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.