I Call Him Sam

Among the many ferals that inhabit our neighborhood, one has truly captured my attention. He’s a Siamese cat I call Sam.

Sam seems used to me enough to where he doesn’t run off provided I don’t get too close.

Sam has only one eye and a ragged coat. He is one of the regulars at Beth’s Diner, the feeding station for all the homeless cats in the neighborhood.

Recently during our afternoon walk, Rumpy and I saw a well-meaning young woman trying to coax Sam out from beneath a vehicle. I told her his story and she seemed comforted that he was getting regular meals, but I could tell she really wanted to love this baby and take him home.

I know, Sister, I wish you could too.

But what does Sam want?

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Many afternoons Sam can be found snoozing beneath a tree at the side of our home.

I’m sure he wants a regular meal, a safe place to lay his head, and a supportive environment.But Sam is feral, so I don’t know that he sees a safe environment as inside anyone’s home.

It’s difficult to watch Sam live that kind of life. There are many dangers ferals face. His life expectancy is nowhere near that of June Buggie’s. There are opossums, raccoons, other cats, cars and evil humans to contend with.

Sam naps in the afternoon beneath a tree on the side of the house. He’s usually there when I come home for lunch. In the mornings I hear him mowling as he heads toward the diner. In the evenings he’s often seen walking down the way toward where Rumpy’s pal Pitbull lives.

And I give him the respect and dignity he deserves.

20 thoughts on “I Call Him Sam

  1. Could you set up a large cage specially designed to trap feral cats alongside your house? I think you could probably snuggle it into the foliage well enough to look unimposing to Sam. At an apartment complex where I used to live, a young woman set up several such cages around the property, concealing them in the shrubbery, to trap feral cats. She nabbed at least 3 in the bushes just outside my apartment. I’m not a cat person, but I hate to see any animal suffer through a miserable life.

    1. Hi Alejandro. My husband and I manage two TNR community cat colonies , one near our home and the other at my husband’s workplace. I hope the young woman who was trapping the community cats is working with a TNR group (we’re trying to change the wording because “feral” is alienating and distasteful to many people).

      When a stray or homeless cat is taken to a shelter, they are invariably deemed unadoptable and killed immediately. With TNR, cats are spayed/neutered, vaccinated, treated for parasites and tested for disease. Then they’re released in the area where they were trapped. As long as they have caregivers who see that they have daily food and fresh water, community cats don’t necessarily suffer a miserable life, although, as with any animal who lives outside, they are exposed to daily danger.

      1. Right. Sam would not be happy inside, and would either end up euthanized or kicked back outside, and during that time another cat would move in and steal his territory, so he’d have to start all over again. That’s not fair to Sam, is it?

  2. Bless you, Jen, for this lovely post and the kindness and concern you show Sam. He’s a beautiful fellow who’s apparently lived an adventurous life. We have a Siamese cat in one of our colonies. His name is Ogi and he is the King of the Kitties. There are several colony-mates who run up whenever he comes for dinner and rub against his side and under his chin. I think if they bowed, he would like it even more!

    Sam seems contented in the second picture, feeling safe enough to enjoy an afternoon siesta in plain sight. He’s lucky to have your side yard as a little haven, and it sounds like he has neighborhood buddies, too. Most community cats are very street-wise, but it’s good that people are watching out and worrying about them. Please give our regards to Beth. I love the name of her feeding station!

    1. The tree butts up against my neighbor’s yard. They don’t do much yard maintenance so Sam definitely has an escape route should someone pop up. But the cats seem OK with me and Rumpy. The female dilute tortie actually hung out in the yard and watched me plant my flower bed, though from a distance.

  3. Such a shame that a beautiful siamese cat like Sam ends up living this life when he should be someones pet.But I am glad that you do what you can for him and the other homeless cats that visit your garden.Sometimes a safe place to rest with shelter when they need it and regular meals can make the difference to them having a long,happy and relatively healthy life.My dad lives in Philly and he does the same,he has provided shelter and feeding stations in his garden and he TNR them as well.and the kittens when they are weaned or nearly weaned he brings them in to the house to socialise them so that they can be rehomed as pets.and he sees that they all get any medical care that they need.Last time I spoke to him he had 2 kittens but one was being crated has he had a broken leg and dislocated hip but was healing up nicely and both kittens were very socialable too.xx Rachel

  4. We have a feral colony near NASA (or that’s the only one acknowledge and managed). They are fed, neutered/vaccinated and serve a purpose of controlling the rodent population around the hospital and a center with restaurants. There is shelter in cold weather. People are mixed whether to leave them alone or not – especially newcomers who don’t understand these cats have been watched/managed since the 80’s. They play along the sidewalk lights at night which shop owners.hospital staff, and restaurant people (all of whom have security video cameras) say is comforting – if anything is wrong, the cats suddenlydisappear warning of some danger.
    Life is harder on those animals, but if you look, these cats are all healthy, and seem happy. It’s their life – and with a little help from friends it’s going to be OK.

  5. Hmmmm…..it was a very interesting post….I mean we see feral cats in our neighbourhood too and I always wonder if they are happy with no owners…..living in ourside……when I see my four cats, I have a similar question on my own….if our cats are happy living inside….they used to be ferals though……
    It’s good to hear that there is a station called “Beth’s Diner” ……as long as they have regular meals, and somewhere they could sleep, they would be happy…I strongly hope…..

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