Balzac’s first blog hop: Nola and Sugar’s Black and White Sunday Blog Hop!
Welcome to the “new” Cokie the Cat: Hollywood Insider – Introducing BALZAC the boy cat!
It’s been 8 months since Cokie went over the Rainbow Bridge, and I wasn’t sure what would become of his blog. Now, however, we have a sweet new boy cat, and it’s pretty clear that he’s up to the challenge of following in Cokie’s very large pawsteps – despite his own medium-sized paws. He loves sitting in the window looking out onto Hollywood Boulevard, and trying to figure out who’s who and what’s what. We’ll help him with all that, of course.
So, allow me to introduce Balzac the Cat – Our first foster cat, and our first foster-fail. ; )
Balzac already has quite a story, though we’ve only had him a short while and he’s just over a year old. We’ll be filling you in, sharing the somewhat unusual situations he (and we) found ourselves in during our first month together, and following him as a cat growing up in Hollywood. ; )
We need to help him understand the concept of scratching posts, let us clip his nails, calm down his play aggression, figure out the best kind of collar, maybe try teaching him to walk on a lead and ride well in the car… Perhaps we’ll even try to clicker train him.
We have a lot to learn, and to teach him, and we’ll be doing a lot of research, and looking to you and top cat behavior experts for tips and advice. We’ll also have some good reviews and giveaways, and a lot of other fun stuff!
Of course, no one will ever replace our sweet Cokie, but there is a new Hollywood Insider in the house. Wish the little guy luck!
Whoops! This post from last year accidentally reposted itself… June is Adopt a Cat month, though, and Manxi is STILL up for adoption. : \ Let’s try and get this kitty a home already!
Cat lover, blogger, graphic artist, amazing human Ann Adamus from Zoolatry, created this beautiful badge for Adopt a Cat month. (Thank you, Ann!)
Please take it and use it for your Adopt a Cat month posts!
Are you thinking about adopting a kitty? There are a lot of ways to do it. You can go to your local animal shelters or rescues, pet adoption fairs…
Or if you’re super particular and want a very specific kitty - you can narrow your search in lots of ways: By city or zip code, by breed, color, age and/or sex!
Or you can choose a kitty from your couch. ; ) My friend Jane Harrell works at a great organization called PetFinder.com. They make it crazy easy to find just the kind of cat you’re looking for. They have every category of pet you could imagine: dog, rabbit, ferret, horse, bird, reptile, fish, pig – even barnyard animals!
Their search engine holds 344,693 adoptable pets from 13,639 adoption groups!
Try it! Click on the PetFinder.com logo and find the cat of your dreams! (No, I’m not in there. I’m taken. Sorry, ladies…)
For example, I just went to Petfinder.com and put in my Hollywood zip code, searched for Ragdoll cats and BAM! Check out this handsome Ragdoll/Manx mix up for adoption just a few miles away, in Venice, CA. He looks like a clean cut version of me! And look how he’s all snuggly in someone’s arms… Anyone want to adopt Manxi!? Go get him!
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.
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
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
On 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…
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.
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.
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!
My movie is done, my cold’s winding down, and it’s beginning to feel a lot like Christmas! ; )
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.
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!
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! ; )
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…
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,