My mom brought Sam and his sister, Sally, home to me in 1994 as tiny little baby kittens. Coon, our older cat, quickly adopted them both as her own. Sam had the biggest buggy eyes as a kitten… he was so cute.
In middle school, my parents let me get a puppy… a beagle named Trevor that Mom and I got from the Marion animal shelter. Sam didn’t care much for Trevor and ran off. We didn’t know what happened to Sam, but we didn’t see him anymore after that and just hoped that he had found a new home, knowing how unlikely that was. Trevor was an adventurous little pup and it didn’t take her long to get run over. Then, about 3 years later, I came home from school one day and Dad told me that he’d seen Sam! He appeared off and on for a few months and was always really skittish around us, probably still afraid that Trevor was going to come around a corner and chase him off again. We fed him and let him in the house whenever he’d come around, and when Sam finally figured out that there wasn’t a dog there anymore, he relaxed and let our home be his home again. We couldn’t believe that he’d survived that long, and we eventually found out that there was an elderly lady who lived just a hundred yards or so through the woods from our house who had been feeding him, and Sam returned home when she died!
Last Wednesday night, Mom called to tell me that they didn’t think Sam was going to make it much longer. He had stopped getting up out of his bed in the garage, even to eat. Dad called the next afternoon on his way home from the vet’s office… he had Sam put to sleep. It was really hard on Dad, but he knew it was better than letting him starve himself to death. He never would admit it, but he really loved Sam and had grown extremely attached to him, especially since Sam had gotten older and Dad let him in the house more often (and they would sleep on the couch together!).
The picture above was taken at Josh and my wedding. Even amid the chaos of all of the people who were there, Sam was not about to give up his sleeping spot on the porch rail!
We’ll miss you, Sam!