Whose common theme is death of Samcats…

One morning a week or so ago I was driving my oldest to school when she announced rather out of the blue,  “I miss Sammy.”   Sammy, or Samcat as I referred to him, was my first cat who had been with me since 1996 (well, I had one for a few months prior to Sam, at least until my parents stole him). My wife and I  had to put him down about two years ago when he developed a brain tumor, but prior to that he had been a one-person cat (me) who regularly bit anyone else who attempted to pet him.

So it was a bit of a surprise when my daughter made her announcement, as we now have three much more tolerant cats roaming our house, including a long-haired tabby named Finn (my vet-wife tells me he’s  a tabby.  I’m convinced the Super-fuzz is at least part Maine Coon).

Have you seen this cat? He's AWESOME.

I admit, I didn’t know quite what to say.  At first I just wrote it off to her being a bit dramatic, but then we started talking  about what was fair and what wasn’t.  She seemed to think that Sam’s death was unfair as he didn’t live as long as one of our current cats, who is about 13 or so.  We got around to talking about how life isn’t always fair in things like that, and I mentioned that we could say the same thing about people, too.  Ended up trying to point out that “fair” and “unfair” aren’t really the correct words, but that’s a common point of contention with her these days (“Why do you get a big coke and I get a small one, Dad?  That’s not fair.”).  By the time we got to the school, though, I think her thoughts of Sammy had been lost in anticipation of the school day.

But I still think about him  and our conversation.

The English teacher in me wanted to bust out some Hamlet on her, to be honest.  “Tis sweet and commendable, Tina, To give these mourning duties to Samcat…” etc., etc., but it would have been lost on her (as it is my students…sigh).  And those are the villain’s lines – I hadn’t planned on playing the villain against my daughter until she started dating.  But despite the fact that they’re Claudius’ lines, who has a very definite reason for desiring Hamlet to stop thinking about his dead father, there’s also a lot of truth there, commenting about the necessary cycles that life holds (a common theme to the play, in fact).

The late, great George Carlin recognized this truth in perhaps something else I could have said to my daughter: “Life… is a series of dogs […] You just keep getting a new dog, don’t you? That’s what’s good about them. They don’t live too long… Sometimes, you can get a dog that looks exactly like the dog you used to have. Right? You shop around a little bit, and you find a dog identical to your former dog. And that’s real handy cause you don’t have to change the pictures on your mirror or anything. Right? You just bring the dead one into the pet shop. Throw him up on the counter and say, ‘Give me another one of them. That was real good.'”

So was Samcat.


One Response to “Whose common theme is death of Samcats…”

  1. bigredpoet Says:

    You have a history of awesome cats. I didn’t know Sam very long or very well since, as you said, he wasn’t fond of anyone but you, but I always thought he was a cute little bugger and admired his cross-eyed grin. I’m glad your daughter remembers him well enough to muse about him sometimes. I don’t know what I’ll do, honestly, when Tiger goes on to reap his reward…

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