Re: One last indulgence
- Absolutely adorable, thank you for sharing. It is cathartic for us
> 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
> 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.
> 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
> 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
> 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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