We have recently had the pleasure of talking to the fur-parent Brandy about her lovely Basepaws cat Lillie. Lillie was a beautiful, loving kitty who sadly passed away last November at the age of 14. Because she has had a cat with several health concerns, Brandy decided to send us Lillie's DNA in hopes to help improve treatments of cats with illnesses. This is their inspiring story, shared in honor and memory of the sweet kitty Lillie.
We asked Brandy how Lillie became a part of her family. "Lillie's momma Ginger was my dad's cat. Lillie and the rest of the litter was born in my bathroom closet. Lillie was the third of six, born on March 24, 2004 at 8:30pm, Wednesday night. I kept telling Ginger I wanted a calico, and she had one." - told us Brandy. Ginger was adopted and bottle-fed by Brandy and her mom as a young kitten, but she always seemed to have loved Brandy's dad the most. She had completely orange fur, but she gave birth to one calico baby. This little calico kitten was named Lillie, and she stayed with Brandy until the rest of her life.
Lillie was a curious and sweet cat. She loved watching out the windows, drinking water from the sink, and even taking a nap in it. "When I had to remodel the bathroom, I made sure to get deep sinks she would fit in." - added Brandy about her cat's favorite spot in the house. She was a vocal and loving cat, under her own terms, of course:
"Lillie didn't like to sit in your lap, but she would lay by me on the couch or sleep next to my pillow in bed. When I had surgery a few years ago, she stayed right beside me. If I went to the living room, she followed and when I moved back to the bedroom, she followed and slept right next to me. She is very, very vocal. The vet's office bowed exactly when we would go in. She would talk all through her appointment or weight check in. Due to her IBD, I took her in at least once a month to be weighed."
"She was very persistent when she wanted something, and she wouldn't let up until you've done whatever she wants. She loves having her ears and face scratched. She was never fond of other cats. She tolerated my mom's cats when my parents would visit, but she would always let them know who is boss. She was a very loving cat, but on her terms. She purred a lot too. She slept by my pillow at night, so I would usually fall asleep to her purring against the pillow. Lillie also liked to sleep on the tables and on top of papers. If I had a piece of paper on the bed, she would lay on that paper on the bed. She also loves sleeping on blue jeans." - told us Brandy.
Lillie has had several health problems throughout her life. She was first diagnosed with arthritis in 2017, and she had to get shots every three weeks for it. After her arthritis diagnosis, Brandy's mom installed stairs for her to be able to climb on the bed. How thoughtful! " In October 2018, Lillie had surgery to remove a cyst on her liver and GI biopsies to confirm IBD diagnosis. I'm hoping this DNA testing will improve treatments for cats with illnesses." - shared Brandy.
"Lillie has also had her teeth removed three different times for tooth reabsorption. The last time, July 2018, she kept losing weight and the vet ran several tests that showed a mass on her liver. I took her in for a surgical consultation in October, and the surgeon said Lillie was a good candidate for surgery, but nothing was a guarantee. There were many tears because I thought I was going to lose her."
Luckily, "she came through the surgery fine, a cyst was removed from her liver, and biopsies revealed IBD. However, you can only get a defiant diagnosis via biopsy. From here on, Lillie was on a lot of meds, food changes, and vet visits." - Lillie was losing a lot of weight fast. - "We started her on B12 shots, as many cats suffering from IBD no longer have enough B12 in their systems." Shortly before she lost her, Brandy shed many tears on Lillie's bad days. Sadly, Brandy lost Lillie on November 6th 2019. We were deeply sorry to hear about this loss and we hope the time will help Brandy's wounds heal.
Brandy, thank you so much for sharing Lillie's moving and inspiring story with us. She was a lovely cat and she couldn't have possibly had a better fur parent to support her. Thank you for contributing to science and joining our team. We can only hope that Lillie's DNA will help contribute to the advances in feline science and genetics. We hope that the future updates to Lillie's Basepaws DNA report will offer you some kind of comfort by providing you with further knowledge about your special kitty for years to come.