Cocoa (1/26/20-1/26/24)

I had put in a Target order for coffee. But the only store that had any left (Dunkin, pumpkin) in January was the Greenacres store.

So, Momma and I took the ride. Armed with birdseed, because the property has a little reservoir where dozens gather.

After we fed ducks, we drove behind the store to see if there were any others who could use a beakful.

There was a gorgeous gray kitty lounging under a Target truck. I didn’t see her but Momma did. Momma said pull over and she sent me into the store for food.

I came out with Kitten Chow and a couple cans. Cocoa knew I was a friend and let me come into her space.

She gobbled everything I had to offer. I asked her if she wanted to come home with me, but she settled back into her spot.

First photo:

I promised to come feed her again. And we did … every night till April 4, 2020, when I finally succeeded in catnapping her.

Gotcha day:

We attracted at least a dozen more kiddos. And birdos who eat cat food. We came back every day for a year before some illiterate Target employee got us escorted off the premises.

Legend had it that a lady in the trailer park next door had taken on 16 cats but was ordered to stop either housing or feeding them. A man with broken English told me this, so thats all I got of Cocoa’s origin story.

Cocoa always got the first food I doled out. And when we had rotisserie chicken, mom’s job to distribute, she always gave Cocoa the most. Cokie was her little “Nibble Nibble Munchkin.”

Then Cocoa would stroll with me around the parking lot. She would sample what I gave other kitties, since they all liked different flavors and brands and I tried to accommodate who liked what.

I made it a point to never post about Cocoa on social media. I was nervous that someone crazy in that neighborhood would try to harm her. So I posted about the rest and kept my little treasure to myself.

First “us-ie”:

After I finally got my girl, I finally stopped sobbing all the way home without her.

I wasn’t in the market for a new cat. But I literally died every night when the feeding time, evening stroll and saying-bye ritual had concluded.

I enjoyed new rituals that involved baby blankets and her grooming me to sleep at night.

My little Cubbie. She didn’t even look real once she lost the stress from being outside in the heat amid the trucks and the drunks of Greenacres.

Baby bear cub:

Alas, I loved this baby so much that I never missed an opportunity to hug and kiss her.

She loved me back from day one. She purred louder than any Mustang I’ve ever driven when I would say her name or touch her.

I took her to the vet four days after I nabbed her. Can’t tell you how many thousands we would go on to spend on vet bills, or tens of thousands on specialty foods and meds. And chickies, ribbies, turkeys, cheeseburgers, etc. That child loved spices!

Moar please:

I have always worried about this child but she has always bounced back from some really bad days.

And she was an excellent road trip partner:

But last Wednesday the 24th, she refused chickie and the dark meat turkey I specially ordered for her from Sprouts. Which is as close to a red flag as you can get with her.

On Thursday, she refused the Lil Soups and Delectables and even the watery Weruva and Tiki Cat baby mousse that she had just devoured two days earlier.

So I made my final work call (to offer someone a job) at 1 and called off for the next day. I took Cocoa out to the balcony and rejoiced that she would drink water and sleep.

She never minded my presence or my Mardi Gras toes:

She had a hard 32 hours.

Every time I picked her up to hug her, she immediately nuzzled and loved on me, like always.

We spent most of Friday in the living room. She only showed energy when I hugged her.

It was like she saw death coming and fought like hell to get back to the floor, to the little plastic lid she loved to sleep in on my bed. Her claws never retracted. So she hated fabrics. She preferred the cold marble floor and Costco boxes and this lid.

Cokie’s last photo. She left me soon after:

I have a thousand more photos and a million stories to tell about the baby who made me love again. She is the reason I acquired nine others. It all started with her.

She gets to leave a legacy. I ordered her final methimazole refill two weeks ago. When I parted with the $80, something told me she wouldn’t use it. But with weather events, I wanted to have it anyway.


I asked my FB crew to DM me if they could use it. And I mailed it off to an adorable tortoise cat — same colors as Cokie — who lives in Baltimore.

I also sent foodz. My lil jabronis haven’t had an appetite since Sissy went away. And it costs too much to toss.

Baltimore kitty got his package last night. And his brother, who also has health problems, loved the food I sent.

So, my baby’s legacy lives on in more than just my broken heart.

On her way out of this world, something told me pick her up. It is your last chance.

She fought, of course. Her little headdy rested on my shoulder for a few moments but whatever came for her, came. And she was mad as hell to leave her momma.

I kept her in my arms and she quickly went limp, her adorable little bummy on my lap.

We sang all of Cocoa’s songs. I didn’t cry or lift her to look at me. I knew, just “love her out.”

I always called her my baby. But I was hers, too.

I wrapped her in her giraffe baby blankets, put her in her box lid, and put her where she used to sleep on my bed next to my head.

We have two aquamation places here. One was as rude as the other, when I called the next day. But the one I picked did a nice job and, one more annoying interaction later, I have my baby back for good.

I only had her four years. But I loved her with all I had. I always always always will.

I cried while she was alive, knowing this day would come. I just wish it hadn’t come so soon.

Even now, I say bye to her when I leave … say good morning, Totes when I wake up (she always came to the bathroom for morning scritches) … and say “night-nite, Totes” first before I say it to Momma, Bella and Magic as I fall asleep.

She will never not be first. My Momma understands. Momma callee


Night-nite, Totes. Your momma loves you to the moon and to Saturn.

You weren’t just my best friend. You were my best four years.

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