Thursday, April 19, 2012

Our first baby.

 I was 21 when I got Daisy.  She came from an ad in the paper, someone giving away kittens.  I was moving from an apartment into a house, my roommate had a cat (that's him in the photo), and I thought "I want a cat."  I didn't give much thought to vet bills, food, and the fact that she would be with me for the next 19 years.  Classic immature 21 year old who probably had no business getting acquiring a dependent.   But I did, happily, I did.  We lived in that house for a year and a half.  I still maintain that in that formative time she was shaped by Kim's less than normal cat, Taylor.  He was a dear, sweet cat, but odd.  They loved each other...she truly never liked another cat after him.

Then we moved back home, two cats there.  Didn't like them a bit.  After a couple of years we moved into an apartment where my new roommate got a little black kitten named Dream.  He was less than a dream.  There was an incident where Daisy was slowly, gingerly crawling into a plastic grocery bag.  She was not a terribly playful cat so I was loving watching her be so inquisitive.  Out of no where Dream pounced on the bag.  Daisy went flying, plastic bag and all, up the stairs, ripped her toenail out, and never came out of my bedroom after that.  That began a trend for my girl.  Each place we lived after that she claimed a room (or closet within a room) and that is where she stayed for the duration of her time in that home.  It was around this time that I met Tom.  Slowly Daisy and I moved our stuff out of that apartment and in with Tom.  Soon the three of us found an adorable little old house in the heart of Austin.  Daisy claimed the guest room in that house, I even painted her name on the door there.  We were there for one year and in that time managed to adopt our first dog (Seven) and our second cat (Berkatu aka Berklie).
In October of 1998 Tom and I bought a house and the five of us moved.  Daisy and I drove over together.  When she set foot into her new home I think her objective was to run as far as she could - that happened to be the closet in the master bedroom.  And there she stayed.  For the next 14 years.  She came out at night to sleep in bed with us.  And as she aged she ventured into the bedroom more during the day, but her home, her food, her bed, her litter box, it was all in the closet.  I can probably count on two hands the number of times she has left that room in the last 14 years.  Walking her out of that room yesterday morning was one of the hardest things I've ever done because I was pretty sure she wouldn't get to come back.

And she didn't.  We had to say goodbye to her at about 8:30 yesterday morning at our vet's office.  She was in renal failure.  It all just happened so fast.  I had no time to prepare.  It was just last week that I was writing about her birthday.  I'm in shock.

Daisy has been with me all of my adult life.  She was there when I met Tom.  She was there to see each new dog and cat be adopted into our odd little family.  She saw more than 200 foster dogs come and go.  How do you say goodbye to a life like that?  How do you let go?  How do you learn to live with out nightly battles over foot space and glasses of water?  It's been less than seven months since we lost Preacher and I'll be honest, I have not recovered from that yet.  I guess it's just time.  Time to settle in to a new normal.

I might recover, I will recover.  But I'll never get over the loss.  The empty space.

Dear Daisy,

Thank you for being my cat...even though in the last five years you decided that Tom was more your person that I was.  It's ok.  I thought it was cute.  The way you tugged at the covers until he let you under and you did that little turn around so that you were curled right against his chest with just your head sticking out.  Y'all were adorable.  Going to bed without you last night was excruciating.  We almost slept in the guest room.  Instead we stalled as long as possible.

Looking back there is not much I would change about our life together.  It was pretty great.  But I would let you sleep on my feet all night.  And I would let you stick your feet in my water if you want to.

My Daisy, my Razor Rae, my Maizer.  I will love you forever and ever and ever.
Sleep well crazy girl.