This is my cat, Daisy. She’s my virtual assistant—and along with the human members of my family, the light of my life.
The other day I got to thinking about the long trail of pets that have so enriched my world. The first was part of a litter born to a neighbor’s dog. He raised purebred Beagles and didn’t want the “illegitimate” offspring of the female that had gotten out one night. Ah, love. I adopted the weeks-old pup, which might otherwise have met a bad end, bottle fed him, and he was with me and my parents for roughly fifteen years.
After that, in my own family—husband and two sons—we had a mixed-breed dog who was never fully housetrained L then a Great Pyrenees that loved to roam the neighborhood looking for sheep to herd. My kids had many guinea pigs, a gerbil or…fifty, and a few exotic birds. And I can’t forget Surge, the boa constrictor that, for a time, lived in a terrarium on my kitchen wall in New York City. Later, in the country, we owned a noble chestnut Saddlebred that was also a New Haven police horse for a time.
Then, finally, we became true cat lovers. Thus far we’ve had five. All were either given to us, acquired from a neighbor, or rescued from a shelter like Daisy.
A few weeks ago, she started moping around on the couch, sleeping more than she normally does (most of the day), drinking too much water—and, um, forgetting to use her litter box! She’d never had an accident in the nine years we’ve had her. So, off to the vet’s we went.
Daisy’s tests showed early stage renal disease plus a higher-than-normal blood sugar. Her vet decided to first treat her pre-diabetes with a prescription diet and soon added medicine.
That night after her initial dose, she nearly went into a diabetic coma. We thought we’d lost her, but at the local veterinary ER they were able to stabilize her. It’s a wonderful facility with many specialists on call, and we’re now working with them and her regular vet. The renal disease seems to be the culprit after all, responsible for both conditions. Daisy has shifted to a prescription food for that instead—and her blood sugar is now normal. She’s doing much better, thank goodness, in fact she’s on my lap right now “helping” me write this post. Purring, too, with more years of happy life ahead. I’m so relieved.
Over time the beloved pets before her have all gone over the rainbow bridge, and that’s always hard for a pet mom. But I wouldn’t trade the joy and love they gave for anything. They all still live in my heart and always will.
In my April Heartwarming book, Lost and Found Family, a beautiful Gordon Setter named Bob is a cherished pet in this troubled marriage. Bob’s actually a girl, but the little kid who named her insisted she was a boy like him. I hope you’ll like what turned out to be a very poignant story.
As a pet parent, who is your pride and joy? Leave a comment and I’ll pick the winner here of two Heartwarming novels.