New York Times Portraits of Grief
Not every cat is presented with its own futon. But then, not every cat owner is as devoted as Barry Simowitz was to Wanda June, the brown- and-white beauty with whom he shared the last five years.
The pair could often be found in the living room of Mr. Simowitz's apartment on the Lower East Side — Wanda June on her futon, Mr. Simowitz in his favorite chair from Pottery Barn — listening to opera on his high-end stereo system. "Animals were his main passion," said Mr. Simowitz's sister, Laurie. "And he really, really loved Wanda June."
Mr. Simowitz, an auditor for the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance, also had a thing for luxurious clothing. "He left about 100 cashmere sweaters in his closet, all different colors," Laurie Simowitz said. "You name an expensive store, my brother shopped there."
He loved his job in the World Trade Center, where he showed off his impeccable fashion sense and answered colleagues' questions about their cats. His mother, Mollie, stopped working at 83, and Mr. Simowitz, who was 64, had every intention of following her example.
Mollie Simowitz, now 93, misses her only son fiercely.