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Years ago, I was a fairly wild teenager of 16, out of school and away from home and trying to support myself. I had come from a dysfunctional place and found it hard to settle down.

One afternoon, my neighbours kids told me about a white kitty that had been spending time up inside the engine of the cars in our apartment's parking lot for several evenings. He had no tags or tattoos, and nobody seemed to know where he came from. He was a greasy ball of fur when we finally coaxed him out from under a car and was half starved. He was scared, but seemed to know I was going to help him. After spending some time at the vet cleaning him up, deworming and neutering him, I finally got to bring my lovely boy home. The vet thought he was about 4 years old. I fell in love immediately with this green eyed boy and named him Sammy. He was my first cat, something I had always wanted to have.

Sammy was a major factor in me finally setting down. We bonded immediately and I knew I had to have a stable home in order to look after him. He was my biggest motivator. Eventually I was able to complete high school, get a decent job and then finally go to college. He was my rock every step of the way. He was my saviour as much as I was his.

Eventually over the next few years I got a couple of other cats, and Sammy welcomed them all into the family. He was always loving and gentle and slept with me every night. I don't think I could have asked for a better pet.

He was my baby for the next twenty years, but by the age of 24 he began to fail. It broke my heart to see him dying. I finally got the courage to take him to the vet to end his pain. It was brutal. I was there while he slipped into unconsciousness and then death. I will never forget him.

Calgary, AB, Canada

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