Marlene Ratledge Buchanen

We are in deep trouble. The entire family. Samson, formerly Delilah until his dried up raisins were discovered during her hysterectomy, has a problem.

Samson is not a cute cuddly little cat. He is a huge black fluff wad who comes with many emotional disturbances. We’re sure he was abused by a male. We think he has vision problems in his right eye. He is scared of his own shadow and terrified of everyone else’s.



Samson is a beautiful cat. He is solid black with a white bikini on his nether regions. I swear. It looks like he is wearing a white speedo. He is just squishy soft, but you will never get a squish from him.

He did this one time before with a tangle under one of his front arms. (Oh, I know. Legs, paws, etc. Our fur babies have hands, feet and speak.) It made such a tight ball that he was limping and it had made a sore. Now he is in jeopardy of having the same happen on his fanny.

The whole family is on alert. As soon as one of can catch him, we will attack the fur wad. Bur first, we have to catch him. He is the best cat in the house at hiding. Open the door to go outside and he vanishes. He is not going outside. NO way, no how. Someone comes in and he is gone. We could have had that person in this house a hundred times, Samson disappears. He is kind of magical that way.

I have scissors laid out on the counter. I have a big towel ready to drape over his little fat body. I also have band-aids, antiseptic, and 911 primed into the telephone. The time is nigh.

Slowly Snell enters the bathroom and picks up the towel. He stands still for a minute or two so Samson won’t, we hope, realize this is for him. I am talking cat speak, that’s baby talk for those unacquainted with animals running the house.

I am holding the scissors behind my back and have the brush in my right hand. He sees the brush and falls over, closing his eyes and waiting for the adoration. Snell finally takes a deep breath. Samson opens his eyes, looks at his Daddy and poof! No pussycat.

The next day Snell assumes the position with the towel but in the sunroom. He closes the door between us. I am in the bathroom talking cat speak and ready to close the bedroom door as soon as Samson enters. He does. I do, wham! He hits the door to the sunroom and is past Snell so fast that only fur flying in the air can be seen.

Please, let three be lucky. The knot in the pulchritudinous plumage of Samson’s pantaloons has gotten larger. Samson has gotten warier. All the other cats think we are trying to catch them for manicures. That starts next week. They are on high alert. There has been an obvious absence of cat presence.

Snell gets into the shower with the towel and holds his breath. I have a towel and am sitting on the floor with the brush. Slowly Samson walks in and not seeing Snell comes to be petted and humored and adored as is his due. I lift my towel with one hand, combing with the other and I have him. I have him!!!

Snell begins to breathe and takes Samson from my arms. He is giving us the eat cat hair and die look. Trust me, under stress cats release more hair. It is like a dust bowl of black fur in our faces.

Snell gently turns Samson on to his back. Samson is now adding filthy language to the death stare. I unwrap the towel exposing his nether regions and palpate for the fur wad. There it is. Carefully I cut the knot from his pantaloons. I try to take the unhappy 12 pounds of indignity from Snell. As he is turned over, Samson gets a toehold and leaps to the floor. Out the door, he goes.

Unfortunately, the toehold was in Snell’s right arm. Antiseptic, band-aids and plenty of “oh, poor baby’s and you did great’s” to Snell and we smile. We did it.

Next week — toenails.