by GARY WEBSTER
You started out as just the shiny black cat stalking mice in the field behind our house, and boy were you good at it. Sitting motionless for many minutes, an unwavering stare at a single spot in the tall grass. And then the high jump straight up and straight down, seemingly always successful. My wife started by calling to you, but you kept your distance at first, only finally approaching to accept a dog treat from her hand. A few days later I saw you at the far edge of the yard and called the name of another cat I had seen a few years before that you reminded me of, "Simon." When you stopped and looked my way I knew you...and perhaps you knew me. From that point on, you grew and grew into our family. Soon you were letting us pick you up and love on you. It was soon after this that we decided since we were all family you needed to have a visit to a doctor, and off we went. There I was told you had a skin fungus which would require 11 treatments at the doctor's office at a cost of $50 each. Without hesitation I arranged the treatments. A friend suggested I was foolish to spend that much money on a "stray cat." I explained, "He's looked into my eyes and I looked into his." The treatments worked and from that point forward we couldn't have run you off with a stick, you had adopted us completely. I built you a "cat house" to help keep you warm in the winter. You progressed through the years from an outside baby, to spending nights in the garage, to being indoors full time.
Now time has run out and I would give anything to start all over. I feel that somehow I let you down after you took the chance long ago and adopted us. Simon my baby, you will always be remembered.