His name was Sammy
I was a 4 year old, hyper-active fidget when my Granddad opened up his jacket and pulled out a tiny little ginger fluff ball, who I automatically call “Cinderella!”
Cinderella got shortened to Cindy and after the vet pointed out a couple of things…Cindy became Sammy……snip
Sammy was an independent tom-cat. He was constantly sleeping under the pipes in the boiler cupboard and contributed daily his own food by bringing home something lovely for dinner, unfortunately he was only willing to share the heads. (nice)
Mom would throw him out the front door every night, and I would open my bedroom window and call him back in. He would spend the night sleeping with me inside my bed next to my Teddy Boo-boo, here I knew he was safe and I could sleep and not loop. I had my Sammy cat for 10 years, he was my best friend and knew me better than anyone else. He never judged me, he always listened and he accepted me in whatever mood I was in. He would give me comfort as I stared and lost myself in his lovely, warm patterned fur. Then he’d bite and ground me snapping me out of being too distant. He was never bothered by my extreme teenage noise pollution, misunderstood violent outbursts and constant crying. He never told me I was obsessed by my interests…ATARI and nail polish. He just let me be me, and I so needed him because the pressure to conform had taken me into isolation.
When Sammy got killed on the main road outside my family home, I was devastated. I couldn’t eat and I stopped speaking for 2 weeks. Sammy was my first love, and my first friend. He taught me about friendship and self belief, he was loyal and forgiving and knew his own mind. He was the only hugs I could do and he was the only friend I could talk to. After my complete shut-down, Mom took me to get Kitty.
My Dear Kitty
Mom took me to a pet shop in the City Centre and I carried Kitty home inside my burgundy jacket on the number 12 bus. She was my little baby. I never did the dolly thing like other girls. I didn’t see the point of dressing and playing with something stiff, unrealistic, that smelt synthetic. I knew a doll wasn’t real, so what was the point in pretending it was. My Kitty however was totally real, living, breathing and needing my love as much as I needed hers.
I was really struggling at school, I had been put onto a reading development program, which then caused bullying because it brought attention to my dyslexia. In my one to one SEN-time I would have to read ‘Wind in the Willows’ picture books. I had no interest in fictional toads, badgers and rats especially speaking ones wearing clothes and driving vintage motor cars…I mean how bloody ridiculous.
The other kids were reading “The Diary of Anne Frank,” which sounded far more interesting. This is where Kitty got her name from, I felt I was missing out, so I made my own Dear Kitty, after all I was constantly alone in my very small bedroom.
Kitty was majorly insecure, the pet shop had taken her from her mother far too young and she would suckle on everything, she never grew out of this. She could never cope with being on her own, she would spend all day following RAF our Black Labrador around the house and garden. When he lay down by the fire she lay on top of him. As soon as I got home from school she would follow me to my room where she would stay with me till the next day.
She lived a long life for a cat, and stayed at my Mom and Dad’s home because when I left at 18 she hated my flat and couldn’t settle. She spent 6 days hiding in my wardrobe, refusing food and water. Seeing her like this broke my heart and I had to grow up and make a very hard decision.
Kitty taught me parenting skills, she taught me to see past myself to others needs. Finally when I took her back to my Mom’s, so she could be with her beloved RAF, she taught me to let go. She was a beautiful black and white soul who died peacefully under the apple tree in my Mom and Dad’s front garden at 16 human years of age.
Ok, crying as I rewrite this post. Jump forward 20 years…with lots of cats in between, lot of strays that have come and gone and we get to Holly
“Holly, Holly, Hollyyyyyyy!!!”
Holly was my disabled cat, she was deaf and partially sighted. She was a mix of white/tan/black long haired fluff. She didn’t like being touched because she never knew where the touch was coming from. To groom her I had to spend time crawling around on the floor allowing her to sniff me and come to me. She never left my garden because she knew she was safe there.
Holly…pretty, pretty Holly
When I fed all my other cats I had to make sure she was catered for because she couldn’t fend for herself. If she was not in her basket or the cat kennel I had to go find her. She couldn’t hear me calling so I physically had to walk around looking for her. She wouldn’t come running at the sound of cat food, she couldn’t hear it. She was very demanding at meal times, and would scream at me for her food, she couldn’t hear how loud she was, but believe me it was ear-piercing, it hurts my head at times. She didn’t cope well with the other cats and isolated herself away from even her own daughter. When she walked around the garden she relied on her sense of smell, this meant she had to constantly flick her head left and right in an erratic way. The neighbours who saw her doing this told me to have her put to sleep. I think because they thought she was defective or not happy – but she was NOT defective, she was just a little unique and I love that about her. She had found her way and I saw how hard it was for her, compared to my other cats. She did everything required to be a cat. She just did it differently to the rest. She was happy and content and she knew she was loved and accepted. This is what made the other cats move out of her way.
She was the queen of my garden!
Holly taught me this very valuable lesson;
If I could do all these things for her!
If I could see the cat she was!
If I could believe and stand against people’s opinions for her!
Then I could do all this for my kids and myself too.
I believe that God meets us where we are at….even if we think cat.
And now my new addition
Trixie, the feral
I wonder what she is going to teach me? She is one massive puzzle, and I love working out puzzles. 🙂