goodbye to Koko and "took her to college." She was 18 years old, so that was my gentler way of referring to the next step in her journey. It just sounded so much nicer and more ladylike than anything more direct. She had a blood tumor on her paw which was removed in January, but it regrew and there were complications (plus she was a feisty beast and terrible patient), so eventually I had to take her in to the vet (to whom I'm eternally grateful for his care and kindness of Koko for over ten years) and we said goodbye.
I will never forget Koko. Other cats may still hold a place in my heart - like Etta in all her sweetness and supreme bounciness - but Koko and I spent so many years together she will always be the number one cat in my heart. She was a character, so ferocious and so feriously friendly. I miss her but I also think of her with great happiness because we were so fortunate to have such a great time together, especially in the last couple of years when it was just her and I together.
Because she was such a crappy patient and kept tearing her bandage off which caused all sorts or complications for her recovery, she wore a cone for about the last two months of her life. Surprisingly she seemed to like it; it's like it filtered out all noise and distractions. It didn't seem like she was agitated or bothered by it at all, although she occasionally misjudged space and would bump into things like a Roomba. She had a funny little swaying gait with the cone on, and she found it pretty handy for carrying around a little snack for later. When she wanted some attention and love (pretty much always), she would sit on my chest and put my face in the cone and purr and purr and purr. We learned how to sleep together in a way that the cone was comfortable. Watching her "wash" her face was quite hilarious (for me anyway) as she would wave her paw in the air and simultaneously lick the inside of the cone.
She loved going on the deck, and with the cone on, she wouldn't stray too far or try to jump on the roof and escape - she just loved wandering in and out of the house and going wherever her fancy would take her. This video is from about a week before she died.
Wherever you are sweet Koko, I hope you are happy. I think about you every day and am so, so grateful you were in my life for as long as you were. Love you, little bunny.