Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Small Alabama Town Stands Up for Sammy the Cat

One of the unfortunate byproducts of this blog is that we sometimes give the impression that Alabama is an utter hellhole.

That's a shame because I actually like many things about my adopted home state. No one forced me to come here 30-plus years ago, and no one has forced me to stay, so obviously I feel Alabama has quite a bit to recommend it.

Our justice system might be a cesspool, and our leaders can be a spineless, feckless bunch, but everyday Alabamians tend to be pretty fine folks--even many of the ones who disagree with me politically, which is most of them. Sometimes, small acts of kindness to the "least of these" say an awful lot about a people. Several citizens in the small Alabama town of Notasulga recently committed such an act, and they had a good time doing it.

Notasulga is a town of about 1,000 residents in east central Alabama, not far from the Opelika-Auburn area. The town gained national attention recently when a controversy erupted over Sammy the Cat, a local orange tabby who made a habit of hanging out at the local post office.

Sammy lives about a block from the post office, but he likes to meander over to the postal facility and stretch out in a sunny sport on a table inside. Residents enjoy loving on him and treating him like a regular postal employee.

But someone with too much time on her hands complained, saying that Sammy did not belong in the facility because he did not pay federal taxes. When a sign went up that Sammy no longer would be allowed in the building because of the complaint, about 15 Notasulgans came to the aide of their feline friend.

They started a media campaign and enlisted the help of one of Alabama's most famous citizens, former Auburn University football coach Pat Dye, who lives in the area. The group decided that the best solution was to get Sammy his own post-office box. That would mean he had reason to be in the post office.

Sammy's fans from around the country have responded. In a recent five-day period, he received 68 pieces of mail and two packages.

So the Notasulga post office is a fun, peaceful place again. And Sammy is there most every day to greet his growing band of admirers. A 10-year-old tabby has found happiness and affection in rural Alabama--more evidence that our state can't be all bad.

Here's the television story that turned Sammy into an international star:

Sammy's story touched our hearts here at Legal Schnauzer. Our blog is inspired by, and devoted to the memory of, Murphy, our much-loved miniature schnauzer from 1993 to 2004. But our house now is home to two Tonkinese kitty kats, a brother and sister named Baxter and Chloe. No one could ever replace Murphy in our hearts, but Baxter and Chloe have been true blessings. They give our home its soul--sort of what Sammy seems to do for the Notasulga post office. And like Sammy, they know the value of a good sunny spot to lay in.

Here's a video we did a few months back, featuring Baxter and Chloe:


5th Estate said...


What else is there to say? Except that whoever complained must be a very unfortunate person.

Though there are cat-people and dog-people and though some of them fight like...ummm...cobras and mongooses (?)they all can still acknowledge the value of human/animal bonding regardless of their specific preferences.

So very well done to all those who rallied top preserve some perspective, in this dog-eat-dog, and cat-can't-decide-whether-go-in-or-out-and-why-are-you-walking-across-my-keyboard-now world.

PS. I dropped by thanks to one houseofroberts who provided the link at The Zoo ( a Wordpress blog).


Anonymous said...

I am from California and was touched by Sammy's story and by his supporters. I know very well the joy animals can bring to their surroundings, and was hoping that Sammy would be let back in to the post office. I sent Sammy a card to his p.o. box, and to my surprise and glee, he wrote me back! :o) I will be sending a donation in Sammy's name to his fellow critters at the Macon County Humane Society, so that something good will come out of Sammy's eviction.

legalschnauzer said...

Your comment made my day. Thanks so much for writing. Would love to know what Sammy said in his letter. I bet he's a pretty eloquent guy.