Sam: Still Teaching Me Love

Facebook truly is a treasure trove of “stuff”–useful stuff, stupid stuff, awesome stuff. I found this old note I wrote tonight. (Who knew Facebook still kept the “notes” tab around?). A long, rambling note I wrote after the death of Sam. Of course, I had to go back and read this note I wrote in the throes of grief. I remember the pain of his death. But I don’t remember many of the things I mention in it. Amazing how time works, isn’t it? There are so many little details about the days before his death I don’t remember, but have immortalized in words, and so will keep this forever.


Look at that belly. How could you possibly resist?

I have included the note below in part to make sure I do keep it. I am also including it to share with the rest of the world.  Reading the note, I am reminded that the pain, while it was real and unbearable at the time, subsides. I will never forget Sam, or sweet Poplo who was briefly in my life, but the pain is less. I can carry on with my days. I can live. And lucky for Sneakers that I can and I did! I learned so much from Sam and I learned so much from his passing. It is good to be reminded of those lessons now and then. We are all here for too brief a period, and our four-legged friends for an even shorter time. We must remember to cherish our loved ones daily, because you don’t know when they will be pass out of our lives. And, perhaps more importantly, we must live each day with the enthusiasm that our animals have. Sam, while not as enthusiastic as a dog, loved each day. Each belly rub was the most amazing thing. Each snack was THE BEST! Food was THE BEST! He took such joy in every thing (except, of course the vet. Then he turned into a wild beast).  So perhaps, in the end, this note is a reminder not of my grief, but of love. A love of life and everything in it, because life really is too short.

Note “Grief induced ramblings” written after Sam’s death.

I’m so broken. I don’t know what to do. He was such a wonderful cat, so full of life and love and curiosity. He was the first to greet you at the door, and the first to “help” with anything you were doing. He loved to steal pictures he found laying around so he could scratch and lick them. Just Tuesday he was rolling around on the floor going after a piece of carrot, cause it was like catnip to him. He was so healthy looking, so vibrant Friday morning. I didn’t think anything of it when he didn’t eat breakfast ’cause it was some new fancy stuff that noone liked. I feel so guilty, I hadn’t really given him any attention the past few days ’cause Crash has been so sick. Of course I gave him his tummy rubs at night, turned the water on for him, cut my strawberries around him as he lay on the cutting board, and gave him his third of the bed. But I didn’t really pay attention to him. He was just in the background. Good ol’ Sam. Always there. Always right in the way, right where he shouldn’t be. He was part of the routine. Always coming in and getting the good spot on the bed just before I got in bed. Or barging in right after I shut the door, pushing it all the way open and giving a little merow then forcing himself into the good spot. I was thinking the other day how much I was going to miss him when he died, never thinking I only had a few days left with him. I miss his snoring, and the way he would let out a little “blurp” when I woke him up, or when he wanted water. The way he always had to stare at the sink for five minutes before actually drinking. The way he ALWAYS had to sit, like a little sentry, staring out the front window, making sure no other cats came into his yard. I won’t ever be able to sit in my brown chair again, because it won’t be the same not having him automatically appearing from wherever he was and forcing his way into my lap. The ridiculous way he had to lean on everything and everyone. He couldn’t just sit on the bed. No he had to lean against a pillow or book or clothes or whatever he could find on the bed. The past few days he had been leaning against his catnip kicker/ pillow in a pool of sunlight after breakfast. The way he had to stand on his catnip pillows with his front feet and attack it before he could really start rubbing in it. Then he would just sit on it, and hide it from everyone.

He will never get to enjoy sitting on the cat perch with the windows open this summer. He would have loved that. And it was just starting to get sunny again, he’s never going to sit in another pool of sunlight enjoying the fresh smells from outside. He’s never going to get to go out and rub in his favorite bush in the backyard. There will be no more almost smothering him in the mornings when I turn off my alarm and don’t realize he’s there. No more fighting with him to get out of bed in the mornings or having him scratch at the bathroom door when I take a shower cause he wants his breakfast. I’ll never have him wake me up from purring again. I won’t ever get to watch him freak out as soapsuds creep up from the sink drain and get his toes. Or hear his demanding meow at mealtimes. The little runt kitten who would fall asleep on our feet while we were in the kitchen is gone. And I don’t know how the hell I am going to make it through this.

He always tried so hard to keep his butt in the box, but he was so picky, his toes couldn’t get dirty, so he would often end up with an overhang and poop on the floor. I would gladly clean up a million more poops if I could just have my baby boy back. I would gladly clean up a million more peeded on rugs, and a million more pounds of scattered litter for one more day with my brown thing.

sam-29My heart is shattered. I want my Sam Pants back. It still seems so unreal, like he is just in the other room and will barge in at any second. I wish I hadn’t clipped his nails the other day, or given him his pill yesterday. I wish I had spent a little more time playing with him Monday night. I had just pulled out his favorite toy for the first time in weeks, if not a month. I never got to comb him one last time, he loved that, especially this time of year. I will never get to ruffle him up again, he loved rough petting along his spine. Never hear his purr again. And since I have doubts about the after life, I will never see him again. My not so little boy. I go 12 years without facing death and then in less than a year I loose two kitties (Poplo: May 2008, Sam: April 2009…I am already dreading next spring).
I am in denial. Shock and denial. I kept telling him to come back last night, and when I was saying my goodbyes, I thought I felt a pulse…but it was just mine. I kept imagining he was just sleeping. But he wasn’t. He was gone. And I didn’t get to say goodbye. I want to stay in bed and never move again, just cry and cry until I am nothing. Because life doesn’t make sense now. Not even with the other two kitties still around, life doesn’t make sense.


3 thoughts on “Sam: Still Teaching Me Love

  1. Kitties Blue says:

    How wonderful to have written that. I have felt all those things you did at the loss of nine kitties that are now at the RB. And have been through losing two kitties just ten months apart. A book is being compiled which will include pawrent’s letters to our cats. I think you could easily turn this into a letter to Sam. If you hop over to my blog, you can find the Submission Guidelines. Sam really was a cutie. Hugs, Janet (

    • Katie says:

      Oh thanks Janet. I will look into the submission information. He was a cutie wasn’t he? And full of personality! I can’t imagine losing two cats 10 months apart. That must be awfully hard.

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