Tuesday, January 23, 2024

Farewell Sam 2006 - 2023


                                                            A young Sam

We let our sweet funny Sam a month ago on Dec 23, 2023. 

He was 17. I waited a month to post 

Sam's tribute. It has taken me this long to process  

losing two cats 

to cancer a few months apart.

 First Callie in July and then Sam in December..

                                            Sam with his mom and siblings

Sam  began having dental issues few months ago. 

We changed 

vets to get another opinion. They

 d Sam was responding to the treatment. 

But he also had unregulated thyroid even on the 

highest dose of Felimazole. This usually  

means some form of thyroid cancer. His kidneys began

 to fail during his last week with us. 

We were giving him subcutaneous fluids daily but it 

was not enough. We could no longer keep

 him comfortable. 

                                                    Sam and Woody as kittens

Sam or Sam Sam, Sam I Am as we called him, was a quiet,

 independent, feisty boy. He hissed at everything new. 

He even hissed at me sometimes but he never bit o

scratched us. When he was still feral, he lost weight 

and I trapped him to bring to the vet. Turns out he had 

parasites so Sam lived on our enclosed porch in  

large dog kennel so I could administer his meds

 for 2 weeks. That may be why I got hissed at so much. 


                                                            Sam seeking alone time.

Sam lived his life on his own terms. He was not a playful 

cat, preferring catnip and catnip toys to other toys.

 He did like boxes or kitty cubes. He liked his alone time 

when he was not napping in a pile with his buddies.

 He was a cat's cat, preferring to be with his cat buddies

 and litter mates than with people including us..

 He slept with the other cats, and ate with them,

 rarely leaving the group. 

He would slowly worm his way into a cat pile to nap. 

Sam preferred Snowball and Norm's company

 as a young man cat. Sam liked his food, catnip and 

cat company. He grew to be quite a handsome 

and good sized  boy. 


                                                             Sam and Two Spot                                                       


                                                            Sam in front, Two Spot and Only behind

Sam's siblings were Georgie, Woody, and Norm. 

He was named after Sam on Cheers. 

This group was the second litter for his mom Lily. 

And he was the last of his litter left with us.

Sam was the only one of our cats who had his ear tipped.

 We had seven white cats 

at one time so it helped to know who was who.

 The others had some distinguishing 

characteristics but Sam did not. 

This way I knew who was Sam.



 Sam spent the majority of his years in the cat shelter

 with his white siblings and Albert. 

The building had a large screened porch and 

an indoor area that was heated. He could go in 

and out through the cat door.  When Woody passed in 2021, 

we brought Two Spot, Sam and Smidge

 inside the house with us as the cat numbers 

had gone down considerably. 


Sam hiding under the bathroom cabinet.


                                                                        Hissing Sam.


                                    Sam front and center with Two Spot and Georgie

Of course he hid under the bed in his new place 

and hissed but eventually decided it was not so bad. 

He loved sitting on the screen porch, or on the beds.

 He never became a lap cat but did enjoy 

lounging with us on the sofa. 

He adjusted well to frequent 

vet visits and liked the open top carrier 

so he could check out the scenery.  

When we took Sam to the vet, 

we usually took another cat 

with him to have an exam at the same time. 

When we let Sam out of the travel cage he would 

invariably go in the carrier with the other cat. 

Safety in numbers maybe?



                                                Sam in Two Spot's carrier at the vet.

His cancer caused him to drool down his chest and front 

feet so we began bathing him every few days. 

We thought it would upset him but he loved the 

attention and grooming. He relaxed and chirped

and purred. He even enjoyed  the blow dryer.  

He really mellowed out in the past two years. 

                                                Two Spot and Sam on the bed

Sam spent a lot of his last weeks snuggling with 

Two Spot. Two Spot sat with Sam's body 

for the longest time when I brought him back from the vet. 


Sam snuggling Two Spot

                            Sam being loved by Don with Two Spot and Smidge

I am glad Sam was able to experience living in the

 house during his last years. He was a 

tiny little old man cat in the end but much mellower. 

On his last day,

 he came out to the kitchen with the others

for breakfast but refused  food. 

 Instead he went to the office 

sitting the sun for a

 good long while by himself. He seemed to be 


the moment. I knew it was time.


At the vets, we held him in our laps  

and he seemed to slip away once they gave 

him the sedative. I am sure he was 

met by all of his siblings and cat mom to ferry him

 to the Rainbow Bridge. Sam was buried next to 

Callie on our land with catnip sprinkled over the

 rainbow and unicorn fleece blanket that we used

to wrap his body. 

I placed a bouquet of a single bright yellow 

Gerbera Daisy

 with evergreens on his grave. This flower and color 

symbolizes the loyal love and friendship 

he had with his cat family.

 It was a wonderful pleasure for us to be 

able to keep Sam and his 

cat siblings together for all of their lives.

We will have a marker made at a later date. 

We will love and remember our one of

 a kind Sam forever. Give our love to our cat 

family at the Rainbow Bridge. We will see you all soon.

Wednesday, July 26, 2023

Au Revoir Mon Coeur Callie 2006-2023


It has taken me some time to process this one and to be able to write Callie's tribute. It never gets easier to say goodbye to my beloved cats. I feel it is even harder as I get older.


Callie had been on hyperthyroid meds for five years, blood pressure meds for 2 years and recently showed that she was in early stage CKD. In the past two years she struggled with her health having to have her med dosages adjusted several times.She had not been feeling well for a few weeks when we took her to the vet this spring. She had a mass on her spleen and non regenerative anemia. At her advanced age of 17, almost 18, with other health issues, we opted to keep her comfortable rather than be aggressive with cancer treatment.



Callie napping on the porch with Sam a few weeks back


For 6 weeks after her diagnosis. Callie did well on her protocol of prednisolone, cbd oil, and other natural treatments. She was eating, using the litterbox etc.  She developed ascetites in her abdomen a few days before she passed. Her body was not even processing the subcutaneous fluids anymore. I knew it was time. 


Don sharing his pizza crust with Callie.  She also loved rice cakes, crackers and toast.


Knowing we would be letting her go, we spent all our time with her the day before. She sat outside with me on the screen porch while my phone played healing music. She ate well and enjoyed her favorite foods.. it was a bittersweet pleasure to spoil her these past few weeks. She was alert and calm, taking in the sun and scenery on the ride to the vet. I had checked in with our animal communicator and Callie trusted us to know when to let her go. Her passing was quick and peaceful.. Don and I held her on our laps sending her off with love and Reiki light.. She left us Friday July 14 in the

 late morning.

Callie, 2006, after we found her.

Ten years ago I  found Callie in the parking lot of the Grove Park Inn in Asheville where I worked nights at the time. It was a dark November evening when I saw this tiny cat meowing for all she was worth, running up to the people walking through the parking lot. I was concerned that the drivers could not see her  so I scooped her up in my arms and put her in my car. We had 18 cats at home in our sanctuary at that time. I figured we would foster her until we found her humans.


Callie did have a micro chip but the woman who adopted her gave her to a friend after three years due to her older cat attacking Callie. Turns out the friend moved out of the area 6 months prior to me finding Callie. We don't know if she gave Callie to someone else or if Callie was on her own for 6 months. Callie was thin,  full of worms, and not not in great shape. We settled her in a small room in our home to recover in peace and quiet.. Basically she just ate, slept and used the litterbox. Poor girl was worn out. By the time Callie recovered her health,  we had fallen for her sweet nature and knew that we were her forever home. I only wish we had found her sooner.



Callie with her bowl


On the dining counter


She loved kibbles but we don't feed dry food except as treats so she would have to beg for some.  Callie would sit on the eating counter overlooking the sink and stare - usually it worked and she got kibbles in her bowl. If that didn't work, Callie would run ahead of us to the kitchen and sit next to her bowl with a pitiful expression on her face. That worked every time. I called her my begging Buddha cat. She always seemed to be sitting next to her empty bowl. 

Perhaps because of her background with the bully older cat or living on her own outside, Callie avoided the other cats initially. They were just curious, not aggressive. Callie loved to just be with us. She was not a lap cat but liked to be in the same room as us and eventually would feel at home enough to sit on the chair arm or sofa with us. This was her way of asking for some loving. She slowly progressed to sitting next to me on the sofa with her front paws on my leg. Eventually she slept on the bed with us down by my feet. During her last weeks she cuddled next to me by my pillow.


Crow watching


Callie bonded mostly with me. She would  sit and stare at me, with such love in her eyes!  She played a little bit with nip toys. I don’t think she had any toys before or at least no one played with her.  Callie loved to  watch the birds outside the window or out on the screen porch.  She got the zoomies almost every morning and would tear through the house from one end to the other. She stayed tiny about the size of Darby and Sweetpea – about six to seven pounds tops. 



Maybe why this one is very difficult is that Callie looks so much like my heart cat Chica who passed away on my birthday in March 2013 the same year I found Callie. Callie came to me a lot like Angel Chica did. Both were lost outside at night, running up to people, hoping to find a friend.  Both just let me pick them up and tuck them in my car. Callie had black tortie colors on her back so when she was curled up napping, she looked like Angel Chica from the back.  It made me smile.




When I went out, Callie was usually the one who was waiting inside the door for me welcoming me home. She helped me write holiday cards, let me photograph her with props for my cards and blog posts, slept next to me while I read. Wherever I was, Callie was close by.


Helping me write holiday cards.


Callie's' markings and colors were gorgeous. Her whiskers were spectacular. She was very photogenic .I had lots of nicknames for her - Callie Calico, Cal, Callie Wallie, Callie Girl, Baby Girl.



In a pensive mood.

She loved to sit up on the dining counter overlooking the kitchen sink, watching us get the cat's food ready. Sometimes she would dose off sitting there. 


Callie fell asleep waiting for food.

With milk on her face.


She was the most easy going, laid back sweet girl. When the other cats bothered her she walked away. She could stand her ground if she wanted but never was harsh with them. She was funny, smart, a delight to have in our lives. I do believe she was sent by Chica to be my second heart cat. Callie did not replace Chica but brought her own elegance, warmth, companionship and love into our lives. She helped me heal from the loss of Chica and filled that hole in my heart. Now who will fill the Callie size hole?


We wrapped her body in pink fleece with one of her favorite catnip toys. She is buried on our land with a bouquet of wildflowers on her grave. We will have a stone made for her at a later date.



I have already received signs from Callie from the Other Side - a pair of goldfinches came to the window, nibbling on the sunflowers outside. They came the day she passed. They did not come by before and have not since. That night of her passing, I woke up to the numbers 11:11 on my clock - a sign someone from the Other Side is reaching out. She has come to me twice now in dreams, young and frisky like she used to be years ago. Goodbye my heart, until we meet again, sweet Callie.


A video of Callie begging for treats on the counter
















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