Shortly after Ward and I were married I joined a gym with my sister, Erin. One evening when we were heading to the gym we decided to run into Wal-mart and grab who remembers what. As we were exiting the double doors in ran a small black and white short haired cat. We grabbed him and took him to the car. He was still a kitten but probably six months or older. I called Ward and told him of our find, we had wanted a cat for sometime and had a short affair with another short haired black and white cat before we were married that ended in a couch that smelled bad for years and a slightly used litter box. Instantly, Ward's heart was won and the cat allowed to join our family. The cat we got at Wal-mart was named Sammy. Ward has always had more affection for feline's than myself. In the course of our marriage we have had four cats.
Sam was an indoor cat, a secret from our landlord, and he enjoyed box tops and looking through the blinds. When we bought our first house it was because of him that we went with the faux wood blinds, the plastic ones would not do for him. Being feisty, he did not take well to our move or the fact that the mother-in-laws dog was allowed inside at our new stomping grounds. After a few intentional accidents with the new living room furniture he was uprooted and taken to my mother's house. I felt terrible about the decision almost immediately but it wasn't until my brother told me they were letting him outside that I decided to go and rescue him once again.
In a rescue mission my sister and I went up and got Sam and three kittens, all who were dying from flea infestations and something else we coined 'the sickness'. I took Sam and a new cat, Chester, while my sister took the other three kittens. Sam and Chester did well together and Sam had less outbursts (with the exception of that year we went to Disney and left him at home). When we got Max and then Jake within a year or so later, Sam was not pleased but handled it well enough.
When we had family come and stay with us in late 2004, Sam decided he preferred the outdoors and I didn't argue, I've never been a fan of the litter box cleaning. It was during this time that I realized how much Sam loved little girls, he took to our neighbor's little girl so much that he stayed at their house almost as much as our own. When we moved in 2006 I was pleased to find that a little girl just a little younger lived next door, Sam and Mackenzie were instant friends.
When we moved here Sam never strayed or left us to find our old home. Maybe he loved us, maybe he liked the new neighbors better. He enjoyed the garage and we set up an area for the cats (by this point we had three) on top of the dog crates. Surprisingly, our cats have always gotten along well with the dogs, Max used to carry around one of the cats in his mouth until we put a stop to it because he was rubbing her neck bald.
When Chester disappeared early last year I was sad but knew that Chester had always been a roamer and I figured he had possibly found a home where he liked the people better. Sam and Crookshanks however, remained and stayed close to the house. Every morning they would greet one of us reaching out their necks for a rub.
I thought Sam was happy and that is why it came as a surprise last week when Ward asked me when the last time I had seen Sam. When I thought about it I realized it had been at least two days since I had seen him last. When I mentioned it on Thanksgiving to my neighbor she said that Sam hadn't greeted her and Mackenzie at the bus stop all week. I began to get worried.
About two months ago I accidentally locked Crookshanks in our little car that we never drive and it was just as accidentally that I saw what I thought was movement in the back of the car three days later. The car smelled horrible but the cat was ok. Then a week or so ago my brother found the same cat, Crookshanks, in the storage room in the basement. Luckily, she had only been shut in there hours earlier. But I can't help worrying that someday I am going to open a closet or door and find him, too late. I have looked throughout the house and have found no trace of him.
This afternoon Ward called me and asked if I thought that the Humane Society may have him. I called both the Humane Society and Animal Control and left missing reports. They haven't seen any animals matching Sam's description in our time frame. Is this a good thing or a bad sign?
I can't seem to fight the feeling that Sam isn't just missing. I just don't feel optimistic about seeing him again.