I guess I've come pretty far in the last nine years. I think my name should be ‘Lucky' instead of Daisy. My first humans were very nasty to me. I know I will never forget it.
The man had a temper, and he would often shout at me. But, worse than that, he had big boots and would kick me when he was angry. There were days when he would pick me up and throw me if I got in the way. I was just a baby. I didn't know what I had done wrong, and I had tried so hard to make him like me.
Then one day, when I was about five months old, a lady came to get me. I was trembling and for a while I thought she was going to hurt me too, but she didn't. Instead, she took me away to a quiet, warm place, and promised me softly that she would find me a home, a proper one, where someone would love me. I didn't know what a ‘home' was, but I looked forward to it.
Time passed, and then at last, a man with glasses came to see me. I made a fuss of him. Even though I was trembling with fear, and nervous around his big shoes, I managed to let him stroke me. I pushed my small body into his hands, and wanted him to take me ‘home'. I felt sad when he stood up, and left.
The next evening, the lady I was staying with bent down and spoke to me. "Come on Daisy; let's take you to your new home." Home, I really had a home! I was happy, but very frightened, and my tummy was still hurting from where the nasty man had used me as a football.
On the way to my new home I fell asleep in my basket. I was woken up by a pair of gentle hands lifting me out, careful not to touch my tummy. I was so grateful, but all of a sudden I was struck by fear again. I panicked, and scratched the hand. I didn't mean it, and I hoped they knew that.
When the new human put me down, I was immediately aware of the space. I had never seen so much room. A far cry from my tiny basket! Part of me wanted to explore, and learn all the new sights and smells around me. One of which was a smell I would later become very used to, that of burnt food! Somebody couldn't cook!
Anyway, as I stood there on the cold tiles of the kitchen floor, I felt panic well up inside me again and I was desperate to be safe, so I ran for the nearest, darkest place I could find, - under the sink.
For the longest time, I just sat there, cowering. They put food down for me, but I wouldn't come out until I heard the door slam, and I was sure there was no one around. I would eat, drink, and then retreat back to my hiding place. For about two weeks I stayed there.
Often the new humans would come and peer in at me. They would stay a while, call my name, and then I would watch their feet pass as they left me again. I recognised one pair of shoes. They belonged to the man with glasses that had visited me. I was still nervous though, even though I really did try not to be. Something in me just wouldn't let me move.
Apart from him, there was a bossy woman with clunky shoes, who wore lots of lipstick and was definitely in charge! A younger blonde girl was there too. She had big feet, and laughed a lot. She made too much noise, and frightened me all over again.
Then there was her.
She was small and had the quietest voice. She talked to me gently as she struggled around the kitchen. I listened to her voice, its tone, rising and falling, and I felt comforted. Late one night when everyone else had gone to bed, she came again, with a dish of milk, and lay down flat on her tummy. She stayed there talking softly in the dark, tempting, calling, and whispering.
Suddenly, I knew everything would be okay, and that she would protect me. When I was sure it was safe, I came out slowly and drank some milk. Her shaking hand reached forward and stroked me. It really would be alright, as long as I was with her. I noticed a scratch on her hand, and felt sorry.
I followed her at first up to her bedroom, and then, as my confidence grew, I went everywhere with her. In time, I knew I was safe in that room. I began to lie on the bed with my tummy exposed for the first time, and I even let her rub it – for a second or so!
She would talk to me about everything, and I began to show myself to her more. She had a horrible yellow quilt cover that I would lie on. It was too bright, but she thought it was "cool". Having always been a sickly cat, I expressed my displeasure by throwing up on it at every given opportunity! I could always blame it on a fur ball! When she got cross, I would curl myself up and look at her as if butter wouldn't melt in my mouth! She was putty in my paws!
Some days we would play, when it was just us. She would roll up a ball of paper and throw it for me. I realised that she couldn't move easily as the others, and that there were days when she was hurting, so I helped her by kicking the paper back towards her and then picking it up in my teeth and carrying nearer to her. She told me I was a "clever girl."- She's right, I am!
She is the best human in the world. I know she is not as brave or confident as she makes herself out to be. When she cried, I'd sit with her and offer a paw to smooth.
Not so long ago, things changed. A tall man started coming to visit. I think he must be her Tom Cat! He has a soft voice and he looks at her like I do, with love. He strokes me and is nice to me, which is just as well because no Tom Cat comes between me and her - ever!
Now though, I don't see as much of her as I would like to. You see, when the Tom Cat touches me, his eyes go all red and blotchy oh, and he sneezes! It's not my fault! I just like to keep my black and white fur clean and beautiful!
I know she misses me and I miss her too, very much. But, she always told me how much she wanted a Tom Cat to love her, and now she has one! I am happy for her.
Anyway, the point of me talking to you today is to tell you my story. I was lucky to find a human like her. She changed my life, but I think I have changed hers too. I am, and I always will be, her baby.
Daisy Cat -April 1998 - May 2013