Simon,True Companion and Friend by, Bonnie Jarvis-Lowe

Simon is ethereal. According to Websters’ Dictionary ethereal is airy, exquisite and heavenly
and Simon is just that. He was introduced to me by my daughter on a weekend home from university
eight years ago. He was brought into my home, flashing his bright blue eyes, friendly but not
overbearing, and in an hour had found his way into my heart.

He is not complaining, understands the human condition, likes company, is quiet
and forgiving, and in his own way lets you know his likes and dislikes without displaying
attitude. He is handsome, athletic and independent. He is a perfect
companion, always there through good and bad times.

Simon is a feline of the highest order he feels. He has wonderful bearing, carrying himself
with dignity and ease. He has a magnificent coat of beige, with grey face, paws and tail.
He enjoys the company of others, but does not suffer fools gladly, although he
does not make an issue of it-he just fixes his gaze upon the offending creature who has dared to invade his space
and then quietly removes himself from the situation.

He did not have an easy kittenhood, he was left on the side of a road,
found his way to a farm and lingered around for a few weeks until the farmer
decided there were too many cats around and some would be sent to animal heaven. A very
understanding lady came by and said "No, he is too handsome to die!"

She took him home, knowing her landlord would not allow pets.
So enters my daughter and her friend.
These two young women, knowing my grief at having lost my sixteen year old
Maine Coon cat a few months before, thought this was just the cat for me.
They called to say they were bringing a friend home. Of course, two young women
‘bringing home a friend’ meant there was a young man in the picture who needed
a good home-cooked meal, the usual scenario for those two girls. Needless to say,
more was added to the pot as I waited to meet Simon.

A short time later in walked two beautiful young ladies, holding a little cat.
Three pairs of eyes stared at me, blue, brown, and green. My daughter said
"Now, Mom, before you get upset, we just brought him for a visit!"
I was speechless! I looked at the blue eyes of this little unwanted creature,
the brown eyes of my daughter’s friend, and the green pleading eyes of my daughter.
Each pair of eyes had the same plea, "Please, Please, like him."

They told me Simon’s story, and I let them put him in my arms.
He immediately purred and rubbed my face with his. His warm body
and loud purr melted my heart. I released the warm little cat and he began a survey
of the house, then leaped onto the sofa and fell asleep.
And that is how Simon entered my life. The girls continued their intense campaign on his behalf,
but Simon was asleep. He knew he was home.
We purchased all the necessities a cat would need, but no litter box,
that insulted his dignity. Since that November day this little cat has been
by my side, come what may. He knows sadness, responding with a curl on my lap as if
to say "It will be OK." He knows happiness, responding with a purr and a retreat to a quiet place,
knowing all is well. Occasionally he will bring home a gift of a mouse and drop it
at my feet, saying ‘Thank you for loving me"! If given a meal of some distasteful
mess that he dislikes he walks away and stands alone, watching and waiting
for his human to come to her senses and give him a decent meal.

The loyalty of Simon could never be priced, as it is beyond buying.
His warm cuddle is comforting and reassuring, and he is a friend above
comparison. Simon has enhanced my life more than I can express.

I used to think that if anyone dug up our backyard in years to come, they would have
difficulty identifying what tribe lived here. Buried in our backyard were guppies, guinea pigs,
rabbits, a frog, a tiny hamster, and Ben, the big cat.

Who were these people?" they would question. What kind of lifestyle did they live?

My answer would be a good lifestyle, one filled with appreciation of
all forms of life. These pets brought meaning into our lives, gave us something
to care for, teaching the children that all life is valuable. We grieved the
losses, learning to appreciate our pets even more.

Simon loves unconditionally. We spend our days together, and nothing makes him
purr more furiously than when my husband and I sit together, and Simon
finds a space between us. He then says to himself,
"Now this is good!"

He really is ethereal. You can tell by his smile!

Bonnie Jarvis-Lowe

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