"We both learned to adore animals from our mother, who always made room for them in our lives.
"Sam [Gale's current kitty] is about 14 and her background makes her a lady of mystery. She is obviously a purebred Himalayan. When she was about 5, a friend found her abandoned at her apartment complex. She seemed to have been abused and it took weeks for my friend to get close enough to catch her.
"My mother's cat had just died, so the friend gave her to my mother. Sam spent 4 days hiding under the piano, much to my mother's dismay. On the 5th day, for no apparent reason, she just marched out from under the piano and onto the sofa next to Mom. They were boon companions for 5 years until Mom died suddenly in 2005.
"Gale took Sam, who mourned Mom's death deeply. It took her about a year to realize that Mom wasn't coming back, and then she settled in and has bonded closely with Gale. She is at least 14 and has battled some health issues but is doing okay at this point. Sam is tiny -- only 5 pounds, but the Queen of her Domain and can be a bit sniffy with the help (i.e. Gale) when things aren't done to her satisfaction. She loves to cuddle and sleep in the sun and has a loud purr that is out of proportion with her size."
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Can you believe it? We've arrived at Cat Lady No. 364!!