My Two Sons: Simon & Patch (& Strypes – the Real Alpha)

The last time I spoke of my felines was when I lost little Tudie – Son Of Simon… I still grieve but accept the loss and try to move on, but it leaves the rest of their genealogy open to record.

Strypes taught me how to love and appreciate the majesty and quixotic pranks that makes cats what they are, too, he is the alpha in every sense; he was the start of cats in my house and Strypes is also their genteel but firmly established king (alpha-male), without him there would not be the brood we have – merely through his adopting a female kitten, Simone/ Simmy/ Simosa Barbarossa, after he was neutered (that is yet another tale in their near-decade history)…

The first born was Simon, as he looked like a male version of his mother – I actually saw him pushed into the world on April 13th 2001 just before I went to see the very first X-Men at the Globe Cinema.

He is a weird li’l fellow – even when a kit, like when my wife swept the house he’d attack the broom as if it was a mouse; he bit my hand when I scared him on the kitchen steps; he would cling to my mother’s skirt as she walked to the living room to turn on the tv for her afternoon soap operas; his other favorite sport was to cling to a curtain as the breeze blew through the house – yet after my initial annoyance at his daring to nip me (but it was I who scared him – humanity, we never accept wrongdoing), we became so devoted to each other before his onset of puberty that he would literally HURL himself at our bedroom door demanding to be let in and sleep near me (we know why the door was shut, but try telling a petulant boy-child)!

When he got older and schlepped between us and the Smalls our neighbours, Simon developed a harem as a young man – until the tragedy of July 4th 2004 a date I found vaguely ironic in light of 9/11, this was when some bastard (perhaps even a monkey, we still have troops in Strathclyde) pelted a stone – we presume – and hit him in his eye. His eye is darker on the left to this day…

I cried more than the oceans of the earth, eventually he recovered, but when he had surgery that saved what was left we got him fixed too, and so his trips to the Smalls are once a blue moon now but I am sure at least a quarter of the cats in Strathclyde are his descendants.

Now, he has kind of reverted to being a kitten – he finds the weirdest places to sleep in or on…
Plus, Simon likes to drink water straight from the kitchen tap (much to my wife’s annoyance) and bellow, “Hiiii!” at you, he has a very distinctive voice…

I always think of Simon as my firstborn son, but there is also Patch – son of Ginja The Ninja; who came along on August 16th 2002, he’s my Baby Huey – an enormous toddler who, as he was neutered early, remained a perpetual virgin infant – unlike regular cats he does not MIAOW he would say MEW as a teen but now, he goes a sort of MIR as he’s gotten older.

Patch somehow got it in his head since we viewed him as a baby that he must try to hunt and fight to prove his worth as a feline – and yet it is both of these at which he fails repeatedly…

Birds look at this lumbering white pile of fur with a brown ear and a raccoon-like tail trying to creep up on them, then they wait until the last second to move. Last year, he nearly lost his left ear in a fight and now his right ear (the brown one that gave him his nickname) is starting recovery from a different fight from just a few days ago.

While I hope to have children of my own eventually, I still love both of these fellows as if they were my own flesh and blood – so when they suffer injury, my soul bleeds as any father’s does when his pride&joys encounter life’s slings and arrows and they feel they neglected their babies’ protection even though it was circumstances beyond their control!

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