For as long as I can remember, I've been an animal lover. Dogs, cats, birds — you name it, I wanted it. My parents wanted to wait until I was five to get my first pet (understandable due to the fact most small children result in tail pulling and squeezing of the animals... ouch). So when the time came to finally take the trip to the local Humane Society, you can only imagine how joyfully anxious five-year-old Sara was.

It took about three trips of frantically finding the perfect feline friend before I found Sammy. As a five-year-old, I was ready to take any cat I could home. I specifically remember seeing a white fluffy kitten who I was infatuated with due to the fact it resembled Marie from "The Aristocats." But my mom suggested we make one more visit before making our final decision. And luckily we went the next day for one last look and that's when I saw him, this cute tiny little tabby looking straight at me. I opened the cage and he literally jumped into my arms, purring away. I knew this was the cat I was getting no matter what, and within a week, Sammy was home with us.

It's now 15 years later from the day and Sammy is currently sitting right beside me fast asleep on my bed as I type this article. A grumpy, still quite little, old cat who has been with me throughout my life. Love life troubles? Sammy was there as I bawled and explained my problems. Rough day at school? He would be right next (or sometimes sitting on) my homework as I stayed up late attempting to finish it all. Never saying much, but always being there for comfort. Cats (and pets in general) I think are very perceptive over our feelings. They sense when you're sad or unhappy and will attempt to get your attention to fix it. Sammy's way is to keep meowing and nudging my hand until I laugh and start petting him. He was even my show-and-tell all throughout elementary school, and you can imagine how that went bringing one small cat to a classroom full of overly hyper children. Fast forward to senior year of high school, Sammy was even with me for my senior pictures (which, might I add, were adorable). But every big milestone in life, my feline buddy was there for me to bring happiness and joy.

I know it can seem quite silly to talk about your cat as your best friend, but it's a special relationship. A stubborn, loving, long relationship that I couldn't be more thankful for. He's been my best friend practically my whole life. We can't have our pet best friends forever, so we might as well cherish them while we can.