The second male I ever truly loved was buried today.

     The pain of this loss was strangely less than I expected. Perhaps because I had time to grieve before he left. Or maybe it was because I was with him to the very end and I felt he knew how deeply I loved him. Perhaps it was because for the very first time I felt truly loved unconditionally. I was torn between feeling a void and feeling blessed to have had him in my life at all. I had had other cats in my life. Sammy was almost human and definitely part angel. He felt like a part of me. When I held him in my arms I could actually feel our hearts beating as one.

     He had come into my life under the guise of being a female.  In fact it was close to a month after he came to live with me that I found out Samantha was a Sam. By then he had stolen my heart and all the determination to never have a male cat went by the wayside.

     At first I saw Sammy as just a peach ball of fluff with gold eyes. Aloof as I was at first we were perfect for each other right away. However with  each day it became clearer that he was indeed an angel brought into my life to help me feel love again, to laugh from my heart again.

     Most importantly he was the first male I had ever experienced a sense of peace with in my whole life. Not once did I have to walk on eggshells, worry about saying the right thing incase I “set him off” or need to explain or justify my actions. He just loved being with me and I loved being with him.  We co-existed beautifully.

     He changed my life.  I actually wanted to spend time at home. Saturday nights became my night with Sammy and my other new found love for creating.

     I learned a lot in the sixteen years Sammy was part of my life. I hadn’t planned on having another pet, ever.  In fact I was only at the pet store with my friend to talk her out of getting a fifth cat.  And while I left Sammy at the pet store for ten more days trying to talk myself out of purchasing him. He was a purebred Persian, after all, and would cost me more than one months rent at that time. Finally I decided that if he was still there I needed to get him. He was still there. His sister who had been sold as the male was not.  

     Not one moment of regret came from that decision, only heartfelt gratitude for each and every moment of our time together. He wasn’t a talker at first, just a great listener. And a real clown. Sam didn’t need food to motivate him to do tricks. Praise, applause and cheers were his incentive. Food was only necessary when clipping his fur. This kept him still while I clipped away.

     One night I got home after a very long and draining day to find my bedding messed up. On investigation I found that Sam had gone number two in the middle of my bed and tried to cover it up. At first I was distraught and fearful that this was a new behaviour that he would continue.  I had heard of so many stories about people never being able to break their cats from doing just this.

     I frantically stripped the bed ranting to myself, “Why, Why, Why would Sammy do this? I just changed his kitty litter this morning! Please God help me understand so it doesn’t happen again!” Then when I went to dump the debris into his kitty litter box before laundering my bedding I discovered the reason behind Sammy’s “accident”.

     In my haste that morning to answer the phone I had replaced the liner and forgotten to come back to add the actual litter.  Suddenly, I felt a great sense of relief. It had been my fault not his. I began to feel admiration for his ability to know that had he gone anywhere else in the house I might not have noticed right away. By doing it on my bed I couldn’t miss it and would have to do something about it. Call me crazy but I truly believe Sammy was determined not to go all night without me filling up his kitty litter.  Handling it the way he did ensured the outcome he had hoped for. I thanked him for letting me know what was wrong and assured him it would never happen again. And it never did for either of us. I was able to let go of the fear now that I knew what was behind his behavior.

     Through this experience Sammy taught me the meaning behind a saying I have on a fridge magnet. It says, “Digging for facts is better exercise than jumping to conclusions!”  It was a lesson I very much needed in my life at that time.

      We were destined to teach each other many lessons the most important being how to love fearlessly. 

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