Friday, June 17, 2011

Missing Sammy

Today marks six months since I had to put my Sammy-Cat to sleep.  (Yeah, doing it a week before Christmas sucked big-time.)  In my head, I know I did the right thing.  Sam was sick - he was losing weight in spite of the fact that we were feeding him more and more, he howled in pain if you tried to pick him up, he couldn't jump up on the couch anymore - he had to dug his claws in and pull himself up.  When we took him to the vet that last day, she said that because of his age, and with the symptoms we described, that cancer was a strong possibility.  And he was ready to go - after the vet gave him the needle it took only seconds for his heart to stop beating and for him to cross over the Rainbow Bridge.

My heart, however, has been a little harder to convince.  The hardest thing to get used to after he was gone was the quiet in the morning.  Sam used to show up in the kitchen for breakfast every morning, and would carry on like he hadn't eaten in three days until I gave him his milk.  It was so weird the first few mornings not hearing that.  I'd look around for him, and then remember that he was gone.  I went to work in tears just about every day that first week (the second week I was off for Christmas), and I cried myself to sleep almost every night.  I knew that he was better off but I couldn't help missing him.  I've known him literally since he was a baby.  I got him from a friend of mine, and she got him from the caretakers of the Bible camp where we both worked the summer before I started college.  At the time, my dad used to get every third Friday off, and those weeks I would stay with Iris and her roommate Miriam on Thursday nights and we'd all go to school on Friday although usually at different times.  I slept on the futon in their living room and Sam was my night-time companion. was more like he was my night-time stalker.  If I moved around too much he used to jump on me.  When Iris got married and moved to a new apartment where she wouldn't be able to have Sam, she asked if I would take him.  She said she knew he would have a good home with us and she'd be able to come and visit him (sadly the one time she did come to visit him he hid - he'd been shuttled around so much that summer that I think he was afraid she was coming to take him away again).  She had no idea! I'm firmly convinced that while Sam was here, he was the one who ran the house, and not any of the humans who lived in it. He was incredibly spoiled, although if you asked him he'd probably tell you he had the worst life imaginable! He used to meow mournfully all the time when you talked to him, and let me tell you, no one can tell a tale of woe like Sammy could! And he perfected the art of the dirty look and would use it when you made fun of him (and he could tell when you were making fun of him too).

Sammy's favourite thing was his catnap blanket, although he did have a strange fascination with empty wrapping paper rolls and plastic grocery bags (it was absolutely hilarious to watch him play with an empty plastic bag).  Mom had actually bought the blanket for my brother to give to his cat, but Abby never paid much attention to it...except when Sam wanted it, and then she'd go and lay on it or play with it or do something else to keep Sam away from it; she was a real stinker that way.  Some of his favourite foods were doritos (the nacho cheese kind), olives and bread.  He acquired these likes living with Iris.  On the day he left us, I bought a bag of Munchie Mix which has doritos in it from the vending machine at work and Sammy and I had doritos together one last time before we went to the vet's office.

We had lots of laughs living with Sammy, and he gave us one last one on the way to the vet's.  He had been roaming around the car yowling (unlike our dogs, he never particularly liked car rides) and was in the backseat when Dad and I suddenly heard a loud whistling sound.  We both turned to look, and saw that Sammy had stepped  on the power window button and rolled the window down.

Even though it's been six months, I still miss him, and thinking about him still brings tears to my eyes (I'm crying right now writing this).  It's strange, but for a while after I put him to sleep I had this feeling like I'd somehow let him down by not trying to treat what was wrong with him and that I'd given up on him.  I've gradually come to accept that I actually did the very best thing for him by letting him go and not prolonging his suffering, but it's been a long journey to get to that point.

And now that I've thoroughly depressed myself and anyone reading this, I'm going to sign off.
Until next time,

1 comment:

  1. Hey Jen! Losing an animal is so hard,especially if they were sick. I still think about our dog Mittzy,whom we had to put down 2 years ago.They will always have a special place in our hearts! Hope you are feeling good! Just wanted to let you know that I'm deleting my creative juices blog and just going to use my other one instead for everything,you can find me here:

    Hope you are having a wonderful week!