Monday, 19 November 2012

Seeing things

 Coming back from St  M's at lunchtime today, crossing the road at the bottom of our close, my heart was in my mouth.  There was a screech of  brakes and a large tabby cat shot across the road a car missing him by inches.

I've never seen this cat before and he looked so much like my lovely feral Sam I thought I was seeing things.

I wrote "Cats tails (2) " on my blog on 19th August last year, when I told about Sammy's entry into our
lives.  This incident today inspired me to dig out, scan and reproduce these old pictures of Big Sam.

John tolerated him, I loved him unreservedly, warts and all.

During his years with us, he earned many nicknames one of which, when he was getting old and ricketty was "Grandpa Stripey"

The other one, by which John, and those who admired him rather less was "Maestro Stinketti".

His joint habits of lying on his back waving his huge paws as though conducting an orchestra, combined
with the rather less attractive one of suddenly making
the most appalling smells was how this 'title' was earned.

Despite his somewhat unsavoury aroma he was a huge, heavy, purry, loving mog with a heart of pure treacle.

He never got used to sleeping inside at night and had a cat-flap into the back door of the garage with a bed in there for the worst weather, but would come in if we were home in the day and sleep wherever he liked.  Often this was on an ancient ragged cardigan of John's  which I had knitted and he had finally been
persuaded to donate to Sam.

You can see from the pictures how totally relaxed he finally was, as his head gradually drooped lower and lower and his massive paws dangled limply.

Best of all, was catching him with what John always called his "boozy smile" Last Picture below.

Despite his size and his feral origins, he had a truly gentle nature and even when his overtures were rejected (which they usually were, by John), he would put a large forgiving paw on his shoe  and lean heavily, looking at him all the time, until even he had to laugh and say "OK Sam come up".

His weight was fearsome and aching thighs and knees the inevitable result of a 'Sammy cuddle', but he was so worth the discomfort, our lovely Stripey giant.

I don't know where today's 'near miss' cat came from but he started memories echoing down the years. I only hope he is as well loved as Sammy was.


  1. How we love the all the animals that share our lives. I am thankful for the unconditional love & patient listening skills of mine that is for sure.

    Loved sharing these memories, thank you.

  2. A lovely tale, well told! Pictures are great, too...

  3. It's a pleasure to share treasured moggy memories with those who are like-minded Shona.

  4. Thanks Broad. I'm glad you like the mug/mog shots.
    They are old but show some of his lovely laid-back nature quite well I think.

  5. What a cherub- I have three would you like to adopt one of them or two or three!

  6. Thanks for the offer Constantina, can I think about it - for a few years/decades?
    I will wait until another cat adopts me. This has always worked before.

  7. What a huge and beautiful moggie he was, Ray. They ensconce themselves in our hearts and stay there for ever, don't they? A lovely story, with photos to match.

  8. He was indeed huge and beautiful. His fans were many and his behaviour to them generally gracious, but he was quite easily spooked (his feral beginnings), and took some coaxing back once frightened off.
    Though I loved all four of the cats who 'owned' us, Sammy is the one I think of most often.