I lost another little friend today… The only bad thing about having a pet is when they leave you, and it never gets any easier.
I’ve had Daisy and her brother since they were 5 weeks old. Normally, that would have been far too young and I hadn’t intended on getting two more cats at the time, but the state that they were both in meant that if I didn’t take them in they would have almost certainly died. She was so small that she could fit in the palm of my hand and I used to laugh at her enormous ears, particularly as she looked like the love child of Yoda and Gizmo the Mogwai.
Right from the beginning she was ill and her poor start meant that her chronic stomach problems would be an issue all her life. However, she was such a sweet-natured little thing every penny spent was worth it, particularly when she started to improve and her cheeky little personality became apparent. She took to curling up underneath a fluffy blanket with me at night, she learned how to fetch items like a dog would and her favourite thing in the world would be to chase an empty crisp packet that had been folded up into a triangle (despite the fact that she had a mountain of toys) around the room. She sat patiently every holiday as I adorned her with various Christmas and Halloween hats and laughed as I took photographs. She sat at the table with us during Christmas dinner. She trusted everyone and was such a softie that every person entering the house became a target for a cuddle.
She’s been with me through everything over the last eleven years – house moves, new jobs, relationships – and despite the uncertainty of life’s ups and downs, I knew that she, along with the other two cats that I had at the time, would be the only things that remained constant. Above all, after a horrible day I knew that she would be pleased to see me.
Just over three years ago, she was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes, and since then she’s had to be injected twice a day with insulin. Combined with her stomach and digestive issues, The Bloke and I have purchased the only food that keeps her carb levels relatively low, along with needles and vials of insulin, and one of us has got up at 6.00am and arrived home by 6.00pm every single day to ensure she had her injection within a 12 hour time frame – she never missed a single one. We learned how to monitor her blood sugar levels and do blood curves to see how successful the treatment was. I learned how to spot a potential hypo (life-threatening blood sugar drop) just by looking at the expression on her face. When we’ve been away, we have been lucky to have an incredible friend who would give up her time to take over cat-injecting and cuddling duties.
We’ve often jokingly referred to her as ‘Daisy the Dream Killer,’ as it seems that whenever we have been able to save up even a small amount of money, it has had to be spent on something for her ailments. However, while it’s been an exhausting journey at times, I wouldn’t change a thing – the happiness and enjoyment that she has given me exceeds anything that money could ever buy – but it had got to the point where I could see that she was beginning to tire. Her once voracious appetite disappeared and in an effort to try and keep her going she was being fed small amounts several times a day, during which it wasn’t uncommon for her to be sick. She wasn’t an old cat by any means, being just eleven (my other cat was 19 when she passed away) but she had started to sleep more, had lost interest in playing with toys and running around, her insulin levels needed to be increased and despite the fact that we did our absolute best, her bloods still weren’t at a stable level for any consistent period of time. Inevitably, her eyesight and kidneys would have started to fail (her eyesight in particular is not as good as it was) and after watching my eldest cat deteriorate with cancer I wasn’t prepared to watch her go through something similar.
After a nasty hypo that occurred completely out of the blue a few weeks ago (which upset me far more than it did her), I had a discussion with The Bloke and we made the decision to make an appointment to say goodbye. Selfishly, I couldn’t watch her go through that anymore and despite the fact that I’m going to carry round huge levels of guilt for a while, I know that we made the right decision.
I’m going to miss her so much.
Goodbye Daisy, I hope that wherever you are there’s plenty of crisp packet toys, lots of cuddles and fluffy blankets. Thanks for being my friend.