Musings/Mewsings

Barbara Florio Graham

If You Love Cats

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Simon Teakettle

the chairPURRson of Simon Teakettle Ink, is the "classy cat in the black fur tuxedo."

Written about in books and magazines, "heard" on several CBC network radio programs, featured on Animal Planet TV, and published in many magazines in the US and Canada, Simon began his career in 1972, when he was adopted via a "free to good home" ad in The Ottawa Citizen.

He began to write a column for the local community newspaper, where he became so popular that when the paper was sold to a larger weekly covering all of West Quebec, Simon's column was one of the few retained.

In 1975, his first piece was published in CATS Magazine, and he was asked to review a book about cats for The Ottawa Citizen.

In 1979, his photo was the centrefold in the Love That Cat calendar.

In 1982, Simon's radio career began, when he entered a contest on a new program from the CBC in Edmonton called R.S.V.P. Host David Lennick and Simon exchanged letters, and soon Simon was a regular on the program. When R.S.V.P. changed networks, Lennick moved to Toronto and included Simon in his new show, Night Camp.

Simon was a contestant on The Radio Show, contributed to Basic Black and Morningside, and was asked to exchange on-air letters with Bill Richardson's cat on the summer program, Cross Words. At the same time, he continued writing his column for the West Quebec Post, became a columnist for the Canadian children's magazine JAM, and for the US national newsletter, PURRRRR!

His letters appeared in The Globe & Mail and The Toronto Star, and he was quoted in The Bedside Book of Celebrity Gossip, published by Crown, as well as in the Canadian book, Purring is My Business.

Simon's celebrity status was confirmed in profiles in newsletters of The Canadian Authors Association and the Periodical Writers Association of Canada, so when he came to the end of his nine lives, it was necessary to find a replacement - one who could fit the already famous mug shot!  

The Gatineau SPCA came to the rescue. Simon Teakettle the Younger was brought to the shelter with his feral tabby mother and four tiny siblings in August of 1987. The only black male in the litter who fit the Elder's description was a curious and self-possessed kitten who clearly had the PURRsonality to carry on the tradition.

TIKI appeared to have some Siamese in his background, despite his humble parentage. It's likely that his father was a black domestic shorthair descended from a black/Siamese mix, as Tiki's body type, head shape, eye color and vocal range are clearly of Siamese descent.

At ease in front of the camera, Tiki performed a variety of tricks (he prefers to call them "behaviors") and has attained a reputation of his own in the media. He was profiled in The Ottawa Citizen while just a kitten, mentioned in an article on "tuxedo cats" in Cat Fancy Magazine, and became a frequent contributor to the "Last Meow" column in CATS Magazine.

Simon Teakettle (the Elder and the Younger) appeared in nine books.  In addition to The Bedside Book of Celebrity Gossip and Purring is My Business, Simon was included in Leon Cole's book, R.S.V.P., and in Marg Miekle's Dear Answer Lady. He was also featured in Great Cat Tales, published by Altitude Press in the fall of 2004, had a contribution in The Magic of Animals: Living Happier & Healthier with Pets, Dr. Wendy Di Rodio, psychotherapist, and in For the Love of Cats (Publications International, Ltd). 

In 2001, Simon co-authored the award-winning book, Mewsings/Musings. He was described in an article in U.S. Business Week as "the cat who owns the company," and that tag line was also used in a profile in the magazine 55 Plus. He has also been quoted in the MSNBC Creature Comforts column, picked up by NBC websites in 10 major U.S. cities.

Simon was profiled on Animal Planet TV in 2002, which was shown on the CTV network several times in 2003 and 2004.  A patron of Great Canadian Theatre Company in Ottawa, all three books under the Simon Teakettle Ink imprint were sold at the theatre from December through April, 2006.  Simon Teakettle Ink is also an "Archangel" patron of the Orpheus Musical Theatre Society, and has his own seat in the Irving Greenberg theatre in Ottawa, home of the Great Canadian Theatre company.

Both Simon the Elder and Simon the Younger were neutered and leash-trained as youngsters. Simon the Younger coexisted happily with a large population of birds and squirrels who make their nest in the huge maple tree in our back yard. 

In October, 2006, Simon Teakettle III (Terzo) took over as head of the company. Read about him at: TERZO.

Then, in February, 2015, Q.T. (for Quattro Teakettle) Penny became our SpokesCat.

                 FIND OUT MORE ABOUT RESCUE CATS AT:   www.saveacat.org
and at: Alley Cat Rescue
  Our favorite cat books are listed on the Resources page, or go to: www.catwriters.org.

Musings/Mewsings

Barbara Florio Graham

If You Love Cats

Home