Smith’s Saber Cat: Sammy


Sierra Blaser, Reporter

Readers of The Paper Cut, allow me to introduce you to Sammy, the saber cat stuffed animal owned by English teacher Mr. Smith. The stuffed animal’s name comes from the school mascot of Sabino High, where Smith graduated from in 1998, and has become a fun prank for the teacher’s students to participate in once a semester.

“Now that I teach at Sahuaro, I decided to have a little contest. I bought this stuffed animal saber cat, and once per semester all of my classes have the opportunity to kidnap him out of my room without me noticing,” Mr. Smith stated. “If they get him out of my room without me noticing, the whole class gets extra credit. If I notice it, then they’re done for the day.”

While this may seem like a fairly simple task for extra-credit, Smith has created a list of rules (listed below) to make the game fair.

  1. Once per semester
  2. Only students enrolled in one of my classes can kidnap Sammy
  3. No kidnapping before 1st bell and after last bell
  4. No kidnapping when there is a substitute teacher
  5. Sammy must be returned in one piece with nothing missing

“I have a rule that is named the “Maxine Rule,” named after a former student,” he began. “What she did on the first day of the contest is that she got to school before I arrived, went to Mrs. Good’s room, asked her to open up my classroom, and Maxine walked in, grabbed the saber cat, and walked out, so when I showed up and realized the cat was missing, I was upset because who stole it while I wasn’t there? During third period of that day, when Maxine had the class, she walked in and there it was. I thought it was really clever, but now I have that added as a rule.”

Sammy’s look has changed over the years, gaining several piercings from Smith’s seniors of 2021. “Two of my old seniors, Meghan and Nessa, kidnaped him and asked if they could pierce his ears. I was like, “yeah, sure,” thinking that it would be one earring on each ear. Now, there are several on each ear, there’s a nose ring, his bridge is pierced, and it’s become a “pierce the saber cat” type of thing.”

Last semester, all five of his classes successfully kidnaped Sammy and this semester, three of his classes have. Students who physically do the kidnapping earn a special spot on a purple shirt with their name written on it. Smith stated, “When the competition isn’t going, Sammy wears it.”

This saber cat stuffed toy is a very creative way to give students the opportunity to earn back some extra credit, and stealing Sammy will likely be a fun tradition at Sahuaro for years to come.