Life Lessons From Daisy

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Daisy in Chair

Remembering Daisy, who we lost just one year ago today…

We lost our little girl yesterday, one of the sweetest and surely the bravest kitty I’ve ever known.

After weeks of watching Daisy lose weight, slow down and vomit all over the house, a diagnosis was finally made. On Tuesday, an ultrasound revealed a mass in her stomach. Larry and I had agreed not to prolong her life, in the event of a terminal illness – and here we were. Our vet supported our decision to let her go, peacefully and with the dignity that she deserved.

It is a quiet house this morning, with Larry off at a meeting and Buddy sleeping on my pillow, seemingly unmoved by his sister’s absence. After spending the past few days near to or by her side, I don’t know what to do with myself. I’ve put away her collection of toys and lugged the climbing toy to the curb to be claimed by another family. I threw out the partially eaten cans of special treat food, as well as the nasty tasting anti-nausea pills and the thyroid medicine she hated taking twice a day. All I can remember is how quietly she sat yesterday morning.  She was such a presence in the household and now she is gone.

RIP, sweet Daisy

I am lost in memories of the thirteen years Daisy was a member of our family. A ball of energy who ran so fast through our house that she often skidded down the wood floors, Daisy was, in a word, “fearless”. Unlike her shy brother, Buddy, Daisy met the challenges of life full on. Workmen were investigated and “supervised” by Miss Daisy, especially during our kitchen and then bathroom remodels. While Buddy hid under the bed, Daisy greeted guests at the door with a loud “hello” and always inspected purses, bags and any boxes that came into the house. She was a “talker” and loved to tell us about her day, what had pleased her, what had not. Always an explorer and fierce hunter, no pile of clean laundry or stray water bug was safe from our girl.

Daisy laundry3

 

 

I want to be as fearless as my little Daisy was, to have that brave outlook on the world. Her demands were sometimes taxing, but she usually got what she wanted, including a daily bath from her brother.

Grooming

Her strong spirit stayed with her until the end. I smiled during a final visit to the garden, as she rolled over and over on her back, one last time. I held her in my arms, standing in the sunshine, and we both gazed at the trees moving in the breeze and one beautiful Monarch butterfly. I recalled the line from some children’s poem, “Goodbye, goodbye – to everything”.

As much as I wanted to, I couldn’t be as brave as Daisy. We said our goodbyes at home, and Larry made that final trip to the vet with her. He later told me that, surprisingly, Daisy had actually purred at the vet’s, something I didn’t understand, at first. Today, I wonder if she didn’t know exactly what was going on and had faced her next journey, embracing the moment – fearlessly.

Farewell, my sweet angel.

Daisy in Box

 

 

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41 Responses to Life Lessons From Daisy

  1. mare October 10, 2014 at 2:56 pm #

    Liz, You have written a beautiful tribute to a member of your family who will always be in your heart. I (and all) who never misses your blog about the meaning of family am in tears knowing the excruciating sadness that you are experiencing today. Love to you and Larry

    • Liz October 10, 2014 at 3:13 pm #

      Thanks, Mare – it has been so difficult.

  2. Mimi October 10, 2014 at 3:25 pm #

    Isn’t it amazing how animals have personalities just like humans? Knowing them their whole lives, we see the patterns of these traits in our own pets and have an understanding with other pet lovers that these animals are truly family members whose place in the household is unique and cannot be filled by any other animal. Each one has a special place in our hearts and will be remembered as long as we live. You provided a wonderful life for Daisy, and a dignified end of life too. Well done, Liz.

    • Liz October 10, 2014 at 3:36 pm #

      It just hit me late yesterday, how “fearlessly” this tiny cat lived her whole life, from the moment she run up to me from a huge litter of kittens 13 years ago.

  3. Wendy Read October 10, 2014 at 3:40 pm #

    Beautifully written Liz, such lovely words really. I am crying here as I know this feeling oh so well. You were wonderful with her and so pleased that you were outside on her last day enjoying all that there was to see. She was brave for both of you. Wishing you peace and grace in the coming weeks as you navigate anew a life without Daisy. You were a wonderful Mom, no doubt about that.

    • Liz October 10, 2014 at 4:08 pm #

      Lots of tears today, Wendy – but feel we did a pretty good job, Daisy, Larry and me – and Buddy is the cat with kidney disease. Never thought Daisy would be the first to go.

  4. Jayne October 10, 2014 at 10:43 pm #

    Beautiful and heartbreaking. So sorry Liz.

    • Liz October 11, 2014 at 2:53 am #

      Thank you, Jayne – sorry to be out of touch. Thinking of you too –

  5. Liz Larkin October 11, 2014 at 6:02 am #

    Beautiful and bittersweet. So very sorry for your loss, Liz.

    • Liz October 11, 2014 at 7:26 am #

      Nice to hear from you, Liz – thanks for thinking of me.

  6. Ani {@afotogirl} October 11, 2014 at 11:23 am #

    Tears here. Moving post. Thank you for sharing Daisy with us. So very sorry for your loss.

    • Liz October 11, 2014 at 11:27 am #

      I know how special your pooch is to you, Ani – pet-owners are so empathic.

  7. Beth (OMG! Yummy) October 11, 2014 at 12:29 pm #

    A beautiful and moving tribute to a stunning and mesmerizing kitty. Time will heal and eventually the wonderful memories will outweigh the grief and sadness. Hugs and kisses from our little Scooby (who is under the weather a bit himself) and me.

    • Liz October 11, 2014 at 2:24 pm #

      Thank you Beth –

  8. Betsy October 11, 2014 at 12:30 pm #

    What a touching heart wrenching story. My oldest kitty just turned 16. The thought of losing a fur baby that has been a part of your life for so many years is hard. Your kitty had a great unique personality but most of all she had you for her owner. RIP Daisy you were loved!

    • Liz October 11, 2014 at 2:23 pm #

      Thanks for your support –

  9. SallyBR October 11, 2014 at 1:38 pm #

    Very sorry for your loss, your post brought tears to my eyes. It arrives at a time in which we are dealing with Chief, our 15 year old buddy who is getting weaker each day.

    it is never easy to say goodbye to a furry friend, but you made the right, if painful decision. She deserved a dignified death…

    a warm hug going your way, this was a very touching post

    • Liz October 11, 2014 at 2:24 pm #

      It was so hard, but I had waited too long with my first generation of kitties, and was determined to do a better job with Daisy – and, eventually, with Buddy.

  10. Suzanne October 11, 2014 at 2:43 pm #

    Liz Daisy was a beauty. Daisy and Izzy both 13 both died the same day. I hope they are in heaven together. RIP sweet Daisy you had a wonderful life and will be missed by your family. What a beautiful tribute Liz Daisy was a sweet gorgeous kitty.

    • Liz October 11, 2014 at 2:54 pm #

      You and Izzy are both on my mind. Wish we could hang out together, just like Daisy and Izzy…

  11. jacquie October 11, 2014 at 2:47 pm #

    a very touching tribute to your dear friend – thank you for sharing it with us. It so so hard when we lose a cherished member of the household be they 2 or 4 legged. you gave your dear friend a great gift when you let her go in dignity and grace and yes it is hard decision to make. She knew and she had accepted the next step on her journey. be at peace with that. I hope with time your grief eases though i know it doesn’t seem that it will now. My thoughts are with you and your family.

    • Liz October 11, 2014 at 2:55 pm #

      Thank you for your thoughtful and supportive comment – everyone has been so kind.

  12. Gisele aka LA2LAChef October 11, 2014 at 7:07 pm #

    Awwww….

    hugs to you, Liz.

    • Liz October 11, 2014 at 7:20 pm #

      X0

  13. Lynda October 12, 2014 at 9:43 am #

    Hi Liz, I am so sorry for your loss. Big hug. xo

    • Liz October 12, 2014 at 9:53 am #

      Thanks, Lynda – so looking forward to seeing you next month.

  14. susan @ the wimpy vegetarian October 12, 2014 at 2:44 pm #

    Tears now. What a beautiful, beautiful post, dear Liz. A beautiful tribute to your Miss Daisy. I love the fearless part. It’s so true. We, many of us, hold ourselves back in so many ways in life. Especially us women who grew up in the 50’s and 60’s and earlier. When it came time to make that decision with our dog Shellie, a few years ago, I wasn’t able to make the trip to the vet either. I just couldn’t do it. Instead I took a walk she’d taken many times, that I knew she loved. Really looking forward to having lunch with you on Friday 🙂

    • Liz October 12, 2014 at 2:52 pm #

      Thanks, Susan – eager to hear about your new puppy.

  15. susan @ the wimpy vegetarian October 12, 2014 at 2:46 pm #

    PS, she’s so regal in her pose. So dignified.

    • Liz October 12, 2014 at 2:52 pm #

      I know!

  16. Dorothy at Shockingly Delicious October 12, 2014 at 5:31 pm #

    Liz, I understand your feeling, having gone through it a few times myself. I just have to say, though….the underpants laundry photo. IT IS A FRAMER! On the wall with that one, please! Loud and proud, in memory!

    • Liz October 12, 2014 at 5:39 pm #

      Thanks for making me smile, Dorothy – I put it on Facebook at the time – my husband was humiliated – I, too, love this shot. X0

  17. Sippitysup October 14, 2014 at 7:24 am #

    A beautiful tribute. XOGREG

  18. Laura October 14, 2014 at 10:37 am #

    As I have tears in my eyes, I can’t help crack up about what Dorothy said. You know that my kids love your kitties. We were so sad to hear about Daisy. Sending you a big hug from all of us. xxoxx

    • Liz October 14, 2014 at 11:37 am #

      You guys can still come over and play with Buddy – he’s definitely lonely, needier than usual and missing his little bossy sister.

  19. Norma Chang October 24, 2014 at 4:43 pm #

    So sorry about your loss, I too had tears in my eyes while reading your beautiful tribute to your Dear Daisy,

    • Liz October 24, 2014 at 5:03 pm #

      Thank you so much, Norma, it was so helpful for me to write about sweet, brave Daisy.

  20. Suzanne October 9, 2015 at 1:50 pm #

    Liz; I remember this day all too well Daisy and Izzy crossed the rainbow bridge together. I am so sorry for your loss and today for me has been very hard. I remember Izzy not just today but every single day. She was my sweet angel. I think this was a wonderful and loving tribute to Daisy, a brave sweet kitty that was loved and gave much love.

    • Liz October 14, 2015 at 8:33 am #

      Sorry, Suzanne, we were on vacation in New England and I had site issues – I will always think of Izzy and Daisy on that Rainbow Bridge. xo

  21. Stephanie Weaver, MPH October 12, 2015 at 7:43 am #

    What a lovely tribute Liz, from someone who understands as well. She was a lovely cat and sweet soul. I remember our meetings at your house and you warning us to zip our purses, and anytime we didn’t, she would be inside lickety split.

    • Liz October 14, 2015 at 8:32 am #

      Thank you, Stephanie, I love happy Daisy memories that make me smile.

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