Samson and the great Saturday escape

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, January 3, 2006

It was an afternoon like any other afternoon. A lazy Saturday. A Saturday that was about to turn into the Kentucky Derby, except there were no good odds to bet on.

I was propped up in the recliner with a bowl of popcorn enjoying a rerun of &#8220The Dukes of Hazzard.” It was cold outside, what my mother refers to as &#8220sneaky” cold. Don't ask me how cold can be &#8220sneaky,” but it was that day.

We had a roaring fire built in the fireplace. My cat, Tiger, was sound asleep in the other rocking chair with her head turned upside down like cats do when they haven't a care. All was right with the world.

Or so I thought.

My mom had been outside for a short while, when she began the climb up the backdoor steps with a few small pieces of wood in hand. I'd just stuffed my mouth full of popcorn when Mom begins to open the back door to come inside.

All of a sudden, a huge dark streak comes flying under the recliner and hits that back door like nobody's business. My mom yells, wood starts flying in the air, and that bowl of popcorn became decoration for the den floor as I leaped out of my chair like a singed cat.

Samson, my 21-pound tomcat, had made his great escape out the back door and down the steps.

After I made sure my mother was still in one piece, I scrambled down the steps wearing only my socks. Sam had frozen on the bottom step. Just as I reached down to grab his tail, he took off. Well, for him it was taking off. He ran all through the maze of camellia bushes that Mr. Ed Jernigan had given us.

Here I go finding every rock and stick that my socked feet could find, all the while feeling my blood pressure about to shoot through the roof.

&#8220Hmm, she must be learning a foreign language,” Sam thought to himself. &#8220I don't recognize any of those words.”

Just when I thought things couldn't get any worse, they did.

As Sam turned the corner beside the house, he ran smack into Harley, my brother's dog.

Well, Samson gets scared of Harley, and Harley, who would lick anybody to death, wants to play. Only Sam doesn't know that.

Here they both come flying from the front yard around the side of the house into the back yard. Harley's barking, Sam's yowling, the fur is flying, and I'm yelling at both of them to stop, all the while knowing I'll have to throw away the pair of socks I'm wearing.

My mother comes flying down the steps trying to grab Harley so I'd have a chance to grab Sam. We looked like Sheriff Rosco P. Coltrane and Enos chasing after the Duke boys, with about as much success.

Finally, Momma got a hold on Harley, and I dove for Samson's tail. Even though he didn't like it very much, I grabbed hold and heaved his fat self up into my arms as fast as I could.

We all made our weary way back to the house.

Wearing cold, dirty, ruined socks, my hair going every which way, and popcorn still all over the den floor, I set Samson down with a big thud and a sigh. My mother came in the back door and gave an even bigger sigh.

Needless to say, Sam's been in the doghouse ever since.

Did I hear someone say they wanted to adopt a 21-pound tomcat?

Regina Grayson is a reporter with the Greenville Advocate.

She can be reached at 334-383-9302, ext. 126 or via e-mail at