Our cat Sam passed away yesterday at 12:31 PM. The people at the Angellicle Cats Rescue, where we found Sam, called him “Sam Diamond” because of the white pattern in his chest fur. Shiran’s niece and nephew called him “Mar Sam” which is Hebrew for Mr. Sam. The paperwork at our vets’ offices listed him as Sam Hodgdon, because he was a part of our family. To me and Shiran, he was just our buddy Sammy.
There were spots in our apartment that were always Sam’s: the space under the hutch I used for a bookshelf, on top of the perpetual pile of laundry next to the dresser, at the base of our dining room table, in the doorway between the living room and the entrance hallway. And he was at home on the furniture most of all, readily jumping onto our armchair, our couch, or our bed, curling up against the pillows or adjusting any nearby blankets to maximize his own comfort. These were his spaces, more than anyone else’s, and you always knew right where to turn if you wanted to see our boy Sam.
Now they’re all just desperate voids where Sammy should be. And it doesn’t stop there. The magnets on the fridge from the pet store and the vets’ offices, the rack of cat food on the window sill, the collection of toys and treats on the table, the litter box against the wall: they’re all gone too, and our apartment just feels bare without them. It doesn’t even feel like an apartment, but rather a collection of empty spaces lacking the one thing that linked them all together.
I was never an animal person in my childhood, and before I adopted Sam I would’ve never guessed how much a 15-pound cat could fill an apartment… or a life. But now everything feels like a hollow afterthought to our little pal, and how wonderful it was to have him in our family.
Of course, things will get better; as time goes on the empty spaces will feel less so, the yawning hole in my heart will heal, and I’ll be left with all the nice memories and photographs that Shiran and I can reminisce over and cherish until we join Sam on the other side. But for now, the world is gonna be a little less bright and a little more quiet, and I’ll pay that piper in a heartbeat because having that mischievous little cat in my life the past two-and-a-half years was worth it.