Having been inspired by Lyle (Hi Lyle! :waves: ) I have decided to write about my cats, of which I have many.

First up is Simon, or Simon Jester if you want to use his full name (and nobody does).

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Hi there.

Simon is about six years old and I’ve had him for about four of those years. He is a Russian Blue mix, with very thick, dense fur that gets everywhere. Simon came to me via my sister, who got him and his brother Oreo from an ad on Craigslist. Simon, originally named Felix, was always a bit timid but seemed to like me well enough when I visited my sister and her menagerie.

Oreo

Although it looks a bit like him, this is Simon's brother Oreo. No, I don't know why they named a grey cat Oreo.

Then one day Simon jumped up on top of the washing machine and tipped a bottle of fabric softener onto himself. He swallowed quite a bit of it and for a while we thought he might not make it, but he somehow pulled through.

He changed a bit, though. He became very skittish and easily frightened, especially by strangers and men. He has loosened up a bit since then but there was a point when just a man’s voice would send him scurrying for cover. He also developed what I call his “happy noise”; when he gets excited and starts purring, he makes this odd sort of chirping sound that sounds a bit like a squeaky toy or a small bird.

Click here to hear Simon’s happy noise.

He will also make this happy noise when he gives me his special wake-up call, which involves him licking me on the eye or in the ear while I’m rudely ignoring him to do something as unnecessary as sleeping. It’s a guaranteed eye-opener.

After I had been living by myself for about a year, I started thinking about getting a cat. My sister offered me Simon. He spent a few days hiding from me but seemed to enjoy my much quieter home.

When I acquired the kittens Firefly and Fearless, he spent almost a week under my bed, hissing at them when they came anywhere near him. And of course they wanted very badly to be his friend and kept trying to play with him.

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He eventually figured out that they weren't scary monsters.

Then I moved back in with my parents and he met my Mom’s cat Nikki. Simon has decided that Nikki is the Antichrist and needs to be destroyed.

You know, in the right light she is quite menacing.

Since this isn’t an option, I have had to isolate him from her.  The rooms I live in, through a quirk of design, are the hottest in the house. No air circulates through them; I have fans in the hall that help but they are still terribly stuffy in summer. Keeping he locked up in a stifling hot room with what little air movement there was blocked by a solid door seemed too cruel.

Off to the Habitat Store!

I bought a pair of doors close to the size of the originals and Mom trimmed them to fit. We cut out a large opening in each door and stapled hardware cloth over it. They are not the most beautiful things in the world, but they work. They are also scratched all to hell because Firefly and Fearless, who have negotiated a truce with Nikki, are allowed in and out as they like (They scratch until some dumb human (me) opens the door.)

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Some cats adjusted better to the kludgeriffic doors than others.

Simon seems to have adjusted well to this limited isolation with just me and the other two cats for company; he spends most of his day in my bedroom, sleeping under the bed.

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He has gotten a bit more adventurous in his old age.

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