My beloved cat Simon was a fantastic cat with fantastic personality
Simon was a much beloved cat with a fantastic personality. I loved my cat and got very used to having him around me. He moved around with me inside as well as outside the house. He was very present, except when sleeping. When he was inside, he often choose to sleep close to where I was, so even then he was present and close. The exception was that in the last years he often also choose to sleep in his loved basket
Simon liked being close. One way it was visible was that he followed me to where I went. Not only did he follow, if he noticed me gone, and he did not know where I was, he would call for me. When he grow up with the black cat Zorro, he used to do the same thing when he looked for Zorro. That became very clear when Zorro disappeared. Simon would call for him, many weeks, before finally accepting he would not return, or at least gave up calling for him. It saddened me to see and hear his longing for that cat.
The key thing for Simon was being close
Simon really did give a lot of attention. He did not want to be carried, but he did want to be close. He did like being petted. But the key thing for him was being close. If I was in the work room, he would normally be in the work room. If I moved to the kitchen, he would follow to the kitchen. If I went up to upstairs, he would follow me upstairs. If I went into the TV room, he would lie down on the floor in front of my feet. And he would almost always throw himself on the back, with stomach and front legs high up in the air, showing love and inviting to get petted. If I moved somewhere else, he would not always follow immediately, but often within 5 minutes he would come looking. Even if I went on the toilet for long, and he did not know where I was, he would come calling to see where I was. If I was in the living room, which was a forbidden area for him, he would lie down at the doorstep with a small part of him still outside the living room. Or he would run out, run around the house, and come to the terrace, where there was an entrance to the living room. Then he would demand to be let in and do the whole thing again.
Simon was very noticeable and moved around in the open
Another thing with Simon was that he was very noticeable. He was a big totally white forest cat. That made him noticeable. He acted like he was the king of the block. He stayed very much out in the open, which made him even more noticeable. Especially since he was that big and so white. But there was something more to it, that had to do with his personality, My beloved cat Simon did make a very big footprint. One would notice him not only due to his size and whiteness, but also due to him being him. He had very much presence due to his personality and behavior.
Simon used many tricks to get attention and being petted
Simon was not only good at giving attention, he also liked getting attention. If he wanted to be petted he might simply call. If he wanted food, he would do the same. If he wanted out he would also call. He also knew that he would not get food more than on specific times, and would not get to be petted every time he called for it. But that would not stop him from trying. So he often tried to camouflage a call for food as a call to be let out (such a call I would always answer to). He did that by placing himself on the way from the hall towards the door out, and then call to be let out. Then when I came to let him out, he would quickly turn and instead rush towards the food place, in case I had missed his need for food. He could try that 5-6 times with just a few minutes in between each time, until I told him he would be let out if he continued. Then he would normally give it up. If not, he would be let out. And he knew when that was the time. If I said "out" to him, pointing like a referee, he would go to the door to be let out, knowing he had done a foul.
In same way, he developed a pattern for being petted before going out. He would first be petted standing close to his basket, then be petted on the top of the stairs to the hallway, then be petted on the way down the stairs. Only then would he go for the door. Thus, maximizing the petting he got for every time he went out. When I was going to bed, and if he did not go out at that time (normally I would let him out after his evening food, just before going to bed), he would just simply yell to be petted in his basket, as an end of evening event. Then he would lie down to sleep.
During the day, if I would sit in the work room, he would be in the work room. Either on the chair beside me, or on the table in front of me, or on top of the computer, just right of my leg. From the computer, he would now and then stretch out a paw and pat me on the leg to show he needed more petting. If he was on the chair, he would normally be petted so often that he did not need to tell me to do it. If not, he would simply go up on the work table where it was easier for him to assure he got attention.
Simon often followed close to us when we were outside
Just like Simon was moving around in the house with me, he was also following me and my wife outside the house. If we were on the front side of the house, he would be in the garden on the front side. If we would move to the backside, he would follow to one of his resting places around that side. If I went out on a walk outside, he would follow me on the sidewalk. He liked being where he could see us, he liked being close.
My wife is spending more time outside in the garden than I do. When Simon was outside, he would be where she was unless I also were out. Moving from place to place in garden as she moved on doing what she was doing. He would also follow us when walking on the sidewalk. This was fine in two directions where there was very light traffic. But I actually had to teach him to stop following me in the other directions, due to the traffic. This I did with sorrow in my heart. I believe he did not understand why he could not follow. But he did accept that he could not come with me in those directions. I guess every time I walked those ways, we both felt the same sorrow.
When I took the car to work, he would first greet me immediately when stepping outside. He would then follow me out to the car, for a final pet on his back in the pebble on the sidewalk. When I got back home from work, or from being out shopping, he would be running out on the sidewalk to meet me. If I had to travel in work, and being away during the night, Simon would stay outside and wait for me to come back. My wife was always worried that Simon would run away when I was out traveling, because he did not go in as he used to do, she tried to get him inside the house, but he stayed out.