(Photo used by permission of Shahbazi)
Freshman Darius Shahbazi sits in his car.

In the “New Kids on the Block” series, new students will be interviewed on their life outside of SCDS.

Darius Shahbazi is a new freshman from Merryhill Midtown. His hobbies include movies, video games and taking care of a pack of feral cats. Next will be freshman Savannah Rosenzweig.

Q: Why did you come to SCDS?

A: I thought it was the best choice out of all my high-school choices, Jesuit and Christian Brothers.

Q: What were you expecting from Country Day?

A: I was expecting a very open community (and) open teachers that don’t stop checking their emails after a certain time. The people so far have been very nice.

Q: Has anything surprised you?

A: The lockers – they are a lot smaller than my old school’s lockers.

Q: Did you know any other Country Day students before you came here?

A: Shimin (Zhang). We used to go to Merryhill together.

Q: About how much more difficult or easier are your classes this year compared to last year at Merryhill Midtown?

(Photo used by permission of Shahbazi)
One of the feral cats that lived in Shahbazi’s bushes peeks in through a window.

A: Some of the classes are easier, and some are more difficult. Physics is pretty easy, but Spanish is much more difficult.

Q: What is your favorite class so far in the year?

A: Physics, because I like Mr. (Glenn) Mangold as a teacher, and his note-taking style is better than my last science teacher’s.

Q: Do you have any pets or siblings?

A: I used to have 21 cats, and I do not have any siblings.

Q: Why 21 cats?

A: I had two, then it became six, then it became 18, then it became 21, and (then) I realized this was getting out of hand.

Q: Where did you find the original cats?

A: The original cats just appeared at our doorstep, and we decided to feed them because we felt bad.

Q: When was this?

A: It was in about the fall of 2014; they left in about the spring of 2016.

Q: Did more come? Or did they breed?

A: Only three came, and the rest were bred.

(Photo used by permission of Shahbazi)
Six of Shahbazi’s kittens wait outside his door.

Q: Were they all feral?

A: Well, all of them were feral. My favorite ones were all the kittens (about 12 of them). They do not live with me any more.

Q: How old were the kittens?

A: I think the kittens were about two weeks old.

Q: How did they live with you?

A: They just lived in the bushes outside our house and came at a certain time when we poured them food.

Q: Were they in some sort of pack together?

A: Yes, they were in their own pack. But it was more like two different packs. It was one mother and her kittens and then another mother and her kittens. They both lived in different bushes symbolizing their houses.

Q: Where did the pack go?

A: They all left together and just wander around the neighborhood. Occasionally we see one of the mothers, but it’s not too often.

Q: Would you play games with the cats? Did they ever get into fights?

A: The kittens would always fight with each other. And I would hold the kittens in a playful way, but we couldn’t get too close. When they

(Photo used by permission of Shahbazi)
A cat and some kittens linger by Shahbazi’s door. The Shahbazis fed the cats daily.

were young, we could cuddle them, but as they aged it became more and more difficult to find them.

Q: Did you ever call animal control?

A: We cared for them too much to call animal control because animal control might have put them to sleep. We just let them wander the neighborhood.

Q: Do you have a favorite book, movie, or video game?

A: “Nightmare at the Book Fair” is my favorite book; my favorite movie is “Wreck-It Ralph,” and my favorite video game is “New Super Mario Bros. 2.”

Q: Are you planning to participate in any clubs or extracurricular activities?

A: I am still waiting for the club list to come out. I am going to join two or three clubs to get my extracurriculars out of the way.

By Spencer Scott

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