Loss of a Friend

This post is probably more for me than readers of this blog, but today I lost one of my best friends.  She was my cat Sammie.

We met each other while she was a stray that hung around the neighborhood. One day, she was injured in a fight (presumably a raccoon) and had one door step to choose in order to get emergency medical help.

Imagine my surprise when I left one day for the law firm to find a bleeding cat on my doorstep.  I had been working hellish hours and was only a junior associate, but decided to take the cat to the vet and call in sick.  (Sorry Uncle Cooley, I guess that I still owe you a vacation day).

The vet told me that the cat needed major surgery to survive and that they would put the cat to sleep as they didn’t expect a perfect stranger to spend $2000 on a cat whom he didn’t know.  (In fact, I didn’t even know the sex of the cat, thus the name “Sam” that I called her on the way to the vet figuring I’d be good either way).

Something hit me when the vet told me that a financial issue would likely be the demise of this soul.  At the time, I had no money.  It was before the Gunderson salary wars and I was struggling to pay a mortgage.  But something told me that in the grand scheme of things I’d never remember the money, but always remember my decision.

And I did remember my decision.  Every day.  Until today, she greeted me at the door every time I came home.  She went to sleep in one of my arm pits most nights and certainly every weekend nap.  She made herself the host of the house and welcomed in pets and people where she could entertain (and get some rubs in as well).  She converted many a cat-hater to cat admirer.  She managed to find that perfect spot of sunlight to lie in no matter how many homes we’ve had since.

Through all the good and bad days, she was always concerned more about me than herself.  I have never seen an animal behave so selfless that way.  In fact, I think she secretly liked when I had surgeries so that she would have me to tend to.  She took care of me much more than I did of her.

And even today, after she had a clot that paralyzed her back legs and caused her tremendous pain, she waited for me to wake up until she meowed for me to help.  Once again, she was thinking of me.

I’ll miss you dear Sammie.  Here are some of my favorite pictures of her.

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  • You know how much I believe in the power of having a pet (or, in my case, 5). Im sorry. If you need anything, you know how to get in touch.

    • Anonymous

      thank you. Very, very much.

  • Greeley

    I’m so sorry, Jason. We’ll miss Sammie and her funny house greeter “meeowwwp” at your front door.

  • A great tribute to a great cat! Amy and I are sending you good karma.

  • Jason – I am sorry for your loss.

  • Man, Jason, I’m really sorry to hear about this. I didn’t know Sammie very well, but it was obvious that she was such a sweet cat. You two were lucky to have found each other. Love the pictures, too. Thanks for sharing.

  • very sorry to hear, Jason. What an amazing tribute.

  • What a great story! May the memories of your time together pull you through your loss.

  • Jason, I’m so sorry to hear about Sammy. She was always such a fantastic cat and certainly knew how to entertain a guest. I couldn’t help but tear up while reading your brilliant obituary. She very much deserved it, and will certainly not be forgotten.

    • Anonymous

      Yes, she always seemed to have a particular affection for you, too.rnthanks

  • Luke

    Awfully sorry to hear this. I only met Sammie a few times, but that was one darn good feline.

  • My first cat’s name was Sammi and she was a white Manx. She had so much personality and was a great companion. I am sad for you but happy your Sammy had such a good life.

  • Null.

  • Anonymous

    Here’s the quote that just nails it:nnBut something told me that in the grand scheme of things Iu2019d never remember the money, but always remember my decision.nnExactly how I felt about Jasmine, my golden. I’m guessing that’s the possibly the best $2000 you’ve ever spent.

    • Anonymous

      yep and i would have gladly paid it again today if it would have changed the outcome.

  • Dhamilton

    I lost my 15 year old Weimeraner one week ago today, so I sympathize. Thanks for sharing the story.

  • Ellen

    Your dear departed Sam looks just like my Checkers. My Boxer found her in the bushes in my yard, abandoned at 4 weeks, and more dead than alive. I was always a dog person (have 4 right now) but this feline has captured my heart. Plays with the dogs, visits with anyone who comes into the home, even attends noisy parties instead of hiding. She didn’t look like much back then, and like you I went to the vet with her without regard for cost. I have been amply rewarded thus far. Sorry for your loss.

  • Jason I’m really sorry for your loss. You gave Sam a great life and made decisions to ensure that there would be no regrets. A model for all great friendships.

  • so sorry brother. she seemed fine the other day (though I know… you told me she wasn’t). hang tough.

  • Jdogric12

    I am very sorry to hear that Jason. My wife and I are cat people (have two) and our thoughts are with you today. All the best, Jason Ian Mendelson

  • Jody

    If life is a system of balances, of yin and yang, birth and death, light and dark, then the proof of the great pleasures he gave me lies in the quantity of pain his passing has caused. – Jameson Parker

  • Adam Calihman

    Jason,n So sorry about your loss. She was a real sweetie. Thanks for sharing this post.

  • Pets work themselves into our consciousness on a different level. Never judgmental and always there to support us the bonds we form with them can never be adequately explained. All of us pet owners understand your pain.

  • Val

    I remember you telling me about Sammie in those days when I was your “Scrub” at Cooley. I’m so sorry my friend. I have a sick doggie as well and am battling the same feelings. Take care.

    • Anonymous

      You were never my scrub but always a friend, none more than today. Sending good thoughts to your dog. rnrn———————-rnJason Mendelson

  • She is beautiful, Jason, so sorry to hear your news.. my eyes got a little dewy reading this; my thoughts are with you….nnTracy

  • anon

    RIP nurse sammie. never to be forgotten. very sad to hear this.

  • Anonymous

    So, so sad. I’m sorry, Jason 🙁 this weekend I am returning my dog to my parents because I have been so busy that taking care of him is becoming difficult. I’ll still have him to come home to once in a while but I’ve been so sad. This reminds me that it’ll be okay, and at least he’ll be in good hands.nnWhat a wonderful thing that you spent the money to save her and that she returned it hundreds of times over for more than it was worth. I’m glad she found a great owner — companion — in you.nnHappy Holidays and I hope you get some holiday cheer.

  • yu

    I believe that she is in a better place now, without pain. I am truly sorry for your loss..

  • Michael Crouch

    Sorry to hear about your friend, Jason. Losing a pet is always one of the hardest things anyone can do.

  • Hi Jason, thanks for posting this. I’m so sorry for your loss. I only had the pleasure of meeting Sammie once, but didn’t need to meet her more than once to know she was a special little lady. My thoughts are with you!

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