Lily came to me via a phone call from a friend, who knew of a cat that needed safe harbour. She had spent the first 6 years of her life as a breeding Queen, confined mostly to a cage. One of her front legs had been broken. The person who purchased her from the breeder soon decided she didn’t really have time for a cat. I was a lecturer at Unitec at the time, running the Certificate in Animal Care, so I was quite confident I’d be able to find her a new home within my cohort. My friend sent a photo for me to put on the noticeboard, and what can I say? I opened the picture, and my heart was hers.
She was a shy wee cat, who became immediately besotted with her new big brother George, my faithful Burmese. It didn’t take long for her to win his heart over too. When he passed 2 years later, she adapted well to being the Queen of the House. Yet whilst I was so very fortunate to have wonderful flatmates who took great care of her when I was away, she was a Mama’s girl through and through.
Sadly, in April this year, Lily had a ‘funny turn’, it was sudden and extreme, and we thought either a stroke or a brain tumour. But this remarkable little girl just kept bouncing back, determined to stay with me, I think, until I was ready to be able to let her go. I can honestly say, that she guided me the entire way. She turned 16 on the 13th of July, and spent that day at the vet’s having a tumour removed from her jaw after ongoing pain when eating. She was also diagnosed with acute renal failure, and to top it off one of her pupils stayed dilated and the eye began to fill with blood. When she had her stroke, I never dreamed she’d pull through like she did, and I have been so incredibly grateful for every single, precious day she stayed here with me. I made a vow to her: Lily, I promise you, my darling, I will make your remaining time here as comfortable as possible, and when you are ready to cross the rainbow bridge, I shall carry you over in my own arms. On the 2nd August, I honoured that promise for my amazingly brave little friend.
Loving my sweet Lily has been one of the greatest privileges of my life, and I miss her tremendously. I think coming home to an empty house is the hardest, the cold void left in her wake is very hard to adjust to. But I also remember this thought I had as I spent those final precious days with her: it’s actually rather ironic that people seek divinity in books or a church, or even in the sky. For it is right here, under our noses, disguised in fur. We are blessed beyond imagining by their company. I am quite sure, that if the pure, unconditional love our beloved pets extend to us could be expressed by us all, the entire world would be so much better off!!
See you at the bridge, lovely Lily, when it is our time to be together again. I’ll be running so fast to get to you for another cuddle! xx
Send a Rose in Memory of Lily
Beautiful Lily had a wonderful life with you. Imagine, going from a breeding cage to having her own home with a genuinely loving human. I’m so grateful that she got to experience such freedom, care, affection, kindness and love for the rest of her life. Every day, she knew she was adored. Thank you for giving her such happiness.