Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Deer Comfort Dying Cat

Margie Scott was devastated when her 9-year-old cat Sammy was diagnosed with kidney failure, but she never could have predicted what would give her comfort during her pet’s last days.
Scott, who lives in an apartment just south of Lake Whatcom, had adopted the long-haired white and gray cat when he was just six months old.

Last month, Sammy stopped eating his dry food and would sit in a corner for hours. Scott took him to the vet, who treated him for dehydration. But it wasn’t enough.

“He was better for awhile, but then he started going downhill,” she said. “He just had this haunted look in his eyes.”

Because Sammy was declawed, he was strictly an indoor cat. But he always wanted to go outside. So, in his dying days, Scott decided to let Sammy spend some time outside each day. Sammy enjoyed his time outside the apartment, which is surrounded by woods and wetlands.

A family of deer regularly visits the complex, and one day, Sammy was sitting outside in the grass when two young deer happened by.

Scott watched in astonishment at what occurred next.

“One walked up to Sammy and they touched noses,” she said. “The deer jumped back and made a sort of a snorting noise, like he was sneezing. It seemed like he was taken by surprise,” she said.

What she saw next was even more surprising.

”The deer started licking him all around the head and neck, and Sammy just sat there allowing the deer to do this,” said Scott.

For several minutes, the young deer licked the small cat. Scott grabbed her camera and got a picture of the tender scene.

“It was amazing,” she said. “I truly believe the deer was able to sense that there was something wrong with Sammy and that was why he started licking him, like he was trying to nurture him.”

Two days later, Sammy died.

Though Scott is still grieving the loss of her cherished pet, she takes comfort in the photo she has of Sammy and the deer.

“I have some amazing memories, including this one,” she said.

Slide show: Deer comforts dying cat

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