This weekend we had to put my favorite cat of all time to sleep. Sam, who I affectionately referred to as “Monkey Man” and “Sammy Boy”, has been my personal Yoda for almost 10 years. We knew that he was having difficulty breathing but thought it was just a bad cold. Turned out to be a tumor. A hopeful visit to the Vet deteriorated rapidly into a quick goodbye to ease his suffering.
Driven and determined, year after year, I would sit down in my office at the computer and start pounding away at business plans, phone calls, emails, preparing a presentation or thinking about how to help a Client overcome a sticky situation and within minutes of “getting in gear” Sam would jump up on my lap and demand attention. Slow down, he seemed to say. Lighten up. Take your time. Let’s spend a few minutes together and chill. Deep in thought, I’d ignore him for a few minutes, then hug him then relax my breathing and smile.
Sam never met a lap he didn’t love. He would jump up on stranger’s laps and curl up and fall asleep. And he could purr the entire first quarter of a football game. I consider myself a pretty happy person but he was in an almost constant state of contentment. We’ve given him a great home but this guy was like Steve Martin all the time “the phone book is here, the phone book is here.”
Oh he could be demanding. When it was time to eat dinner or breakfast, Sam could bug you with the best of them. He transformed into “the devil made me do it” when hunger struck. Attacking your feet until you got up and fed him. Dive bombing your legs at 5am to get you up. Once fed, he would become very peaceful again. Stretch out and treat you like a warm, safe bed.
I buried him outside the breakfast nook under the bird feeder he loved to watch from the window so I can see him every morning. Still hurts like hell, I’m shell-shocked and the grief comes in waves.
There’s a lot of research that pets are really good for us. People with animals live longer, are healthier and less stressed. It’s been incredible for me. Still have a great dog who thinks she owns the place (she does), a 14 year old anti-social cat and a bird that’s supposed to be able to articulate half the English language but prefers chirping.
Sam was a stocky, furry little creature who gave so much joy and served as a constant reminder to enjoy life every day. Think I’ll do some pushups, then some sun salutations and take a brisk walk around the neighborhood.
Love you Monkey Man.