Today was one of the toughest days in quite some time. I had to say goodbye to my dearest cat of nearly 20 years. He's been with me and my family since he was a kitten. I remember when my Dad brought them home. I was sitting in the living room watching TV. He comes in with a box and places it in my lap. I look in the box and see the two little kittens. I was surprised because I didn't realize we were getting cats anytime soon. He points at them and says, "Sam and Rebecca". He named them after the characters from my favorite TV show "Cheers". And that was it. Sammy and Becky were here! I'm just glad my Dad was not a huge fan of Diane.
Sammy was definitely one of a kind. Unlike our Yorkshire Terrier Sparky, Sammy played fetch! He just loved the plastic bottle caps that came with the mini bottles of Sunny Delight. It must have started when he was a kitten and picked up a big bottle cap with his teeth. He grabbed it from the inside so it flipped up and blocked his field of view. Then the funniest thing happened. He tried to jump over it. Nothing so cute or funnier than a kitten trying to jump over something he's holding in his mouth. Then it was on to the small caps. Not exactly sure how it started but I would toss it straight up over his head and he would jump as high as he could, swat it away, go chase it down and bring it back to me. EVERY SINGLE TIME! The funniest thing was when HE wanted to play. I remember standing in the kitchen and hearing the cap hit the floor. I turn around and there was Sammy looking up at me saying, "Time to play!". As soon as I reached for the cap he got low to the ground, his eyes got big, his ears turned back and his butt would start shaking in anticipation. I would throw it into the living room and he was off like a shot!! A few seconds later, *tink*, the cap was at my feet again.
His food and water dish was up on the counter in my bathroom. I remember I would draw "racing stripes" along his side. He was so orange and so fluffy. I would get my finger wet and run them down his side. His fur got darker and looked like racing stripes.
I'll never forget the first time he got out. We went to Florida one year for vacation. We had no idea how we were going to set up the house so Sparky could go in and out but Sammy and Becky could not. We ended up leaving the living room window open a crack with a board covering up most of the hole. As for Sammy and Becky, we barricaded them in the hallway that led to mine and my sister's room and the bathroom. We had chicken wire mounted on a wooden frame, but it was too short! There was still at least 8 to 10 inches of opening on top. So we took some more chicken wire and stapled it across. Everything seemed fine. We had a great time. When we got back we did a head count. Sammy was not here. He left poor Becky all alone. We scoured the neighborhood looking for him. The trouble was that it was already dark outside. We were asking all around if anybody had seen a big orange cat. We finally found him several blocks over in someone's yard. The sad thing was that I feel Becky never forgave him for leaving her. She hissed at him from then on out. They used to cuddle all the time. Not any more. Crazy kitties!
When I first moved into my house I left Sammy with my parents. I did not want to have to worry about him getting out while I was cleaning up the place. Once I got everything settled I could not wait to bring him to his new home.
This is the first picture I took of him here. You see how much fur he has around his neck? Those hairs were long. I would roll them and make them point out. He was always a silly cat. When we were at my parents' home, any time I would put on my spray deoderant he would run for cover. I think the noise frightened him. I didn't even have to spray. I just show him the can, shake it a bit and he would take off. Once he got to my house, a stupid little spray can could not frighten him. He was sitting on my bed as I was getting ready. I took out the deodorant and sprayed. He didn't move a muscle. He was a brave little kitty now!!
This is how I want to remember him. This is how I want you to see him. He was big and fluffy all over, especially the tail. He loved to lick the condensation that would form on my drinking cups. I would just have to hold out the cup and he would start "drinking". He also liked to bury his head in my arm when I would hold him. And I always liked to wake up in the morning and see him laying right next to my pillow. The funniest thing, he got in the habit of waking me up EXACTLY at 7:30 EVERY MORNING! This went on for a couple of weeks. He would sit by my head and paw at my face. "Wake up. It's time for treats." If I didn't move he would paw at my mouth. Now THAT got me up because I knew where that paw had been! I don't know who had who trained. As soon as my alarm would go off he would come running to my bedroom. As I got up and moving he would head straight to his food dish. He knew it was time for treats. When I would get home from work, he would hear me come in and start meowing, "You're here! Time for treats!" And I would give him treats. When I was getting ready for bed he would start meowing, "It bed time! But not before treats!" Like I said, who trained who?!
Goodbye my good boy. I hope you know how much you were loved. I am surely going to miss you but you will always be in my heart.