My beloved cat, Dee

by Sid
(Orlando, FL)

My wife grew up with cats, while I was a dog person. Shortly after we bought our first home, she decided we should get a cat. I agreed reluctantly.

“You know what her name is going to be?” my wife asked.

I said no, because I knew it was her way of telling me her decision.

“Daisy,” she announced.

Daisy arrived in a box with her littermates for us to choose from, and she was the first out of the box, sweet and vibrant and curious.

My heart melted and any reluctance I had was gone. Daisy became our beloved. That was about 18 years ago. She’s been at my side almost constantly since.

In 2008, she was diagnosed with chronic renal failure, and we feared that was the end. With our vet’s help, we learned to administer subcutaneous fluids and got her stable and she was soon thriving again.

She responded so well that literally for years we stopped worrying. It was only earlier this year that she really began to show signs of decline.

In 2012 I began to work from home, so she’s been with me constantly the last three years, often on my lap on the far side of my laptop.

Weight loss was the big concern starting in February of this year, followed by a spike in blood pressure. Finally last week, after her breathing had become labored, the vet did a chest X-ray and found what seemed to be tumors as well as a cloudy look to her lungs.

We tried antibiotics to see if that would help, but her breathing eased only a little and her weight was down to five pounds.

The vet left it up to us, saying she could live a while longer, but my wife and I decided to let her be put to rest. It was a tough decision, but my wife feared the distress would get worse and that bringing her home would be more for us than for Daisy, our Miss Dee.

We’d brought Daisy’s bed and favorite toy to the vet with us just in case we needed to go ahead. She crawled into her bed and lay down, and they gave us a moment with her then administered the sedative and injection.

She slipped away quickly and peacefully as we wept at her side. It was hard to believe she was gone, and it happened more quickly than I’d realized.
We were very lucky to have her so close so long, and I’ll always remember one winter night as I lay on the sofa. A fire in the fireplace was burning down to glowing coals. I looked into the embers and the orange remnants kind of captivated by the scene. Then I noticed Daisy, who was resting on my stomach was doing the same thing I was, watching the coals.

The bond was strong, and I’ll miss her long, long time.

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