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Re: One last indulgence

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  • jamander33
    Absolutely adorable, thank you for sharing. It is cathartic for us too. Amanda ... _____________________________________________________________________
    Message 1 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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