We took him for his booster jabs in September and the vet gave him the once over and instead of issuing him with the usual clean bill of health he informed us that he had found a mass in his stomach and what did we want to do about it? Our dog (Boo-Boo) had suffered a similar diagnosis three years previous and we put her through a battery of tests which all came out inconclusive and ended up putting her through unnecessary discomfort, costing us a small fortune and ultimately resulted in us having to have her put down not long afterwards anyway, so we opted, given his advancing age, to let nature take its course and so long as he wasn't suffering we'd carry on as normal.
Sampson was his usual happy self for a few months, yes he was losing weight but he was still eating and drinking normally and still going out and about on the prowl but this last week he hadn't been himself, he barely left his seat let alone the house and we were forced to get the litter tray out for him, which he hated but as he actually started using it I knew the end was in sight. Anyway on Friday evening he started vomiting and panting and just sat on the floor in the corner of the dining room so we decided that we should make an emergency appointment and let the vet take a look at him. My folks kindly did a mercy dash to sit with the kids as Buster had decided he didn't want to come and Missy is a bit too young for it all and off we went.
After what seemed like an emotionally charged eternity in a packed waiting room we were seen and the vet examined him and agreed that the kindest thing to do would be to let him go, so tearfully that's what we did. We gave him as much fuss as those final minutes would allow and he was purring even with his last breath.
I know that people who don't have pets won't understand what they bring to your life but Sampson was the most wonderful cat in the world and it was a privilege to be his
His friendliness only increased over the years he would approach the kids that passed our house on the school run for cuddles and tickles and loved to sit on the roof of the car parked in the driveway and meow at passers by (and tease the massive dog that lives opposite). He'd always walk out to greet us when we pulled up in our car, he sometimes tried to follow us on walks round the park and tolerated both our children as heavy-handed toddlers with their obsession with chasing him for hugs or
He got on superbly with our Jack Russell too, they used to play fight and she would even allow Sampson to 'attack' her by lying on the ground and let him (lightly) clamp his jaws around her throat. I think at times he thought he actually was a dog. In our old house we used to be able to sit in bed and throw a plastic cat ball out of our bedroom so it hit the bathroom door and bounced off down the stairs and he would have a wail of a time fetching it and bringing it back up to us for another go, often by the end panting just like a dog!
We once gave him some leftover Christmas turkey, although a rogue Brussel sprout must've found its way into his bowl and he showed his disgust by putting it in Mr Right's shoe, a fact only discovered after Mr Right had put his foot into said shoe.
Anyway, it's all these little things that I'll miss and it's now struck me that after almost two decades I am no longer a pet owner. As much as I'd like another pet it just doesn't feel right as no cat or dog could live up to the memory of Sampson (or Boo-Boo for that matter).
|RIP Sampson, the friendliest cat in the world|