Peter, Betty, and CoCo Ono

I want to thank everyone who responded to my most recent column. It is all too easy to lose focus when dealing with a long standing medical condition, to get lazy, to ignore the very real danger you face because you don’t want to appear weak or needy. I will continue to write about health issues from time to time, both physical and mental, so “stay tuned “.

This week’s offering will be a bit more easygoing, and I hope that you enjoy this week’s melange of letters, numbers, punctuation marks and images.

One of the constants in my life has been the presence of cats. Since March, 1994, I have had a cat in my life for all but two years. Phantom, Loola, Jane, Reg and the present incumbent, CoCo. 3 of them were “rescues “, all of them have had their own personalities, all of them have given me far more than I have given to them.

CoCo “belonged” to my late girlfriend Lois, and I took her in at Chez Montreuil when I closed down Lois’ apartment. She had been used for breeding, so was not used to being treated as “a pet”. A week after she came into my home, I had to have my little buddy Reg the Cat put down. This, the third major tragedy of 2019 for me a) absolutely crushed my spirit and I have to admit that I was not a very nice person for quite some time afterwards. I tended to Coco’s needs of course, but I spent most of my time drinking or moping over the next few months. Eventually I was able to turn myself from “moping ” to “hoping “, and my mood began to improve. I began to realize that there was someone out there who would change my life. All I had to do was find her.

As my frame of mind began to improve, CoCo became more outgoing with me. She settled in quickly and found several different sleeping places. I would pet her and she eventually relaxed enough that she would sleep beside me on the couch.

At the time, I had my computer connected to my big screen TV, and I would wile away countless hours on Facebook or watching videos. CoCo began to take an interest in the TV, and would often sit on the floor beside me, apparently entranced and entertained by the “idiot box”. As she became accustomed to it, the situation definitely took on a humorous turn. For example, she jumped at the screen one evening while I was watching a video of an F-15E “Strike Eagle “. She took a swat at the flitting image but missed. The crew, unaware of their narrow escape, completed their routine.

She also was very interested in a commercial which showed horses galloping across the screen. To my surprise, the first time she saw it, she raced to the television and ran behind the screen, as if striving to catch and repel the beasts who dared to ” invade ” our home. Afterwards, she got up on the couch and sat beside me as I praised her for her watchfulness.

As I mentioned above, I believed that there was someone out there for me, and all I had to do was find her. That kept me alive, that kept me going.

And find her I did, eventually! Simultaneous with Betty meeting my apartment, Betty met CoCo. To say that they got along well would be an understatement. The first time Betty entered “Chez Montreuil “, CoCo went right to her. I was pleased to see that they got along very well.

Betty began to pick CoCo up on occasion and hold her, while holding her loosely enough that she could easily get free if she chose to do so. It was very interesting watching CoCo getting used to this behaviour, again, it was something which she had never experienced before.

Then came the morning when Betty was lying in bed until CoCo jumped up …..and pushed Betty with her front paws. Obviously she wanted Betty to be awake. That evening, rather than “skirt around ” Betty, CoCo took the short cut and walked across Betty on her way to do Important Cat Stuff. I told Betty that I guessed that she “had made the team “.

As a result of Betty’s efforts, CoCo has become friendlier, to the point where she has started to come up to me and “boop” me b) with her head.

We have some nicknames for CoCo, such as “CoCo Marie “, which Betty christened her. I called her “CoCo Ono” once, but couldn’t stop laughing, so I abandoned that one. We also call CoCo “Matilda Junkbottom”, after the robot maid in the “Doctor Snuggles” series. As an aside, if you haven’t sat down and watched episodes of this enchanting show, you are missing something really interesting.

When I sit on the couch, Betty on one side and CoCo sleeping peacefully on the other, I feel an inner peace, a quiet joy which I never thought I would ever feel again. Things are going well here at Chez Montreuil, things are going very well indeed.

I am going to finish off this week with yet another cat reference. We are all well aware of the significance of the black cat as far as witchcraft is concerned. As a creative person myself, I have to applaud the “purity of spirit ” which enabled someone to conjure up this picture which really caught my eye.

The artist’s name is Peter De Seve. He is extremely creative. As an example, he was responsible for “Scrat”, the sabre toothed squirrel from the “Ice Age” franchise. Anyway, this picture is just a sweet whimsical twist on a topical topic.

Well, that’s it for me this week. Happy Thanksgiving to all my Canadian friends, and stay safe, everybody.

See you soon.

  1. a) In March 2019, my dear friend Peter Mossman passed away. Lois passed on September 10th and I had to have Reg put down on November 6th.
  2. b) CoCo

2 Responses to “Peter, Betty, and CoCo Ono”

  1. Damon Hines Says:

    Just noticed that swapping one letter for one adjacent, alphabetically yields ‘idiot boy’ from ‘idiot box’: this has certainly been my personal journey, going nowhere apace, petal to the mettle. An unattractive, pointless devolution…your tale is so much more engaging, uplifting, and readable…good on ya, and oh w(h?)ell…thanks for sharing, Peter.

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