My sweet 20 year old Calico kitty. Besides my son, you are the last thing connecting me to my ex, the man that adopted you to impress me.
I didn’t know it at the time, but you were rescued from being put to sleep by a coworker of your dad’s and he decided to take you in, because he thought since I loved cats so much, it would bring us closer. Of course, I didn’t know this until after our divorce, but on some level it brings me joy that his caring about me, saved you.
You were a feisty little kitten. I had made the two hour drive to the West side of Florida to spend the weekend with your dad, when I got a call saying, “I need your help.” It was your dad. He had adopted you from the coworker during work hours and you wouldn’t stay in your make-shift box carrier and they were afraid you would get out in to the mall and be lost forever.
So I rushed over to get you. When I got to the back room, there you were on the desk batting peppermint hard candies around. You were completely oblivious to all the workers that were cooing over you…all you cared about was the little candy.
I was completely smitten with you from the very first sight.
I drove you in your make shift box to your dad’s place. At every light you would pop your head out of the box and I’d have to get it back in before the light turned green again. It was hilarious.
I got your safely settled in and when your dad got off work he joined us. It was so cute to watch this grown 6’4″ man get way down low and talk baby talk to this tiny little tot of a kitten. He was right, I loved him even more for adopting you.
After a few weeks, you started to get mean. It was because your dad worked so many hours around the holiday’s and you were lonely. So I talked him into adopting your brother, Bandit. At first you wanted to kill bandit, but just like us, he won you over.
Within a few weeks, you two were inseparable. You would run so fast that you could run up the side of the wall over the couch behind us without falling and then hit the ground running when you got to the other side. It was so cute. You would run across your dad’s head and in and out of the covers all night long. I couldn’t believe you never woke him, but you certainly left him with a few scratches.
When your dad and I moved in together, it was the day a hurricane was supposed to hit Florida. I lived on the East Coast and he was moving in with me. So he drugged you two and put you in the jeep to make the two hour trip to my place, only a few hours before the hurricane hit. Your brother was out like a light, but not you. You hated the drugged sensation and cried until you felt normal again, including the whole two hour drive. I thought your dad was a saint for not smothering you. He handled it like a trooper.
You were always daddy’s little girl. Dad never had the same schedule from week to week, but like clockwork, when daddy sat on the couch to watch tv, with beer in hand, you would park yourself right up on his lap and purr like a kitten.
When we moved from our first place into a bigger place, we got one with a beautiful screened in patio (“lanai”…I’m still not used to that name!). You and your brother Bandit would wake me up just before sunrise and I would open the slider and let you two watch the sunset come up together from the lanai. You were adorable. You would catch bugs and lizards every morning.
Then one morning a cat was outside and you went nuts. You used your claws to slice the screen and out you went to eat that cat. Your dad and I panicked…it was still mostly dark and we were out there running around trying to catch you. Not because we were worried about you with the other cat, but we were living on a lake full of alligators. It took a half an hour, but we finally got you in and because you smelled like outside now, Bandit didn’t recognize you anymore and you two started fighting. That lasted two days before I finally got advice to put a little of your dad’s cologne on you both so you would both smell the same and magically, it worked like a charm.
You and your brother were scared to death when you human brother came into the world. You wanted nothing to do with him, but you compromised because you had to if you wanted daddy’s lap. Kiddo in dad’s arm, you in dad’s lap. I would try to hold you, but you could care less about me, you were dad’s cat.
When your kitty brother ran away, you seemed lonely at first, but then got closer to your human brother, so we didn’t get another kitty.
Later we ended up adopting two dogs. You were the queen of the house though, those dogs ran in fear from you. They knew better than to even sniff in your general direction.
When your dad and I split, he took the dogs and I took you because dad was not himself and I worried you would get the short end of the stick when dad was having bad days.
You were never super close to me, but once we moved, you became very affectionate with me. You dominate our home now too. The two adopted kitties I have now, know who is boss and NEVER get in your way.
You’ve been declining in health for a while now. You don’t hear well, you seem to get lost and I’m not sure how well you see either. You just lick most of your food now and miss the litter box more than you make it, but you seemed content to this point.
Today when I cleaned your litter box though, I found pink. You have the saw-dust pellets for litter, so they are usually just brown or yellowish. I’ve never seen them pink before. I cleaned it all out and put a different batch in there, in case it was just a different type of wood used for that batch, but tomorrow we will know for sure. If it continues to be pink, that is blood in your urine. While I could put you on antibiotics, this is just the second time in less than a year that I would be dragging you to the vet after 19 years of never needing to be seen. I feel like this is just the beginning of the end and the last thing I want is for you to suffer in the end. So if there is pink tomorrow, I think I know what I have to do.
It will be so hard, but you have been so loved for 20 years, and I know it’s right not to make the end bad by hanging on too long.
Your name was taken from the song Kokomo, because your dad and I would go to the Florida keys to get away and had so many wonderful memories there watching the performers with the cats and visiting the store for cats, that we wanted to be reminded of that happiness anytime we looked at you. Now anytime I hear that song, I will be reminded of the happiness you brought me.
I love you pretty kitty Kokomo. See you in the next life.