Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Sam (April 27, 1992 - October 6, 2011)

I remember the day you adopted us. It was a fairly nice October day in 1992. We were holding a funeral service for Barky, the hamster, under the big oak tree by the creek in our back yard in Iowa.  You showed up unannounced and did figure-eights around our legs as we laid Barky to rest.  You followed us home like a puppy dog.  You hung out on the front steps for three days eating the tuna the kids left for you. On the third day while I was cooking I saw a four-legged gray creature stroll across the kitchen floor.  I yelled at the top of my lungs (kids’ bedroom was upstairs), “Hey, what’s this cat doing in the house?”  Eric, then 6 years old, declared it was too cold outside and he begged to let kitty in. Uh, yeah, too late kid, you already did.  It was a cold, raw, rainy day just before Halloween.  How could I say no?  It just took an open door and you were home.  For the next 19 years.

I remember the days when you played Nintendo batting your paws to get at Mario and Luigi.  You earned many nicknames.  Mr. Sam Katze, Sammy, Samuel, Chester Cheeto, and my favorite, Samuel Satan Kitty. My sister Lynn gave you the last name because of the time you bit her on the ankle. I know you were pissed because we dared to go on vacation without you and left you home alone with Lynn tending to your needs. The name Chester Cheeto came from another time we went on vacation and Brian left a bowl of Cheetos in his room. We came home to piles of orange remnants all over the carpet from the Cheetos you consumed. You really did like people and didn’t like being left alone. Whenever the doorbell rang you were there to greet the company. 

Speaking of your favorite foods, besides tuna, how about all the cornbread you consumed?  Phil brilliantly thought he could cover the cornbread with saran wrap and keep your nose out of the pan. HA!  You sure showed him over and over again that saran wrap was no challenge to keep you out of that delicious treat.  How about the times I caught you stealing chicken wings and the kids’ pancake breakfast off the table? Oh, yes, we went around and around about you being on the counters.  I could hear you slinking about the counters, yell from the other room, and hear you plop your butt down. I tried all the tricks to keep you off.  Squirt guns, upside-down mouse traps covered with newspapers, sprays. Nothing worked. Even in your old age you still had the agility to hop up and look around for something delicious to eat.

We all thought you would live forever.  We noticed the weight loss a few months ago but you had a good appetite until a few days ago. You knew it was time to go.  I still wake up in the morning thinking I better  get up and hand deliver your breakfast.  After 19 years it is hard to change the routine.  But you are in heaven now and we will all be together again some day.  I hope God doesn’t mind you jumping up on his kitchen counters, eating cornbread and Cheetos, and stealing pancakes and chicken wings. 


  1. Sorry to hear about Sam :( It sounds like he lived a long happy life filled with food!

    I love the story about how he showed up

  2. Oh! I am so sad to hear about Sam. He sounds awesome. It also sounds like he had a really good life with you.

  3. That was a great story Rita. Reminds me of my old grumpy fat cat Churchill.

  4. I had to share this email I got from my cousin Candi. Also, thank Laura and Cheryl for the kind words. No matter how much I complained about Sam, I miss my buddy.

    Just this side of heaven is a place called Rainbow Bridge.
    When an animal dies that has been especially close to someone here, that pet goes to Rainbow Bridge. There are meadows and hills for all of our special friends so they can run and play together. There is plenty of food, water and sunshine, and our friends are warm and comfortable.

    All the animals who had been ill and old are restored to health and vigor. Those who were hurt or maimed are made whole and strong again, just as we remember them in our dreams of days and times gone by. The animals are happy and content, except for one small thing; they each miss someone very special to them, who had to be left behind.
    They all run and play together, but the day comes when one suddenly stops and looks into the distance. His bright eyes are intent. His eager body quivers. Suddenly he begins to run from the group, flying over the green grass, his legs carrying him faster and faster.

    You have been spotted, and when you and your special friend finally meet, you cling together in joyous reunion, never to be parted again. The happy kisses rain upon your face; your hands again caress the beloved head, and you look once more into the trusting eyes of your pet, so long gone from your life but never absent from your heart.

    Then you cross Rainbow Bridge together....

    Author unknown...

    With great sympathy,


  5. Oh Rita, I'm very sorry to hear about Sam. He was lucky to have chosen your family. You have wonderful memories of him, that's for sure. The e-mail from Candi has left me teary eyed.

  6. Sorry for your loss. I know our pets become like family members. Sounds like he had a good life with you! This totally made me tear up!

  7. That letter really hit a chord with me. We lost a beloved pet a few months back and thinking of him still hurts. I am going to share "Rainbow Bridge" with my son.