on september 17th, 2021, my grandmother took us out to a farm where they had a bunch of kittens. my god there were a lot of kittens. we had to pick one and it was a hard desicsion. one orange garfield style cat clung on to our mom and there was also the tiniest little calico. but in the end we settled on the talkative little tuxedo who greeted us first. on the way back to our grandmas house, i had the song buttercup by jack stauber stuck in my head, and amidst the conversation about names i suggested buttercup and it was liked i think. i was crying cuz she was so beautiful and she was OURS!!! she was toilet trained already thank goodness and not super picky about the food we got. she peed on my bed twice, probably out of love. on my favorte blanket. whatevs. she was so small that shed get all cozy nestled up in a little basket and we could carry her around. there was also a year round christmas tree at our grandmas house and she would climb in it and destroy the ornaments in typical cat fashion. one time she climbed onto the roof and we had to bring her in thrrough the window in my room. babie
one time she almost got hit by a car. my idiot parents let the damn cat out and me any my poor little sister ran out after wherein the cat ran directly into oncoming traffic like a dummy. the cat ran under a parked vehicle so we could not see her. the car hit some slush and it sounded like little cat organs, my sister and i started freaking out but i turned around and there she was! running like hell away from that stupid road. she was alive, but ran immediatley underneath a deck, inaccessible to humans. after a couple of hours(? maybe less it felt like it) she was retrieved and we found a pretty icky boo boo on her back paw. the guy in the car was really sorry no hate to him at all. god that whole thing sucked lol
buttercup is spunky and outgoing, like if a cat was a dog who was a cat. she eats random stuff off the floor, such as easter grass. she lets us hold her quite a bit. she is also quite charitable to tummy rubs, unusual of a cat. her tail is thicker then most. buttercup has killed and eaten 3 birds so far (on the back deck she is not allowed outside anymore) its really gross. nicknames: penis, stupid, idiot, outercup, babie, babygirl, little one, princess, queen, lady & whatnot, rat, creature/critter etc....
the early years
Daisy was born sometime in the mid to late 2000s acquired by my uncle and his girlfriend at the time. I actually know very little about her earliest life, as it was mine as well. What I do know is that it was rough. Through certain unfortunate events she wound up, traumatized and angry, at my grandpa's house, the place she would live out the rest of her life.
according to my uncle, she once gave birth to a litter of stillborn kittens inside a mattress. I found out about this because buttercup had climbed in that same hollwed out mattress- the very one which i slept on that summer
Miss Daisy would become a common fixture of the house. It had become very dilapidated over the years, a result of its human resident never bothering to clean. In that same vein, daisy had grown very dirty and very fat. This mutually apathetic relationship wasnt completely loveless though. Se would jump on his lap and purr to none but him. He affectionately called her oink oink, despite the irony that it was him who put her in that condition. Nevertheless, they were buddies for many years. Everytime we visited, daisy would sneak around and cast us dirty looks.
In one particularly gruesome instance, she had hidden herself under a bed. My mom reached under and yelped. The cat had scratched her leaving a deep gash in her hand and surprisingly, a whole claw. She sauntered away, growling as she often did.
I have written about this event previously, but understated the role Daisy played in the death of my grandfather and the year leading up to it. In summer of 2021, my grandpa was diagnosed with leukemia and immediately sent to the hospital, leaving the house alone with its calico gargoyle.
When we arrived, she was nowhere to be found. We checked under the porch and behind furniture but there was no daisy. Us kids decided that we all grow a pair and check the basement. This basement may be the single scariest location known to man. Since the year of the lord 1911, it has tormented children all over town. We tiptoed down the creaky chair and ducked into the laundy room on the right and lo and behold there she sat upon a towel. She was absolutely filthy and did not reject our advances as we had always expected. No, she let us pet her. One subject of alarm had been the giant matted wad of hair upon her back, which she would cry if we tried to touch. The other was the tiny bugs of sort we found crawling on her skin. This is a bit of a running theme. Daisy was most certainly not starving, for her bowl was being kept quite full. It was decided that we must take her to a vet. My brave mother and her courageous sister found some way to round her up anddrove her down there. she was shaved, bathed, and treated with several goops and pills. I dont think she had been to the vet very much. There are some very silly photographs of her after this ordeal.
As a return gift for her dad, my mother decided that she should clean up the house. When she was growing up in it, it was cluttered and messy but ithere werent mushrooms growing in the ceiling, let me tell you. During htis ordeal, daisy observed her home being changed, furniture taken out, cleaners being applied, and wallpaper removed. It was, as they say, transformed from a crack house to a crack home (my grandfather did not do crack-not so sure about daisy)
it was like her heart was being softened much like the hard water in the bathtub(perhaps that's an inaccurate allegory, her owner just so happened to be a plumber- the drain surgeon officially) while he was hospitalized, us kids made wonderful friends with daisy, something which seemed nigh impossible in previous years. She pooped on my bed several times, hopefully a sign of love, if a terribly nasty one. She would cuddle with us, and give us kisses. that particular summer ended up being known as “the one in which we made daisy normal”. I for one am extremely proud of this achievement.
we visited grandpa several times in the hospital, though it was a few hours drive from the house. It was a bit scary leaving the cat alone but this very well could have been our last time with him. Eventually he grew better and returned to the house in good spirits and probably quite surprised to see daisy all shaved and smooth. We departed soon after, for school was starting soon and our father would be livid if we stayed longer then desired. the next week, the grandparents got remarried after being divorced for 20 years. I have no idea why they would do this. It looks better on the stone, for sure.
the end of grandpa
We returned roughly a month later because my poor mother 1. was sick of our situation 2. Wanted to take care of her rapidly deteriorating father. With that, we packed up and headed out, back to the land of corn and soy. There is lots to say about the following 2 months, which i should probably do sometime but for the sake of this piece, ill skip over that. we actually spent very little time in my grandpas house, especially because all of us had come down with covid and didnt want to get the guy any sicker. We did go to his favorite resturaunt (they still take checks!) and he showed us around town in his 87 caddilac. He did seem to be getting better, and it turns out it is pretty hard making it 30 miles from civilization with no income. That stint, though joyful and terrible, ended as soon as it began.
The real fun started a couple weeks latr, on a zoom call in which it was decided that he had very little time left to live, and would be placed in hospice care, waiting for him to finally kick the bucket. Me and my mother set off in the morning and drove the whole way in a rather short amount of time. I had downloaded the album “mouth sounds” onto my cellular device, so I got to listen to “mullet with butterfly wings” a very silly number of times. That is neither here nor there. We got to my grandmas house and slept A Lot until early in the morning when the time had come to greet him. We walked into the kitchen with chairs and food and chatted it up with some family members, namely my aunt who deals with this stuff all the time. We walked further in, into the dark and very hot living room. The tv was playing christmas carols, for it was that time of year. My grandpa kind of walked out of his bedroom , onto the adjacent sofa. We talked a bit. It was jarring to see the difference, however, between the jovial fella id always known to this half corpse in the living room. He went back to bed after a few minutes and some oatmeal. The next few days really blurred together. Some highpoints are
My little cousins. 2 little rays of sunshine; Descriptions of my grandfathers bowel movements. Particularly the blood; Someone brought perhaps the whole pizza ranch buffet and i Went To Town on mashed potatoes; My beautiful angel of a cousin who asked me to buy her things at the mall; Freaking out several times .it was far too peopley in such a small house; Daisy! Who this whole story is about.;
I would not forget to write about daisy. Context is important, is all. Daisy spent as much time as she possibly could with her owner, and i saw her rarely. The last tim i saw my grandfather, she was there on the bed. When he died eventauly, she waas there and stayed there to keep him company as he faded of to wherever. It makes me cry to think about this, how she did actually kind of love him. Thats the most beautiful thing in the world. The day after the funeral was held, me and mom drove back to our own cat. And siblings, i suppose.
the end of daisy
Those next few months were rough. For me and daisy. Moreso for her. Under my grandmothers ownership, and the lack of a grandpa, she must have become quite depressed. To add salt to the wound as it were, she develpoed several health issues. Namely one in which she couldnt control her bladder and urinated all over the house. Because of this, she was relegated only to the porch, and soon after, left excluivley outside. I Am So Angry about this decision. For Numerous reasons. (why not take her to the vet? Why not ? you can surely afford one or two vet visits!) poor old aisy could no longer clean herself, and didnt eat anymore. When we came back in the glorious summer of 2022, to see daisy in this shape was borderline torturous. She couldnt meow or hiss or growl anymore, and couldnt walk much.
The worst thing i have ever seen in the whole wide world.
My blessed mother decided one afternoon that she should check to see what was up with daisy. We sat out in the yard, her on a chair, daisy on her lap, wielding a brush. She noticed an abundance of bugs in the poor cats fur, particularly towards the rear end.She brushed them out of her matted fur in swathes, spilling down the folds of her dress. My mother placed daisy upon the ground in order to examine the root of these vermin. She lifted up Daisy's limp tail and lo and behold! A vast clony of maggots formed a grotesque spiral around the poor cats anus. That expalins all the flies. The four of us yelled out in unison. Jesus christ. The maggots had taken up residence and feasted on her flesh, knowing that she could do nothing about them. Wiggling, biting, sucking. I, for one, broke down crying. Jesus christ. Our daisy is being eaten alive.
An exercise in great bravery
My mother is probably the bravest and most noble person i have ever known. She decided to undertake the task of extracting evry damn maggot out of that poor cat if t was the last hting she would do. A bucket of warm water, a bottle of isopropyl alcohol and a pair of tweezerws were her weapons of choice against those horrid creatures. Me and the siblings hunkered down in the living room andtried to forget all that we had seen, while our beloved mother slew this metaphorical dragon .All the immediate family was alerted to the state of that poor cat. Frustratingly, the culprit of her condition took no accountability. Whatever. To round out the day all of us went out for supper at a different resturaunt (they take checks!) and i did Not sleep very well that night. The next day, my mother decided to have nother go at those maggots. An appointment was made for daisy to be put out of her misery in the following next few days.
The last time i asw daisy we were sitting out in the prickly grass, her atop a deflated tent. I gave her pets and scritches and love,as did my siblings. For minutes i wept over her exhausted, deflated body. My grdmother placed daisy inside a pet carrier, without a single ounce of fight left inside her. And that was the last time i saw her. She was dead, free from the excruciating pain and the maggots and the dangers of the outside world. Our grandma brought back 3 pices of paper, each spotted with 2 of daisys inked up pawprints. Each child claimed one to to with whatever thay wished. i wonder about those pawprints. the last remants of daisys existence other then her fur on the furniture and our collective memories of her life. poor thang