How old are you, Sam & Lucy?
We are both 5 years old. Our 6th birthday is on the 12th September.
Sam with mum’s sneakers.Both about 18 weeks old.Lucy in the garden.
Where did your names come from?
Sam: My mum, Louise, was told I was a girl, so my original name was Kiara, which means “dark and little”. She said it suited me because I am black. But at the doctors she was told I was actually a boy. So she changed my name to Samuel (Sam) because she had always liked the name and it was a good name for someone so handsome. I usually get called Sam, unless I am being naughty then I get Samuel.
Lucy: My mum’s eldest niece, Gabriela, named me because I lived with them when I was a baby. Apparently my name means “light or bringer of light” which suits me because I am all white and very beautiful.
How did you come to live with your mom?
We will try to make a long story short.
Sam: My uncle, mum’s brother, worked at the Bridgestone tyre factory in Adelaide, South Australia, and our fur-parents thought it would be a good place to hang out because it was very warm in the Banbury (where the rubber was made for the tyres). But the workers, including my uncle, didn’t think it was very safe. They tried to move our fur-parents, but they keep coming back. After we were born, people from the Animal Welfare League, came and caught our fur-parents, but couldn’t find us. So they thought we had died. A day later one of the workers found as and took us to his house. There were 5 of us – 2 black, 1 white, and 2 black and white. We were about 1 ½ weeks old. My uncle told my mum about us and when I was 2 ½ weeks old she came and got me. And I started my new life with my mum, my big fur-sister Jessica, and my Nanna and Papa.
Lucy: My story is the same as Sam’s, except his uncle was my dad. I started my new life with my dad, mum, 2 older sisters and 2 older brothers (all human). I was closest to my dad and I loved it when he came home from work because I remember the smell from my birth place. When I was about 18 months old, I followed a black cat out of my yard and got lost. I found a nice lady, who feed me but wouldn’t let me in the house. After about 6 weeks, my mum and one of my sisters found me and brought me home. I stayed for 2 weeks, then I ran away again to the same place. When my parents found me again, my dad phoned my aunt (my new mum) and asked if I could come and live with her. She said yes and the rest is history. I will admit, I was very scared and angry when I first arrived at my new house, but my new mum was very patient with me and after a few weeks I was allowed out of the crate I had been living in. My brother (Sam) tried so hard to be my friend, but I was scared and I couldn’t understand what he wanted. He was so nice to me and I was mean to him. He tried to play with me but I didn’t know how too. Mum says I am much better now, but there’s still a lot of room for improvement, whatever that means!
Were you glad to have each other to play with?
Sam: I loved it when Lucy came, but she was really angry and mean when she came. She doesn’t really know how to play, but mum says it is because she lived alone for a while and didn’t really have time to play because she had to protect herself from other cats, dogs and some humans. So I keep trying, but I don’t know if she is willing.
Lucy: I would love to play with Sam, but I really don’t know how too. He plays a bit rough, and it scares me. Mum says that I am not Rajah, and that he needs to play quieter with me. I don’t think he knows how too, he is after all a boy.
This is about as close as Lucy and I get to each other (3years old).
What are you favorite toys?
Sam: My favourite toys are Da Bird, any pole toy, any small ball and medicine cups.
Lucy: My favourite toys are pole toys, balls of paper and the circuit toy.
Do you sleep near each other?
Sam: No. I sleep in a flat in our grand-parents backyard with our mum.
Lucy: No. I sleep in the house with our grand-parents.
What is your favorite thing to do?
- Sam: I love spending time with our mum, helping her in the garden, resting in the sun, and helping to make and looking after our mum’s reborn dolls.
- Lucy: I love spending time with our mum, helping mum and nanna with the cooking, resting, and looking beautiful. I don’t rest in the sun, because I will get burnt and mum says if I don’t get out of the sun she will put sunscreen on me and I hate that.
Sam helping in the garden.5 years oldLucy’s mediation stone in the garden
Do you live with other fursiblings?
- Sam: When I first came to live with my mum, my older fur-sister was here. Her name was Jessica, and she was 13 years old. She had been orphaned too, and came to live with mum when she was 6 weeks old. I loved Jessica, and I think she sort of loved me. I was very sad when she crossed to Rainbow Bridge just after I had turned 1. But she had lost one eye from a melanoma and then her liver stopped working properly. But a few weeks later my little fur-cousin, Rajah, came to live here because my uncle, auntie, and 4 cousins (humans) were staying here while their house was being fixed. Mum called Rajah and I the terrible two. He later went to live with my uncle and his family after their house was fixed up. I really missed him. My mum told me that after his 2nd birthday, he left for Rainbow Bridge after he was killed by a dog.
Mum has fostered some kittens from time to time.
- Lucy: I didn’t live with any fursiblings until I came to my new home and ended up living with my litter sibling, Sam.
Sam with his big sister JessicaSam with is little cousin Rajah.
What are your favorite treats?
- Sam: My favourite treats are Tempters, vegemite, ham, and cheese. I like trying new foods, especially human foods except chocolate. Mum says I can’t have that.
- Lucy: My favourite treats are vegemite and sometimes cheese. I really don’t like treats.
What advice would you give to little orphaned kittens like yourself who are scared?
- Sam: When you are orphaned, like my sister and I were, you are bottle fed so you get lots of cuddles and special time with your human mum or dad. When my mum was feeding me, my fur-sister would sit on her lap. Sometimes my Nanna would feed me at night because my mum was at work. When you are bottle fed, you become very close to your human parent. I am very protective of my mum, because we are very close.
- Lucy: I think the same as Sam, except I had human brothers and sisters to feed me and play with me when I was little. I am very close to my new mum now, and she is the only one who can pick me up – although I don’t like being picked up.
Helping mum pack for her holiday.Sitting with one of mum’s reborn dolls.
Is there anything else you would like to add about yourselves?
Our mum will answer this question:
- Louise: Hand raising an orphaned kitten is a lot of hard work. It is really no different to raising a human baby: bottle feeding around the clock, helping them to wee and poo, cleaning them, making sure they get plenty of sleep, teaching them to use the litter tray, eating solid food and lapping water, washing themselves. The list goes on. The only difference is their learning only lasts a few weeks not years. So you need to make the most of this precious time, because it goes far too quickly so take lots of photos &/or videos.
Author’s Notes: Many thanks to Miss Louise, Sam & Lucy for answering the questions. Pictures were used with permission.
This article is a part of the Happy Tails theme, which is a collection of stories about pets that have been adopted, rescued or found and are now living happily in their forever homes.