By a Siamese Friend's Life
2002, Cheryl Peugh
the first clods of Missouri dirt covered the blue paint that read "Simba"
on one side of the box lid, and "1980 - 98" on the other side, I
thought of all the things the cat inside the box and I had been through in our
lives together. She'd been born
practically into my hands, this cat, and I watched her slip away from my hands
at the end of her life. It nearly
felt like the end of mine.
she was born, I wanted a name that was unique - something other than Fluffy or
Tabby or Spot. She was
half-Siamese, half traveling salesman, and emerged as a gray and black tiger
stripe with white points. I chose
Simba - an African name that means "lion."
A good name, I thought. No
one would ever choose that name. Both
Simba and I were insulted when Disney's "The Lion King" came out.
We considered suing, but the Disney people had more money than we did so
we dropped it.
everyday inspiration, Simba gave me her all.
Without words, she encouraged me to write and send off stories.
Without words, she comforted me when rejection came back time and time
again. She would just look at me
with wide green eyes that showed complete and utter trust and faith in my
abilities. Faced with that, I could
not give up even when convinced I couldn't write my way out of a wet paper bag.
Simba got sick at age thirteen, she taught me a greater lesson about fighting
for what I wanted than any stirring speech I could have read or heard.
I wasn't about to let my friend down by giving up on her.
I couldn't any more than she could give up on me.
Together, we fought and defeated the disease when even the vets had given
still teaches me lessons every day, even though she left me at the ripe old age
of eighteen. Whenever I think about
quitting or giving up, I remember how she used to look at me and I know I'll go
on. I'll keep on writing until that
trust and that faith is justified. I
don't want her ever to be disappointed in me.
My Siamese friend holds me to a high standard that I follow, and will
continue to follow, for the rest of my days.
Simba, I learned my lessons well. Rest
in peace, my friend.