Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Sam, a Life

You curl the silence of your sleep,
one velvet paw curved like a shell
scooping an intrinsic substance
to cover your eyes.

I watch you in your world
and I grow wise.

You are a silver flash
that singles itself in shadows.
You carve your domain
from fence to house
then gather the rooms about you
for your own.
Each of your days is a world.

You do not look back on yesterday
nor do you anticipate tomorrow
You live the present intensified
in its own way,
and trust my every circling of your world.

Ruth Munch, A Certain Wisdom

Today would have been his 17th birthday but unfortunately Sam passed away a few weeks ago on the 8th of July. I haven't blogged about it as it has been too painful to do so. I miss my sweet and loving boy so very much.

Sam was born in our home on the 14th of August 1990 in a litter of 5 boys. I had not intended to keep a kitten myself this time but Sam proved to be irresistible. See what I mean?
Here's a pic of Sam and his 4 brothers when they were about 10 weeks old, aren't they absolutely adorable?
From left to right: Camelot's Sweet William, Perry Winkle, Sam Bucus, Dandy Lion and Holly Hock. Can you tell that the Ruskie breeder (moi) is also an avid gardener?

Sam grew up to be a very beautiful Russian Blue, both inside and out. With his eyes, that resembled those of a baby seal, he wound me around his paw. One look and I was reduced to a puddle!

Sam won a lot of prizes at show and charmed the pants of anyone who ever met him. He was a bit of a lady killer as well, both with the ladies of the human and of the feline persuasion. For a few years he was at stud and sired about 150 kittens in 3 different countries. As a stud Sam was never kept separated from our other cats but was a fully paid-up member of our cat family.

As an entire male he sprayed a lot so he wore stud pants with nappy when he was in the living room and kitchen. Outside in the garden and in his own room he could spray to his heart's content and I would do the cleaning up afterwards, a bit of a job I can tell you. Here's Sam with some of his offspring, 3 bouncing baby girls!
After Sam had done his bit for Queen and country, not to mention the Russian Blue breed, he was retired and became a full time pet.
Sam was the firm favorite of many of our visitors as he was the first one to greet our guests with lots of purrrrrrs and cuddles. With his exceptionally sweet disposition and considerable charm Sam was a great ambassador and promoter of the virtues of the Russian Blue breed.
Sam enjoyed the company of people and other kitties in equal measures. He didn't like to be alone and he never was. He always came when I called him, I taught him that at a very early age. One time at show he made a spectacular escape by jumping over the head of the steward ( a very tall guy) who was standing with Sam at the judge's table so Sam could be judged. I had never seen such a jump before or since. After Sam had made his escape he was at a loss what to do until I called his name and he came running and jumped straight into my arms purring like mad. Above a pic of Sam with his grandson Merli(j)n who's even bigger than Sam and Sam never was a small sized Ruskie. Nope, when Sam was in your arms, they were filled to overflowing with one big loving, purrrfectly sweet and cuddly boy. It was a joy to pet him as his coat was unbelievably full, soft, silky and luscious.
Sam was a bit of a globe trotter and went with us on many a holiday abroad. As long as he was with me, everything was right in his little world. Sam had a lot of cattitude and was at times a bit of a handful but also such fun to be with. Never a dull moment with Sam!
Sam was an incredibly good acrobat and he was able to do things in the climbing and jumping department that defied belief. He was very strong but very gentle with it. He always allowed me to control him and all the time I've been aware that he was the one who gracefully allowed me to do so. My boy was the full 12 pounds of twisted steel and sex-appeal, no doubt about that!
Sam enjoyed being outside the garden and was often there as he not only loved to be in the garden but also loved to do a spot of gardening himself. He used to help me with the weeding: I would pull out a weed, he would sniff it, then bite it and then would graciously allow me to discard it. It took forever to weed like that, but oh what fun it was. He was also very good in digging holes so I could put the bulbs in. When he was still an entire male he helped by distributing his own special brand of grow-more in the garden.
All his life Sam enjoyed excellent health until last year when he was diagnosed with chronic kidney failure. With the help of a special diet and lots of extra helpings of TLC, Sam's life was a good one until the very end when my vet put him to sleep to prevent suffering and my darling boy died in my arms very peacefully at home, surrounded by all those who loved him.

My boy has lived a happy and charmed life from start to finish, something to be eternally grateful for as so many other kitties (not to mention humans beings) live such miserable lives.
Addendum: this beautiful artwork of Sam, in all the stages of his life, was made by the very talented Helen Groeneveld in honour of all things Sam. A heartfelt thank you to Helen!


If life were together forever
And death an unreal thing,
How would we be able
To ease the suffering?

If all our thoughts were selfish,
Decisions left unmade,
Dark memories would haunt us,
The pain would never fade.

If living is a burden
And dying a release,
Then do the necessaries
And let me rest in peace.

Pat Milner


Marian said...

Een mooi logje Yolanda,
bijna zeventien is een prachtige
leeftijd, maar je zou ze zo graag veel langer bij je houden hè!
Fijn dat je Sam thuis hebt laten inslapen, zo hebben wij dat ook al een paar keer laten doen,
het is allemaal zoveel 'vrediger'
voor een kat om niet naar de kille
praktijk van de dierenarts te moeten, en voor jezelf geeft het, voorzover mogelijk, toch een goed gevoel.
groeten, Marian (lavendeltuin)

Birgit said...

Wie traurig, Yolanda. Wie groß die Trauer um ein lieb gewordenes Tier ist und wie schmerzhaft, kann ich Dir so sehr nachfühlen. Ein großer Trost ist es jedoch, wenn man sicher ist, dass das geliebte Tier es gut hatte bei uns und ein schönes Leben hatte. Zu Lebzeiten alles für den/die Liebling/e tun, dann kann man irgendwann besser loslassen. Das gilt für Mensch und Tier.

Er war so ein schöner Kater, Dein Sam. Du wirst ihn immer im Herzen behalten, damit lebt er weiter.

Liebe Grüße, Birgit

Sanni said...

Hugs from me for you in your loss. You wrote a wonderful memory writing to your lovely Sam. He really had a nice life. I cryed few tears for him.

We allways have our memories with us.

gintoino said...

I'm sorry for your loss. Sam was indeed a beautifull animal.

Russian blues are among my favourite cat breeds although I never had one (not very easy to find here in Portugal).

kk4141 said...

I am so sorry for you. It is never easy to loose a dear like your beautiful Sam. What a beautiful tribute to him.

SchneiderHein said...

Ich kann sehr gut verstehen, dass Du erst jetzt zu Sam's Geburtstag diesen Erinnerungspost veröffentlichst.
In all' den Bildern und Deinem Text wird deutlich, was Ihr für eine großartige gemeinsame Beziehung hattet. Ist es nicht ein fast ungewöhnliches Glück von seiner Geburt an bis zum Tod das Leben mit Sam teilen zu können und das sogar fast 17 Jahre?
So schmerzlich wie der Abschied auch ist, so scheint Sam sein Leben bei Dir wirklich immer genossen zu haben.

Layanee said...

YE: Sam was REGAL! What a lucky cat to have been part of your family! A fitting tribute to quite a stud!

jodi said...

Oh my dear Yolanda Elizabet--I'm so very sorry about Sam Bucus. (I'm sitting here in a puddle of tears, cat-mushball that I am.) What a loving tribute by you to share with all of us. As you say, he had a splendid life and gave and got lots of love--and you will always have that to hold on to. These little furballs do leave pawprints all over our hearts and souls, but we're always better people for having loved and been loved by them.

As Kylee did for me when we lost Quincy, an e-hug across the miles.

(((((yolanda elizabet)))))

The cat children here all send their purring sympathies too....

Carol said...

Sam indeed looks like a very regal, self-assured cat, and I can tell how you truly loved him and cared for him. I don't have a cat, but reading your post, I'm tempted to get one!

OldRoses said...

My condolences on the loss of your sweet boy. What a wonderful life he had. And so lucky to have you as his guardian. He will be sorely missed on the Bliss Team.

Anita said...

Dear Yolanda,

I am so sorry to learn about the loss of your beloved Sam. Thank you so much for sharing all these wonderful picutures, he was a real beauty!

May he rest in peace!


ina said...

heel veel sterkt met dit verlies gr ina

Libbys Blog said...

Oh Yolanda, I am so sorry to hear about your beautiful Sam. He was I can see a very special boy! Thank you so much for sharing your wonderful memories of him.

kate said...

Hi Yolanda Elizabet,

I am so sorry to hear about Sam - your remembrances of him are beautiful. He has left me with the impression of being a large but gentle, loving and loyal cat. He was beautiful.

Your post brought back memories of Hazel - she also died from kidney failure. She battled right till the end.

We are so much better off for having these wonderful feilines in our lives. Benoît (my son who loves to look over my shoulder at your cat family!) and I send many big, healing hugs to you and if he could, Lytton would give you one of his special doggie kisses.

Many hugs, kate ox

ladyluz said...

What a wonderful eulogy to a wonderful cat from a wonderful guardian.

I hope your memories of his antics ease the pain a little.

Big hugs, Yolande.

Ki said...

Sam lived a long and wonderful life. He does look like an imp in the first photo. I can see why you took to him immediately. I'm sorry for your loss. We have had many cats too and it doesn't get any easier when you lose one.

We once had a neutered male but he sprayed outdoors. One day he came into the kitchen and just let loose on the kitchen cabinets. He was sent to be a farm cat. We only have one cat now, another neutered male but I notice he also sprays outdoors. I always thought if you neutered a male when it was young, it wouldn't spray but I guess from our experience that's not true at all.

The scent is so difficult to remove even with all the odor removal stuff they sell in pet stores. I saw a tv show once that had a homemade concoction to remove pet odors. You poured baking soda on the sprayed item, then soaked the soda with hydrogen peroxide (if you use it on colored material, check for colorfastness) let it sit for a bit and vacuum it up with a shopvac.

Tracy said...

I'm so sorry for your loss, and what a wonderful tribute you've written to your Sam.

Kylee said...

Yolanda Elizabet, I'd been waiting to see this post, as I knew you'd reflect on Sam's life. And it's a beautiful tribute.

As true kitty lovers, it's so hard when we lose one of the brood. Once again, my condolences, and hugs.


Annie in Austin said...

My sympathy, Yolanda - from past experience I'll bet it will be a long time before you stop automatically looking for Sam when you come into a room - seventeen years is a long relationship. Good thing you have other cats to hug.

Annie at the Transplantable Rose

Carolyn gail said...

My deepest sympathy on the passing of your beloved Sam. I had a Russian Blue, Orphan Annie, for 21 wonderful years and her personality is just as you described Sam's. She was never sick a day in her life until the very end when she too got kidney failure.

Your post was a wonderful memorial.

Mrs.B said...

What a wonderful tribute to your sweet boy!--I'm very sorry for your loss...

Your Sam looks just like my BoBo, maybe he's a Russian Blue and I didn't know it.--I just thought he was my wonderful, soft, grey big boy. I have a picture of him on my animal blog called 'Happy Tails' if you'd care to see him and my other babies.

My heart is breaking for you. It sounds like you gave Sam a WONDERFUL life!


Bev said...

Words seem inadequate to express my sadness for your loss. What a beautiful, wonderful kittie Sam was. I'm so very sorry. Your post is a lasting tribute to him.

shirl said...

Hi again, Yolanda

I was very sorry to read of the loss of your cat, Sam. Although I am not a cat person I can still see what a beautiful cat he was and can appreciate your loss – I have family with cats and I know how precious they are to them.

I am not familiar with cat breeds but I now know what a Russian Blue looks like. I am not surprised he won competitions and it must be comforting to know that he is responsible for so many more Russian Blue cats!

Poppins said...

I'm so sorry to hear about the lovely Sam. He seems to have been a wonderful cat and real friend to you. And a real beauty too.
But it must be comforting to know that there are many mini-Sams in the world, thanks to him.

Molly said...

I'm so sorry to read that Sam died. But what a wonderful life, and a wonderful tribute. I've long wanted to have a Russian Blue cat, and reading about Sam has rekindled that desire.

Naturegirl said...

Yolanda I am deeply moved and brought to a puddle of tears as I read this wonderful tribute to your dearest beautiful Sam.
He was such a special boy from everything he did in his life..a full life!

I lost one of my cats several weeks ago and am still making the adjustment with his absence.
Our dear sweet fur friends we once held in our arms for a little while we now hold in our hearts forever. ~~Peace be to your Sam.~~

Yolanda..I am so sorry for your loss.When you feel like smiling again come by as I have something for you.
~Sending you comfort and a big hug~ NG xo

Robin's Nesting Place said...

Yolanda, I'm very sorry to hear of your loss. How blessed Sam was to be chosen by you. Your tribute to him was beautiful.

Gotta Garden said...

Look at all this blogger love, YE! I hope it helps. I'm so sorry. We've lost two pets and while the good memories are comforting, it still can be hard at times, even years later. I think he could not have had a better life. Take good care of yourself...I, too, send you virtual hugs...

Pam/Digging said...

I'm sorry for the loss of your Sam, Yolanda. He was certainly a beautiful cat, and it sounds like he made an excellent companion.

karin a said...

It must be so hard loosing someone that you have loved for so many years. Cats and other pets are family members. I'm sure you will keep all the good memories in you heart. Sam was really a beautiful cat! Take care! Hugs, Karin.

Tracy said...

Your tribute to Sam is so beautiful, and such loving memories--thank you for sharing so much of your heart and feelings with us. I'm so sorry for your loss and join with everyone else here in sending you care, comfort and love! ((HUGS))

Lis said...

Wunderschöne Fotos, ich kann verstehen dass du an diesem Tag sehr traurig warst

Bert said...

Hi Yolanda,
Sam was a splendid, wondeful cat.
You made a wondeful Collage of his life. I fully understand how much you miss him.
He enjoyed a long and great fife with you, remember that.

Crafty Gardener said...

Yolanda, I'm so saddened to hear of the loss of your beloved Sam. It brings tears to my eyes to read all the wonderful tributes you have wrote about him. He had such a wonderful life with you. He will live in your heart forever.

Salix Tree said...

So sorry to hear about Sam. He was a beautiful cat.

Mary said...


I came here from Naturegirl's.

Sorry to hear about Wonderful Sam. Your tribute to him is the best. I hope as time passes, you'll remember him with few tears and a lot of smiles!

marl1 said...

Sam moet een juweel van een kat zijn geweest- ik zie het voor me hoe hij om je heen drentelt bij het wieden...
Sterkte Yolanda en probeer te genieten van de mooie herinneringen.

marga said...

Vind het heel erg voor je dat je Sam hebt moeten laten inslapen maar hij heeft zeventien hele mooie jaren bij jou gehad, daar ben ik van overtuigd. Probeer van de mooie herinneringen aan Sam te genieten. Heel veel sterkte.
Liefs Marga

RUTH said...

Thank you for sharing these precious memories of Sam with us.

Matron said...

Gosh! look at all these comments! That makes me number 40 to express my thoughts for you at this sad time. So many of us out here in blogland really understand the loss. It looks like you had some really, really great times with Sam. Remember them often.

sisah said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
sisah said...

Der Nachruf auf einen wundervollen Kater hat mich traurig gemacht, aber Du hast ihn wundervoll geschrieben. Ich kann dich gut verstehen, dass Dir der Abschied von so einem wundervollen Tier besonders schwer fällt.

SumoSquirrell said...


I really love your blog and I've bookmarked it so I can continue to enjoy it.
Your story about Sam really touched me.
I mean, I sobbed.
My tabby girl Skittles has a heart murmur and the vet assures me it will catch up to her sooner, rather than later. He can't give any estimates, though, so I just try to take the very best care of her that I possibly can. She just turned five.
Her medication really has her seeming just like any other cat.
I feel, though, like I'm sort of living on borrowed time.
I guess I just really empathized with your loss.
And can I just say, he was a very, very handsome boy!
Well, thanx again.

Rosemarie said...

I'm so sorry that you lost your Sam. Your blog entry was really sweet, such a wonderful story.

Andrea's Garden said...

Dear Yolanda, how sad to read of the loss of your cat Sam. I can imagine this must have been a very difficult time for you and I can relate very much. Seeing how Stella has become close to us and shows us daily how much she loves us. Take good care of yourself, Andrea

diane said...

Wow, with tears in my eyes I write this to a total stranger but your photos and your love of your beautiful cat really moved me. Thank you for taking the time to share his beautiful life with me. What a gorgeous boy. My thoughts are with you.

Trine Bisgaard Goggin said...

I've stumbled over your blog as I was searching for Sam - he's the great grandfather of my beloved Russian, Buster.
Buster was born 21.07.99. as son of Malevitch Starway Sam Jr. and Feodora of Silver Blue.
It's sad to read that you've lost Sam - I'm happy that he grew so old - I know the beautiful and healthy genes are passed down.
Buster is a big and beautiful Russian as well - 12 ½ pounds gorgeous intelligent and loving male.
Lots of Love to you from Trine & Buster, Denmark.

Nan - said...

My heart aches for you, dear one. He was a beautiful, beautiful boy.

Nicole said...

What a lovely tribute. Sorry for your loss, but at least he had a full and wonderful life.

Betty said...

I am so sorry about the loss of Sam but from reading your post, he was a very loved feline and brought immense pleasure to you and your family as well as countless others.

Oh, that we as human beings, could accomplish that feat, what a wonderful world this would be....

Vicki Palmer (Pink Pearl Girl) said...

When I was reading about checking out your blog it was because it said you loved pink and love to garden. I too adore all things pink and have always love to garden. What really touched my heart to tears was the lovely story about your Sam. I lost my Tarragon 2 years ago at 20 years of age very much like what happened to your Sam and I still miss him so very much. He had a brother Basil (14 years old) and a sister Rue Sadie (10 years old. Your story was a lovely tribute to such a beautiful fellow. I love your blog. My antiques business is called All Bliss Be Thine so of course I love the name of your blog. So from the pink pearl girl of all bliss be thine I will be back to read more about your gardening and your lovely cats.


quu said...

I am so sorry to hear about Sam. Pain will go away some day, but memories wont. So try to keep memories near you.

.. just moved in Oulu, when my brother called that our dear orange kitten named Toffo is gone. Toffo has been gone 2 years and I still miss him. I can't watch photos of him without crying.