A Tribute to Daisy

We said our final goodbyes to Daisy the cat yesterday. Daisy was 19-years-old, an “antique” according to our vet and, until recently, in remarkably good health. In her prime, she could scale an eight-foot bookcase in a single bound or balance herself on top of an open door better than any Olympic gymnast.

Daisy was also the most beautiful representative of her species I’ve ever seen. A true calico, she looked just like the spokes-cat on cans of Purina Pro Plan white meat chicken and vegetables. Ironic because, when my wife picked her out on Adoption Day at Pet Smart — as a much-needed friend for our stray, Lucky —she looked downright pitiful, with a spay scar that wouldn’t heal, a goopy infected eye, and a cone of shame to complete the ensemble. My wife’s reasoning: “She’s so ugly, who’s going to adopt her?”

Well, we did. More irony here, because Daisy took to me immediately and ignored my wife for the next two decades, something that aggravated Tammy no end. “Why can’t you be more grateful?” she’d ask Daisy, who would just sit there like an Egyptian statue, silently mocking her before bounding away.

Recently, Daisy began throwing up her meals and missing the litterbox, always disturbing signs. A trip to the vet, which she hated (especially the car rides) revealed kidney disease and possible lymphoma. Subsequent visits involved injections of anti-nausea, anti-diarrhea, anti-dehydration cocktails with a B-12 chaser, which gave us false hope for a week or two before the cycle repeated itself.

On our last visit, we knew it was time get off that roller coaster. Fortunately, our vet, who was in the process of going home ill, recommended Dr. Toby Goldman, a veterinarian certified in hospice and palliative care. Knowing Daisy’s loathing of cars and medical facilities, we opted for Dr. Toby’s caring, compassionate home visit. On Friday, Daisy’s suffering ended as the good doctor eased her on her way.

After a motley collection of four felines — which made us crazy cat people by my reckoning — just a few years ago, we’re down to one: Dash. Fortunately, she’s only nine, and hopefully has many miles left in the tank. A good thing, because no matter how many times you come to the end of the line with one of your furry friends, it never gets any easier.