Wednesday, December 22, 2010


WARNING: this post is little depressing.

As a senior in highschool, I acquired an orange cat named Sammy. My mom's friend had taken in Sammy when her pastor had moved away, but the female cat of the house, Mittens, dominated the household. Sammy ended up staying in the basement. He was free to come upstairs whenever he desired, but would only venture upstairs at night.

I remember sleeping over at her house when he was there - he would always come upstairs and sleep on my chest. I thought he was the sweetest cat in the world - and he really was.

We brought Sammy to our house the Christmas of '04. I was so excited to have a cat - the only cat I had ever had was in childhood. His name was Bustafer (I really don't know how to spell that - it was from the musical Cats). My mother told me that we had to get rid of him b/c I was allergic to him. I found out a couple of years ago (from my dad) that she got rid of him simply b/c he was a kitten, climbing on things, tearing things up. I was never allergic to cats, something I believed until I was 21. We won't digress into the multitude of my mother's lies right now.

Unfortunately, life for Sammy wasn't much better at our house than it was for him at Pam's. My mother insisted that he be kept down in the basement b/c of the litterbox and for fear that he'd scratch the furniture. I was not comfortable in basements, so I would bring him up to my room when she wasn't looking. I fought with her often, b/c although I knew little about cats, I knew it was wrong to keep ANY animal away from loving contact with other animals, including us humans. Happily, I found out later that my sister, in attempt to get away from our overbearing mother, spent a lot of time down in the basement, watching television. Sammy was the kind of cat that would push himself onto your lap, forcing attention from you. She gave him a lot of affection during that time.

We only had Sammy for a few months. One night, he started crying, and I knew something was wrong. You know how you know instinctually when something is really wrong? Well, I knew. I told my mother, "There is something wrong wth Sammy. He's crying - we need to take him to the vet!" But she, of course, said that he would be fine, and that maybe we'd take him in the morning if he was still crying.

We watched the movie Hotel Rwanda that night. Not only was the movie horribly heart-wrenching, but I was worried about Sammy the whole time while watching it. As much as I tried to convey to my mother that there was something wrong with Sammy, she just wouldn't listen. As soon as the movie was over, I ran downstairs to bring Sammy up to my room for the night. But he was already dead. He died in the litterbox.

I remember screaming, running away, hiding in the bathroom for the rest of the night. My uncle came to take his body away.

It's hard losing a beloved animal, but even harder when you have an emotionally abusive mother, an absent family, your childhood dog was put to sleep a year ago, your best friend taken from you - in essence, when you have no one, it's really difficult to deal with another loss. Especially of such a loving animal as Sammy was. He deserved better.

I have no pictures of Sammy.

The cat above is a stuffed cat filled with those tiny beads - you know the pillows that are so fun to squish? I saw him in Bed Bath and Beyond and had to have him as he reminded me of Sammy. This stuffed cat went through a lot of squishing and being cried upon for a few years. He then spent a couple years with my baby sister. Recently, however, I took him back with me, b/c Brianna has way too many stuffed animals, as many little kids do. And now Smidge likes to lay on him. I'll have to get a picture of that - it's cute.

Although I've learned from Sammy's life, he deserved so much more. I now research everything. I try to provide the best possible life for my pets. I don't let other people make decisions for me, and I certainly go with my instincts.

I wish I believed in some sort of afterlife - it would be so much easier picturing Sammy in some sort of Spirit world, chasing the butterflies... Well, who knows? Maybe he is.


  1. I am so very sorry for your loss, and I know how close I came to losing Brighton because of a urinary blockage. But if you can think of Sammy's legacy now is helping you take the best care of the cats in your life now...he will not have died in vain.

  2. hey i am so sorry about sammy.. but i am glad that he had you and your sister in his life and he was loved by you.

  3. That is a hard story, as much on you as for Sammy. I'm sorry you had a bad childhood. I hope you have someone to love you now and a tribe of some sort. Sammy was the same way, had no one to depend on, but you tried to be that one. You did the best you could. I'm still having hard times over the torti who died, drowning in her own fluids, after anesthesia overdose. It's a rough hard world out there. We can only smooth the roughness and soften the hardness with love as best we can.