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5 April 2000 Issue
A Prayer for Sammy

God,

I'm here on the porch. In front of the tree. With Sammy. You'll know him when you see him. He's the black and white tuxedo cat with white spats. He walks so lightly on his feet he almost seems to float. Take good care of him. He was, and is, much loved. He was partial to warm places: on top of the heat register, on top of the old dryer when it was running, the center of the gas stove directly over the pilot light, the second floor porch when the sun shone in on the chairs.

He liked to sleep under the covers in the crook of my arm until I was dozing off. Then he would get down and go wrap himself around Violet in the round bed. There were many other things Sammy liked, too. He liked to play, mostly with Sylvester and the three-legged cat, Pharaoh. A cat version of hide and seek that had some elements of tag. He liked to run out the door of the downstairs porch and throw himself on the concrete floor a full body slam. He liked to doze on

top of the TV with his tail hanging down in front of the screen. He liked to sit on my dresser with his head up the lampshade when the lamp was on. He liked the round cat tunnel in the dining room. And he liked being carried around in it while I sang all the verses to Amazing Grace. He and the grey and white cat named Clarke liked that song best of all. Sammy liked all of these things and many more, but there were two things that Sammy loved.

He loved having a family. Sitting between Phelps and me while we read at night was sheer heaven on earth to him. He purred until he fell asleep. He often followed Phelps around the house until he sat in his chair to read. Then Sammy would mark the chair with his scent pads on his paws and leave to find Violet.

Sammy loved Violet. From the day she came to us nine years ago May, Sammy loved Violet. He ate with her, slept with her, groomed her, and yes, loved her. He was steadfast and true. On those occasions when he did leave her side, she had only to call out and he raced back to her.

Take good care of Sammy, God, for he is much loved. As he began to grow weaker, the two-legged man he loved took him four times a week to the doctor for fluids; all in the hope that he would stay here with us awhile longer. But he grew so tired and thin. And the day came when we knew we had to let him go. And we said good-bye. Now he is with you. Hold him close because we no longer can. I've enclosed a picture of Sammy and Violet it seemed right, somehow. And please don't let him get cold. Remember, after Violet, and his family, he is

very partial to warm places.

Oh, and God, when you get some time, could you make that torn away spot in our hearts hurt a little less.

Sorry. Patti

Go on to The Five "C'S": Principles Of A Vegan Life By Steve Best
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