Fly away Sam.

Let your spirit soar and

Explore the wondrous world you once knew.

Your spirit is free,

But your memory lives in me.

Sam was a neutered male Siamese cat who once lived with us. He came to us fully grown, long and leggy, having a personality I instantly admired.

We had a female Siamese already in the house and she guarded her house with a passion. She would hiss and growl when Sam walked by and he would simply look at her as if to say “Who put their galoshes in your lemonade” and walk on. That was typical of his attitude. He ignored conflict if he had any choice about it for as long as he lived with us.

The female eventually moved with my daughter to an apartment and Sam stayed with us and he was a delight to have around. But there came a day when he was less active and wasn’t eating. The diagnosis came back: feline leukemia.

I didn’t want to let him go. His illness came at a time of transition in my own life, and this was my first real conflict with death. This was a conflict I couldn’t avoid. I tried to give him the medication and get some fluids and nutrients down him, but with less and less success. He seemed to look at me and ask “Why are you tormenting me?” He didn’t understand that I was trying to help.

We came to a point where it was obvious death would win. It was pointless to continue distressing him, so I took him to put him to rest. It was one of the hardest things I have ever had to do. I hated losing to this disease.

After we buried him, I just couldn’t let it go. All the conflict was still inside, churning through my mind. From somewhere came the small verse above and I was thankful for it. It gave me a sense of continuity, a partial victory.

Over the years, I lost track of the poem in my notes and couldn’t remember all the words until last night. In the middle of the night, I woke with all the words in my head just as I had written them so many years before. I got up and wrote them down. Why did they come back to me? I don’t know, but I felt I should share the story. Maybe someone else will identify with this story and be helped. I invite and welcome your comments. Please share.

Hal C Clark, March 2010

10 Responses to “Memories”

  1. 1 pearlnelson March 5, 2010 at 12:47 pm

    It is one of God’s cruelest tricks — giving animals less years than he gives us.

    A friend wrote this for me when my beloved dog died. Hope it helps.

    Oh the spirit
    of the little dog
    in heaven


    • 2 Hal C Clark March 11, 2010 at 3:40 pm

      In one way I agree with you about the life span of our pets. In another way, maybe their shorter life makes them more precious to us when they are with us. Thanks for your comment and for visiting.

  2. 3 brian miller March 10, 2010 at 7:41 pm

    nice…i had a dog named hobo once…felt just the same…

  3. 5 ishabelle March 11, 2010 at 1:41 am

    what a beautiful and touching dedication to your cat… 🙂 i dont have a pet now, but i remember, when i was a child, i would always cry when i lost a pet… 🙂

  4. 7 trisha March 12, 2010 at 10:19 am

    losing a pet is one of the most painful things.

  5. 9 vvdenman April 23, 2010 at 8:50 pm


    Your poetry is like a warm hug. And I enjoy the descriptions telling how you came up with the poems. That adds so much.

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