He missed curfew, so he was relegated to spend the cold spring night outside. This was not a young kool kat, but a sedate older dude, whose tomkating days were behind him.
I met Sammy on a previous visit to North Carolina. On our recent visit, Sammy and I developed a serendipitous relationship.
Sammy, the furry 4-legged honcho at the Moss household is a bossy, neutered tomcat, rescued by my sister-in-law (SIL), who works at a retirement village which allows pets. Often pet owners move, die or otherwise have to forfeit their animals for various, sometimes urgent, reasons.
This was the plight of Sammy. It seemed no one would step forward and give Sammy a "forever home." Finally, SIL said, "I'll take the cat." She wasn't sure of her husband's reception; he had run stray cats off his property.
SIL drove home with all 16 lbs. of Sammy, opened the door, and set Sammy inside. Amazingly, Sammy ran and jumped in her husband's lap where the two seemed to bond instantly.
Sammy, having conquered what was perceived the biggest obstacle to his new habitat, began to relegate the routines he expected for his continued comfortable lifestyle in return for his devotion of demoted head of household HOH and wife.
1. Sleep in bed with HOH and wife.
2. Feed warm saucer of milk-very small amount, heated 10 seconds, no more or no less, in microwave on demand in kitchen, after which must have outdoor spree.
3. Provide valet service at any door 24/7 for indoor/outdoor recreation, or whatever cats do during waking hours, day and night.
4. Daytime sleep-in after early breakfast, until 4 p.m., preferably undisturbed on master bedroom bed.
5. Other amenities, such as regular dry cat kibbles, water and litter pan in master bedroom.
6. Drinking water privileges in the bathroom lavatory, where the current occupant must open the spigot at just the right trickle, to lap or play.
When SIL's husband (HOH) died, best buddy Sammy, or should I say dictator, was devastated. The crowds of people during his last illness, and the usual company and visits before, during and after a funeral sent Sammy into isolation and hermitage.
Like other family members he suffered duress, desolation and deprivation of his beloved owner. He hid in the basement or spent long hours outdoors trying to understand his innermost feline feelings. He had no cat friends with which to consult or commiserate...well we aren't sure. There was the neighborhood stray who was seen occasionally on the property.
Sometime during or after the funeral, Sammy was missing, maybe contemplating his fate and future, or whatever cats do when their living arrangements take a dramatic change of course. The person to which he bonded most was gone. His house was full of strangers, including new creatures called "children." His household rules were not holding water.
When my husband (H) and I arrived to stay two weeks, SIL's son and family were in their last two days before leaving for their home in Wisconsin. We visited with the son and family one of the two days.
Someone, I think H, asked, "Where is Sammy?" SIL, et al, said Sammy was AOL and had been for a few days.
Conversation continued. I was seated a bit away from the center of attention by the open, glass back door. At some point I absentmindedly glanced at the door. Amazingly, there sat Sammy.
We let Sammy in. He hurriedly surveyed the room's occupants and scurried to the bedroom. He must have summed up his alternatives and decided to adjust to the hand life dealt him. After all, it could be a whole lot worse.
After the company left and only adults were in the house, Sammy seemingly settled in his routine of training us. SIL was already trained. He would rub our legs and even purred a tad for his milk. He sat with H outside in the smoking chair, as we called it.
The crowning achievement with me was # 6 above, when he entered the bathroom, jumped on the lavatory and waited for me to adjust the water. Certainly I never would replace HOH, but I was acceptable substitute if I complied with his rituals.
The most disgruntled, maybe downright mad cat I ever witnessed was Sammy the night he was missed another curfew and was caught up in a severe thunderstorm.
It was after 10 p.m. I was sleeping near the door he usually entered and exited. Between two loud claps of thunder there was a deluge of rain. The second clap was greater volume than the first. I lumbered sleepily to the door and opened it. In streaked the wettest, dripping mad cat I've ever seen. He streaked down the hallway to the master bedroom and SIL, with me in pursuit with a towel to wipe him down.
Sammy didn't know, but maybe he did, that H and I were saps to slavery via a lifetime of dogs. He just lucked out in training us so easily.
Message to Sammy: please be kind and take good care of H's sister and my sister-in-law. You could not have a better home!
PHOTOS: (Apology - I have had no time to learn my two new photo editing programs' method to remove pet equivalent of red eye. It is NOT the red eye tool, at least not in the 3 programs I own.)
Husband: 2, 3, 7
NitWit: 1, 4, 5, 6, 8