You came to me as a two-year-old. Scared, frightened and obviously abused.

Daniel hiding in the bed frame after our move to Ottawa.

You were rescued from a cold winter’s night, found eating garbage, by the Minister and his wife in my parents’ old home town. You cowered in fear whenever anyone came close.

You were beautiful and had the most gorgeous green eyes.

Daniel - my most favourite photo of him.

I won’t lie, your brother Pal, he hated you at first when you came to live with us.

Pal, my first to steal my heart.

For the first 48 hours he was so angry. He’d scare you into hiding and would not let you leave the safety of your hiding space. He hissed and he growled. I almost returned you, fearing that Pal would never accept you into our lives.

Quickly, Pal realized that you were no threat to him. You were always submissive, never an alpha cat. You did nothing unless Pal did it first. From eating, to jumping up on the furniture, to stalking birds. You followed Pal’s lead always. He taught you not to be afraid. He was your big brother.

This food is good, Daniel.

Pal loved cardboard boxes.

Pal sleeping in his box.

I’ll never forget the day you decided to chew on Pal’s box, I laughed and laughed, as Pal slept on obliviously.

Daniel chewing the corner of Pal's box as he slept in it.

Eventually, you claimed the box for yourself.

Pal on the floor as Daniel slept in his box. Victory for the first time!

You and Pal were best friends and brothers. Always together.

Pal and Daniel sleeping outside.
Pal and Daniel sleeping on their Mom's bed.
Pal and Daniel sleeping on the top of the couch.

Very unexpectedly, we lost Pal. He passed away with what was suspected to be a massive heart attack. No warning at all. He hadn’t been sick and had even been to the vet’s the week before for a check up. He curled up into his favourite sleeping place, a laundry basket, and passed away.

Pal sleeping in the laundry basket.

I cried and you cried for weeks. Neither of us expecting to lose Pal so soon and so unexpectedly. Hearing your meows of sorrow and loss, broke my heart.

No longer having the alpha cat to tell you what to do, you became a Momma’s Boy. You found your voice and chatted constantly. You were never far from my side as I worked.

Sleeping in your basket beside my desk.

You were my quilt inspector and stole bobbins and thread spools to bat around on the hardwood floor.

Is that a quilt for me mom?

You played hide ‘n’ seek every single day. But you always hid in the same place and would give yourself away by your loud purring. It was your morning ritual.

You loved having visitors and would run to greet them in the hallway. You loved your Aunties Julia, Gailene, Viviane and Caitlin best. They knew the minute they sat down, you would be on their lap.

You welcomed Slade into our home and taught him not to be afraid and how to play. You grieved when we lost him 2.5 years later.

Slade and Daniel

You dreamed of catching the pigeons that landed on our balcony.

Watching the birds.

You loved to play with your feather toy and spent hours chasing the little red dot of your laser pen. Milk-flavoured Temptations were your favourite. You were fascinated by water. An ice cube in your water dish would entertain you for 15 minutes.

You loved to be outside for hours.

You were a very good boy, sweet natured, loving and obedient, for the most part. You wouldn’t eat human food, but that didn’t stop you from trying to steal my dinner. A left-up toilet seat made your day and a watery mess for your mom to clean up. You had a gentle soul and touched the hearts of many.

Dr. Black and Dr. Sine from the Centretown Veterinary Hospital tried so hard to save you this past month. It wasn’t until after you had passed away, that we discovered you had cancer everywhere. How you managed to survive so long is a mystery.

You were Dan, Danny and Daniel, but most of all you were your Momma’s baby boy.

Thank you for your love and sweet kitty kisses. Rest in peace my baby.

You were your Momma’s Baby Boy

67 thoughts on “You were your Momma’s Baby Boy

  • February 13, 2011 at 12:25 pm

    Dear Michele,what a terrible loss. He indeed was a beauty with gorgeous eyes and your tribute to Daniel (and Pal and Slade. too) was very moving. Cats are great companions and they all leave marks on our hearts.You obviously loved your boys and they really loved you back.I hope for you to heal and remember only the nice and naughty things that made you smile.Our thoughts and deepest sympathies come to you from the Netherlands.

  • February 13, 2011 at 1:16 pm

    Dear Mich, I’m so sad for you. Losing your much loved pet is heart wrenching. Your tribute for Daniel is so warm and beautiful, it brought tears to my eyes. I’m sure he’s frolicking around with Pal and Slade in heaven. I send you warmth and comfort my friend, big hug from Anita.

  • February 13, 2011 at 7:20 pm

    I’m so sad you lost your furbaby. This explains why he wasn’t eating. So very, very sorry but Pal and Slade were so excited to see him again.

  • February 13, 2011 at 9:43 pm

    What a wonderful warm story of Daniel. He was lucky to have you to take care of him and you were lucky to have him in your life.

  • February 13, 2011 at 11:18 pm

    I just saw your wonderful tribute to Daniel. I, too, have lost furry family members. A friend once told me that God gives us pets so that we can learn to love again. I pray that you, too, will one day love again.

  • February 14, 2011 at 1:55 pm

    That’s a beautiful poem that Ann Marie commented with.

  • February 14, 2011 at 5:17 pm

    I’m sorry for your loss. Daniel was a precious gift, your friend and companion. A wonderful tribute.

  • February 14, 2011 at 7:42 pm

    Sorry to read about Daniel (and his friends). I’ve kept cats for decades and would be very lonely without their company and friendship. A cat’s trust and affection is special because it is not given, it has to be earned through kindness. Many people don’t understand that at all. I hope you can one day invite another needy cat into your home. The newly invited cat is an honorarium of love for the beloved cat no longer among us.

  • February 15, 2011 at 3:10 pm

    My heart is with you. I’m so sorry.

  • February 16, 2011 at 1:59 am

    Michele, what a special tribute to your sweet baby boy. I’m sitting here crying, knowing the loss you are feeling. Our furbabies hold such special places in our lives and in our hearts.

  • February 16, 2011 at 10:07 pm

    What a lovely tribute to a wonderful cat!
    One of the things that impressed me about Daniel was what a great friend he was to Slade.

    Farewell, little man, I’m going to miss cuddling you.

  • August 4, 2011 at 12:55 pm

    Your post brought tears to my eyes. Losing a pet of any kind is so devastating. My deepest sympathy Michele.

  • August 4, 2011 at 1:03 pm

    I had a heart-wrenching loss of a cat as a girl. Before that, I had always been exposed to cats as our home had three. Strangely, after my loss of her, I became severely allergic to them.

  • August 4, 2011 at 1:03 pm

    Understand completely! We’ve lost three very special cats but the last one has been the hardest for me to recover from because it was partly my fault. He swallowed some sewing thread and it wasn’t found in time Rusty couldn’t recover from the surgery.
    Each of our cats have had individual personalitites that have made them special and Rusty was no different, he had his favorite place to sleep and none of the other cats do that.
    We love our dogs but the cats are something else! Chris

  • August 4, 2011 at 2:45 pm

    This story brought tears in my eyes. I am so sorry for your loss, Michele. I know there are no words of consolation, but I am thinking of you!

  • August 5, 2011 at 7:20 pm

    What a beautiful story. He was so loved.

Comments are closed.