It is with a heavy heart that I bring the news of my beautiful Daniel's passing.
He took his final breath in my arms last night.
Daniel, on a closely supervised outdoor adventure...
For those of you who did not know of Daniel, he was brought into the shelter in his old age. He was so frail. They said he was fourteen but my experience tells me he was closer to 18 or 19.
I met him on a transport from Southern Illinois. My job that day was to bring him to a vet on the North side of Chicago. If he lived he would have spent his remaining days in a cage.
The vet was very far away and I was unable to make it that day so Daniel came to spend the night with us. He was filthy dirty, I had never seen anything like it. He was also covered in so many fleas that he was bleeding under his mats of fur.
I gave him two showers, which he allowed. When he was wet, I could see the full extent of his starvation and neglect. I decided I needed him.
Daniel spent 10 days and nights at the vet. He was so sick. His story is here. Please read it?
I want the world to know that Daniel LIVED!
Friends, there are so many more like my darling boy. Too many. For whatever reason, his original owners did not see his true worth but I was blessed to know him for five short months.
Because he was FIV positive, it could be dangerous for him to be around the other cats so he lived in the upstairs guest bathroom. I truly hated that. I lamented each day that he was stuck there. The bathroom is large (8x10) but I abhorred shutting that door each time I visited him. I cried most times. I wanted him to be out with us, with his family. I feel I could have done more to make that happen. I wish I could have shown him better that I was grateful for his love. I always think I have more time. I wanted him to spend the Summer in the gardens with me and Gracie. I think he was formerly an outdoor cat and I think he would have loved that. I had an idea for a large, long "cage" made with chicken wire that he could rest in while I worked.
Atticus, my black and white kitty, slept on the other side of Daniel's door, like a sentinel. I think Atticus knew Danny was special. Even at the end, as Daniel lay bundled on my chest, in my bed, Atticus slept tail to tail with him but he never bothered him.
The hardest part is that I did not know Daniel. I don't even know what his real name is. Again, my tears fall because I did not know him well enough to know what brings him comfort. I only know what I think he may have needed...and that is not enough. Did he think about his original "owners"? When he was sick and afraid, did he wonder why they were gone from him? So many years spent together and now he was alone with a virtual stranger. I'm sorry, friends, I cannot get this thought out of my head. My heart is broken for these abandoned angels.
I never set out to get a cat. God gave him to me...and I am eternally grateful and tremendously humbled by such a gift.
Thank you for your prayers and words of encouragement for Daniel. As I lay with him in his final hours I would occasionally check my blog and read your words to him and tell him you were his friends too.