A Tribute to Paisley

Right as she was reaching her golden years, Paisley sadly lost her one and only owner. Having probably lived a very predictable, quiet life, her world got flipped upside down as her remaining family scrambled to see what to do. On top of having nowhere else to go, Paisley was diagnosed with stage 3 renal disease. Her remaining family didn’t know what to do and whether euthanasia was her only option. Thankfully, they reached out to Our Companions to see what her options were and we were grateful to welcome Paisley to our Sanctuary.

Though our Sanctuary is a safe-haven for many animals, it was still quite a change for Paisley. She would constantly hide in her room and would only come out to eat or use the litter box when no one was around. Being declawed also didn’t help Paisley’s mental state and confidence. The Cat Team made sure Paisley had lots of places to hide and feel comfortable. She was also staff only, knowing she needed a small world with only a few people to understand her new routine and to feel safe. With her late stage of renal disease, treatment was limited, but we made sure she had the diet and medication to best help her situation. After weeks of hiding with little to no change, the Cat Team continued to be patient. Their patience certainly paid off as they began to see small glimpses of trust from this shy sweetie!

As staff began to spend more time with Paisley, respecting her space and boundaries, she in turn would come out of hiding and would hang out on her cat shelf or tree. Cats feel much more comfortable in high places, and we’re happy she enjoyed the tall spaces we provided! She would watch from her perch all the comings and goings of staff and volunteers in the hallway or in her room. As time went on, staff and volunteers would quietly sit in her room, letting Paisley know that the company of new people were nothing to be afraid of! She started to slowly come down from her spots up high to the couch. She even started to burrow herself underneath the blankets on the couch, exploring new places where she felt comfy and safe. Staff even had to put a warning sign for volunteers to watch out for any lumps in the blankets that might be Paisley napping! Over time, staff began to do enrichment activities to help provide Paisley a way she could come out of her shell and to enrich her life. One activity that she loved was playing with the fallen leaves that were brought inside from outside! She started to show her playful side, batting the leaves around and even picking them up with her mouth! It was so cute to see her silly side!

These small steps were huge for Paisley and brought so much joy amongst staff and volunteers who were able to witness how brave this girl was becoming! She was doing so well for a while, until staff started to notice she was regressing and shying away again. Some days she would come down for treats, but other days she wouldn‘t come out at all. Her appetite was fluctuating as well and it was clear that this was a result of her kidney disease, and ultimately treatment options were limited. Staff was doing the utmost effort to continue monitoring and medicating her, until it was clear she wasn’t doing well and needed to be brought to the vet. After extensive examination, the vets let us know that her quality of life was diminishing and they helped her pass. Though her diagnosis was clear from the beginning, the news was still a hard pill to swallow given the strides that she was making with us. We are so grateful to have had these beautiful moments of her displaying trust with us and being able to share that with our community. Giving Paisley a safe last chapter of her life, full of hope and love, brings us some peace. We will hold those close moments with her close to our hearts.