When we brought Cooper home at eight-weeks-old, I had no idea what Cooper’s future would entail. All I knew was Cooper was joining our family, and we would give him love and anything he needed to have the best possible life we could provide. Life was good for Cooper, and we enjoyed each and very moment with him. We took in a kitten knowing good and well that Cooper would eventually become and adult cat into a senior cat. Each stage of life with Cooper has been precious, and they were and are lasting but seem fleeting in hindsight.
Cooper was essentially a healthy kitten and adult cat. He has always been an indoor cat to ensure that we could protect Cooper from the dangers and risks from the outdoors. He received regular vet check-ups along with the essentials that any cat needs. Cooper was not a special needs cat when he became a part of our family. With most “healthy” cats, it is difficult to predict what health conditions they will have in the future. There are some diseases or ailments that can easily develop with age, but there are also diseases that are not predictable in a cat. I did everything I knew to do to keep Cooper as healthy as possible, but not matter what, sickness and health are part of life.
Cats become seniors around age seven, but when Cooper turned seven, he was just living life as usual. There was no instant change as soon as Cooper became a senior cat. However, within the years to come, Cooper experienced severe urinary blocks, developed hyperthyroidism (which is common in senior cats). Cooper later developed epilepsy, hypertension, re-occurring pancreatitis, suspected irritable bowel syndrome, kidney disease, and, most recently, pancreatic cancer. So, Cooper did not get the senior life I had hoped, but rather he has his fair share of illness and disease. However, he always had and still has more good days than bad!
Caring for Cooper is easy as it is hard. Administering the medications on a regular schedule (on a cat that will not take pills willingly), daily subcutaneous fluids (again, on a cat that is not a fan), checking blood pressure, chemotherapy, regular vet checkups and lab work, finding prescription food that Cooper will eat and like and still like the next week, and the list goes on. We schedule our lives to ensure Cooper’s treatment is never compromised. It can be stressful and it is expensive. But it is easy and worth every tear and every penny because just like Cooper was living the life back in his early days, Cooper is still living the good life! He just has a few extra needs these days! Cooper is not suffering rather he is still thriving! What has made all of the difference is Cooper has a doctor and clinic that does not stop trying to treat Cooper because he has aged.
I welcomed a kitten into my life knowing good and well there were no guarantees. No matter the outcome may be, caring for Cooper was never in question. Cooper is not just our cat he is part of our family! Cooper gives us more joy and love in our lives each and every day. I will continue to care for Cooper as long as life and Cooper will allow. His love will last beyond his existence, and I can truly say, we honor every precious loving moment with Cooper.
Thank you, Cooper, for being equally tough and headstrong as you are sweet and loving! Most of all thank you for accepting my love and care! You continue to amaze me every day and have inspired me with your bravery! I love you, my sweet boy!