I have a cat who is 84 years old. In human years Samuel is 17 years old. I keep promising myself to take a more recent photo of him. Just haven’t gotten around to it. I don’t want him to die, but he is not the young kitten I brought home to my apartment seventeen years ago. He is much slower now, but still painstakingly vocal. This photo might give you an idea of how he behaves himself. This is how he looks at me when he thinks that I am doing something dumb. He is usually borderline angry or already beating his tail from left to right.
I’ve never gotten close to anyone. Nope not a single solitary soul except for my pets. My emotions controlled me. Samuel knows quite a bite of my secrets. He came at a time when my first boy cat Cuddles needed a pal to roam and play with while I worked each day. They proved to be a happy pair. Except Samuel came with more affection than Cuddles did. Cuddles wanted to be touched and then left alone. Samuel on the other hand began every conversation with a series of intense meows. At first this startled me. What? A cat talking, talking and still talking. It was when my landlady caught him talking to me as we walked in her poolside garden that I realized that this was normal. She envied me because this brought back memories of her cat who had long since passed. She happily explained how he had kept her entertained with his long bellowing meows like Sammy was doing right then. There’s more. Samuel told me when to feed him, let him out and let him inside. His way unfolded more and more. I knew that I had a very special friend when he comforted me.
I’ve always encouraged, comforted and motivated anyone in need, but I would never let anyone get that close to me to see my needs. Yet Samuel always knows. He’d show up on the couch while I watched t.v. He’d sit in my lap when I would spend time worrying about something trivial. More awesome, Samuel will lay wherever he can on top of my body when I have nightmares. The warmth of his fur and throbbing pulse of his purr was and still is instant therapy. Of course this would wake me up, pulling me out of my terrible dreams. By this time I’d figured out that I had tossed and turned for some time before he covered me with his rug like body. Relief and breathe would ebb from my chest as my hero and protector covered my legs or body. It’s as if he always knew what I needed.
Now a days I return the favor, not true, I truly mean that I now return his love. At his age he can hardly hear me. So I bury my mouth in his fur behind his ears alternating often while mumbling sounds of sweet nothings so that he can feel the sound vibrating on his furry skin. It’s something he understands. So if and when he knots his brows to look at me, Samuel then places his warm and moist tongue on my noise or toes to say I love you too. My old boy now competes with my daughter for my attention. Even better like a very wise old man would do he takes all the attention he can get from us both. Yet still, Samuel shows me never-ending love and while he still breathes I will always give it back in return.