Saturday, September 30, 2023
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Rescue Story: Simon Says, 2011

Simon greets me.
Simon greets me.

Going back into the archives to pull out some special rescue stories, this one from 2011 when I was working on Great Rescues Calendar. I found my photos of older portraits were not of reproduction quality and contacted all those wonderful families to see if I could visit to take a new photograph of their portrait for the book. Simon was from one of those families who I still keep in touch with and hope to visit again soon.

Simon says… “I lost a leg but I found an incredible home.”

Animals are amazingly adaptive when it comes to changes in their bodies. Simon lives with the family of Cooper, one of my portrait subjects, who have been rescuing cats for years. I met him when I visited them a few years ago. Simon was a stray being fed outside by this couple who live in a rural area near farms where most people take good care of their cats. He looked clean and cared for and wasn’t particularly frightened so they tried to determine if he belonged to someone.

Simon says, "So what were you expecting?"
Simon says, “So what were you expecting?”

Unfortunately he came back one day dragging a trap on his leg. “We were actually away at the time,” said Simon’s dad. “Our neighbor found him and ran him to our vet, figuring that’s what we’d want—he was right—but he would have done that for any animal, and we’re so glad he did.”

Simon spent a month in the veterinary hospital while the veterinarian valiantly tried to save the leg, but it just kept breaking again and again.

Good vibrations: Simon enjoys some music right in front of the stereo.
Good vibrations: Simon enjoys some music right in front of the stereo.

“Simon was in so much pain, though he never acted mean in any way, but we could tell, the last time the leg broke again, he was done with it,” his people agreed. “The veterinarian removed his leg the next day and Simon was awake and alert, eating and social just hours afterward. We could tell he was thanking us!”

He came home the day after the amputation surgery and walked around as if nothing had happened except that he now had a slightly altered gait. He also had no problem being an indoor cat after that experience.

“We don’t know where Simon came from,” his mom said. “He just showed up and was eating with the outdoor cats. We were trying to track down an owner if there was one before we decided we’d get him neutered, then this happened. I think he was meant to be ours anyway.”

 Simon watches for his outdoor buddies
Simon watches for his outdoor buddies

He didn’t come from any of the barns around their home. He’d obviously been with people before so he was certainly not a feral kitten and for as friendly as he was from the very beginning he was likely someone’s pet. He may have escaped or gotten lost after being chased, or he may have been one of those unfortunate cats who people drive out to a rural place and drop off in an area where they see cats around a house, or in the driveway of a farm thinking they’ll be happy living farm life.

No one knows where Simon came from, and it’s sad to think what would have happened to him had he not felt comfortable enough with the couple giving him food and shelter outdoors to drag himself back, or if the trap had been tied down to hold it in place. Many animals who aren’t the intended catch are injured and die this way every year, and leg-hold traps are under fire in many communities, but old habits die hard and the fur trade is still a thriving business.

Simon lives with a family of five other rescued felines, plus a half dozen or so who eat right outside the door. But he’s got a loving home indoors now and a long life ahead of him.

Read other stories in my Rescue Stories series on The Creative Cat.

Gifts featuring cats you know! Visit Portraits of Animals


Fine ArtPhotographyGiftsGreeting CardsBooksCommissioned Portraits & Artwork

Great Rescues Day Book:
Portraits, Rescue Stories, Holidays and Events, Essential Feline Information, All in One Book

day book with cat portraits
Great Rescues Day Book

Each month features one of my commissioned portraits of a feline or felines and their rescue story along with a kitty quote on the left page, and on the right page the month name with enough lines for all possible dates, with standard holidays and animal-themed observances and events. Great Rescues also includes a mini cat-care book illustrated with my drawings including information on finding strays or orphaned kittens, adopting for the first time or caring for a geriatric cat, a list of household toxins and toxic plants, or helping stray and feral cats and beginning with TNR.

Each book includes also 10 sheets of my “22 Cats” decorative notepaper with a collage of all the portraits in black and white so you can make your own notes or write special notes to friends.

The portraits in this book, collected as a series, won both a Certificate of Excellence and a Muse Medallion in the 2011 Cat Writers’ Association Annual Communication Contest, as well as the 22 Cats Notepaper mentioned below.

Read more and order.


All images and text used on this site are copyrighted to Bernadette E. Kazmarski unless otherwise noted and may not be used without my written permission, although links to your site are more than welcome and are shared. Please ask if you are interested in using and image or story in a print or internet publication. If you are interested in purchasing a print of an image or a product including it, check my animal and nature website Portraits of Animals to see if I have it available already. If you don’t find it there, visit Ordering Custom Artwork for more information on a custom greeting card, print or other item.

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© 2022 | | Published by Bernadette E. Kazmarski

Weekly schedule of features:

Sunday: Essays, Pet Loss, Poetry, The Artist’s Life

Monday: Adoptable Cats, TNR & Shelters

Tuesday: Rescue Stories

Wednesday: Commissioned Portrait or Featured Artwork

Thursday: New Merchandise

Friday: Book Review, Health and Welfare, Advocacy

Saturday: Your Backyard Wildlife Habitat, Living Green With Pets, Creating With Cats

And sometimes, I just throw my hands in the air and have fun!




From health and welfare to rescue and adoption stories, advocacy and art, factual articles and fictional stories, "The Creative Cat" offers both visual and verbal education and entertainment about cats for people who love cats, pets and animals of all species.

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