So today is National Cat Day. I love the fact that there is always a “holiday” that gives you an excuse to eat unhealthy food or, in this case, write a lengthy blog post about your pets.
To Cooper, every day is National Cat Day. There are no days of the year where he is treated anything less than spoiled rotten. I decided to “celebrate” by telling you all about him.
I wouldn’t have Cooper in my life, though, if I didn’t have Paisley in it first. She was my first cat (and my first “major” pet). I was weeks away from graduating college and was, as to be expected, incredibly stressed out. Although I haven’t disclosed anything about my mental health on this blog yet, I was still un-diagnosed at this point. My emotions were all over the place and I was just struggling to stay afloat.
My mom advised me that this was NOT the best time to be bringing an animal in my life that I knew nothing about (I had never had a cat before). She was probably right (moms often are, hi mom), but I am so glad that I went to the Humane Society with my friend Jenna that night. The next day, after my Euro Government class, I went back to the shelter to bring Paisley home.
She was already 8 years old when I adopted her back in 2008. For several years she still loved playing; her favorite types of toys were things on a string that she could chase and pounce on. Plastic bags were her jam; she was obsessed with laying on them and pawing on them. Despite being a major lap cat, she was quite skittish if you approached her too fast or tried to pick her up. Unfortunately, signs pointed to a past of abuse for her. I did everything in my power, for the nearly 7 years I had her, to assure her that she was incredibly special and greatly loved.
In February of 2015, when I was packing up to move back to Minnesota, I noticed a bump on her chest. I’ll never forget that moment. I could feel my heart breaking and the tears immediately started falling. I walked out into the main living area of my apartment — I had to keep her in my bedroom with me to keep her calm as the movers were doing their thing — and told my mom what I found. Although she and the moving guy tried to instill hope, I knew it was the beginning of the end.
In April, the tumor ruptured. I took her to the emergency vet. An X-ray showed me an entire body filled with cancer. I put her down a day and a half later.
Losing Paisley was absolutely devastating. I know with Cooper it isn’t going to be any easier even though I’ve been through it before. Death never gets easier. But I knew I couldn’t go one DAY without a cat. As Paisley was resting with me, I looked on the Humane Society site and saw Cooper’s face. I knew he had to be the one. His name had been Bunny, he was a year old, and he had come to the shelter with three of his siblings. According to the information they gave me, he came from a home with too many animals. He seemed too healthy to have come from a hoard; at least, I hope so.
While I rescued him, Cooper has undoubtedly saved my life too, time after time. He is such a good cat. When I’m sick either physically or mentally, he is always there. No matter what I’m doing in my apartment, he has to be near me. Every time I get home, whether I’m gone for 2 hours or 2 days, he acts like he hasn’t seen me in years. He meows at me for 10-15 minutes straight, telling me about his day (I assume; I don’t speak cat). He not only sits on my lap; he snuggles up my chest and even nuzzles my neck. The guy goes crazy for laser pointers (and refuses to play with any of the other toys I have bought him). He can get a little mouthy but he thinks he is being cute by giving me what I call “love bites”. Unlike Paisley, he’s still too active at night to lay with me, but he’s all about laying with me when I’m taking naps during the day (when I do). I am constantly ripping little plastic wrappers out of his mouth because he loves to chew on anything that is plastic. He has way too many quirks to list. In the many years that follow, I’m sure he will develop a bunch of new ones. I’m sure Cooper will show his face on my blog again. Rest assured.
So there you have it. I loved you, Paisley, and I always will. I love you, Cooper. ADOPT DON’T SHOP. xo