Simba, RIP

Simba was my first orange tabby. He came to us from our neighbor, Annette, when she found him and his bro, Copper, as a kitten near her church. She adopted Copper and asked if we would take Simba. Annette thinks this happened in 2005, I think it was 2007. Simba and Copper were nearly identical except that Simba’s eyes were green and Cooper’s were amber. But if you saw them close together like this, you could hardly tell them apart.

Over the years, Simba was the alpha cat – not mean, but firm about his positions among the cats we had. When younger, one of his favorite spots was on top of my desk, just sitting there looking regal as I worked, as in the top photo.

Outside, he and Copper often climbed a tree in our front yard that enabled them to get to the roof, where they would sit together watching the world below. This tree: and that’s Copper during catobatics, with Simba just visible above him. When Copper was hit by a car three years ago, Annette and her family buried him next to this tree. I would often spot Simba sitting on that grave.

One summer, we stated finding dead mice around the house – in the shower, the kitchen. And then we started seeing Simba crouched in various places around the house where he sensed a mouse was hiding. We realized we had an infestation and Rob started placing mousetraps in cabinets Simba had pinpointed. Eventually, they were all caught. He was our mouse detector.

Noah, our Golden Retriever, was like a horse next to Simba but Simba befriended him early on. The same was true of Nigel and of Megan’s dog, Nika. There are Nika and Nigel at the end of the sidewalk, with Simba watching them.

He was tolerant of our other cats, but not exactly warm and fuzzy.

As he got older, his spot at night was next to my head on my bed,where we often tussled over who got the extra pillow.

When Nala entered our lives last Christmas, she quickly cozied up to Noah and Simba gradually accepted her.

For the last several days, he hadn’t been eating and yesterday, didn’t eat at all or go outside to his favorite spot by the pile of wood we use for our fire pit during the winter. He was also bloated  – we thought he’d just gained weight  – so I took him to our vet.

X rays revealed so much fluid in his chest that his lungs were floating. His stomach was also filled with fluid. Ira, our vet, walked me through the X rays and pointed out what he thought might be a mass, a tumor, close to his lungs, which would explain the buildup of fluid. Even if the fluid was drained, it probably would return, he said. Simba was already having difficulty breathing.  Rather than put him through additional tests and blood work, I felt it was best to euthanize him.

Ira and his technician, Juan, were wonderfully compassionate.

I miss seeing Simba by that fire pit in the morning. Or in the backyard by the pool, stalking lizards or trying to teach Nala about the etiquette of outside freedoms. I miss him by my head at night. I hope Noah and our other cats were with him as he passed.

Rob dug a grave for him close to where we buried Powder not that long ago. Now there are 4 cats and a bird buried in our backyard. And I’m waiting for Simba to pay us a visit.


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17 Responses to Simba, RIP

  1. Jane says:

    So very sorry for your loss so soon after losing Noah

  2. Gabriela Bussek says:

    My heart goes out to you. Losing your companion over many years is sad and leaves an empty space in our lives. The memory of so many memories stays with us. Farewell Simba!

  3. DJan says:

    I am so sorry that your pretty Simba has passed over the Rainbow Bridge. We all get there eventually, but it doesn’t make it any easier to lose their physical presence. My heart goes out to you.

  4. Dale Dassel says:

    Sorry to learn of your loss, especially after Noah’s departure. I can only echo the sentiments that our beloved pets are with us far too briefly, and their passing hurts emotionally as much as the loss of any human family member. I also hope that Simba will make his presence known in a visit soon, to reassure you that he’s still around. I can’t imagine a happier thought that after crossing over, we will have a joyous reunion with our loved ones and ecstatically swarmed by all the pets which preceded us! 🙂

    • Trish and Rob says:

      Thanks, Dale. Given all the animals we’ve had over the years, that’s going to be a huge reunion!

  5. Brian says:

    Losing them, physically, is inevitable- but never ever easy. Hugs – may the love you share(d) with them bring a smile when most needed.

  6. Adele says:

    I am very sad to hear this news. We had an orange cat – by “we” I mean me and my kids. She looked just like just like Simba. Her name was Candy and moved with me across the country from Connecticut to Sausalito. Candy lived to almost 20. She never once had to go to the vet like all my other cats. Long live Candy. You are so fortunate to have this new beauty black one. If I have a religion, besides the I Ching it is my love for cats.

    • Trish and Rob says:

      I remember your telling me about Candy. A cross country traveling cat – that’s impressive! It’s odd that Nigel came into our lives 2 years before Noah died, then this little Nala came in 4 or 5 months before Simba passed.

    • Sheila Joshi says:

      I, too, had an orange cat — medium-long hair, part Maine Coon, my most special cat, we met because he found me. I will join your religion of cats when you start one, Adele!

  7. Sheila Joshi says:

    Gosh, I’m so sorry you’ve had to part physically from two beloved animals so close together. Simba is a handsome lad. It just seems harsh that they live so much shorter than we do. The loss of the physical relationship is so hard. I do hope you get a visit from him soon, or that Heather can be of help. I’ve been meaning to tell you — to me Nigel looks a bit like Noah. I realize they’re the same breed, but still. Do you ever think that?

    • Trish and Rob says:

      Thanks, Shiela. The loss so close together is tough. Noah was reddish; Nigel is gold. In temperament, they’re similar except that Noah was a rescue. He was 9 months old when we got him and had been pretty much caged his whole life because the owners intended to use him as a stud. He didn’t warm up easily to people. Nigel was 10 weeks when we got him. He loves everyone.

      • Sheila Joshi says:

        I should have been more specific — I meant in the face they look similar. I wish you didn’t have to go through this. It’s a tough period of time.