So I may as well start with the story of my Samwise.
I’ve always been a dog person. I grew up with some of the best – Buffy, Poppy, Cocoa, Dawn, Margie, Oliver – not to mention the dozens of boxers that I worked with during my college days. I’ll never forget Johnny, Boon, Lita, Emmie, Rufus, Spider, Lenny, Mex, Abby, Toddy… and even little Carina (named after yours truly!) So many wet, sloppy boxer kisses and I wouldn’t trade a single one of them!
I find being around dogs therapeutic. I feel something missing when I haven’t been around a dog for a long time. I would love to have a house full. Unfortunately, my lifestyle does not yet allow for the energetic (not to mention large) pack of cuddly pups I’d like to surround myself with. Longing for the companionship of a pet, I thought I would “settle” for a cat. Their independent nature – and, let’s face it, their ability to piddle in a box – made a cat a perfect choice for my sometimes very long days.
It was a Sunday morning in January of 2007 (the 27th to be exact) when I walked into North Shore Animal League using all my will-power to make it past all the dogs. (NSAL is a no-kill shelter.) I finally came to a room full of cats in crates stacked 5 high. I knew what I was looking for – a huge, fluffy kitty that was about 3 or 4 years old. I spent time with a few of them. Some needed to be adopted in pairs, some had medical issues and with a full-time job and a long commute, I was not capable of devoting the necessary time to the care that they deserved. And then I saw him. He was in the bottom of the stack in a crate labeled “Freddy, 4 1/2 years, No medical issues, Neutered, Here since: August 2006”. I peeked in and saw him snuggled into his own litter box, a stuffed toy lying ignored next to him. I could tell he was well-cared for and well loved. I couldn’t imagine how or why he came to be in this lonely place – and for so long. I immediately called to one of the volunteers. She opened his crate and he gingerly stepped out, walking around me and sniffing curiously. He let me pet him and he looked up and blinked at me. He was mine from that moment. I looked at the young girl that had opened his crate and simply said “He’s going home today.”
I have never called him Freddy – he was renamed in the car on our way home that day. Samwise. My most favorite character in Lord of the Rings. Samwise the Brave. And Cuddly. And Lovable. And yes, ornery. And I love every bit of him… right down to his fuzzy pants.