Savannah's Paw Tracks

Autobiography of a Former Shelter Cat

The Story of Sam aka Samantha


And what a tail tale I have to share with you all!! Remember I mentioned the park colony cat Mom L and her pals have been trying to trap? Sick and injured??

Well today if you will spare the time to read my very long post about “his” capture, you truly won’t be disappointed!

This tale is told by a marvelous volunteer with my Project Delta View Cats effort. We manage a cat colony at a city park in our little city on the magnificent California Delta.

This story is being told in the words of our park colony manager and feeder, Miss Jane.


Sam the Cat has been caught, having been enveloped in love by Angela, the keeper of the sacred net. He was plopped from net into Linda’s carrier, and as she closed the lid, Sam barely put up any argument. He is a sweetheart kitty. He is being lovingly monitored and stowed away overnight at Linda’s and tomorrow he’s off down the yellow brick road to see the doctor whom we hope is a wizard that can give him the gift of health! He will need our loving thoughts tonight and tomorrow.

What an ending, right???

Now, let’s back up just a bit for some of the background story in Miss Jane’s own words:

“He had blood on his fur from the wound on his neck and pus filling his eyes and overflowing onto his fur.

Over the next few days, he had cleaned off the blood but the neck wound was rapidly losing fur as it blew up into a swollen bump the diameter of a tennis ball. We had all tried catching him at Feeder #3 with no luck. So I went about my usual feeding pattern at Feeder #4, but this time I sat down on the ground next to the feeder. I put out wet food (enough to fill the tummies of all the cats—(about 13, as I recall).

I used a couple large flat pans on the ground next to the feeder and a few individual little dishes for the likes of Garfield and Opal (our senior and very shy cats). There was no attempt to catch Sam who, as previously mentioned, likes to eat on the other side of the hill. The next day it was rinse and repeat with Angela there, a gracious lady who offered to help us net him. I may have the exact timing of things off a little because it’s become a bit of a blur as we were all so tired at this point. Three weeks trying to catch a kitty who didn’t realize we were going to help him.

Every single time Angela, keeper of the sacred net, moved even a foot, Sam would bolt. It was at that point that we knew if we couldn’t catch him at the very least, we needed to get some medicine in him.. Linda had some leftover chilled antibiotics, so the next day we put out some salmon pate with the medicine in it.

In the past I had gotten Sam to eat at the base of Feeder #3 while I sat next to him. And there are fewer cats that eat there.

This time I showed him the dish, put it down and moved away. He gobbled up the whole thing in a snap. The next day we did the same thing and he ate the purposely small amount of medicine-laced food. What was fascinating was how quickly the swollen area on his neck had gone down, although he still had a five-inch patch of furless skin.

I knew from previous times he would come back for more food, so I carried a new dish forward to the right side of Feeder 3. Angela was right behind me with her net. Sam was on the hill watching us.

As I knelt down, Angela said, “Cover me. I’m right behind you.” She said, “Keep talking to him, Janie. Keep talking to him.” Thus, Sam was focused on me and the food, but not Angela and the net. Angela and I became one, so to speak, in Sam’s eyes.

I threw bits of sardine Linda had prepared to bring him closer and he loved that.

He warily moved closer and closer until he decided to take a chance and snatch a big piece of the salmon/sardine repast Linda had put together.

He sort of turned away from us as he ate it, and Angela was able to ever-so-slowly bring her net down, inch by inch by inch as he snatched bite after bite and I’m still talking in a low, soothing voice to him.

Angela was laser-focused the whole time. Now the net is so close, angled vertically with net hanging about six inches above the ground. Sam looked at it for a second but went back to his food. I thought that any second Angela was going to go for it, but she held off as she tilted the net so as to be almost horizontal to the ground over his body. I made a tiny shift in my kneeling position and he flinched; but I’m still talking, Sam’s still eating, now oblivious to her net.

And that’s what Angela was waiting for—for him to become immersed in his eating. Then BAM!!! The net hits the ground with Sammy inside!

I stepped down hard on the handle. Angela says, “Keep talking to him Janie.” She yells to Linda to bring the towel to put over the net, which Linda had already second-guessed her and was running towards us with it. Sam was thrashing but not as bad as a true feral cat might. She threw the towel over the net. We breathe for a second and exhale mightily and let out some godawful guttural laugh!!!


Sam’s trapped on the ground, netting and towel covering him. Linda brought the carrier, opening the top. Angela had pulled the netting underneath so as to enclose Sam in it, all the while keeping him pinned to the ground. Towel still on top. She instructed me to move with her, as she has the cat by the scruff and the net, and I’m holding the handle of the net. In one rapid movement we moved Sam and net over the carrier opening and Angela deposited Sam into it.

The sheer mixture of relief, exuberance, exhaustion and triumph hit all of us at the same time.

As you can imagine, we couldn’t have got him without Angela’s sacred net, particularly because Sam is “anti-trap”. That cat wouldn’t go near the trap no matter how many places we staged it, electronic gizmos, or bribes we offered. He was having none of it!

And the experience of seeing a cat netted was truly exciting!

The rest of the cats are well fed, happy and getting fat in their pastoral residence. All’s well in kitty cat kingdom.

Sleep well, dear humans.”

Isn’t Miss Jane a wonderful story teller!!


UPDATE: Sam is now “Samantha”!!! “He” is a “she”!!! She will be released soon from the care of our county animal services and hopefully we can get her a dental for her stomatitis before we must release her back to our colony.

Her neck wound is from a bite. It became so infected and must have internalized, because what we saw as discharge from her eyes and nose was really pus from the internal abscess that was emerging from her olfactory passages.

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25 thoughts on “The Story of Sam aka Samantha

  1. Pingback: Remember Sam? I have an update!! | Savannah's Paw Tracks

  2. meowmeowmans on said:

    Wonderful work, dear friends! Thank you to the whole team, for helping sweet Samantha get the help she needs. You all rock!

  3. Edie Chase on said:

    Congratulations! I’m glad you were able to catch her and help her.

  4. learnwithdash on said:

    WoooHOOOOO What a narration! What s result!!!! EPIC NEWS and thank the stars Samantha will be treated and healed.

    Thrilling stuff I cheered when they got ‘Sam’

  5. 15andmeowing on said:

    I am glad Samantha is being helped. How sad she will go back to the colony. I know some cats will never be used to people but it is sad.

  6. I was on pins-and-needles reading the narrative of how Sammie girl was caught. A nail-biting tale at best! Great writing, Janie! Way to go! Sammie is one lucky cat-girl. ^5 paws!

  7. The Island Cats on said:

    We are so happy that Sam(antha) has been caught and got the help she needed. Paws up to all those involved!

  8. Purrs to that dear sweet gal and I am so glad she is getting the help she needs, bravo team!

  9. sam; therz a dood who iz like de BEST out ther EVER; goez bye de name St Francis; we ask him ta send ewe manee blessings for a compleet N full ree cover….trust uz, he noez hiz stuff !~~~~ de veree best two ewe N 984 PAWZ UP two everee one who helped ewe out….may they bee blessez all sew ~ ☺☺☺♥♥♥

  10. Wow, that was an awesome catch! I’m so glad Sam was able to get help, thanks to everyone’s efforts. She really needed it.

  11. well done ladies on getting her,now she can get on the road to recovery,xx Speedy

  12. Poor Sam. She was lucky that the abscess didn’t kill her once it internalized. Sending her healing purrz that she heals quickly. I take it she’s not fixed either so this might be a good time for that.

    • She is ear tipped. Whole colony has been TNR’d. Mom L wouldn’t have it any other way. And yes there was tremendous urgency in trapping her. Broke Mom L’s heart learning the discharge in her eyes and nose was actually pus from the abscess.

  13. chrisscatmeow on said:

    Such a heartfelt story your such wonderful people to care so much. x😻💜🐾

  14. What a great story! Good luck for Sam(mantha)!

  15. mistletoeandhitch on said:

    Great work! We hope Samantha recovers and is home and healthy very soon.

  16. What a story ! We’re so glad you finally got Samantha and could help her ! Purrs

  17. Carole Schulman on said:

    This had ME on the edge of my chair. I am so grateful to all of you for persisting and working so hard and so long to help not only all of the other cats in the colony but this one who is or was, such a challenge.

    Thank you so much all of you, for this wonderful work you do.

    Katie Isabella

  18. ATCAD on said:

    We are so glad Samantha is getting the help she needs.

  19. Must be the first transgender cat in history (just kidding).

  20. What a story! What a happy ending! Must be a great feeling to help a little boy… oops – GIRL who needs it so badly and just can bring herself to let it happen. Well done.

    Love and licks,

  21. Glad he’s getting help.

  22. Wow! What an adventure it was to read this. But patience paid off and Samantha is now being well looked after, which is what matters. A blessed relief to all.

  23. Bruce M. on said:

    What a great yet sad story as well.

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