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Re: One last indulgence

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  • Carole
    Thank you so much, Nala, for sharing Cozette s story with us. I thoroughly enjoyed reading it and feel like I now know your special kitty. I ll bet she s
    Message 1 of 2 , Jun 3, 2007
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      Thank you so much, Nala, for sharing Cozette's story with us. I
      thoroughly enjoyed reading it and feel like I now know your special
      kitty. I'll bet she's still chasing butterflies and ignoring the "No"
      word but that probably is no longer spoken.

      Carole,Saylor (HCM), Menifee and Mistoffelees
    • jamander33
      Absolutely adorable, thank you for sharing. It is cathartic for us too. Amanda ... _____________________________________________________________________
      Message 2 of 2 , Jun 3, 2007
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        Absolutely adorable, thank you for sharing. It is cathartic for us
        too. Amanda

        > At Thanksgiving I wrote something that seems
        > appropriate once again, so I include it here.
        >
        > Following that is a story of Cozette's life. It was
        > cathartic for me to write it and would be pleased to
        > share it with you.
        >
        > Thank you all so very much.
        >
        > Nala with Camille and Angel Cozette
        > ----
        >
        > What I Am Thankful For
        >
        > I am thankful for all of the heart kitties who are
        > here: they have given me the gift of hope.
        >
        > I am thankful for all of the heart kitties who are no
        > longer here: they have given me the gift of
        > knowledge.
        >
        > I am thankful for my kitties: they have given me the
        > gifts of patience and love.
        >
        > I am thankful for my tears: they have given me the
        > gift of humanity.
        >
        > I am thankful for my laughter: it has given me the
        > gift of community.
        >
        > I am thankful for all of you: you have given me the
        > gifts of support, kindness, and education.
        >
        > -Nala
        > ---
        > Cozette's Story
        >
        > Sarah, a tortie-point Himalayan, was both sick and
        > pregnant. The overflowing shelter didn't have room
        > for the cat that was left abandoned in an apartment .
        > At the last moment, Sarah was plucked from the shelter
        > by a couple in Kansas City.
        >
        > Soon it was time for Sarah to deliver her kittens, but
        > Sarah was too sick to push. Her new human mom helped
        > her deliver her litter. She also helped several of
        > the newborns to take their first breath of air.
        > Cozette was born August 30, 2000, one of five
        > beautiful kitties. Two were girls: Cozette, a
        > tortoiseshell with white chest, tummy and paws; and
        > Camille, a torbie with the markings of both a brown
        > and an orange tabby. Three were boys: Baron, an
        > orange and cream classic tabby; Cousteau a brown
        > mackerel tabby; and Pepe a black and white tuxedo.
        > Sarah was too ill to care for her babies, so they were
        > hand fed until they were able to eat solid food.
        >
        > After their inauspicious start, the kittens thrived
        > and soon were ready for adoption. Cozette was the
        > tiniest of the litter and perhaps, paradoxically, the
        > most active. She was a kitten on the move. She had
        > places to go and things to do, learning to run before
        > she ever managed to walk. Her baby pictures are
        > little more than an orange white and black blur. She
        > was always off exploring things, into everything and
        > every new object she found became her favorite new
        > toy, at least for the moment. She could entertain
        > herself for hours playing and running away, with her
        > sister Camille trying to tag along. These two girls
        > didn't have any time for the boys.
        >
        > I adopted Cozette and Camille just before
        > Thanksgiving 2000. It was the perfect time. I was
        > spending a lot of time at home writing rather than
        > working long hours in the laboratory. Camille and
        > Cozette would be my constant companions as I spent
        > hour after hour writing my Ph.D. dissertation.
        >
        > I had so carefully prepared for the kitties. I had
        > visited and interviewed several vets. I had purchased
        > brushes, combs, litter boxes, food bowls. The
        > electrical outlets were blocked off, there were new
        > kitty beds, soft fleece blankets. . . I had blocked
        > off all the small spaces that I could find for fear
        > that they might squeeze into a tight spot and not be
        > able to get back out . . . .
        >
        > Within the first hour of releasing these little
        > fur-balls into the main room of my small apartment,
        > Cozette disappeared. I looked and looked for her, but
        > she was lost. How could I have lost her? She only
        > just got here! I checked all the closets, cabinets,
        > and under all the furniture. I checked the sinks, the
        > bathtub, the bookshelves. Where could a little kitty
        > fit? Did she manage to get into the hotel-style
        > heating/AC unit? Was there a hole in the floor under
        > the unit allowing access to the crawl space?. . .
        > After about 2 hours of frantic searching, the little
        > baby kitty Cozette miraculously appeared, calmly
        > stretching as she crawled out from under the bed. . .
        > But I had checked under the bed!! Cozette had torn
        > a small hole in the box spring covering and had
        > crawled up into the box springs! And so it began.
        > What a mischevious little kitty-girl!!!
        >
        > Over the ensuing days, weeks and months Camille and
        > Cozette spent endless hours on or under my computer
        > monitor as I wrote. They spent time editing my work
        > by using their little paws on my keyboard, and helping
        > me sort through countless research articles and stacks
        > of primary data. Of course, our workdays were
        > punctuated with breaks for playing! At that time
        > Cozette's favorite plaything, other than any newly
        > found object, was a feather. She would spend hours,
        > quite literally, tossing the feather in the air,
        > catching it in her mouth, pawing at it and chasing it.
        > Eventually the feather was replaced by a new favorite
        > toy, a fishing-pole toy with a pink sparkle ball and
        > brightly colored feathers on the end of an soft,
        > iridescent piece of twine. I would play with Cozette
        > with these toys and toss a sparkle ball for Camille
        > who was very adept at playing "fetch" when she wasn't
        > busy attacking her cat-dancer toy.
        >
        > Cozette during this time learned that she liked to
        > drink water from the sink and bathtub. She learned
        > that she loved to jump on my back whenever I bent over
        > to pick something up. She learned that she liked to
        > share my pillow with me. I learned that she did not
        > want to be petted unless it was of her own asking. I
        > learned that she was very independent. I learned that
        > she would be everywhere and into everything all the
        > time. I learned that she didn't like to sleep - she
        > would miss too much. The smallest noise or movement
        > would cause her to wake and send her on the move
        > again. These traits she kept her whole life.
        >
        > When the kitties were nine months old, we moved to CO.
        > My kitties had never been alone for more than several
        > hours at a time; therefore, I scheduled my first
        > several weeks of work to be part-time. They did very
        > well in their new environment. Cozette became known
        > as "running-jumping-monkey-kitty" because she was
        > always running, jumping and meowing at things. She
        > had the energy of 10 kittens and would play and play
        > and play until she was completely exhausted. Camille
        > on the other hand became known as "lazy-butt." She
        > would flop from side to side grabbing at toys such
        > that one would think her rear-end was glued to the
        > floor.
        >
        > Our first home in Colorado was a studio apartment
        > overflowing with two people and two kitties. At
        > night, Cozette would climb the window screen trying to
        > get at the moths fluttering about in the early summer.
        > During the day, she would lie in wait for the postal
        > carrier. She growled at him as he plunked the mail in
        > the postal box just outside "her" window.
        >
        > Our second home in Colorado, was directly behind the
        > loading dock of a large grocery store. Cozette would
        > jump into the window seat as she loved to watch the
        > trucks come and go. They would back down a loading
        > ramp and seemingly disappear, only to reemerge at a
        > later time. She also loved to watch two families of
        > Kestrels that nested outside the "her" window. She
        > was fascinated by the birds as well as their prey -
        > mostly mice and other small birds.
        >
        > Our third home in Colorado was surrounded by grass and
        > trees. Raccoons, skunks, squirrels and other cats
        > visited daily. She loved running up and down the
        > stairs of the townhouse apartment. She loved jumping
        > in the windowsill before the window had been fully
        > opened. She followed me around like a little puppy
        > dog - always wanting to know what I was doing and
        > keeping careful watch.
        >
        > Cozette was a very engaging and direct cat. She made
        > eye contact when I talked to her or called her name.
        > However, even though she clearly new her name, she
        > would rarely come when called. If called, she would
        > wait to see whether her sister got a treat for coming,
        > and then and only then would she approach. Cozette
        > would walk directly over anything or anyone positioned
        > between her and whatever it was that she desired. In
        > contrast, Camille went out of her way to avoid
        > stepping on things and people as she headed toward her
        > goal.
        >
        > Cozette was a very smart kitty. In one of her never
        > ending quests to catch a bug, she would climb right up
        > a person as though the person were a ladder for her.
        > She would run upstairs to the second story to continue
        > to watch an animal outside because she knew she could
        > get a better perspective and view the animal longer
        > from a greater height. She learned several words.
        > Her own name, her sister's name, food, treat, play,
        > string, water, and outside. She also knew a few
        > phrases like "drink water" "brush teeth" "spider toy"
        > and "show me." There were other words that I am
        > certain she understood, but chose to ignore,
        > particularly NO.
        >
        > Cozette was a very playful kitty. She would play for
        > as long as you would play with her and if she wanted
        > to play more, she would go to her basket of toys, pick
        > out one of her favorites, usually a yellow sparkle
        > ball with irridescent fibers and white pipecleaner
        > legs (her most favorite "spider toy"), and would throw
        > it in the air and chase it for up to an hour at a
        > time. But her favorite interactive toy remained her
        > fishing pole toy.
        >
        > Cozette was also a very skittish kitty - but at the
        > same time very brave. If the doorbell rang, she ran
        > away and hid under the bed, but at the same time, she
        > was the first one to greet new visitors and walk on
        > them. When the coyotes would howl, she would squish
        > down, her pupils would dilate and she would look me in
        > the face to see how I was reacting. I would tell her
        > it was OK and she would settle down.
        >
        > Cozette was full of contradictions. Once when
        > visiting my mother, she was purring and purring while
        > being petted - but at the same time she hissed at one
        > of her littermates as they dashed by. My mom
        > declared, "Kitty, you can't purr and hiss at the same
        > time." But she could. And she did.
        >
        > Sometime between the age of 3.5 and 4.5 a heart murmur
        > was detected. She had no other symptoms except for a
        > rapid heart rate - which she had had since birth. At
        > the age of 5.5 she was diagnosed with hypertrophic
        > obstructive cardiomyopathy. Before her seventh
        > birthday, this dreadful disease stole her from me.
        >
        > But through it all, with the exception of a time of
        > acute renal failure, she was so alert, so engaging,
        > still very kittenish as her heart would allow. She
        > watched everything around her inside and outside from
        > one of her window perches or from on top of the
        > freezer. She meowed and pawed at the front door,
        > asking me to take her outside to watch the birds,
        > stalk the bugs and rest in the shade with a cool
        > breeze blowing across her face and fur. How typical
        > for this girl who was always "her own cat."
        >
        > Sometimes, I have to think that the reason for her
        > being so very active was that her life would be short.
        >
        > She was my little kitty with the little white paws.
        > She was my half-and-half kitty, my Halloween kitty, my
        > Cozetti-Spaghetti, my little baby kitty Cozette.
        >
        > - Nala
        >
        >
        >
        >
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