Simon loved to eat and to be petted
Simon loved to eat. He loved to be petted. If he could ever get it combined, then it was of course perfect. Being petted while eating was something he loved. But he did not get more than a single stroke now and then when eating, that was a limit I had, to keep him from getting too spoiled.
Although being very found of food, Simon did not want to eat the same food every day. Simon enjoyed ordinary cat food, but he did not enjoy not repeatedly getting the same cat food. Whatever his favorite happened to be, if he got it too many times in a row, he would stop eating. He would still want food, but he would want variety. So he would clearly tell he wanted something to eat, but would refuse to eat until he got some varied food.
He liked different tastes of cat food, and he liked them varied. Simon liked some canned cat food. He liked liver and meat from Pussi cat food and Whiskas cat food. He also liked non cat food cans. He liked canned tuna fillet in water. Simon preferred real tuna fillet to canned tuna cat food. Due to his lack of teeth in old days, he did no longer get dry food. He could not chew dry food well, so it had to be easy to digest. He did like ice cream in small portions, but almost never got it (I had been told it was not good for a cat). He was not found of real meat (neither raw nor fried), but liver paste was something he liked.
Favorite cat food was shrimps and mashed boiled Pollock
Even better than his favorite canned cat foods was mashed boiled Pollock. If I bought and boiled cod, he would not be happy, it should be Pollock, he marked a clear difference between them. Even better than that was hand peeled shrimps, which remained his absolute favorite until the week before he died. Thus, he loved shrimps until the week before he stopped eating. He never got so much shrimps that he got bored of them. I was careful not to give him too much shrimps, too many articles say they are not good for a cat in too high doses. I often gave him a few shrimps as a starter, and then he got his main meal to eat until he had satisfied his hunger. Pollock was something it took long time for him to get tired of. If I gave him boiled Pollock, and had not had it for a while, he would stay in. He would be frequently calling for food almost the whole evening. Not because he was hungry, but because he liked the taste of it. Sometimes he would not even go out more than for a short session in the evening, to be sure he did not miss a chance to get more Pollock.
Simon was allergic to chicken which took time to find out
Simon was not found of chicken. Later it turned out he was allergic to chicken, probably also to duck which he neither liked. The problem with chicken got noticed in two ways. In his early days, he had problem with his stomach. So we experimented with different kind of food, in the belief it was some allergic reaction. We never managed to get it identified, but after 7 months, his problem stopped through a good dose of antibiotics. Many years later, when he got high quality dry food that turned out to have a high dosage of chicken, he got new problems, now in the shape of something similar to inflamed pimples. After cutting of all chicken and duck from his food, he got well.
Most important for Simon was being close
Even if Simon loved to eat and be petted, one thing was more important: Being close. Simon would always want to be close to us. He would move around inside to where I was. He would move around outside to where me or Pernille was. And if he was alone outside, except in the night, he would come by and want in now and then. Staying in 10 to 15 minutes, being where I was, and then going out for another turn.
As with everything, if he could get the combination, it was even better. So if he was anyway close, and also could be petted, it made it perfect. He found the places around me that was close by. Easy petting distance, but yet not too close. He had many such places.
Simon had a chair in my work room, he had a place on my work table, he would be on the mat on the floor when I watched television. Outside, he would be on the grass or on the sidewalk. All those places where selected so he could be petted, and he loved to be petted. He loved to turn onto his back, lift his front legs so you could pet him around the breast and under his arms. He loved to be petted on his back, in that thick fur of his. In the beginning he loved being combed with a brush. But as time grow, it became more and more important to comb off dead hair from him, and for that the brush needed to be changed to a comb. He did not like the comb. But he liked getting rid of the dead fur.
He hated to be carried. You could lift him, and he would accept you doing that. You could even turn him over on his back while being carried. He would accept that as well. But there was a time limit. Simon would only accept being carried, no matter how you did it, for about half a minute. After half a minute he wanted down. And you better hurry, he would show that it was time. And if you did not set him down then, he would jump down himself. That could be painful, because he would do a powerful jump, possibly scratching you with some claws. So best was to accept his will and not lift him unless needed. Also when you put him down, he would show that he was always prepared to act. He would be alert, he would have his legs out, he would be tense in the body. Prepared to do whatever was needed if you would drop him.