“Just a Cat”

In loving memory of Samantha “Sammy” Maitland, October 31, 2000- April 28, 2016.

For many people, the loss of a close family member is the most memorable day of your life. Raised as an only child in a house full of pets I began at a young age treating them as part of the family. At the age of nine I had experienced a few of our animals passing away, but since I was so young I never really understood the concept of losing someone so special. I had never had an animal that was completely mine and only felt a part of grief.

That changed December 2000 when my family and I adopted three little fluffy blue-eyed kittens. Then I guess you say that is when the journey began, I had one take to me, Samantha. She was part Norwegian Forest cat with a personality just like mine! Samantha was feisty, playful, loving, loyal, and probably was more dog like than cat. We were two peas in a pod. Never did I feel alone when I was in my house because she was always there. Samantha loved drinking water from the tap and enjoyed watching birds flit around outside from the window. She was a gorgeous hardy little cat weighing in at fourteen pounds during her prime. Saying that she was the perfect cat for me would be an understatement. Once those little paws wrapped around my arms, I knew she captured my heart. She taught me how to care for other living creatures and responsibility at a very young age.

We were always so close. I guess that is how I knew something was wrong in April 2015. She started losing weight and seemed to be less feisty than normal. After a trip to the veterinarian, my worse fear was confirmed. My baby, Samantha, had cancer throughout her whole body. There wasn’t much I could do to help except provide her comfort and spoil her rotten. That is exactly what I did. I did try to help her with steroids shots which seemed to work for seven months. During that time, my room became her retreat. For a year, I was able to provide her with the best of the best. She had Fancy Feast food given to her twice a day, was allowed to eat as many treats as she could handle, and always had a warm heating pad to lay on.

She seemed to be doing well until April 21, 2016. There is a different light in an animal’s eyes when they are no longer able to fight the battle. She had grown weak, and a feeling in the pit of my stomach struck me like a lightning bolt when I saw the look in her eyes. I became on edge, but part of me kept hoping for a miracle. Monday night I knew it wouldn’t be much longer. The last two days I had with her, I spent most my time holding her close. We both knew it was time, but both us seem focused on soaking up the last few quality moments we had left in this world together. The whole time I was hoping that she knew, she was always loved and will always be loved. Thursday, April 28th, 2016 was the day I had been dreading for fourteen and a half years. My baby girl and best friend was put to rest. I was able to be there, and she passed away in my arms. I held her close for the last time for a few minutes before handing her limp body over to the doctor. The only thing I will ever regret is the short amount of time which animals can spend here on earth.

As I go through the grieving process, I still find myself walking around fog at times. That little soul took a piece of me with her when she left this world. Everyday things that I never thought had much of an impact are the hardest to overcome. Your daily habits are altered when you lose a furry companion. No longer am I awaken by a cute yowl in the morning to have the bathroom water facet to be turned on. Every time I walk upstairs, I am no longer greeted by a cute little trill. No longer do I have an endearing face with big green eyes staring at me from my headboard before I fall asleep at night. The purr that once calmed me down during a stressful time is now just a memory. I still find myself today hoping to see her come around the corner while I walk into the bathroom expecting me to turn on the water faucet for her. My hand still reaches for her in the middle of the night where she should be sleeping in the pukka (cubby) in my headboard.

It is was always hard for me to hear people tell me she was “just a cat” and I felt like they would never understand the impact she had on me. She will always be more than “just a cat”, she was my Samantha.

I guess fourteen and a half years of habits are hard to break.

This is the main reason for my lack of blogging for the past week. I apologize for the lack of activity, but I did have what I would call a death in the family. I am hoping that writing this will help with some of this pain that I have.


One comment on ““Just a Cat”

  1. Michael Hall Salvestrin

    I’m sorry you lost Sammy 🙁