Coco: a furry feline friend

First Hug
     Fourteen years ago, I adopted two kittens, litter mates, Coco and Mango.  Coco was the delicate brother, the runt of the litter.  He appeared aloof but allowed me to scoop him into my arms for a first hug.  I loved his snow white boots and white chest. He was a handsome cat. We instantly knew we were meant to be together.
     The first years brought a flurry of gymnastics between Coco and Mango.  They tackled and stalked one another, played endlessly with anything that moved, and their curiosity was boundless, from ordinary household items to the majesty of a sunrise.
This photo was published in The Record, May 2002.
            Mr. Coco had a habit of running out the door whenever he could.  H knew he wasn't meant to be a house cat but a fearless hunter roaming the grass and bushes.  It would sometimes take an hour to retrieve him back to the safety of the home.  Ironically, he would cry while he was outside and once back to cozy comfort, would settle down with food and water, groom himself, purr, and fall into a deep satisfied sleep.
      Mango and Coco shared an unspoken alliance most of the time. One that only a cat could understand.  They didn't sleep together or groom one another but they enjoyed the presence of each other's company.


      Every evening they waited patiently by the kitchen window like two soldiers for my return after work.  It melted my heart to see their sweet little faces...though God only knew what they did while unattended!   But when Mr. Coco wanted to show that he wasn't pleased about something, he never hesitated to display his feelings to me or Mango.

    Here, with his ears pointed outward, he managed to sit long enough for me to snap this picture.  It was as if he was saying,  "You better make this quick 'cause I'm outta here."
          As time marched on, it was clear that Mango was the Alpha Male. Even though Coco showed more traditional feline features and was a better jumper, he intuitively knew his place in the pecking order.  For this reason, I often gave Coco plenty of TLC whenever Mango wasn't looking.  
Mr. Coco had beautiful classic cat curves.
     It wasn't easy to say good-bye to Coco after 14 years.  Why it was just last summer when he cradled next to me while I was convalescing from a fractured ankle. He sensed I wasn't myself, (of course hopping around and using crutches may have had a lot to do with it.)  We fell asleep on the couch together each bringing comfort to the other.  But now there was nothing I could do to comfort Coco.
Mr. Coco August 2016
He was suffering and there was no longer quality of life. Every movement he made took his breath away and recovery grew longer and longer. Mr. Coco passed away peacefully, August 18, 2016. Thank you, 
Dr. Anton Stenzler and the Pearl River Animal Hospital staff for your professional care, guidance and kindness.

Final Note:
     I am well aware of far more tragic global occurrences and the loss of close family members.  This post merely shows how a pet became part of the family, part of my life, brought laughter, comfort, and tears.

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