He was born to a Manx named Speedy, along with two siblings, a girl called Muffin (who didn’t make it to her first year) and a brother, Everest.
Cooper was a character of the highest order. His tail couldn’t decide whether it wanted to be stumpy, like his mothers, or long like his siblings. He settled for a half, very crooked tail.
Cooper was named after Alice Cooper, not because he liked the music, but because he had markings around his eyes that looked like splattered eyeliner.
As a kitten Cooper could not climb, not very well anyway, and would spend hours crying in the backyard because he could not climb onto the woodshed to gain access to my Mum’s place. We eventually had to put a set of objects for him to climb up so that he was a happy camper with the others.
As he grew older, his sexuality was called into question. Instead of following the girl cats around, he would be about two paces behind the biggest nastiest tom . They never beat him up, probably thought it was amusing to have a stump tailed cat following them. Needless to say, when we had him neutered, he was a much happier puss.
Another adventure was in the neighbours place, where they had dogs. Remember how I said he couldn’t climb? He learnt in a hurry. For days afters he limped around, and whenever he got told off, the limp would come back out.
He loved it when my Beloved came home from sea, and he was a permanent fixture at the bench until all of the fish had been gutted and filleted. He did manage to get some of the choicest bits and was a very chuffed boy indeed.
When we moved house, he found a new source of entertainment. River rats. He would bring them home all the time and leave them in the middle of the lounge floor for me. Yes, they were dead. One day, we discovered just what lengths he was going to to get these rats. He came home, absolutely saturated. I initially thought perhaps he had walked through long grass, but there was a small section on his head that was not wet. I eventually worked out that he must have been chasing them in the stream near our house – and fell in…
He was a bit of a lazy hunter, he used to sit underneath tries and cry at the bird above him. Once he did come home with a bird. We presumed it just dropped dead out of the tree into his waiting mouth.
When we moved to our present location, Cooper loved it. The wide open spaces. There was a real power struggle in the house when Everest and Cooper moved out here, and Cooper became top cat. He would laud it over Everest, who decided the great outdoors was his scene and he went from being a house cat to an adventurer.
In the last week, we noticed that Cooper wasn’t eating like he used to, and on Thursday 1 April he refused to eat at all, no matter what tasty morsels I put down in front of him. He wouldn’t drink either. A 2am on Friday 2nd April, I had to make one of the toughest decisions I hope I never have to make again, and we laid Cooper to rest.
I shall miss my boy, who loved to sit on my knee while I was writing, but he is in a better place, probably pestering Jesus or the disciples for the best fish they can give!
Love you Coops. Miss you big boy. Bye.
I wrote a Zing Thing about Cooper a couple of years ago, it is a short piece, and badly edited, but you will find it here.