A Tribute to Sammy
Let me start this by saying that Sammy was not a pet. Sammy was the youngest member of our family.
We knew from his first day as a kitten that he would be special. We went on line, and found a gentleman with several kittens “for free”. He brought the 3 kittens to our apartment, but only Sammy would come out of the cat carrier. He strutted right out and into our hearts.
We thought he was a girl, and the first name we gave him was “Sassi”, but we soon found out he was a boy, and changed his name to Samuel “Sammy” Harley Huther.
Sammy would greet us at the door, whenever we came home. He would be on the table, and put his front paws on the chair, and stretch to get a few rubs and pets. Everytime. Unless the big oaf had locked himself in the bathroom, which he often did. He loved to stand, and stretch, and push that door closed.
He has 3 “sisters”. Mischief, Bootie Girl, and Little Peanut. He was supposed to be a companion for Mischief, but it took several years before they started getting along. Bootie Girl, and Little Peanut were an inheritance from my little sister Beverly, before she passed away from cancer. She told me that she wanted her cats to go to a loving home, and we’ve had them for 6 years (almost 7).
Sammy gets along with everyone. Mischief, with no one. They’re quite the pair. Bootie and Peanut wouldn’t come out from under our sofa for 2 weeks after we brought them home, but Sammy eventually won them over. Still, nobody would curl up and lay with Sammy. Mischief doesn’t socialize at all, and Bootie and Peanut had each other. So, we set up a special place for Sam. In the picture you can see his elephant. He would lay down, among the stuffed animals and enjoy himself by nestling his head on the elephant’s trunk.
Sammy knew his name, and unlike most cats, he would come running when you called him, or called, “Suppertime, kids!” He would lead the charge out to the kitchen. All four would come out and patiently wait. Sammy would stretch up, with his nose and paws, to see what variety of Purina Fancy Feast he would be getting that evening. But he would always wait for his “sisters” to eat first.
I would fill the bird feeder in the front yard, and Sammy would wait in the window for the birds to come. He would perch on the window ledge, or kitchen table and “chirp” at the birds. It wasn’t a meow. It was definitely a chirp. We called it “Sammy’s talking to the birds again”. He was awesome at catching flies and killing spiders.
He liked to play catch. If you threw a ball, he would race after it, and bring it right back to you.
The most touching thing for me was the way he would see his “mother” come home from work, and run into her office. He loved to lay on her desk as she worked on the computer. And to rest his head on her hand. Every night. Without fail. I would walk by her office and ask, “Who you got there, honey?” And Jamie would say, “I got a pooty-cat!”. He would stay by her until time for bed.
The day before yesterday, Sammy didn’t jump up on the desk. He laid by Jamie’s feet and purred when she rubbed his head. Jamie tried to get him to jump up, but he wouldn’t, which was very unusual. The next morning, Jamie said she thought Sammy was hiding under the futon in her office and he wouldn’t come out. I lifted the sheet at the corner, and Sammy was laying there. Very calm and very quiry. We rubbed his neck and got loud purrs..
He came out, and began calling out in pain. You can tell the painful howls. He dragged himself into the closet. And just laid there. I checked on the vet’s office to see when it would open. I had about 45 minutes.
He moved slowly, painfully, around to the back of the closet and tried to hide behind the “foot spa”. I noticed that where he had been laying, there was a big spot of dark red blood and a small piece of stool. He was limp. I carefully picked him up and took him to the vet.
When we arrived, the receptionist said the doctors weren’t expected in for an hour and a half, and that I should consider taking him to an emergency clinic. But, by some miracle, one of the doctors arrived within minutes and took Sammy back for an examination.
Sammy had always been so healthy. I was sure that everything would be OK. The doctor came to me, and said, “It’s not good. Sammy has heart disease and has passed a clot.” She explained that the clot had traveled and blocked the main artery for his hind-quarters, and he wasn’t getting blood to his back legs, to his bladder or his colon. The prognosis was bad. Surgery wasn’t an option, because of his age and existing heart disease. He was on oxygen. He was never coming home.
Now we knew why he hadn’t jumped up on the desk the evening before. Sammy couldn’t jump up on the desk.
The doctor asked if I would like to be see Sammy and like to be there when he went to sleep. My heart breaking, I went in and saw my boy. He was wrapped in a red towel, with an IV in his right front leg. He couldn’t turn his head, at my voice, but he moved his eyes and he saw me. His pink tongue was just showing and gently quivering
I rubbed his neck, and called him my “good boy”, while the doctor put him to sleep. He went peacefully and along with him a large piece of my heart.
RIP Samuel “Sammy” Harley Huther. Born: September 17, 2005. Died: June 21, 2016.