Simon and Lady Gray

“Major Brian D. Smith 11th Hussars

This picture has nothing whatever to do with the very short story I plan to tell. It just happened to be mixed up with some other photographs I was looking for the other day. I’ve seen this picture dozens of times but never really looked at it. When I did, the caption suddenly made sense. My dad C 1914!

Isn’t it true that often when you give up looking for something, that is when you find it?

There are so many photographs in so many envelopes and albums and files, I no longer even know where to look, though just how the ancient picture of my dad got mixed in with 21st century cats and the rest of the eclectic collection, I can’t imagine. I don’t think Dad would be impressed!

These cat pictures are scans, so not the best, but as this is basically a cat blog, I’d like to tell Simon’s little story.

When I first met Grant, we were both volunteering at a dysfunctional cat-rescue that ended up disbanding when we concluded that the owner was really just a hoarder.

The “rescue” was run out of the back of a derelict pet shop. Some forty cats were jammed in to the small space that reeked to high heaven.

Rescues are notoriously under-funded but this does not preclude them from basic cleaning. It was also clear that the owner held on to “her” cats like grim death.

Our attempts to rectify things just got us locked out. But the treasurer was locked out too. Suddenly we had some funds but no cats and no premises.

Then an empty house became available and as for acquiring cats, Grant could take care of that!

Grant lived in a basement unit in a condo, outside Seattle. The parking lot was awash with stray cats and he had already crowded in more than double the number allowed, when he came upon a big dark-chocolate kitty that he named Simon.

Simon was a bruiser of a cat. He and Grant’s cat Tom had some ear-shredding fights. Which was part of the reason Grant couldn’t keep him. Simon also needed some basic fixing, due to all the fighting. So he came to the new temporary animal “shelter” in the house.

For all that he was an aggressive male who wanted to rip apart any other male cat, Simon was just a big old pussy-cat with deep green eyes. He was lovely. He adored being petted and could purr up a storm. Grant was besotted with him and vice versa.

Apart from all the cats that Grant contributed, there were quite a number that began to show up from elsewhere.

We had never expected to be cat-less for long!

One of those cats that arrived at about the same time was an elderly grey female whose owner had died. She was a sweet little thing called Lady Gray

Now that we had several rooms to use, we were always careful to match cats up by temperament.

Which was a good idea that Grant didn’t totally subscribe to.

Grant has an open-door philosophy. Every time it was his turn to “do” the cats, he would leave the door open so the cats could socialize. With exceptions for those who really needed to be separated.

So it was that Simon met Lady Gray. And it was love at first sight for both of them.

The delicate, proper Lady Gray attached herself to Simon the Bruiser and we never saw them apart.

It was really very touching.

Then we worried. How could we ever separate them to get them adopted? We didn’t want them to spend the rest of their lives in a shelter.

But they were such an odd couple.

A dainty, feminine little old grey cat that was used to living with an old lady, and a big, tough, assertive middle-aged male.

Who would adopt them as a couple?

Often, though, a soft heart will respond to a soft story.

Our new director was good at relating such stories and she found a lady who was only too delighted to take on the pair.

This is a story I’ve always wanted to tell and now the photographs have reappeared, here it is!

Not long after, I purchased a large house of my own and Grant turned my basement into Yeti’s Kitty Suites which he was happy to supply with customers!

5 thoughts on “Simon and Lady Gray

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