Happy Birthday SamCat

Happy Birthday, SamCat
Today is SamCat’s 19th birthday. We’re keeping it low key. Just a few extra treats, off-key rendition of “Happy Birthday” (my specialty-the off-key part), and lots of quiet time. 
Not that SamCat is not all about quiet time. He does require the morning quick walk out the front door and down the three steps for a drink of the bird bath water. (Yeah, the bird bath is on a rock at cat drinking height not up in the air at safe bird height. It doesn’t stop the birds from bathing, and SamCat gets his birdbath soup.) After his drink of choice, Sam makes his way up the steps and back into the living room where he naps, when he is not eating, or using the little cats’ room. 
Which brings us to why SamCat has a contract out on me. He and his brother Pete came to live with us 19 years ago. Litter-mates, they were always close. Sometimes embarrassingly so on my desk while I was trying to write. Which started me on the ‘no sex on the desk’ essay, I never finished.
Three years ago Pete died. Kidney failure. But SamCat is no slouch, he knows I killed his brother. I have to pay. SamCat never had a problem using the litter box until Pete died. Then it became anywhere except. I changed litter, changed boxes, changed location, added another litter box, then another. I attacked every variable I could come up with. And finally came to the conclusion this was Payback. 
So I took up the rugs and hauled them out to the driveway to shampoo, three times each. Sprayed them with vinegar, shampooed again, and let dry. The rugs stay rolled up, until one of us dies. SamCat or me. 
He adapted. So two months ago my first husband and I pulled out the redolent wall to wall carpeting and laid down wood floors. First Husband is onto SamCat. First Husband predicted SamCat would pee on the one thing he’d never peed on before. The wood floors. 
Yep. First Husband was right for the second or third time. Dammit. So SamCat was moved into the bathroom at night, when I HAVE to sleep. 
Forget the sleep. SamCat, who is usually silent, hit on twice nightly howling sessions. 2 a.m., when me getting up cleaning out the litter box and stirring the food is sufficient to silence him. And 4:30 a.m., when it’s GET UP HUMAN time. No more sleep. 
Last month First Husband and I had to make a trip. SamCat stayed with the vet. When we all got home, knock on wood, SamCat had given up on peeing inappropriately. 
He uses the litter box. 
Two choices here. He’s senile and forgot about peeing everywhere, or he’s messing with me while the contract killer gets here. 
So Happy Birthday, Sam. I cancelled that check to Contracts Anonymous. 

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