Simba had a difficult start to his life as his sister cat did not survive the wilderness. My late favourite Uncle found him on his land in Pefferlaw in September 1995, so his birthday was decided as September 1st, 1995. My uncle was unable to keep him because they had a small dog. I took him with the intention of finding him a home, as I already had two older Siamese cats. I remember how small he was as he was in a wooden pigeon coop container for transport and he was easily slipping through the cage bars. He was a happy and upbeat cat from the start. He completely undecorated a Christmas tree while I was out at work that year, banging the balls until they were all smashed. It was a lot of glass to clean up, so then I replaced them with wooden tree ornaments. After six months, I realized that he was a sweet and affectionate cat. He was very good with the older Siamese cats, so naturally, he permanently joined the household. Pyewacket (my late ebony oriental shorthair siamese) became his champion outside during skirmishes with other cats even though he was smaller than Simba, and they got on famously. Squeaky (my late chocolate seal point Siamese) was not as fond of Simba, but they still got along. She was a one-man cat and no other would do, especially after Pyewacket passed in 2001. Simba picked up a fair amount of Siamese tendencies and bits of their personality, including chattering, to get my attention. He loved to play indoors, but was in his element when he was let outside and climbed the cherry trees in the back yard and jumped from roof to roof in the summer months. He almost gave me heart conniptions jumping sometimes more than 8 feet across. No matter how high he climbed the trees, despite being declawed, he would come straight down head first, with no problems. (He was only declawed because the other two had been declawed as this was the practice in the 80s. I did not declaw Sheba.) He loved adventure and often would play with Pyewacket, both inside and out. Later, when Sheba came along (2006), they spent quite a lot of time playing together. He was the best travelling companion I have every had. It didn't matter where we were driving to, he just enjoyed the trip and slept or would put his paw out through the bars for me to hold his paw. We would stop on long trips for food and water breaks. He loved to cuddle in my arms at night and put his paws on my face. He learned this from the Siamese cats who previously had done the same. This bedtime ritual is what I will miss most about Simba. He was a total trooper right to the end, even when we had car trouble and had to have the car towed, he would sit quietly in his kennel travelling with me in the tow truck cab to wherever we had to go. He seemed to trust whatever I did, so long as he knew I was around, everything would be okay. The last seven months were a gift of time for both of us, as he started to quickly succumb to diabetes. He needed more attention and he slept a lot more than before, but his appetite continued to be very good and of course, he was drinking large amounts of water. He just stopped eating two days before he passed naturally and peacefully on August 9th, 2014, just shy of his 19th birthday. I am grateful for the years of joy and companionship that he gave me, travelling happily, either to Parry Sound or to Fort Myers. Already, it is so quiet in the house, though Sheba is trying very hard to fill the void left by Simba, but as all pet owners know, no other pet ever can take the place of a departed pet, they are all unique and special, just as humans are. We can never truly replace them, only enjoy the companionship of another pet and their own unique personality. Sheba has been working very hard to be #1 cat, knowing that Simba is gone. Just like Pyewacket and Squeaky before him, Simba will be remembered for his own unique personality and sorely missed.