I pulled the spiles from my big silver maple on the north side and planted seeds in the cold frames on the south side. The spiles come out of the tree easily. I wiggle them back and forth gently and pull downward; they come out of the tree trunk like loose teeth. It only takes a minute and then I am off to plant spinach, a mesclun mix of lettuces and another of spicy greens in the cold frames. My husband had already topped them up with compost from the bins and forked it into the ground ready for me to smooth and plant.
My helper, Sammy (Samwise), was out on his leash with me as I did this spring work. We’ve had Sammy for 4 months now. We had lost Bert to cancer only 11 weeks before bringing Sam home. I had said no to Sammy twice before finally agreeing to adopt him.
Sam had been living with the frail, elderly mother of a good friend of mine. Her mother had to move into assisted living and was unable to take the cat with her. He had started out life with another member of the family, but Sammy won’t tolerate another cat in his territory (which is why he ended up with the mom), so no member of the family could take him. (My daughter had some of her old stuffed toy cats out, and Sam made such a stink that she had to put them away where he couldn’t see them!)
It came down to them packing up the mother’s apartment around Sam. I kept thinking of the time he had spent alone in that apartment and then having it packed up around him. How unsettling and scary that must have been for him. How desperate the family was to find him a good home in a very rural county with no good shelters or rescue organizations to foster homeless pets.
That’s when I cracked.
I was still feeling sad about Bert every day. I thought bringing another cat into the house would make me feel worse. It turned out that Sam has such a different nature from Bert that he ended up being a comfort rather than an irritant. (Although my husband might disagree when Sam awakens him with a wet nose or throws up on the rug.)
Sam is a snuggler and the Love Train is ALWAYS in the station. He likes to play even more than
he likes treats. He purrs like a motorboat and is a total lush when it comes to neck and shoulder rubs. He smooches our faces and likes to sleep with his head on my shoulder. He is timid but warms up to people quickly and likes to hang out. He’s just good company. He’s the perfect cat for a sometimes anxious empty-nester like me. Begonia