Samantha: Rescued August 1996 – February 7, 2015
Posted by Guardian-of-4 on 2/9/2015, 5:44 pm
We had to help my sweet Samantha Cat cross the Bridge on Saturday. She was the last of my original 4 and now joins Yoko, Data, Ocho, Tinker, and Senator Bell. |
She had been declining for a while, but was still managing to eat, drink, use the litter box, and generally enjoy life. But that all changed this weekend. Suddenly her hind legs left her so weak she was unable to walk even a few feet, and she was in obvious distress. We don’t know precisely what was going on, but the vet was sure that it was neurological, progressive, and that at 19+, there wasn’t a lot to be done. So, we made the decision not to drag out the inevitable. She went peacefully. We plan to bury her beside her beloved Data. They were always together. She adored Data and used to follow him everywhere, even the litter box.
Samantha’s Story (originally posted 2006)
Samantha is as sweet as she looks, but she started out life as a bona fide feral. Like the rest of my brood, she is an indoor-only cat. She’s my only girl cat now – and very femme.
When we trapped her, she was very feral. She wouldn't just hiss and growl. She would lunge and let out an air-compressor hiss. She was raising a litter of three very feral kittens. They copied her stamp, lunge, and air-compressor hisses perfectly.
Someone else fostered the three kittens, and last I heard, only one of them ever fully tamed.
Samantha was supposed to be a TNR. One week after her release, however, she walked into the trap again (all the other ferals we TNR'ed became trap wary after the first time). We took that as a sign that deep down in her feral heart, she really wanted to be a pet. This was in October 1996.
She lived in our bathroom the first several weeks we had her. Sometimes we could hear her playing in the middle of the night. She preferred hiding behind the toilet, and would occasionally lunge at us from there. It made using the bathroom when one was half asleep very interesting.
She eventually settled down and bonded with Data. She was completely in love with him and followed him everywhere – including the litter box. Her affection for Data lasted for the rest of his life.
She would play and roll in our presence (assuming we stayed a "safe" distance away), but remained completely untouchable. She sometimes even sat on the couch near us. If I absentmindedly reached out to pet her (like any of the other cats that sat there), she would let me know in no uncertain terms that petting was not permitted. She would hiss, swat my hand, and run off in a huff.
Then in 2000, Ken tried petting her (with gloves), and it didn't take long for her to allow petting in places around the house where she felt secure.
During this period, we had the back yard secured (LV style) and she and the rest of the cats could go outside. On nice days we would have the kitchen door open. If I or Ken were in the kitchen, Samantha would be afraid to walk past us out the back door. She would sit at the kitchen entrance, meow questioningly and look at me expectantly. She would do this until I moved to the far end of the kitchen, and then she would happily walk through the kitchen out the back door.
By 2001 we could pet her at will, but we could not pick her up. Ken tried from time to time and she did seem to be considering it. One day he actually held her and walked around the living room, and she only hissed once. The rest of her vocalizations consisted of many crying meows, which seemed to say, "Put me down, Please? Please?" Then she struggled, and Ken put her down – immediately.
Interestingly enough, during this period, if Ken scruffed her and kitten carried her, she'd go limp and allow him to carry her for at least a full minute -- Long enough to be placed in a sack which can be placed in a carrier. We could place her in the carrier directly. She had her first vet visit since her TNR in 2001.
When Data passed away in 2003, she started letting us pick her up at will. She positively blossomed. (I think she got lonely without Data.)
Today, she’s definitely a Daddy’s girl. She sits with us on the couch every night and asks to be petted. If Ken doesn't pay attention to her (like when he's programming the VCR), she will head butt him and then nip him to get his attention. She also likes to sit on the back of the couch and groom Ken’s hair. If he lets her, she’ll groom and groom and groom the back of his head. She used to do that to Data, too, but Data would eventually get tired of it and swat her. She also likes to sleep on the bed with us.
She isn’t too fond of any of the other cats (all boys) and often gets hissy with them. I have, on occasion, seen her play with Cali. I have also seen her groom Glowworm and accept grooming from him. Both are wary of her, though, because they don’t know what her mood will be at any given time.
So, that’s my Samantha, my little Grand Duchess.