I guess I always knew this day might come. That there would be a morning when I would turn on the light in Sammy’s house to give him his breakfast, but he wouldn’t be there.
And he wouldn’t be coming again.
Sammy is the feral cat I’ve been feeding on my deck for eight years.
I've never been able to get near Sammy. I’ve never held him in my arms. I’ve watched him make it through bitterly cold winters, wounds from cat fights, and terrible flea allergies.
Last fall I bought him this log house, which Sammy took to right away. Then I added a heat lamp, and suddenly things were looking up for Sammy.
This past spring Sammy unexpectedly changed his territory. Instead of going through the safer residential area, he changed direction and began heading into the woods. I followed him several times, and saw that he cut through the trees to go to a different residential area. I was still worried, but tried to remain hopeful. What I didn’t know was that neighbors were starting to see the coyotes again.
Sammy continued to come every day for food, but I could tell he was more wary. He showed up for breakfast on September 21st, just as he had been doing for years.
That was the last time I saw Sammy.
I've lost many beloved critters in my life, but I was always there at the end. To think about the likely cause of Sammy’s disappearance is excruciating for me.
I've walked to the door and looked for Sammy hundreds of times in the last week. I’ve thrown my arms around the empty house and cried tears that felt like they would never end.
I guess there is always the chance that Sammy is perfectly fine. Perhaps he sensed the danger and changed territories to one that no longer includes my home. Perhaps one day I’ll look out the door and he’ll be curled up in the house. Oh, how I pray this happens.
This little piece of fur is all I have left of Sammy. I found it last May in his house. It was precious to me then. It is even more precious to me now.
Farewell my dear, sweet boy. The light will always be on in your house...