One of my fondest memories of our angel cat Samantha is how she used to lick my feet when I’d go into the bathroom at night! Before we moved, our master bathroom at the old house was one of her favorite places to hang out, so she’d usually be in there at night if I got up. She also loved to lick our hands when we were petting her, though the little bites she’d inevitably throw in at some point were not as appreciated as much!
She always seemed so nurturing to me, and I thought she would have made a great mother, but of course we had her spayed when she was young. She also was a loner though; she was not known to hang out with the other cats much, though she would hang out with the dogs at times. She always especially loved our beagle Kobi because he was so laid back. The bigger dogs were a bit too rambunctious for her, though as seen in the photo below, she did hang out with them when they were being mellow.
The dogs slept with us, so she rarely did, but when my sister Lynn lived with us for a few months, Sam loved to hang out in her room with her.
Sam was always an indoor cat, but when she was younger, up until we moved to the new house, she often escaped outdoors. She was a smart girl and she knew just where to hang out and watch, and when the dogs were being let in and out, sometimes hesitating as dogs do, she’d make a run for it. Most of the time she’d come back in at night, and if she didn’t, I’d be up and down all night checking for her.
The only time I got really upset when she escaped was when she raided a robin’s nest that was on our deck in the wood pile! She was not a very sweet girl then!
Samantha did have her mischievous side, she had a love of plants and all indoor ones had to be kept out of her reach (other than the catnip plants I gave her). Her penchant for digging up plants gave us blog material on more than one occasion! It was just last spring when she got into some seedlings I had started in the house and we wrote a fun post “Busted – Cat Mischief” in 2014 when she got into some plants on our screened porch at the old house.
Sam contributed a lot to the blog with her adventures and her reviews of cat products, which sometimes had to get “outsourced” to her kitty cousin Nina when she didn’t have interest in toys, or was being fussy about food or treats.
Being a black cat, she was difficult to photograph inside the house. Some of my favorite photos of her at the new house are when I started taking her outside.
Here at the new house she was known for her farm cat jobs as chick mama and grandma. She spent almost all her time for those few weeks in the spring in our upstairs room where we raise our birds when they are young.
She watched over them, and then later got to visit them outdoors. Here at the new house, I’d take her outside, first on a leash and then loose. Her fading eyesight made it so that she didn’t move too quickly so as long as I watched her she was fine. She did enjoy cruising around the open areas! Some of my favorite shots were of her and the guinea hens. They were totally fascinated with her, and she was quite oblivious!
I think my favorite post I ever wrote about her was “Soft & Sweet – 10 Things I Love About Samantha”. That post helps me to remember all the best things about her.
Unfortunately, some of her other contributions to the blog were updates on her various health conditions. She gave us more than one scare over the years, once with joint issues and more often appetite issues. But she was a strong old lady and she carried on for quite some time with both hyperthyroidism and high blood pressure, which led to her blindness.
She had at least some eyesight all that time, except for maybe at the very end this winter. We could see her age finally catching up to her over the winter, with more and more time spent sleeping in her favorite “fort”. She still came out this late winter though to sit in the sun and even in my safe box! Her appetite would wax and wane over the winter, with it getting worse at one point in March. We had to change her food every so often because she’d get bored with it, and we did that one more time and once again she bounced back. However, I had a strong feeling that was going to be the last time we’d see that.
For the last 2-3 weeks of her life, she was often refusing to take her pills. She ate, but not a lot. She still made her way from her fort to her food and water dishes even though she wasn’t eating much. We knew her time was coming, and we just wanted her to be able to go on her own terms. While in the end we had to help her a bit, we feel she still got to do it her way, staying strong for as long as she could. She seemed like she did not want to give in to it, but eventually she lost the strength to keep up the fight.
In her later years, hanging out with her chicks was Sam’s favorite activity, and I’ve been so pleased that many readers commented how much they enjoyed reading about that. She didn’t play with toys too much, though occasionally she would, and she loved to chew on her catnip plants. She was quiet and other than not using her litter box, an easy cat, always peaceful and content.
She has left an empty place in our home, and the chicks that just joined our family won’t know what they are missing not having a special old kitty to watch over them. But we will, and we’ll hang onto those special memories of our sweet girl and her chicks forever.
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