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SammyIn 1996 Jackie and Paul had a small pet shop and one day two children came in, aged about 11, and said they had got a kitten but their parents wouldn’t let them keep it and told them to throw it in a dustbin. Fortunately the children were more intelligent than their parents and so a new tiny kitten was added to the family. He was a few months old but very frightened of hands going near his head so he may have suffered before he got to his furrever home.

Sammy's Fox FriendIn the following 21 years he brought love and joy to every day. He had not one day of illness and only visited the Vet for annual vaccinations and check-ups. He loved his garden and had a very large fox friend who would wait for him by his cat flap each evening and often the two could be seen lying together in the grass. Sammy was always a small cat but had beautifully appointed stripies and very sharp claws which he would use to wake his staff at four in the morning by pawing their faces. He had his own bed next to the staff where he would curl up and sleep and his daddy would often reach out during the night to hold his paw.

Sammy supervising Daddy at 'work'Sammy loved his mummy and his nanny who would stay with him if the staff were to be away for a few days. His nanny’s was the first human lap he sat on. His daddy works from home and Sammy made it his mission to supervise by lying between the keyboard and computer monitor. He had a couple of old woollen jumpers to lie on and would sleep there for hours. He was also a Windows expert and could, with one swish of his paw, open all kinds of windows, sort emails and generally cause havoc that his daddy didn’t know how to undo.

He was a tuna aficionado and could hear a tin being opened from the end of the garden, or if asleep, smell one tuna molecule in a billion from upstairs. He also was addicted to butter and cheese and loved lapping cream; his daddy used to go to the bakers to buy him a cream cake – Sammy ate the cream, his daddy got to eat the cake.

Sammy and his lovely stripiesAround Christmas 2016 and approaching his 21st birthday, he started to show his age; in particular his back legs were getting weak so he had a special bed made next to the radiator in the lounge. He always loved that radiator and, when it was cold, would sit for ages warming himself. As the weeks progressed he got weaker and the Vet diagnosed an enlarged liver. Since the age of 16 he had been taken for 6 monthly blood tests because his staff were aware of possible kidney and liver problems in older cats. To the very end his blood tests were always near perfect and his heart was strong.

He had an untrasound and x-rays and had to have his tummy shaved. He was also on a drip for a day to help with hydration; sadly he didn’t get to re-grow his stripes. For a month he was having special fluids to keep him hydrated and keep his vitamins, minerals and taurine levels up, he also had a special high protein diet as he was losing weight.

On Monday evening, 3rd April, he insisted on being lifted onto the sofa to sit in his favourite place between his mummy and daddy, and have a stroke and cuddle. He was quiet on Tuesday but had some mackerel that his daddy had bought for him. In the afternoon he lay quietly. At 5:45pm his mummy got home from work, washed her hands and picked him up for a cuddle. A few minutes later he said, ‘meow’ and died in her arms. He was cremated at Cherry Tree Farm, near Ashford on Wednesday 5th of April and his ashes brought home.

PoppyHe has a sister Poppy who came to stay in May 2016 after being homeless for a year and rescued by the CPL, she’s about 2½. She went to see Sammy before he left on Wednesday morning and stood and washed his head for him.

Everybody who knew Sammy loved him. Clare at Clasicats sent him a present of his own catnip snakie which he loved. He has left that to Poppy who will look after it for him. He is now a bright star in the sky and with his brothers and sisters – Sooty, Izzy, Sophie, Charlie, Nicky, Flickie (who adored him), Ollie and Lottie but has left a large tabby love-heart in his staff’s hearts.

Jackie,  Paul and Poppy Sullivan, Kent, UK

Dogs Come when Called

"Dogs come when called. Cats take a message and get back to you."

"Of course, every cat is really the most beautiful woman in the room."

Edward Verrall Luca (essayist)