Interview With a Service Cat

Happy Friday everyone! I know you are all familiar with Service Cats Dezi and Lexi of Dezi’s World. Today we have an interview with another service cat, Simone. She is also a Cat Scout.

Thank you Simone for taking the time to answer some questions about being a service cat. simone1

  1. Please tell us about yourself (your age, how you got to be with your Mom and anything else you want to add). I have been with my mommy since I was about 4 weeks old. I was born feral in the backyard. My mommy’s daughter found me once without my mommy when I was about 3 weeks old, so her daughter found my litter mates and put me back with them and the second time she saw my mommy dump me by the back door. I was almost a goner, I had FIC, and I was put on a special diet until I was all better, but it was a very rocky road for me for the first four months with fevers and infections. It was because of her special care of me I think I became sensitive to her.   My first night with my human mommy, I didn’t stay in the box for long.
  1. Do you have any kitty brothers and sisters that you live with?
    I have two kitty sisters…Grace is older and ND Mags is younger.
  2. You are a service cat; could you please explain the difference between a service cats vs. a therapy cat?

A Service Pet is a pet that is trained to aid a human with a disability a certain amount of personal independence by performing an activity like a Guide Dog for the Blind. They get to live with the human they service and they are allowed to go into stores and restaurant because of the ADA Laws.

Therapy Pet is a pet that is trained that is naturally gentle in behavior that is owned by a therapist or somebody that is specially trained to handle them. These animals are seen mostly in hospital and nursing home settings.

Sadly we kitties cannot be a service animal because we can’t be trained like a dog allows themselves to be. And since I live with my mom I cannot be registered as a Therapy Cat, I will have to be a Companion or Emotional Support Pet. I just have some very special talents that The Social Services of Trail County North Dakota has noted.

simone2(Getting warm off her O2 machine)

  1. Did you have to go to classes or did your Mom train you? Is there a test you need to pass?
    What I do is something that is all things that are very natural for me.
  1. What are your duties? Do you get to take naps and play?
    My mom has always worn oxygen, ever since she became my mommy. The first few weeks, I would sleep under her chin listening to her heart and hearing the sound of the oxygen rushing through her cannula. So now when I don’t hear her oxygen coming out her cannula…I will meow loudly, to tell her, or her son to come, before she gets faint from not getting any oxygen.  I am also very sensitive to my mommy’s state of mind too. When she needs more oxygen, she will start to panic; I will jump in her lap and purr until her medicine works to calm her back down. The other thing I have a natural feeling is when my mommy is becoming sick because of her diabetes, then I stay with her until she feels better.

simone3

 

  1. What do you do for fun? What is your favorite toy?
    My favorite toys are when my mom had long hair and she would retire one of her hair bands; she would give them me to play with. I learned how to launch them using one of the nails and my teeth. My mom also buys me yarns balls and balls made from cat nip.
    simone4(I still have my first yarn ball)

simone5( nomnom Cat Nip Ball)

  1. Do you have to be registered as a Companion Cat?

I will have to be licensed, when my mommy finally goes to live in an Assisted Living Arrangement, but since the old owner of my mommy’s apartment building put us kitties on the original Lease my license isn’t required.

Thank you Simone and your Mom for the interview and for providing photos.You are a very cute kitty.

One more thing- today is Mo’s birthday: HappyBirthdayMO 2.19.2016 BADGE Happy Birthday Mo- thank you for all you do for the Cat Blogosphere!

 

Flag Day

Happy Flag Day everyone!! 006

My Purrince wrote me another poem this week to make me feel better when I was afraid of the storm:

Chasin thee Rain Away
Mee deerest Phoebe,
do not bee afraid…
Thee rain will leeve soon
an the funder will fade.
Mee iss there with you…
Mee iss rite bye yur side.
Mee guardss you inn spirit
so pleeze do not hide.
Thee storm will pass
an thee stars will shine…
Do not fear mee Purrincess,
You will allwayss bee mine.
 
***paw kissess*** an ~~head rubss~~
Yurr Purrince, Siddhartha Henry

I am so lucky- he is so clever and handsome. I have a book to keep all his poems in:

014019And I have his photos and some poems hanging on my bulletin board.

My Grammie came to see me Friday and Saturday. She took a special trip just for me on Friday and gave me lots of treats. I love her so very much.

Sammy wants a turn now-:022

My special friends, Cat Scouts Maggie and Fellix sent me some toys- thank you ! 015I guess I have to share.

 

Cat4-001

Guest Post By Cat Scout Felix

 

Hi, Cat Scout Felix here 000_0003to share with you the story of a famous post-World War II mascot in the British Navy. I am particularly fond of this fellow, because like me, he was a tuxedo!!

ABLE SEAMAN SIMON

Simon was born in Hong Kong in 1946. He hung around the supply store where ships picked up their provisions, and was discovered there by commander of the British Royal Navy frigate HMS Amethyst. Captain Griffiths loved cats, and took an immediate liking to Simon. Rats were a huge problem on Amethyst and every ship. They raided food storage areas and also carried viruses which could be passed on to crew members. Captain Griffiths took Simon aboard to become the ship’s mascot and ratter.

Simon made himself at home in the Captain’s quarters, and he shared meals with the crew. He became an avid hunter, and caught rats in every part of the ship. Rather than eat his prey, however, he laid the dead rats at the Captain’s feet.

In 1949, under her new commander, Captain Skinner, Amethyst because involved unwittingly in the Chinese war, which changed the crews’ lives forever.

The ship was scheduled to sail up the Yangtze River toward Nanking, where the Communists and Nationalists had lined up on separate sides of the river. A temporary truce was in effect, and Amethyst was to be on stand-by to evacuate the British from the area if needed.

On her way up the river, Amethyst was bombarded twice, and she went ground before reaching Nanking. The Captain and several crew members were killed, and Simon was wounded with shrapnel and burns. He was looked after by the ship’s medical officer,but his heart had become weak and his wounds took a long time to heal.

Simon+being+held (1)Simon1

Simon’s wounded shipmates enjoyed his company in the sick bay, but he soon resumed his ratting duties, splitting his time between that chore and keeping the men company. The ship’s Petty Officer John Webb was very fond of Simon, and made sure he always had a comfortable bunk and food to eat.

Amethyst was stuck in the Yangtze River for two hot months, while a diplomatic and military standoff was in effect. She soon faced a typhoon while at anchor, and Simon wisely stayed below decks. During the long ordeal, Amethyst’s supplies, fuel and food had become badly depleted. Finally her new commander, Captain Kerans, received orders to turn the ship around and return down the river to join the rest of the British fleet. Amethyst was bombarded several times on this voyage, but she finally reached safety more than three months after embarking on the original mission.

Captain Kerans lifted Simon above his head to signal their triumph to the crew. Soon thereafter, Simon was awarded an Amethyst Campaign Ribbon for his services ( see picture). He was also awarded the prestigious Dickin Medal by The People’s Dispensary for Sick Animals, which honored animals exhibiting great courage during times of war.

Simon+w+his+ribbon

This was the first time the Dickin had been awarded to a cat or to a Royal Navy animal. A ribbon was sent for Simon to wear, and there were photos, gifts and fan mail before Amethyst set sail for England. His formal medal presentation was scheduled for December 11, 1949.

Amethyst finally arrived in England after getting necessary repairs, but Simon had to be quarantined for six months. Although he received many visits from well-wishers and his shipmates ( including Captain Griffiths and Kerans), Simon succumbed to his weak heart less than a month later, and he did not live to enjoy his own medal presentation ceremony.

Simon’s passing caused a sensation, and letters and flowers arrived by the truckload to his last resting place at the quarantine station in Hackbridge. Time Magazine even ran Simon’s obituary.

The Dickin Medal presentation ceremony was held posthumously, and Simon’s award was received on his behalf by his last commanding officer, Captain Kerans. The medal stayed on Amethyst until she was decommissioned, and then it moved to various locations. It is now owned by The Eaton Film Company in London.

simon_grave_1” Throughout the Yangtze incident his behavior was of the highest order.” Inscription on Simon’s grave stone. He is buried at the PDSA animal cemetery at Ilford, England.

Thank you Felix , for an excellent post. And the winner of the book, Eight Hundred Grapes,is Tux (  http://tuxthedappergent.com/ ) . Congratulations! And be sure to enter our Easter and Passover giveaway everyone.014