In summer 1997, we rescued our beautiful cat Daisy and her seven kittens from an alley behind our first apartment in Chicago. We first discovered them huddled under a car surrounded by kids trying to set them on fire. My husband chased the kids away and we were able to lure six of her kittens to the safety of our enclosed back porch.
We tried night after night to rescue Daisy and her final kitten, but they wouldn't budge. And then on July 3rd, just as the alley was starting to explode with illegal fireworks, we finally lured them into a carrier together. I still do not know how we managed this, but it was certainly the closest I’ve ever come to experiencing a miracle.
Daisy and her kittens were sick, starving and terrified. Although I grew up with cats and had two others at the time, I didn’t know the first thing about socializing semi-feral cats and kittens. I went on instinct and again miraculously it worked.
Treehouse Animal Foundation offered to admit the kittens once they were socialized and we decided to keep Daisy. To my surprise, a month later Daisy had four more kittens. I was young and naive and didn't even consider she might be pregnant when we rescued her. But on August 30th, my husband’s 30th birthday and the night Princess Diana died, Daisy had four more kittens. Thankfully, Treehouse agreed to admit the second litter as well.
Sadly, we lost Daisy to cancer a few days after Christmas in 2008. I think of her all the time, but especially on July 3rd as the smoke and crackling of fireworks begin.
Daisy was our sunshine – always happy, always purring, always patient and loving. Every day she seemed as grateful for food as she was the very first night we found her huddled under the car with her kittens all those years ago.
I know there are millions of Daisies – by some accounts 100 strays on average per city block in Chicago alone. Maybe we can’t save them all, but please know that saving even JUST ONE MATTERS.
Happy Gotcha Day Daisy-Doo. We miss you and love you always.