Saturday, September 24, 2005

Samwise Gamgee Moonglow

The most recent love of my life is Samwise Gamgee Moonglow. When we were driving truck, we used to make frequent trips to Ontario, California to the 3-M plant. We often saw cats and kittens around the area as the guards were feeding the poor things that had probably been either dumped or escaped from trucks. The one female had older kittens and younger kittens hanging around with her, but they were all mostly feral. My partner saw one kitten he really liked and had tried catching him several times, unsuccessfully. (I was generally asleep because I drove at night much of the time and slept most mornings when we delivered at this particular plant.) This one morning I was still awake, so Alan came back into the truck and told me the kitten was outside right then. I grabbed some sandwich meat and went out to see which kitten he was talking about.
Momma Kitty came right over to the fence when I dangled the meat through it. Then this beautiful, lilac point Siamese kitten came to see what Momma had. I coaxed him a little closer. (Having had managed a dog pound for a few years and had animals for my entire life, I knew how to catch them.) Pretty soon his hunger and curiosity got the better of him. As soon as he was close enough I grabbed him by the scruff of the neck, held his legs, and tld Alan to open the truck door.

The kitten was about five months old, and almost feral, but since he was so pretty the guards had been paying more attention to him. At first he was terrified to be in a running semi, but after a night with us he started to calm down. He was skinny, full of fleas, had worms, and was scared. We went to the truck stop and got our first supplies for him, then later found a Wal-Mart to get the proper supplies (good food, litter box, flea powder, halter and leash, toys.).

After a few days Sam settled down and started to play. After a couple of months we found out how intelligent he was and how playful. He would often sit on the dashboard and watch the scenery go by or sleep in the sun, but only on the passenger side. We only had to tell him once not to cross the center of the dash. After playing with him, throwing plushy balls for him to "chase" (how far can you chase a ball in a semi?), he created a little game of fetch all by himself. Soon Samwise wasn't satisfied with just fetch, so proceeded to hide the ball, come to the front of the truck or onto the bed, and "tell us" he couldn't find the ball. He would look around to show us he couldn't find it, meow, and go back to where he "thought" it was. Boy did he fool us. We caught on soon enough, but couldn't believe how smart he was. We also bought him a little mouse that squeeked. He loved that toy. When catch got too boring with the mouse, especially if we had decided to stop and both get some rest, he would take the mouse up to the top bunk and drop it through a little gap down unto our heads. How he figured out how todo that is still a mystery. All I can say, is when an animal is giving enough love and respect, they start to show their intelligence more and more.

In December, after we got Samwise, we took him into a veterinarian, got all his shots, testing, and neutering done. Poor baby had not been away from us one hour since we nabbed him, so you can imagine how upset he was. Of course, I was very upset also at having to leave him overnight. But, the next day he was back in his small truck home, good as new.

When we first got Sam he was, as I said before, starving. He would eat just about anything, including pickles, onions, lettuce, hot dogs, fried zucchini. At one truck stop we decided to get him his own hot dog, an all beef large one. Sam sat on the dashboard while we took turns holding the weiner for him. (He was still only about 7 months old at that time.) Samwise ate that whole hot dog....glutton!!! But, since that time he doesn't want anything to do with hot dogs.

How Sam got his name: Not to long after Sam came to live with us on the truck, the first Lord Of The Rings movies came out on DVD. Having read JRR Tolkien, I had to have the movie. Late one night, we were able to watch the movie. Sam did not have a name yet,because I felt an animal should show me their name. At the end of the first L O T R movie as Frodo is leaving on the boat alone, Samwise comes running and starts walking into the lake after Frodo because he had promised Gandalf he would not leave Frodo. Since Samwise did not know how to swim, it was almost certain he would drown. But, Frodo was able to pull him onto the boat. Sam's quote was: "I made a promise, Mr. Frodo, and I intend to keep it." And he did, regardless of his own life. I was crying so hard and thinking, "Now that is a true friend." Then it hit me, my new kitten was my true friend. He loved me no matter what I looked like, no matter what I did, because I loved him. And so he was named Samwise Gamgee in honor of true friends everywhere. A few days later the moon was full. Sam was sitting on the dash in the moonlight. The coloring on his back was the same color as the moonglow. Thus he received his full name: Samwise Gamgee Moonglow.

Today, Sam is three and a-half years old, more beautiful than ever with his lilac points and his saddle getting a little darker all the time, his big opal blue eyes, and soft fur. He has learned to talk.....really!! He says "ball", "play", "I don't wanna", "water" and a few other things. He shocks me sometimes when he says something, but I can understand him perfectly. Samwise has become picky, too. He will only eat hand fed cooked meat, Meow Mix, and a little milk now and again. He's not the skinny, starving kitten anymore, but the fat (around 20 pounds), satisfied, beautiful love of my life.

1 comment:

Crow Calling Woman said...

That is a wonderful story Marg! Very heartfelt and I loved it!