Sam was the king of the Oakville cats. He was a mensch. His presence will animate our lives long after his passing.
I am reminded of the poem “Cat In An Empty Apartment” by Polish poet Wis?awa Szymborska. After her death earlier this week, the poem feels hauntingly uncanny to me — heart-stabbing as I turn it inside out:
Cat in an Empty Apartment - Wis?awa Szymborska
Die — You can’t do that to a cat.
Since what can a cat do
in an empty apartment?
Climb the walls?
Rub up against the furniture?
Nothing seems different here,
but nothing is the same.
Nothing has been moved,
but there’s more space.
And at nighttime no lamps are lit.
Footsteps on the staircase,
but they’re new ones.
The hand that puts fish on the saucer
has changed, too.
Something doesn’t start
at its usual time.
Something doesn’t happen
as it should. Someone was always, always here,
then suddenly disappeared
and stubbornly stays disappeared.