The first cat I owned after I had kids I acquired because a student of mine brought a small white and black kitten to class. He’d found her on the street, and his mother wouldn’t let him keep her. I took her home, much to the delight of my three children who had long heard stories of my childhood cats.
They named her Simba, and, as one of my sons recalled recently, she was a big time hunter. He reminded me that he and his brother chased her with a bicycle pump, trying to get her to drop a bird while, on a television set up in the backyard , we were watching Richard Nixon resign.
My clearest memory of Simba is that she slept on top of the gerbil cage. It was only years later that I found out that when I wasn’t home the boys put the gerbils down in the hallway and let Simba chase them. The aerobic exercise must have been good for them. They lived two years which is more than average for a gerbil!
I also recall that one night I came home to find the hairdryer, one of those with a cap attached to a hose, sitting in the middle of the living room. When I questioned the boys about this, they admitted that they had put Simba on a raft and floated it in the pool. They wanted to see if she could swim. She couldn’t.
Sadly, Simba met an untimely death at the hands of a speeding teen driver. Distraught by the accident, I swore I was done with cats, but by the next week I got Kit and Caboodle, litter mates, in the foolish belief that if I had two cats, I would be only half as upset at losing one. More about them in a later post.
© Dorothy C. Judd
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