Who wants a friendly cross-eyed cat?

December 12, 2012 • 2:04 pm

There’s an old joke about a kid misinterpreting the Christian hymn “Gladly the Cross I’d Bear” to be about ursid named Gladly with strabismus: “Gladly the Cross-eyed Bear.” Well, today we have, for real, Simon the cross-eyed cat. And he’s up for grabs, i.e., adoption, if you live in the Chicago area.

David Richards, known as “daveau” on this website, sends photos and a video.

I don’t think anyone will accuse Simon of being the handsomest cat in the world, but it turns out he’s a real sweetheart, which more than makes up for it. Simon, so named for his obvious Siamese background, has been an intermittent visitor to our backyard for 8 or 9 years. Recently, however, he has been showing up nearly every day to predate in our feline heaven of a back yard. I’m sure that is partially due to my feeding him along with our cats in order to take the edge off his appetite for birds. He may or may not have a home somewhere nearby, but he is clearly allowed to wander everywhere year-around, and I’ve belatedly come to the conclusion that he needs a real home before winter sets in.

He is a sweetheart:

I will vouch that he is friendly with other cats, at least with mine, and that he is friendly with humans, as I have gotten to know him over the last few months. He will happily sit with me on the back steps and get petted endlessly. He seems to look forward to that just as much as the to food I give him. (He is slightly afraid of the camera for some reason.) He is not neutered, but shows no signs of territorial marking. I will gladly pay reasonable expenses for a checkup, shots and neutering, all of which he will need. So, if you have a home that needs a loving cat, or know someone who does, Simon is your guy.


He has taken to eating breakfast here nearly every day and I can catch him pretty much anytime, and bring him anywhere in the Chicago area on a weekend.


If anybody’s interested, I will be happy to talk to them and fill them in on all the details. Attached are a couple of photos and a short video.

Could somebody give this moggie a home? He’s clearly not being taken care of, even if he does have an owner.  If you’re interested, email me or, alternatively, “daveau” himself, who will post contact information in the comments in a few hours.

28 thoughts on “Who wants a friendly cross-eyed cat?

  1. That was my mistake since the info was meant for me. I’ve removed the phone number and apologize (I just spoke to David). He’ll post contact email information in a couple of hours.

    1. No apology necessary. Although I just about had a stroke. Good thing JAC was in his office…

      I will take this moment to than Jerry for offering to post this way back this summer, before I had resolved the ethical dilemna. Cats have no better friend.

  2. What a cutie. How odd that he looks almost sort of kind of slightly feral, yet looks to be of Siamese blue stock. I hope he gets a good home. Some no kills will offer foster homes so they don’t have to live on the street……

    1. If I had a portrait of him as a young cat, as I remember, he was very clearly an apple-head Siamese blue. Maybe even pure-bred. Years of living outside in the cold (and heat) have blurred his mask, and generally darkened him all over. I believe WEIT had an excellent discussion on feline color points a couple of years back. Another factor is that he is “intact” which tends to enlarge the head in males. And he does have a few scars on him, as he is a lover, not a fighter.

      Yeah, thanks for the reminder. We are closest to Tree House, a no-kill that we donate to regularly. Maybe they have a foster program. I was thinking of building him a small shelter for the winter, but like as not, it would wind up being occupied by squirrels, or possums, or other feral cats…

        1. Thanks, amelie. I may wind up with a half-dozen of those feral shelters this winter.

          I have a long and sad, yet happy, yet sad, yet still happy story of how we rescued a paralyzed (from a b-b gun) FIV cat named Aidan and Tree House not only saved our butts emotionally and financially, but one of their vet techs adopted him. We are eternally grateful to them.

          And I admire your mini-shelter rescue.

          1. I worked formerly as a vet tech and on the side as a cat behaviorist. I hope that kitty gets a home, do contact me if you need any advice at all on FIV cats, behavior or nutrition. Our first kitty Hugo was considered to have full-blown feline AIDS but is still going strong in a new home at 9 years old. We found Wellness to be a very good brand of food (wet only), and I recommend a book called Your Cat by Dr. Hodgkins.

            My email is lunascottage@gmail.com

            1. You are really nice to make that offer. I can see occasions where your insight might come in handy. Thank you. Feel free to email me, as well. (click on my Gravatar)

              I don’t want to start the rumor that Simon has FIV or anything else, since he hasn’t been to a vet. I do know that FIV is not especially an issue. I realize that you can’t tell anything without a blood test, but Simon certainly seems to be healthy. And he’s at least 8 years old. If he had any serious underlying issues, I would have seen evidence of that by now.

              1. Oh yes; just to be clear, Simon has NOT tested positive for FIV to date! Let me make that clear to commenters!

                Stay in touch if you like, I’ll keep your email on hand as well. Cheers.

  3. First order of business: You may contact me by clicking on my Gravatar pic. There is an email address there. Or email Jerry.

    Second: So, if Simon is so great, why don’t we take him in? I would actually love to, except that our oldest cat, Keeshu, aside from being old and arthritic and grumpy, has a couple of serious things wrong which are exacerbated by stress. It took her 18 months and lots of meds for her to get over when we brought in Merlyn two years ago. We can’t really consider adding another cat as long as she is still with us. In addition, as the Spousal Unit wisely reminds me, three cats (which we already have) is one too many. On top of that, our cats have free reign into the backyard, at least when the weather’s nice. We’d have to restrict Simon to indoor only, since I just watched him easily scale our six foot fence just the other day. We’re just not comfortable with him roaming the neighborhood if he was actually ours.

    Third: If he has a home, which is by no means certain, it is the kind of home where they might leave some milk or kibble on the back porch (I know several in the neighborhood), but he spends his nights outside year-around, has never seen a vet, or been shown anything other than cursory affection. I do not feel too much of a dilemna over that.

    Fourth: (I’m sounding too pedantic, I know) Mr Simon is even more of a sweetheart than you can tell from the video. Just prior to that, I had had a 10 minute love fest with him. He was rubbing against my legs purring and vocalizing, rolling around on the sidewalk, sitting in my lap, etc. He was completely spooked when I brought out the camera, which I had to hold out at arms length and hope that he was in the frame.

    So, lastly, I encourage everyone, if you are not interested yourself, to prevail upon all your friends who might appreciate a wonderful and loving companion.

    1. PS- He’s not so cross-eyed that he’s not a deadly predator to our avian friends. Which is why I started feeding him this summer.

      But he is cross-eyed enough that it’s hilarious when he is looking right at you. 😉

  4. I’m on the opposite site of a different country (Canada) which is a shame ’cause he looks like a sweet adoption. I hope you find someone.

  5. Shouldn’t David at least have him checked for a chip before he starts offering the cat up? Even if he feels Simon is not receiving adequate care, if there is an owner out there he should at least know it, and probably see what the story is. Otherwise, that’s theft.

    1. That’s a valid point, and would be addressed during his exam. I certainly don’t want to take him away from someone who considers him theirs. But I would bet, if I were the wagering type, the he has never seen the inside of a veteranarian’s office. Never been neutered, never had a rabies shot, etc. We may encounter a lot of stuff at that exam, which may blow the adoption, but I want him to have a potential home before I bring him in. Otherwise, he’ll be re-released to freeze or be run over by a car, and certainly no better off than he is now.

  6. For the pedantic record, it’s “Gladly my cross I’d bear” and it comes from “To be a pilgrim”, the one that (in one version) starts “He who would constant be”. Not actually a xmas song.

    1. Here in Oz there used to be a comedy show called Lano and Woodley.
      Woodley called god Harold.
      Lano asks why.
      ‘our father who art in heaven, Harold be thy name.
      He he.

  7. I’d consider it…but I’m on the other side of the country, Baihu is pretty territorial towards other cats, and I don’t (yet) have any way of segregating cats inside and slowly-but-properly introducing them.

    Good luck!


  8. No takers, but I’m not giving up. I have built a shelter for him, per Amelie’s suggestion, but he was not that impressed when I showed it to him. Maybe because it was still warm.

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