One of the joys of being part of the Sanctuary is that we celebrate life through the work of a no-kill organisation – we all know that the life of a feral or wild cat is frequently cut short by cars, coyotes, poison, hunger or other perils – and a large number of the cats in our care are alive because of our mandate. Many of our cats live long contented lives – a gift to all of us. But cats are particularly susceptible to certain ailments, one of which is kidney problems, and our med staff have a regular rotation of treating cats in various stages of kidney failure with sub-cutaneous fluids, to keep their systems in good order as long as possible. We all know that when kidney disease shows up, time is limited – and life is precious.
This week we said farewell to one of the best-loved cats in the Sanctuary. Daisy was one-of-a-kind – a tortie without an ounce of tortietude, a cat for whom everyone was a friend. She came in to the Sanctuary having been picked up as potential road-kill – and she effortlessly snuggled her way into everybody’s hearts.
Claire wrote about her early in this blog’s existence. We believe that Daisy had a chromosomal disorder something like Down Syndrome (not the same, because cats don’t have the same chromosomal pairs as humans), evidenced in her wide-set eyes, button nose, and in the little kink at the end of her tail. Her eyesight was probably not very good, but it was enough to know when someone she loved was near, or if something tasty was being handed out.
Sunday visitors always commented on her – many would arrive, and the first question, once through the gates, was “where’s Daisy?” Rather like a Ragdoll, Daisy was relaxed and trusting when held on her back in someone’s arms, baby-style. A little too much cuddling on a Sunday afternoon, and she might take herself off to hide – but she never scratched or nipped as most other cats might do.
She was one of those cats who bounced through life; watching her trot off to the next item of business never failed to bring a smile, and she would levitate up to a table or a lap with little effort. Towards the end she became feather-light as the disease progressed, and her last days were marked by a series of visitors, and much cuddling.
Photos by Claire Fossey & Michele Wright