RIP Koko

It’s been a month since we lost our cat, Koko, very suddenly.

Although she seemed to have lost a bit of weight in the days preceding her death, we chocked this up to her being outside so much in the nice weather.  She had otherwise been fine with no obvious symptoms of illness.  But then, she got sick overnight, throwing up a couple different times then Shea found her in the morning, dead.

Shea and I are both from farm backgrounds so we’re not too likely to think of a pet as the equivalent of a child like many people do (was it Shea who raised a cow named “Steak” or did I just see that at a 4-H show in her hometown?)  😉

But it was a tougher loss than I expected – mainly because Koko was so young (6 years) and it happened so suddenly with no explanation or warning.

(Of course, as soon as it happened, it seemed everyone I talked to had a story of their own cats dying suddenly at an early age counter to my vision of cats being animals that always lived to be a fat, old balls of fur on a couch somewhere.)

Given that she vomited a few times in the night before she died, the most obvious explanation for Koko’s sudden death is poisoning (deliberate or accidental).  But from reading online, it could also have been one of a dozen things that can cause sudden death in otherwise healthy seeming cats (anything from heart disease or pancreatitis like humans experience to cat-specific problems like hairballs or urinary blockages.)

The reality is that we’ll never know – an autopsy would’ve been expensive and time consuming and even if we found out it was poison, that still might not tell us if it was accidental or deliberate (and, if deliberate, who did it.  She’s always been an outdoor cat – which is known to cut 2-3 years off the animal’s life – but we’ve never had any complaints or concerns with neighbours about her being out and many said they liked Koko’s visits.)

In a way, her quick passing is a blessing.  We could’ve taken her to the vet when she first started throwing up on a Sunday night but that would’ve been expensive and maybe not saved her anyhow (as was the case with a co-worker who lost a cat who was around the same age as Koko but not before she spent $500+ on her.)

Although I feel like I’m betraying the cat-loving librarian stereotypes, we’re in no rush to get another pet, cat or otherwise.  Although we loved Koko with her warmth and humour and mouse-catching abilities, there’s much we don’t miss – from cleaning out litter boxes to knowing we can now leave food on the counter unmolested for more than five minutes to not feeling tied down or facing an extra expense if we wanted to leave her for any extended period for a holiday or whatever.

The sad reality is also that one of the reasons you have pets is that it’s a good way to teach your kids about death. Shea and I had to wake up both kids and explain to them what had happened (Pace obviously understanding much more than Sasha) then they got to give her a final pet before we loaded her up and took her to my family farm where we buried her through a mixture of laughter (Shea playing “Old Rugged Cross” on her phone saying that it can’t be a funeral until you hear that song then following it up with “The Cat Came Back”) and tears.

RIP Koko.

Our new kitty, straight from Uncle Marsh’s farm…


Koko and Pace were best buddies…



Koko wasn’t too sure about our newest addition to the family when Sasha arrived but they had their moments…


It’s going to be tough setting up the Christmas tree this year without Koko’s “help”… 🙁


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  1. From Head Tale - 2015 End of Year Memes: Two Tropical Trips, Election Wins & Loses, Campy Camper Camping on 31 Dec 2015 at 12:02 am

    […] die? I’ve experienced quite a bit of loss this year but none more shocking or sudden then the death of our cat, Koko which hit me harder than I expected it would (again, partly due to her relatively young age and […]

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