Cindy Borisoff
English Teacher

After so many wonderful teacher contributions in the last issue, we asked Mrs. Borisoff if she would be okay with publishing more of her work. THe following is one of several essays she wrote for us.

Bright gold eyes that bore into your soul, a full head of hair (a mane actually - imagine it blowing in the wind or being thrown back while wet) that you can run your hands through, stocky build and broad chest to caress, strong limbs, agile moves, soft kisses…OK …you get the picture!  A great lover!  This is my boy Simba, our Persian cat.  My husband Brett loves him as much as I do (Hmmmm!).

This is Simba’s story.  Our daughter Brooke (a cat-lover to the max) found a breeder in Stanton.  She knew we needed another animal to love since we had just lost our West Highland Terrier Chloe.  When we went to Cherry Orchard, we looked at a batch of kittens too young to take home.  The tiny creatures stumbled around on stubby legs almost as if they were blind, their ears were bent down and their eyes barely open.  It was hard to imagine what they would look like even 6 weeks later – we had to trust that they would resemble their gorgeous mother and father.  We chose the “orange one”!

It was summer – August – when we brought our boy home.  I spent the entire month playing with Simba.  He would chase ribbons and straws and little toy balls.  He chased me around the beds and down the halls, batting at my ankles.  He hid in Kleenex boxes and bags.  Inside the bag he was a tough warrior, attacking my tapping assaults.   He would climb up my back to bite my hair and snuggle in my lap when he had exhausted himself.   We had to keep Simba upstairs at first until he was big enough to navigate our open stairs.  I didn’t want to leave him alone – so I would sit on the floor beside him and read and then play and then read and then play….

Now Simba is a truly big boy.  If he could figure out how to go through the cat door, he would most likely get stuck.  Despite his furry size, he still squishes himself into any box or bag, satisfied that he is hiding even though only half of his body fits.  His gate has two speeds, sauntering and galumping.  He actually can move fast in spurts, but he is not Carl Sandburg’s “fog-like” cat.  Simba thumps.  Where most cats are quick and agile, Simba needs to use a chair to jump onto the table or the toilet to jump onto the bathroom counter.   He can jump down from most heights, but getting up sometimes requires our lifting him.  If he can’t make the leap, he just patiently stares at you until you pick him up and place him where he wants to be. 

And where he wants to be is anywhere we are!  When I grade papers, he helps by laying on them. Occasionally he helps expedite my work by eating the papers.  If I am not paying enough attention, he reaches out with his paws to halt my work.  He needs reassurance of his importance in our lives.  When I work on the computer, he plops himself on the keyboard.  When my husband does his perfunctory 500 pushups, Simba has to sit underneath his chest.  At night, he sleeps on the end of the bed until he makes his routine snuggle between us, nudging my back with his head so I wake up to make a pillow cave for him.  Then he snores and snores through that smashed up nose of his.  And he dreams – I hear the sighs and groans.

Simba has his places.  He used to be a top-of-the-stair sitter, watching the front door for evil intruders or for us to come home at the end of the day.  Now that we have no stairs he perches on high table tops or under low table tops and burrows into rugs and pillows.  He has his regal pose – arms outstretched and politely crossed.  Then he has his” I totally trust you and am at your mercy” pose – rolling on his back with his belly exposed.  (So much for nature!) 

Now we have another cat, Bailey, and Simba is enamored.  He stalks her, but she won’t have anything to do with him (except hiss)!  Poor boy, thwarted in cat-love.   Simba remains resilient.  He won’t give up and keeps his eye on her wherever she is.  When Bailey slips gracefully through the cat door, Simba chases in mad pursuit and crashes into the glass slider, again and again.  He does so, however, in his “I am Mr. Super Cool and you will be mine one day, Baby” manner.

Like any lover, Simba is not perfect.  He has that smashed face giving him a rather flat nose, which he lifts up to sniff the wind.  I have to smash up his food because his tiny mouth can’t eat big pieces.  He golden eyes drip brown dots on white tile floors and white comforters.   He loses tons of hair so I am constantly sweeping or vacuuming.  Then there are the hairballs.  As we all do for our lovers, we forgive their flaws simply because we are in love.  To me Simba is perfect.  I am totally head-over-heels smitten with my kitten.  (OK – ha – Dana – I did not just write that!!!!)  Make this the end line – I am totally head-over-heels smitten with my boy Simba.

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