifteen minutes later, we were on the way home.
He eventually grew from that little tiny kitten to an eighteen pound cat, outweighing Heather by more than 2:1 (but there was no question who the boss was!). The two of them were good friends, often sleeping in a ball wherever they could find something soft, which usually turned out to be my clean laundry.
Simon was just so easy-going…he was always the first to say hello to strangers, and would put up with just about anything without any complaints…except his food dish being empty! He loved crinkly paper and boxes of any size and shape…whenever I received a package in the mail, the empty box was put on the ground and within 60 seconds Simon would be trying to figure out how to get in it. And it wasn’t just cardboard…any kind of house, including one of my flash softboxes, would prove irresistible.
When he started losing weight in December, testing revealed cancer in his abdomen, likely the liver. Like most cancer, the prognosis was mostly a guess but he stayed with us for another six months, until he had lost almost half his weight. During that whole time, he was still Simon in personality and spirit, but he was clearly frustrated as his back legs would sometimes give out on him.
Three weeks ago, he began to get a lot worse, no longer walking without falling over every few steps, and was losing weight again despite his special diet. After consulting with the vet, on one of the hardest days of my life we decided that it was time to let him go. After a snack of tuna and chicken (which he scarfed down barely chewing), Christine and I sat with him on the back deck, together as a family, and with the vets help held him as he passed away. That was almost three weeks ago, and it has taken me until today to be able to write about it.
He was one of my best friends through a part of my life that saw many changes…from basement apartment to house, from a government job to high tech to photography, and from being single to being married. For more than fourteen years he gave me and Christine a sense of comfort and companionship, entertainment and happiness.
Thanks for finding me, boy. We miss you.
…Mike and Christine