For the past few weeks, I have shared the stories of the people that made Cooper’s life possible. There is one final thank you that I want to share. That thank you is to my sweet boy, Cooper.
Cooper joined our family just one day after my husband and I lost our cat to an illness that he was born with and life expectancy was short. I was heartbroken, and my husband just wanted to cheer me up. So, he asked me if I would go on an errand with him. I had no idea that my husband was taking me to one of his colleagues’ house that had a cat with eight-week-old kittens. I was not ready for another cat just after losing ours the day before. I stood in this room filled with happy little kittens, but all I could think about was our cat that had passed away. But, this tiny kitten kept crawling on my purse and on my legs. The other kittens just went about their business, but this one tabby kitten kept climbing on me. I picked him up, and the rest was history. That was the moment Cooper chose me, and I chose him. Still grieving the loss of our cat, Cooper managed filled my heart and life with unconditional love and joy from that day on.
For those that have kindly followed this blog and read the stories of Cooper’s health conditions, his younger days were not filled with vet appointments, medications, surgeries, or middle of the nights drives to the emergency clinic. Cooper’s life was filled scratch pads, cat trees, catnip, chasing toys, jumping on counters, and chatting with the birds. Cooper had fun climbing up the Christmas trees, knocking off his kitty ornaments from the tree, opening up his presents under the Christmas tree. Cooper always enjoyed a warm bed snuggled right next to me at night and quality coffee time on the sofa in the morning! Life was good! Cooper was there with me trough the good times, bad times, and everything in between! Cooper’s life was full of joy, and that is why I fought to give him that same joy as life progressed no matter what obstacle we faced.
The early days when Cooper was an unstoppable feisty kitty!
Not even a narrow mantel would stop Cooper from checking on his Christmas stocking!
The Christmas trees were just another exciting cat tree for Cooper!
On the rare occasion that we got snow, Cooper would curiously explore the snow (supervised) only to run back inside to the warm house in less than a minute!
I would always find Cooper basking in the sun!
He always managed to find the warm and shining rays of the sun somewhere in the house!
Cooper always stayed close to me day and night.
My sweet boy never left my side nor would I leave him.
Cooper had some hard days!
But without a doubt, Cooper had so many more glorious days!
Cooper always made the final decision if the bed would be made or not!
We had plenty of goofy times together!
More so, Cooper had a simply beautiful life filled with love!
And, plenty of cat naps!
His last Christmas was filled with joy and his favorite ornaments, just as when he was a kitten!
Cooper was brave. He adapted to the many environments that he was faced with. Whether it was a week away from home and no visitors while he received radioactive iodine therapy, or having to stay at his clinic overnight to recover from a surgery or receive round the clock care. He gave his opinion to all of the doctors, but he toughed it all out so he could get the care and treatment he needed. Even when Cooper accepted death, he was brave.
Cooper was tenacious. No matter what ailments came his way, such as bladder stones, hyperthyroidism, epilepsy, kidney disease, or even cancer, Cooper was not rattled. He persevered through each challenge like a champion. Even in chemotherapy, Cooper continued to impress us with what he could work through and still have physical victories in the midst of a terminal disease!
Cooper was resilient. I have never seen a cat nor a human recover from surgeries or procedures and take treatments like Cooper did. Cooper may have had an array of challenges, but along with the expertise of his doctor, Cooper would always bounce back. Cooper had three major surgeries in his life. He had a perineal urethrostomy, exploratory surgery to remove a tumor from his pancreas and remove his spleen, and another exploratory surgery to determine the extent of his cancer. Cooper managed to get through each hard and long recovery and become the success that we all knew he had in him. He never asked for pity, and he rallied through each hardship to an even stronger and wiser Cooper than before.
Cooper was vulnerable. The reason why Cooper could get the help he needed was his willingness to show his weaknesses to me. Many cats will hide their illnesses for survival instincts, but Cooper trusted me to help him when he was in need of help. When he knew something was wrong, instead of hiding it, he trusted me with his vulnerability. When Cooper started to show signs of hyperthyroidism, he would have what we later learned to be thyroid storms. He would walk up to me when these thyroid storms occurred, which allowed me to reach out to his doctor for help. When Cooper started showing subtle signs of epilepsy, he had bouts of confusion among other physical signs. He did not hide under the bed or in the closet. Instead of putting a guard up, he reached out for help and security.
Cooper was sensitive. No matter what Cooper went through he was not hardened nor resentful. If anything, he became even more loving and affectionate. I and a small few experienced the sensitive side of Cooper. Cooper could detect pain, emotional and physical, from us. There were occasions where Cooper detected an ailment in us before we knew there was a problem. Cooper’s extra close attention made sense once we figured out we had something wrong. When I recovered from two knee surgeries, Cooper laid on the bed with me staying right next to my leg. When I could move to the sofa, Cooper was right there again next to my leg. He was always right there taking care of us too!
Some people have given me credit for braving through the years when Cooper needed help the most, but is was all Cooper. I loved him unconditionally, and I just so happen to be extremely stubborn. It was Cooper that taught me the balance of courage and strength while holding on to vulnerability and sensitivity! Cooper inspired me with his bravery, tenacity, and resilience from the day he came into my life to the moment he left. Although the loss of Cooper has been devastating, the life of Cooper has been full of strength in love that still remains. I am in awe of how Cooper lived his life, and I am honored to be a part!
I love you, my sweet boy. I love you, Cooper!
Lin Gilk says
Thank you for reading Cooper’s story!