I was 8. I sat on the couch with my mom watching tv. I remember my aunt knocked at the door. It was unexpected. My mom answered and her sister came in holding a small and very frightened kitten. It was found on the side of the road, alone, and obviously too young to be away from the mother. One of the first things my mom said to me was to not get attached to the kitten. We were not going to keep it.
At approximately 2 months old, the baby still needed its mother’s milk. We had to improvise with the formula made for kittens and feed the poor thing with a syringe. And of course, we couldn’t let go of the love we had already grown.
We kept the kitten. Finding a name was difficult because we didn’t know if it was a girl or a boy. We each had different ideas. But (if I remember it correctly) it was my dad who decided on the name Sam. It worked for both a girl or a boy. When we found out Sam was in fact our new little girl, she became Samantha Jane. Sam or Sammy for short. She became my baby.
Sammy was around 4 years old when my parents brought my baby brother, Michael, home. She was probably the least approving. She does not have a like for children in general. Her tolerance of other animals is even worse. She had a short-lived connection with our dog named Maggie. We lost her shortly before Michael was born. Since then, she hasn’t had a real connection to any other animal. She lives along side another dog and two cats, but makes it known that she does not like it.
Sam has the most human like characteristics. She loves to sit in front of the heater. The warmth of her nose is the number one priority in the winter. Her favorite foods are tuna, salmon, and other seafood that is usually not made for her. She also demands to drink water out of a cup, not a bowl, at all costs.
She is extremely vocal. She loves to have one on one conversations about who knows what. When it’s time for bed, she will let you know. On the hour, her meows can be heard anywhere in the house.
Why I Love Her
For a long time, Sam was my best friend. I kissed her goodnight and said good-bye as I left for school. She would greet me everyday as if a dog would do. She always knew when I was down and would butt her head to mine. She is forever my best friend. Moving out for college was difficult for both of us. We missed each other more than we could have ever thought possible. It was even harder when I moved out for good. Everything in our room moved, but she stayed behind.
My brother moved in with her. And thankfully, she adapted quickly. I am so pleased she has someone to take care of her in her old age. Come December, Sam will be 16 years old. She has lived in 3 houses and outlived 2 of our dogs and 1 cat. She was there before Michael was born. She was there when I graduated high school. And college. She was there when I had to grow up and leave. I wish so much that I could have taken her with me. But I am pleased that she is still serving with her love to my family.
I go see her often. She is always excited to see me. I like to believe that her memories of me are just as strong as mine for her. I hope she is around for some time to come and more memories may be made. My old baby. If you ever wonder if an animal can really make such a big difference in someone’s life, take my word for it. They can. And they will for as long as they live.