There is a flower within my heart, // Daisy, Daisy, // Planted one day by a glancing dart, // Planted by Daisy Bell…
~~ “Daisy Bell,” Harry Dacre (1892)
As most of you who know me know, I lost my sweet old orange tabby, Sunny, in January 2010, to HCM. It took me over a year to get over his loss. I finally was able, after two “misfires” to find the “purrfect” cat, a sweet moggie named Daisy whom I adopted from the Montgomery County Animal Shelter on May 10. Things were going swimmingly even though it seemed like she was the most finicky eater on the planet. There was never that problem with my other cats, Sunny or Simon, my Maine Coon. Both had healthy appetites. In fact those two ate like truck drivers.
So when she didn’t seem to live and die by the food dish, I didn’t think anything of it. I thought, well, she’s a girl, maybe she’s just a dainty eater. But last Tuesday, she started throwing up and became quite listless. I took her to the vet the next day who ran some bloodwork on her. It turns out she was in liver failure. Her BUN and creatinine were through the roof, many many times their normal values. The vet explained she was living on her fat reserves and that explained the more than two pound weight loss from her original checkup on May 20 to this day (June 22).
The vet gave me some anti-nausea tablets, an appetite stimulant, some yummy food and some syringes. We tried valiantly, she and I. Me to get the food and pills down her throat, and she to try to keep them down without throwing up. But that didn’t seem to be happening and she quickly withdrew and stopped hanging out in her usual spots, the two sunny windowsills in my office. She also stopped coming downstairs when she heard me coming home at night. I’d go upstairs and find her in my half bath upstairs, next to the toilet. I kept water in several places for her, and she was drinking. But she simply couldn’t keep food or pills down.
I went back to the vet and picked up some injectible anti-nausea medication and started giving her that, but that didn’t work either. The mere act of me picking her up and trying to hold her brought on waves of nausea. This is no live for her or me. So, this past Thursday I took her back to the vet for one last round of x-rays and a sonogram. Because I wanted to know if there was anything that we could possibly do, if there was any obstruction somewhere, anywhere, along her plumbing that would cause her problems. They seemed to come on so suddenly. But alas, the tests showed nothing.
I made the decision that morning to end her suffering. She deserved better than the last 10 days she’d been having. So I stayed with her to the end. We had about 30 minutes of painfree time together, me kissing the top of her head and calling her my sweet chola girl and telling her what a sweet and beautiful cat she was and how much I would miss her and she, finally able to relax and be herself, purring and looking up at me with that sweet expression of hers. And she enjoyed those last chin scratches I gave her. Then the vet administered the final shot and in about five more minutes she had crossed over the Rainbow Bridge. As a FB friend said, I hope she’s chasing moths and butterflies there with Sunny and Simon.
I didn’t have her long, but I loved her so much. She was a very special cat to me because she taught me something very important: That I could love another creature after Sunny. But also that my heart was just as easily broken now as it was then.
I don’t know if I will get another cat. I know I won’t any time soon. I still miss her and still cry when I think about how shortchanged we both were. So enjoy these photos that I was able to snap of Daisy in those happy first few weeks.