Sam the Cat

Hello, my name is Sam, born a cat, not very long ago.

Where my mother now is, I honestly don't know.

But I remember what she said, like song or lullaby.

Stories that cats once were Gods, mysterious and Divine.

That there are other cats who don't sleep in dirty crates,

But live inside building walls and have their own plates.

I've even heard that human beings love to pet and play.

But human always tried to kick, so I would keep away.

The time passed and I grew up to be a fine young cat.

No human ever cared for me, and I was fine at that.

But then, something changed in me: No longer was I the same.

I could no longer smell my food, my body became lame.

My shiny coat grew dirty, my mouth became sore.

I could not search to find my food, I could walk no more.

The other cats avoided me, they said I now smell bad.

They wouldn't let me eat with them, as if I was sick or mad.

I tried to find a quite place, to be at least alone.

I had no food, I couldn't walk, I couldn't even moan.

And then I heard a human voice calling out to me.

What does she want? Why can't at least die and be free?

And then I felt hands grabbing me and carrying me away.

I thought this was finally the end of this tormented stray.

I'm dying anyway, please let go, why can't I go in peace?

But there was nothing I could do to find my release.

What is this place and those cats? Those fat and spoiled boys?

They look so strange... They are clean, they have fresh food and toys.

Am I dead? Is this the Afterworld? Or were the stories true?

Why should I be close to death when finally I met you?

My name is Sam, and born a cat. And now I'm almost done.

I wish I had known you then, when my life had begun.

I can't play with you now; I hope you'll understand.

But as I lie here, and darkness falls, please, will you hold my hand?

August 3d 2002, for Sam, hoping he will make it.

He didn't.

Sam died a few hours after I wrote this.

It was months later that I realised where the name 'Sam' comes from:

Samhain.

The Day of the Dead.

The end of a Circle.

But also, the beginning of a new one.

Sometimes the greatest lessons come in the smallest of sizes.