Fur babies bring an energy of their own with them – for Daisy, that energy was one of healing and joy. Daisy came to us when little was going right for us and overnight her presence changed the energy of our house and brought not only a sense of healing, happiness and tranquility into our lives but brought all of us together. I was always a little jealous of the relationship she had with my husband. They would walk together and at night when Daisy had her ‘crazy time’, I would see my husband chasing her and playing with her while she zoomed across the garden and on to the high trees surrounding our garden. Soon from a grieving house, we became a house full of joy and light – all thanks to little Daisy.
Daisy did not come to us alone. Her mum arrived first – a very friendly stray calico who would wrap herself around our legs whenever we stepped out of the house. We saw this was a new mama and soon we saw two kittens appear alongside her but soon after the mama cat moved on, leaving her two kittens in our front yard one day – Daisy and her black and white brother. They were both playful babies but Daisy chose to look at us from a distance. And then the boy kitten disappeared (later we found out he had been the victim of a hit and run) and Daisy decided that day that we are her family. She started following us every-time we came out of the house. It started off as a relationship of amusement at this semi-grown up kitten who would follow us around, vocally voicing her needs, commanding us to do her bidding. We started feeding her. We had never had a stray cat before so we started with scraps. Soon we started recognizing things Daisy was fond of – french fries and fried chicken (my husband would sometimes go to McDonald’s late at night and along with his food, he always bought one piece of fried chicken for her all the while conspiring to hide it from their vegetarian mama – me). She was no longer just a stray cat we were feeding, she was ours.
We decided to bring her indoors when she fell sick the first time but as soon as she got better, she made it very clear that she was not one for the confines of a house, she was free and indomitable. Soon, our front porch started getting populated with her things – her little house to keep her warm in winters, her favorite shawl, her water bowl, her food bowls, her catnip toys. And just like that, she became our baby – our wild, playful, full of life baby – one paw in our hearts, one paw to sprint off into spontaneous play. Having an animal you are so close to who chooses to live outdoors is a labor of love, guilt and joy. Every time she would come to us hurt or sick, all we wanted to do was bring her indoors and keep her there safe from the environment she loved so much but which had so many dangers. First she lost her tail that somebody ran over and in the end, it was a cat fight that did her in – and we are still grappling with the guilt of not bringing her indoors to safety. We also know it would have been a selfish act.
Two years into having this fluffy lady in our lives, she brought another joy to us – she had kittens (after which we had her spayed). Her kittens were rehomed – more on that in another story – but one of them, like her mother, had simply decided that we were her human parents. Cleo came back and is till today, the baby of our house. Not as wild as her mom and a cat who loves snuggling in bed and other creature comforts, Cleo made the indoors her territory. Soon Daisy and Cleo developed a special kind of a relationship. While neither of them wanted to be in the same space, their routines were the same. Both would wait for their food together on either side of a window and when we came home, first we were greeted by Daisy and Cleo waited impatiently indoors. In the morning, I would feed Cleo first and when I unlocked the front door, I would find a half asleep Daisy obediently waiting for her breakfast on the other side. When I cooked, both would sit with me… Daisy on the kitchen window and Cleo on the kitchen floor.
Today, we are lost. Cleo is still looking for her loud outdoors companion, my husband still feels Daisy’s presence in the trees outdoors and grieves the loss of a child, and I try to find reasons why fate might have struck us with this tragedy. We will forever be in debt to Daisy for bringing light to our house and into our lives. My husband and I will never forget her as our first baby together. In her resilience and spirit, we will continue to find lessons to fight on and be free, to play like a child, love without abandon and to always find our way home. May we all experience the magic that we got in the form of Daisy – our beautiful companion, my fiery star in the sky today.