Giuseppe introduces this rescue story, near and dear to his own feline heart: “One cat really does lead to another…in a very spiritual way as well as physical. We will never leave you lonely, but always make sure, if we can’t be with you, there is another animal companion for you to hold and cuddle and love.
“Just as we know our mama Mimi came here, and us too, because Lucy led her here, today’s rescue story is about a feline we’ve never known but she brought a very special black kitty together with a special human who needed her, and I am forever grateful.” Here is their story…
“More than 20 years ago I adopted a tiny little tortie girl who was very ill,” Denise begins. “Clio, spelled with an ‘i’… my tortie girl was named for Clio the muse of history, was adopted (rescued) from a national chain pet store. It was Christmas and, of course, the local Humane Society shelter had suspended adoptions till after the new year in an effort to avoid kitties and dogs being given as Christmas gifts and then returned after the holidays by new human pet parents who either did not want an animal companion or who found the care and responsibility of caring for a cat or dog to be something they did not care to commit to.
“I adopted Clio the day before Christmas from the store because she was very ill…. so were the other 40 kittens in the store. I chose Clio because, despite her obvious illness, she set her eyes on me and reached with her tiny paws through the cage to me…. she was determined not to let me leave her with her 40 sick friends. I brought Clio home and we were already in love with one another. The bond had been formed. My late father, from whom I learned my respect and admiration of all furry and feathered beings, fell for Clio immediately and we took her to the animal ER. She was sick… and so tiny, thin and undernourished that I had believed that my 7 month old tortie was only 3 months old! Clio was immediately put on antibiotics and eye drops… she was hand fed and kept warm and loved. After several days she rallied. Unfortunately, the 40 sick cats at the store were euthanized the week after Christmas and before the New Year. Within days, that pet shop had another batch of sad little cats FOR SALE.”
Clio lived eleven years, never healthy and frequently suffering from chronic respiratory illnesses. She developed heart disease at about nine years of age but she always had medical care and her necessary meds. Clio died on a May morning, not long after Denise’s father died.
“I was heartbroken and so lonely for Clio. My mom suggested we go to the (Toronto) Humane Society together…I recall that when Mom and I set off for the HS I was excited, but terribly worried that if I found a kitty who wanted to come home with me I may not love her as much as I had loved my dear sweet Clio.” But Clio knew better…
“Upon meeting Mlle. I knew that was an empty fear. I was Mlle.’s third human … that the poor wee girl had been surrendered at least twice to the Humane Society when I met her on June 26, 2001. How could that be?” And Mlle. Daisy was just a young girl—her birthday is January 1, 2000!
” ‘Meooower’ had been surrendered the day before because, according to her previous humans, she ‘cried constantly’. Humph…. she never cries, although she is a very talkative girl. She also, according to the humans, did not have any toys. This shocking admission was in response to the question on the surrender document asking if she enjoyed playing with her toys.
“I said, ‘Her name is Daisy!’ and decided to adopt her on the spot. Poor wee Meooower—lucky wee Daisy!” And in honor of her French-Canadian heritage, Miss Daisy is Mademoiselle Daisy, and is also called “Marguerite”, the French word for daisy, by her French-speaking friends. Her full name is Mlle. Daisy Emerald Marguerite, the name “Emerald” deriving from “Emerald Cat”, a fearless snake-killing black farm cat Denise’s father recalled from the farm of his childhood.
And perhaps in return for all the loving care given to Clio, Mlle. Daisy has spent many of her years with Denise comforting her through a number of losses and her own years-long battle with and survival of several deadly cancers with Mlle’s own special brand of nuzzles, purrs and encouragement.
“Daisy is the most amazing cat I have ever had the blessing to know and love,” Denise says of her. No need to worry she would not love the new rescue as much as Clio.
A little over two years ago Daisy was diagnosed with diabetes, but she is thriving and has her insulin injections each morning and evening. Until surgery last year restored adequate vision Denise had very limited vision and it was not easy for her to load and inject her syringes, but Daisy is patient and helpful; recently, a new veterinarian suggested a magnifier to use for loading the syringes which is used by human diabetics. “Sometimes it was a tedious procedure…. for me, not for the ever patient and gentle Mlle., but Daisy shall continue to receive her proper care and I am committed to making sure that she lives a long and happy life. Such is cat parenthood with an aging kitty with a chronic disease. She is my best friend and my constant companion and deserves nothing less that the best care and love I can give her.”
If you haven’t guessed by now, the kitty in question is the lovely and mature Mlle. Daisy Emerald Marguerite, Giuseppe Basil Verdi’s long-distance love who one day in June 2011 boldly bespoke her affection for the young American feline opera star and the two have been gazing at the stars and passing magic messages and exchanging gifts—they just passed their second anniversary!
And if it had not been for, first Clio, then Mlle. Daisy, I would not have met a wonderful friend with whom I correspond each day, often bearing the love messages for our opposable-thumbless felines who depend on us to convey their affection for each other—and having a lot of fun in the process of translating what the two are saying to each other! Denise found me through my art, complimenting my linoleum block prints and purchased “Kelly’s Morning Bath” and a print of “The Goddess” in memory of Clio, so our cats even brought the two of us together as friends. I have thoroughly enjoyed the stories of Mlle. Daisy’s adventures in play and her conversations with her mama, and what would Denise have done through three moves without Mlle. Daisy to tirelessly test the integrity of each and every box?
So who really rescued who, Denise or Mademoiselle Daisy? Denise will say it was surely mutual, with a little intervention by Clio. Really, how would we get along without our guiding felines?
And about Basket Day…
Last year, Mlle. Daisy, a first-class professional box inspector, was disappointed to find she’d missed International Box Day! Thinking generously of her love, Giuseppe Verdi, and how much she would enjoy sharing her favorite basket with him, she quickly sent a message through the magic message machine:
“My dearest, most handsome and gentle Giuseppe, why did no one tell me it was International Box Day? My Mama has taken all our boxes to the recycling bin, but she has left a beautiful big wicker basket beside the bed for me to nap in. Could it be International Basket Day?
“Yours, forever. Your loving Mlle. Daisy Emerald. xxoo”
Giuseppe insisted, in honor of Mlle. Daisy Emerald Marguerite’s Homecoming Day, today is International Basket Day—and it is for at least two happy black kitties!
“Come, Mademoiselle, let us cuddle among the pastoral pleasures of lettuce and sweet corn in my mama’s handmade market basket.
Here is the photo that caught the lovely and mature Mlle.’s eye a year ago today: “Giuseppe”
Mlle. Daisy’s mom tells us Mademoiselle looks much like Mewsette. We call them soul sisters.
This story was first published June 26, 2012. Mademoiselle’s Homecoming Day is June 26.
Read about other happy endings in my Rescue Stories series.
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