The First “Simon Story” – On Pet Shops


When I was eight weeks old, my brothers and sisters and I were given away, dropped off at a kitty orphanage, the Regal Pet Shoppe. Although traumatized, I always thought the name apropos…I am Siamese, after all – my royalty is obvious.

That’s where “M,” my human, found me many years ago, but I remember it like yesterday. There I was, the last of my family to be adopted. Although of a royal bloodline, my family had elected not to get those silly documents you humans call “papers.” How rude! I know who I am and I know what I am. Since I’ve grown older and wiser, the documents seem even sillier. There’s one thing no one can take away from me no matter what he or she may do to me and that is my character – what I’m made of inside.

I think even now about the day my siblings and I were abandoned. I wonder where my “real” mom is and what she’s like. M has an adopted nephew who’s had a tough time now and again. When I’m around him, I try to tell him that I know how he feels.

At first, it’s really hard not to wonder what you did that made your mom go away. It’s a hard feeling to shake because when you’re a kitten, it’s difficult to think of yourself as a totally independent cat. Although it seems pretty clear to grown-up cats that parents make decisions and do things that have nothing to do with their kittens, only time and experience can make that truth so clear for little ones. Part of knowing who you are is knowing where you come from, but adopted kids don’t have access to all of their stories. It’s okay to feel sad that you’ll probably never know some things about yourself, like where you got your blue eyes and brown ears or whether your father’s father had rings on his tail.

For about six months I wouldn’t stay in the room with M unless I was hungry. I stayed outside much of the time, and I did a lot of talking to acquaintances in the neighborhood. And you know what? After I figured out that my brown ears are my brown ears and my blue eyes belong only to me, the one thing that kept popping into my head was the fact that the day M came into the Regal Pet Shoppe, there were other kittens in the store. Free kittens.

And guess what? She paid for me!

When I find myself, even today as a pretty old guy, feeling sad about not knowing whatever became of my parents or siblings, I remember that M thought I was pretty special. She had choices and she chose me. Having somebody—anybody—who thinks you’re the cat’s pajamas is what matters more than anything in this life, or any of the other eight for that matter.

Believe me…I know.

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