Sam was five years old when I was born. He was a gentle, patient cat but a playful one. He never scratched us when we were little no matter what we did to him. He was a small black cat, the runt of the litter and the more he ate the thinner he seemed to get. Despite this, his coat was soft and shiny and he always looked healthy. He had enormous green eyes and used these to his advantage when he wanted sympathy or more likely wanted food. Sam was nine when we moved house and it didn’t take him long before he was exploring the neighbourhood.
Despite his small size and pathetic looks he could still chase off all the other cats in the street even though they were twice as big as him. He also liked exploring the next-door neighbours garden and would invite himself into their house. They were not great cat lovers and would chase most of the other cats away from their property. Even though they disliked cats Sam won their hearts. They would buy fresh salmon and chicken especially for him, as he was rather partial to these. He would sleep on top of their garage roof in the sun but as he got older it became increasingly more difficult for him to climb up or down the fence.
Mike used to open the garage door, let Sam climb onto it and then slowly close it until Sam could easily jump down. As well as dining at our house and next door, we eventually found he went to five other houses to eat. At each house they felt sorry for him and fed him, thinking he was a stray. One house even bought him a collar. It was at this point we realised what was going on. We had a book at home called “Six Dinner Sid”, but Sam beat this by having seven dinners: “Seven Dinner Sam”.
Sam would get himself into some real scrapes, like the time he climbed up the ladder to my bedroom window ledge, my Mum came into the room with the hoover on and because he hated the noise of it so much he fell backwards from the first floor to the ground – about a twenty foot drop. Or the time he climbed up the loft ladder at the top of steep stairs, we heard a crash and found both the ladder and the cat at the bottom of the stairs, on both occasions he walked away without a scratch. Cats are supposed to have nine lives but somehow he managed to use up about fifteen.
On the 28th October 1995, we arrived home in the evening to find Sam was waiting for us outside the house. He appeared to be limping, as he came closer we could see he was only walking on three legs, he had hurt his back right leg. My Dad immediately took him to the vets, she suspected a broken leg, as she couldn’t do anything that evening she let us take him home and asked to see him the following day. We took him home and pampered him more than ever as we all knew what the outcome might be the following day. In the morning, before school we said goodbye to him fearing the worst.
At school I couldn’t stop thinking about him. I walked outside and met my parents, they told me that the vet had to put him down as they couldn’t put him under anaesthetic because he was too weak and wouldn’t have woken up again. I walked home woefully. As I neared my house, I whished that it wasn’t true. I went round the back and there he was. Lying on the bench wrapped in his favourite blanket. I stroked him. He was as cold as an ice-burg in the middle of the Antarctic. We buried him with all his things: his blanket, a tin of cat food, his collar and some fish flakes.
We put the fish flakes in, as he loved eating them. His death was a huge blow to me. At first I didn’t believe that he was actually dead, but I grew to accept it. The next morning I woke up and whished that it was all a nightmare. But as I walked down stairs and into the kitchen, he wasn’t there to greet me. The next couple of days were the worst days in my life. I couldn’t concentrate, I couldn’t eat or sleep and I didn’t want to go to school. As time went on I started to get back on with my life. I still think about him today. And think of all the good memories of him.