Friday, August 21, 2009

Daisy's 9 Lives

They say a cat has nine lives. This week Daisy lived her ninth to the end. She passed peacefully curled up next to the Arcadia door where the afternoon sun would warm her old bones. She had an exceptionally long life for a cat spanning 21 years. We don't know where she came from originally, but my parents found her in their shed one night. She was hungry and attempted to eat old bait from a fishing hook. The hook lodged in her throat. A trip to the vet and a $135 later, Daisy had a new home. Daisy was a lap cat. If you were sitting, she was in your lap. But she wasn't satisfied with just sitting there. Before long she reached out with one of her black Siamese paws and tapped your hand. This meant "you have hands, yet you're not petting me". Sometimes, she would put her paw to your lips. This meant "talk to me now". She was a persistent needy cat. The only people she shied away from were the grand kids. They were trouble and Daisy made herself scarce when they were over.

When my mother passed away, Daisy was left alone. Marilyn and I took her in to live with our other two cats. We really didn't want a third cat but Daisy was already 11 years old. How much longer could she live. Daisy didn't play well with others. An invisible wall set by secret cat signals kept our two cats at a respectable distance from Daisy at all times. I have never seen a mammal that could produce and shed fur at the rate Daisy did. We bought lint rollers by the case. As the years passed, Daisy began to show her age. Several years ago, we determined that she was almost totally deaf. We then noticed that she had only one tooth. We don't know how or when she lost the others, but they were gone. The solid black Siamese face faded to a smudge of gray across the bridge of her nose. Several years ago she developed a severe sinus infection that never went away. We had to wipe her nose often and hope for the best when she sneezed. But Daisy went on.

The grand kids that once sent her scurrying for cover are now grown. Some are married and have children of their own. When they came over to our house, they would marvel that Daisy was still around as she climbed into their lap and covered them with a sprinkling of loose fur. Well, Daisy's not around anymore. She reached the end of the ninth life and passed peacefully from our home but not our memories.