This is Sammy. 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 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. 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 and leave to
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, his daddy took him four times a week to the
doctor for fluids in the hope that we could keep him here with us while
longer. But it was not to be. 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, he is very partial to warm places.
Go on to Poem:
Within the Heart
Return to 27 August 2000 Issue
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