Dear Sampson, aka Blackie Fish ( nicknamed for his long black fur and star shaped paws),
You were the awkward stepchild, the middle child of 2 other cats who shared our home. We adopted you from a cat rescue in Woodland California in 1999 when you were 2 years old. We suspected you came from an abusive background because you were de-clawed, always a little skidish and afraid of loud noises or commotions. Sometimes you fit the term “scardi-cat”. Yet, you sought our constant attention. You yearned to be held and rubbed. We called you Blackie patience because you would sit there staring at us waiting patiently just for a nod of approval. And when we gave, you would jump into our laps and put your arms over our shoulders like a baby would. You would then proceed to purr like crazy and drool all over the place. I used to get so mad at you for doing that sometimes.
Unlike the other cats , you preferred to sleep in dark warm places. You would often burrow deep under a blanket. Sometimes we didn’t know you were there and we’d accidentally sit on you. You were a total indoor cat and sleeping was your favorite pastime…up to 20 hours a day. You were a night owl too. Who the heck eats dinner at 2am?
For years you battled with a weird skin allergy to fleas. You would lick yourself raw during your waking hours. We did everything we could think of to stop the itch. We took you to the vet several times, but they weren’t very helpful. Finally 8 years later, the problem just sort of went way on it’s own. Luckily the last years of your live were itch free.
As you got older you started to mellow out and were less nervous. You did your thing, the other cats did theirs. But about 6 weeks ago just after your 15th birthday, we noticed a lump near your tale that had grown from the size of a pea to a walnut during the course of about 6 months. Hoping that it was just benign cyst, we had the vet remove it. It was major surgery for older cat, but we thought it would improve your quality of life. We know it was tough for you to go through that operation and we hated to see you with that horrible incision, but within a week you were back on your feet and seemed good as new. We thought everything was back to normal. But things weren’t back to normal. You were actually never really the same after your surgery. We noticed that your spine felt really bony and you seemed to be moving around more slowly than usual and sometimes you had a blank stare. Your abdomen was starting to look really bloated too, but we chalked it up to constipation and old age. We took you to have it checked out. Your blood tests were not normal. Something was causing great stress on your body. Hoping it was just an infection, the vet put you on antibiotics. The drug itself made you very lethargic and listless, you could barely lift your head. Now you had us really worried, something other than an infection was going on. So we took you to a fancy pet hospital that specializes in cats. They poked,prodded and scanned you for 8 hours. Turns out you were full of inoperable cancer. You must have it for weeks if not months. You must have been in a lot of pain and terribly uncomfortable but being feline and stoic, you were good hid your pain from us. Shame on you. Refusing to let you suffer a minute longer, we decided right then and there to ease your pain and suffering the only way we knew how, by gently putting you into a deep and everlasting sleep.
Dear Sampson, we ache so badly for you. We love you and miss you more than you will ever know. Your time with us made our lives so much richer. We’ve lost so many cherished family members this year, both human and feline, but Sampson, you have been the hardest one to get over. There was something about your needy personality that captured our hearts. I’m sorry we didn’t recognize sooner that there was something in your belly bothering you. Like a typical stoic cat, you showed no signs or symptoms until it was too late.
Thank you for the gentle lick on my face when we said good bye. We will never forget you. You’re pain free now our brave one. Soar high my furry friend and snuggle with the angels till meet again.