Simba - My Beautiful Kitten
Never underestimate the power of an animal companion.
Whilst that statement sounds a bit creepy and a bit “hocus-pocus”, it’s not meant that way. Animals can get you through some of your darkest hours. The best part of it is that they don’t even realise they’re doing it!
Simba is my seven year-old moggie. He is the light of my life and the apple of my eye. I hated cats before we got him, and I was half forced into getting him. I was always a dog person. I thought I’d give her a chance. I say her because HE was sold to us as a SHE. When I found out Simba was, in fact, a he, I exploded, saying we need to take him back as he is not what we were told he was. I feel awful for that now. I couldn’t be without him. I’d like to take some time to explain how any why Simba played such a pivotal role in my abusive marriage.
First of all, I thought I would put a face to a name. I rarely put pictures on my posts, but, Simba is so photogenic – how could I not?
Simba came into my life as an eight week old kitten, so, I’m the only owner (I call myself mummy) he’s ever known. I hold strong views when it comes to giving animals up. You don’t do it unless it is an absolute last resort. I’ve watched him grow and I’ve loved every minute of it. He’s always been closer to me than my ex-husband. He took umbrage to that, as it was his idea to bring him home in the first place. The way I see it, he saw everything. He watched things get worse, he was shouted at himself on a myriad of occasions which made me cry. Not only was I being abused, Simba was being mistreated too. No animal deserves that. Especially when they are as kind natured as Simba is. Sure, he is partial to Nutella as you can see, but, there’s no need for raised voices.
He saw me getting shouted at, he saw me cry, he saw me being manipulated, he saw the same cutting and abusive behaviour I did. He was the one constant through it all. He knew I was hurting. The amount of nights I spent crying into his belly and he wouldn’t flinch. He wouldn’t move. He’d stay by mummy’s side no matter what. He’d follow me round the house just to make sure I was OK, he’d curl up next to me, sleep next to my head every night. All I had to say to him at night is “do you want your space?” And he’d jump up onto the bed into the space I’d always leave for him to sleep next to me and he wouldn’t move all night. Well, not until breakfast at least. He was (and still is) my alarm clock.
Whenever I feel sad, I have a cuddle with him. It instantly give me relief and makes me feel that little bit better. He lets me pick him up, always there at the door to greet me, no matter what mood he was in. He still does it now. I vowed never to give him up. I am proud to say I stuck to that vow and he now lives with Brian and I. When I fled, leaving him behind was one of the most gut wrenching things I have ever had to do. I was crying for days. I would tell Brian all about the silly things he would do all the time, almost as if he were my human son. He had been my saviour through my marriage, and continues to be now.
The night the police were called, my ex-husband threatened to kill Simba. I was devastated. I was terrified. During the course of that night he went out, bolted through my legs. I can’t blame him really as I was about to do exactly the same thing. I’ve told you all about that night. One of the last things I did was go out looking for him. He was nowhere to be found. He’d go missing for days at a time in the months before I fled. I think that was because there was so much tension in the house and things were getting so bad that I couldn’t take it, and as a result nor could he! So, again, he can’t be blamed for that.
When I fled and I didn’t have Simba, Brian heard all about him and said:
“If ever you get the chance to get him back, get him and we can have him here.”
My heart exploded with joy and I burst into tears. I was so thankful. I didn’t even have him back yet, but, knowing that If I get the chance to get him back and I wouldn’t have to give him up gave me so much hope and it really lifted me up. I’m sure you can tell from my posts how much of an amazing man Brian is. Now Simba is with us, they are the best of friends: sickening really – no loyalty!
After being at Brian’s for around six weeks, it got back to me somehow (through my former neighbour I think, I don’t recall) that my ex hadn’t been letting Simba in, even though he was at the front door to come home. He was just looking out the window and leaving him there. Who does that? I found out that this was going on and I was reduced to tears, again. All I wanted was my baby. I also found out that he was going to three or four other houses to be fed and watered, and for shelter. This made me laugh in its own way. Purely because he loves his food and he’ll get it by any means necessary, he’s a handsome boy and he knows it. I’m sure he must have played on it to get what he wanted at the time.
A couple more weeks pass and my neighbour had promised she would get in touch with me if there was any way I could get Simba back. I had had to do my final journey to my ex’s house (which is still my house but still) to return his car in exchange for photographs of my late Dad. I did that then went to go and get my hair done a few hours later. While I was in the hair salon, I get a message from my former neighbour:
“Your ex has put Simba in a carrier, he’s here waiting for you”
I cried in the middle of the hairdressers, I had bleach in my hair, there was no way I could just run out! I couldn’t even ask her to hurry. I ended up walking out with a shit haircut regardless but either way I WAS GETTING SIMBA BACK! I rung Brian and he came to meet me at the salon and we went straight back for him. We had his aunt with us too, as she always manages to keep me calm. That 45 minute journey felt like the longest journey of my life. I got to the house. Approached my neighbour who had the cat carrier in front of her and I heard him meowing, crying to get out. He was as stressed out as I was. As soon as we saw each other, he stopped meowing and I just sobbed my eyes out. He put his paw out to touch my leg. It was like the cat version of Marley and Me. I had a quick chat, pleasantries really, then made my way back to the car where Brian and his Aunt were waiting. I got him in the car, Brian looked around and had no hesitation in saying:
“God he is a big boy isn’t he?!”
It was almost as if Simba always knew I would come back for him. We have been through too much together for me to leave him behind. When I was low, I would cuddle him and talk with him. I still do now. That’s why I’m such a huge advocate of therapy dogs for mental health care and therapy. He’s seen me through some of the darkest nights of my life and he hasn’t had the faintest idea. He hasn’t a clue that there have been times he has been what has stopped me from taking my own life. Simba is my little saviour. He got me through that marriage. Although he doesn’t know it, I’ll be forever grateful.