Sami, short for Samantha. I had her for 18 years, and was she ever a character of a cat! Got her from the pound. She was so tiny, colored like a tiger, and her 3 brothers were fat and all black. They ate all the food. She came to the cage door, looked at me with big green eyes, mewed, and we just had to take her home. At home, we let her out of the box, she looked around, saw all that space, and darted off like the Tasmanian devil! LOL Went straight for the curtains and began to climb them; first lesson … no, no, no, little kitty.  The first time I gave her eggs, she almost bit my finger off.  Second lesson was to teach her to pull food from my hand gently; I had to be quick and pull the food away until she learned not to lunge at my fingers … LOL.  Sami was a talker … yes she was.  Meowing all the time.  When we called her name, she’d meow.  When we talked to her, she’d meow.  We let her outside for a few months until she brought us a present; a dead mouse in front of the door.  Yuck!  We got her declawed in her front paws and turned her into an indoor cat.
Nobody told me I couldn’t train a cat, so I trained her like a dog and most of the time she thought she was. She minded me when I was around. She grew to be 18 pounds fairly quickly, was very tall, and a complete chicken. If we opened the balcony door, she was afraid to go out.  She’d stick one paw out and look around.  Stuck another paw out and look around.  If she heard any noise, she’d run back inside real quick (hahahaha).  I also got her high on weed; poor thing.  I’d give her shotguns by putting my mouth over her face and blow.  She’d blink her eyes a few times, go to move, and fall off the couch.  I was such an asshole sometimes … OMG.  She liked to walk sideways like she was possessed, and had just as many expressions on her face as her owner (me).  LOL.  She also liked balled-up pieces of paper more than she did cat toys; she’d ignore the toys, but bat balls of paper all over the place.  She loved to lay on her back and have her tummy rubbed.
Oh, and did she ever hate going to the vet for check-ups.  It was pure madness trying to get her in her carrier.  She was a big girl, and would brace her legs against the carrier to prevent from going in.  She knew that thing was a sign that some stranger was going to put a strange object in her butt, and she hated it!  Hahahahahahaha.
My lover and I moved to a townhouse, and got another cat from the pound.  He was orange & white, but striped like her.  She did NOT like the new addition to the family.  One day, I saw her sneak up to the kitten sitting on the couch and knock him off with one punch (LOL).  I’d yell, she’d do her famous eye-roll and run up the stairs.  One day, I saw her playing with the kitten.  I took my eyes off her and the next thing I heard was gurgling.  She had her entire mouth over his neck and was trying to kill the poor thing.  I’d yell, she’d roll her eyes and run up the stairs.  So, I went to work and put out an email asking what to do about Sami & her little brother.  We did as they suggested, and within a week, they were best friends.  He did everything she did … true copy-cat.
There came a day when my lady of 5 years and I parted ways, so, I took Sami and left.  We lived in quite a few places, and when I got clean/sober, I left her with a friend who had other cats for a while.  I was gone for 30 days, and when I went over to my friend’s house, Sami was pissed.  She wouldn’t come out from under the bed and tried to bite me if I reached under to pull her out.  I observed the other cats, and it was clear that Sami acted just like she did when I first saw her; letting the other cats eat up all the food.  She picked at her food all day; wasn’t the type to eat it all in one sitting like the other cats I saw at my friend’s house.  I did have to leave her there for another month or two before I went and got her.  It took her a couple of weeks to stop rolling her eyes at me and hiding under things.  Such a character.
I did leave her with a friend of mine once to go back to my hometown for a visit.  I told him to put up his plants, because she would eat them and throw them up everywhere.  He didn’t listen, because his cat didn’t bother the plants.  When I got back, she had eaten every single one of his many plants, threw them up on his floor, and he complained about it.  I shrugged and told him he shouldn’t have left the plants within her reach, but he didn’t listen.  I definitely didn’t leave her with him again.
Quite a few years later, I ended up purchasing my own condo.  As soon as I put the keys in the lock, that’s the only time I knew she was truly a cat; I’d hear PLOP … her getting off the couch, which I didn’t allow her to get on when I was home. I’d waltz in, say, “Sami, were you on the couch?” She’d roll her eyes at me and take off up the stairs to hide under the bed. Yeah, she knew that I knew. Anyway, I played like I was a monster, and she literally put her hind legs up over her head touching the ground while swatting at my hands with her front ones and mouth open like she was mimicking the monster-sound I made. I could tell her to go get in her bed, and she would obey. Told her to sit, and she’d do that. Taught her to shake hands.  My lover and I house-sat for a dog once; a huge muscular dog with very short hair and lots of skin.  Can’t remember what kind of dog that is.  The dog charged at her to play, and that was the last time we saw Sami for a while.  She didn’t know WHAT that thing was.  Sometimes, she’d sneak downstairs, but get in her cat tree far above the dog so it couldn’t get to her.  Most of the time, she stayed upstairs under the bed until he left.  My woman had a fish-tank, and contrary to popular belief about cats, Sami was not mesmerized by fish.  But, one day, I came home from work, and she was batting a dead fish on the floor trying to wake it up.  OMG!  I told my lady that fish was crazy, because it would dive up and down until it jumped clean out of the tank.  Sami didn’t eat it; she was just curious why it was on the floor.  LOL
My mother couldn’t stand her. So, whenever mama was around, she’d drag the vacuum cleaner around with her, because Sami was afraid of it and would run upstairs. One day, my mother was sitting on the couch reading. I called her and asked what she was doing, and she said reading. All of a sudden, she screamed and ran out the front door. I said quickly, “What happened?” She said your damn cat … I was sitting on her … why didn’t she make a sound? I told her, “Oh that. Well, she thought you were playing hide-n-go-seek.  Didn’t you feel the huge lump under your butt?” She thought the couch was getting old or something.  Mom wouldn’t go back into my condo until I showed up to make sure Sami wasn’t near the door … hahahaha.  I did continue to terrorize her sometimes; I can be such a stinker like my father was to me.  I put a small laundry basket over her, and she ran that thing all over the living room and into walls trying to get it off.  I would laugh, and my girlfriend told me to stop torturing my cat … snicker.
In 1996, I left for my first contract in  Houston, TX, had a friend keep her eye on Sami, feed her, and keep her company.  I flew back to home-base after a month, and was Sami ever mad at me. I called the friend and asked her how many times a week did she visit.  I think she said once a week, which was upsetting.  Sami followed me everywhere screaming at me like, “Where the hell have you been, and don’t leave me here again!”  She had also somehow dug a hole in the carpet in front of my bedroom door … without front claws; go figure.  She was pretty old by this time … probably 16 years old and I didn’t trust that she could survive the trip under a jet.  So, I rented a car and drove her back to Houston.  She tried to hide her fat ass under the front passenger seat most of the ride. Sometimes she got into the front window and I couldn’t see around her. Sometimes she tried to get in my lap, and I couldn’t reach the steering wheel around her (LOL).  I did have a leash so she couldn’t get away when I took her outside of the car. She also hid every time I stopped for gas … my big chicken-butt.  If she heard anybody near the car, she would try to squish her big body under the seat.  Houston has a bug-problem!  Crickets and roaches would get in my apartment, and she would eat them … ewwwwwwww.
I went to Atlanta for the first time in 1997 (Marietta, GA).  I rented a van, so she did have more room than in a car.  When we got there, it wasn’t long before she started losing her mind.  She was 18 years old now, and would wake up and just start peeing.  She knew I would be mad, so she’d get in the litter box.  She also crapped all over the place, and once on the wall; YUCK!  Then, she started losing weight.  She  went from 18 lbs to 9 lbs in two months.  I kept taking her to the vet, and they couldn’t figure out what was wrong with her. I was mortified, because I had to keep her in the bathroom with no mat in her bed; she’d just pee on it. That was no way for a pet to live. So, the vet told me it was time to put her down. I couldn’t bear it. So, I took her back a couple more times and they kept telling me there was nothing they could do, and I would end up spending thousands to have them figure it out.  It was time.  We took her to the vet, and she laid in my lap while the vet told me how they would put her to rest. She hated water, but when I cried, she let my tears drop on her head and stayed very still.  It’s almost like she knew what was going to happen.  I couldn’t bear watching them put her down, so I went outside.  My fiance stayed with her, and when it was done, she came outside to sit on the bench with me and we both broke out crying and sobbing. I was sooooooooooo sad for a long time.  I wrote a tribute to her and sent it to everybody that ever came in contact with her … if I had their email address.
That experience was so painful, I haven’t had a pet since.  RIP, Samantha (Sami) Gibson!

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