Maui Cats

I’ve been in Maui two weeks, visiting friends, and today we stopped at a pet store here on the island. I was petting the adorable feral kittens up for adoption, and a very mellow adult cat. I think his name was Jonathan.

Playing with the kittens was fun, but it when I started petting Jonathan, it felt so wonderful.. and comforting.

I realized there were tears falling down my face, and it dawned on me that I haven’t petted a cat since Cokie died. And I haven’t lived this long without a cat of my own in 40 years. I wiped my face and collected myself and decided to get right to that road trip Michael and I were going to take before we got another pet.

We needed some time to get over losing Cokie. This is the first time I’ve been away since he’s been gone, and I keep catching myself about to ask how he is or what he’s doing when I call home.

I don’t want to live without a cat anymore.

Soon…

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Jonathan & the Feral Kittens

Cokie the Cat Memorial Celebration

Tonight we had a Cokie the Cat memorial celebration.  I thought I was doing OK, almost 3 months since he passed, but Christmas hit me like a ton of bricks. I posted about dealing with Chrismas after the Loss of a Pet last night, and decided to celebrate him BIG TIME on Christmas, rather than letting it be so sad.

We made a Christmas toast to Cokie – a lot of toasts, actually, as part of a belated memorial celebration. We drank a whole bottle of pink champagne (’cause that’s my favorite kind!), ate potato chips and too much candy from our stockings (Almond Roca and Good & Plenty : ? ), and watched Cokie videos.

We laughed and cried and hugged each other. We lighted sage to take away the sadness, and sweet grass for good energy and good memories. We cut through the negativitay with candles and incense and our Tibetan singing bowl. We made our living room table into a Cokie altar with a portrait, his box of ashes and a few simple things

a christmas toast to cokie the cat

It started simply enough.

After a while and more champagne, Michael brought out a half a package of the Poise pads we used to put in Cokie’s manpants. That did it…

We added a branch from our Christmas bouquet that he’d be chewing on if he were here right now, a dish of his favorite bonita flakes, the few toys of his we didn’t give away, his black denim manpants, which I kept when I gave away all his others (and I put just one poise pad up there to represent the big bag), his business cards, our “MOL Merry Christmas!” Cokie Claus mug, the card Wanda (@MaggieTKat) sent us with the locket from his anipal friends, his Anipal Academy Award, his painted rock portrait (with manpants) from @TinyPearlCat – and more.

And don’t think Plush Cokie, @JazzydaCat & @PepiSmartDog weren’t represented. My iphone had just died at that point. We had a Cokie the Cat memorial party.

cat memorial

We got a little carried away. =^..^=

We laughed about the funny things he used to do and how I was both his mama and his bitch.  ; )

We talked about how brave and handsome and strong and awesome he was, what a HUGE personality he had, and how lucky we were that he picked me that day at the shelter – then, how he probably put his giant tiger paw on every nose that got close enough at the shelter! Maybe I was the only one to fall for his ploy. Ha!

We reminded each other that while he was our best Christmas present every year, we were also the best thing that ever happened to him, every day, every year, and that he lived his life to the fullest and got every last drop out of it. He was a real piece of work, that little fluffy guy. So there’s nothing to regret.

We can miss him, but we no longer have to mourn him. He will always be Michael’s luck dragon and my heart cat.

Thank you all for your love and kindness during our grieving. Michael wanted this private but I explained that I wanted to share our entire story, even the deeply sad and personal part, because it would help me to express it and hopefully release it, and it might help someone some day, trying to find their own way through the loss of a pet – to the joy of having experienced such love and the growth as a human being that goes with it, that finally comes on the other side.

How lucky was I to be Cokie the Cat’s mom? Very!

Merry Christmas!

Love,
Kristin

Christmas After the Loss of a Pet

Christmas, soon after the loss of a pet has got to be painful for everyone. This is our first Christmas without Cokie. My first Christmas ever without a pet at all. But Cokie was my heart cat. My friend, Jenna Gates, wrote a post some time ago about what a ‘heart dog‘ is. The One. Your soulmate.

christmas after the loss of a pet

Cokie of Christmas Past

Cokie was the love of my life. My familiar. He was mine but I was equally his, as he became the dominant male the minute Michael walked out the door.  ; ) He was hilarious and dashing and charming and brave and bold and handsome and he took a piece of my soul when he finally decided – and told me – that it was his time.

christmas after the loss of a pet

Christmas Eve – Donating Cokie’s Things -Now Walk Away…

I thought it had been long enough. (86 days, but who’s counting?) I thought I was going to be good with taking all his towels and bowls and toys and his manpants to the Operation Blankets of Love collection site yesterday. We set all of his things along side all the other people’s donations… and we walked away.

I’m glad that homeless animals will get some sense of comfort from Cokie’s well loved things, but right now, I can’t sleep. All I can think of is that I just gave away all his things when normally I’d have been buying him gifts in that same store.

He won’t be here to rummage through his stocking, and play with ribbon and wrapping paper all day. To eat all the shrimp he wants, and to be our best Christmas present ever, as we told him he was every Christmas for 18 years.

Christmas after the loss of a pet is hard. After the loss of a heart pet, if Christmas is as big a deal to you as it is to me, it’s surreal and two boxes of tissues sad. We’ll never have another Cokie. I’ve had six cats and a border collie and while they were all wonderful and much loved, Cokie was completely different.

How to Make it Better

I just realized we were too busy working on a movie to honor the traditional Buddhist 49th day after Cokie’s death, as we had with Wynnie. Perhaps we can do that tonight – concentrate on the wonderful gift he was in our lives for so long, and how much love he gave – and received – drink some champagne, light a candle and some sage, and release him joyfully. Or as joyfully as we can.

Christmas After the Loss of a Pet

Cokie the Cat: Hollywood Insider

Cheers. To Cokie the Cat. Such a wonderful spirit. Bigger than life. Bigger than death. My heart cat. Tonight we’ll celebrate you. Merry Christmas, Cokie.

Love,
Kristin
The Mama

 

Cokie Donates to Operation Blankets of Love for Homeless Pets

cokie donates to operation blankets of love for homeless petsOn Christmas Eve, we’re loading up the 4Runner with Cokie’s belongings to take to Operation Blankets of Love. We’ve had a tough time letting anything of his go since he passed on in October. Now seems the perfect time though…

Cokie Donates to Operation Blankets of Love for homeless pets

Cokie in his Man Pants

You may know Cokie was incontinent the last 6 of his 19 years because of a childhood palm tree stunt. He wore Simple Solution fabric velcro ‘pants’ – diapers made for female dogs in heat – and he wore them well.

He wore his pants whenever he left his room (his bathroom) and went nekid in his room, so we had lots of towels we’d spread on the floor for his accidents, that happened more and more often as he aged.

Cokie Donates to Operation Blankets of Love for homeless pets

Cokie’s Towels

So, we bagged up all his man pants , towels, bowls, and all but his very favorite toys (which are with him on our bookcase), and they’re all ready to take to a drop point for Operation Blankets of Love based in Granada Hills – in L.A.’s San Fernando Valley.

Cokie Donates to Operation Blankets of Love for homeless pets

Cokie’s toys & man pants

Here’s a YouTube Video about Operation Blankets of Love on NBCLA.

I hope a lot of homeless pets are warmer and feel more comfortable because of Cokie’s gifts, and that it makes them more likely to be adopted. And I wish, of course, that they all do get adopted !

If you want to help, you can donate blankets, towels or pet toys – or money, so the organization can purchase exactly what the pets need at each shelter.

NOTE: Great last minute Christmas present =  A donation in the recipient’s name to Operation Blankets of Love!

Happy Holidays!
Love,
Kristin

Pet Friendly Hollywood

My movie is done, my cold’s winding down, and it’s beginning to feel a lot like Christmas! ; )

hollywood

Just finished this movie job.

Thanks everyone for bearing with me while I’ve been getting through all of this, along with my shoulder injury and, of course, trying to figure out how to move on here without Cokie’s head or paw on my foot..

I’ll soon be back to my old multi-tasking self: Working with BlogPaws and on my two blogs – this one and ImNotEvenKidding.com – and jumping onto the occasional film or TV project.

pet friendly hollywood

View from the pet-friendly L.A. film permit office: FilmLA

I’ve had so many people over the years asking me where to go and what to do when they visit Hollywood that I’ve decided to make that a new part of this blog, rather than only sharing the fun Hollywood stuff I do. If you have any specific Hollywood questions, email me at cokiethecat at gmail dot com, and I’ll try to answer you directly and/or post about it, to share with everyone.

I’ll still be talking about special needs pets, rescues, and pets in general, and Twitter, hosting giveaways, etc. I’ll just be adding more practical Hollywood info – especially pet friendly Hollywood info.

So thanks for hanging in there, and we’ll chat soon!
Kristin

My New Lifestyle Blog “I’m Not Even Kidding” GIVEAWAY

Hello friends,

I’ve been very busy location managing a movie, leaving me very little time for anything else, but it’s almost finished. I’ll get to work on the reinvention of this blog and my new site: ImNotEvenKidding.com.

Over there, I’ll be have a lot of great giveaways & gift ideas, and a lot of my own takes on style, spirit – and, of course, animals!  ; )

Check out my new blog!

Check out my new blog!

My new blog’s first Giveaway ends Nov 25 at 11:59pm PST

My sponsor, Debra’s Diving Designs, will send the winner a GORGEOUS pair of matching Blue Morpho Butterfly Wing Pendants – one for you and one for your BFF, mother, daughter, wife, girlfriend, sister, favorite guy who really likes butterflies – LOL.  Or give them both away for the holidays…

Enter my Giveaway to win this set NOW!

Enter my Giveaway to win this set NOW!

I’ve had tons of entries but nowhere near as many anipals as I’d hoped. You know I’d love one of you to win!

Anyway, check out the giveaway and Debra’s beautiful cruelty free butterfly jewelry (she’s a dog and cat mom, too) over on my other blog, and follow ImNotEvenKidding.com so you don’t miss anything. Next up are giveaways for a watercolor pet portrait, Sari Saks, and diamond and sterling earrings!

Celebrity Cat Fun Coming Up For The Holidays

I’ll have more fun pet stuff going on here, too. I’ll be meeting Grumpy Cat, Colonel Meow, Nala Cat, Hamilton the Hipster Cat and Oskar the Blind Cat at a Friskies Holiday event at Capitol Records here in Hollywood next month, and of course I’ll share that with you!

Love you guys,

Kristin

Happy Dia De Los Muertos! =^..^=

dia de los muertos cokie locketOctober’s always been my favorite month, with my birthday and Halloween, but this has been my worst October ever.

Now it’s November 1st, the Day of the Dead ~ Dia de los Muertos. A holiday I love, when I make altars and remember my friends, family – and of course my pets – who’ve gone on ahead.

They’re going full blast right now at Hollywood Forever Cemetery, and I’d normally be joining the festivities decked out in my skeleton makeup, but I’m too tired tonight, and I’m having my private memorial at home this year.

It’s very tender, being so close to losing my Cokie boy cat, but I got a lot of comfort out of creating his – and Wynnie’s – altar.

dia de los muertos cokie
I received the beautiful gold heart locket at the top of this post in the  mail this week – engraved with a C for Cokie on the back – from my dear friend Wanda @maggietkat on behalf of Cokie’s wonderful online anipal friends. (Thank you.)

Then, at the production office for the movie I’m working on, my amazing production coordinator gave me this yesterdaydia de los muertos cokie dog tag morning… It’s a dog tag, with Cokie Kokopelli 10-1-2013 on the back. So sweet, Wendy.

The kindness of friends and strangers, and now Dia de los Muertos, have gotten me through my grief and out the other side. In retrospect, of course, he was 19 years old and we didn’t really expect him to live forever. We just wanted him to.

I think I’m ready now to toss Cokie’s last (clean) box of litter, give away all his toys (except his tomato) and his pants (except the pair that fits Plush Cokie), and put his bed in the closet until we adopt again.

Life goes on.

Salud!

Kristin

Thank You For The Days

It’s been ten days since my last post in which we said goodbye to Cokie. Thank you all for your kind words, prayers and love. They’ve been very comforting and much appreciated. We’re finally beyond the worst of it, and now just missing our boy and… adjusting. It feels like the whole world just shifted and I’ve done a lot of thinking about where I want to go from here. I’m going to continue his blog, but in my own voice. I’ll be taking over Cokie’s Twitter account, too. I’ll still cover pet events in and around Hollywood, host great giveaways, and work with rescues and on animal welfare projects. I’m still working for BlogPaws, now as their Be The Change For Pets manager, and on films, and I hope to see a lot of you at BlogPaws 2014 in May at Lake Las Vegas.

Meanwhile, please take a moment to listen to this song that we’ve been singing all week, and think of those you’ve loved who’ve gone away.

Love you guys,
Kristin

Days by The Kinks on Grooveshark

kristin cokie thank you for the days

Goodnight sweet prince. =^..^=

Up until Sunday, Cokie has been happy and vital despite his ailments. Monday night he seemed listless, but then he did enjoy being in the bushes in the courtyard. He ate and drank and picked up quite a bit when we gave him some SubQ fluids. Something was definitely ‘off’ though.

Goodnight Sweet Prince

Cokie sleeping in better times

Last night he wouldn’t even let us pet him. He started having trouble breathing during my Twitter chat, then very quickly started shutting down. We had to admit that it was his time. Scrappy to the end, he was determined to make it to 20, but it wasn’t going to happen. He was suffering and it wasn’t going to get better. He was done. So we made the call at 8pm.

We were blessed that a lovely veterinarian couple answered the phone and were willing to come to our home on a second’s notice. We were worried he’d put up a fight, since he usually turns into a man eating tiger within two blocks of a vet, but he was ready, and he went to sleep more peacefully than we ever could have hoped.

Goodnight sweet prince

6 years ago – when man pants were ‘new’ =^..^=

Goodbye Sweet Prince

Cokie getting his favorite ear scrunches from the mama

We’ve gone back and forth these last 7 hours again and again – me using up an entire box of Kleenex. Did we do the right thing? How could we have Cokie put down?? Will we ever stop feeling guilty and wrong and like bad parents to our adopted boy?

The truth, of course, is that we gave Cokie a great life. We did everything possible to keep him with us as long as he could, including having wear him diapers for the last six yeas, and taking separate vacations because he just wasn’t down with anyone but us taking care of him.

We did good by him. We shouldn’t feel bad, just sad that we’ll miss him for a very long time.

Cokie the Cat. What a wonderful story you lived! What a true friend. We loved each other more than words can express.

Our beautiful boy. Our luck dragon. Cokie Kokopelli the kitty kachina. Our talking cat.

It’s silent in our apartment tonight.
Even Hollywood Boulevard is quiet.

Goodnight Sweet Prince =^..^=
We’re going to miss you so much.
Your loving mama,
Kristin

Thank you all for your kind words.

We love you all!

✿•*¨`*•.♥.•*¨`*•✿

=^..^=

Cokie’s Emmy Awards Celebrity Swag Giveaway No. 1

I promised you an Emmy Awards Celebrity Swag Giveaway (or rather, a few) and here’s your first one! Saturday I attended the GBK Pre-Emmy Celebrity Gift Lounge at the W Hollywood Hotel for the 64th Annual Emmy Awards, thanks to a very nice invitation from Presenting Sponsor: NEW Tidy Cats LightWeight. (Thanks, Molly!)

I got lots of cool swag, and you know I remembered YOU and asked for extra to give away to my wonderful readers who live vicariously through moi. You can see my earlier post about that here. =^..^=

Emmy Awards Celebrity Swag Giveaway #1: The Artisan Group Press Bag

Oh yes, you’re going to love this one. The Artisan Group (@theartisangroup) was another sponsor of GPK’s Primetime Emmys Gift Lounge. The Artisan Group introduces independent artisans’ handcrafted items to celebrities, industry leaders and members of the press.

The artists might not be able to afford to get their products into an Emmy Awards celebrity swag bag on their own, but collaboratively, The Artisan Group makes it much more affordable. And in this case, they’re making it possible for me to give my readers one of these srsly awesome swag bags, containing beautiful handmade items from TEN different craftsmen – including a gorgeous paw print themed lampwork beaded bracelet created by my dog blogger (and jewelry maker) pal Susan Kottwitz at ForLoveofaDog.com.

Check out all the items you could win, below, and check out all the artisans’ websites, too!

emmy awards celebrity swag

How to Enter to win The Artisan Group’s Emmy Press Swag Bag

For this giveaway, I’m going with Rafflecopter.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good Luck!
Cokie the Cat: Hollywood Insider
=^..^=

Full disclosure: Mom & Dad attended the GBK Luxury Gift Lounge honoring the nominees and presenters of the 2013 Emmy Awards September 21st, 2013 at the W Hollywood Hotel, as guests of NEW Tidy Cats LightWeight 24/7 Performance. Mom received free Emmy Awards celebrity swag bag items from sponsors of the GBK Lounge, including The Artisan Group, Helzberg Diamonds, imPRESS Press On Manicure by Broadway Nails and No Think Diet, and was treated to samples from gourmet sponsors Prima Dolce Company, Blondie’s Cookies, Lovely Candy Company, Total Wine & More and Truett Hurst. Despite all that – all our opinions remain our own!

I requested and received an extra Emmy Awards Celebrity Swag Bag from The Artisan Group to give away to my readers in a contest. The winner will receive a swag bag designed for members of the Press with products from: wagsandwiggles.etsy.comsariblue.comshadyladychic.comsociety6.com/galaxyeyesweebindery.etsy.comCourtenayJDesigns.etsy.comstringingalong.comthelovelysmith.etsy.comloralyndesigns.comforloveofadog.com