Happy Anniversary Cooper!

6/26/11: Before he was ours, and before his surgery, obviously.

One year ago Amelia and I drove our new kitten home all the way from Iowa where he was born. He was that special. He was found in a puddle in the road and taken to Elizabeth’s veterinary clinic as a stray. His front right leg was injured and useless, but otherwise he seemed unscathed. We happened to go out to Iowa for a visit about the time he was brought in and met him with a bunch of other kitten strays (from other litters). I had no intention of bringing home a kitten, especially with a 34 hour drive ahead of us (and we already had Katie with us), but somehow it was mentioned and ultimately we picked Cooper. A couple days before we headed home, Elizabeth amputated his leg so that he wouldn’t have to drag it around the rest of his life. From the night after his surgery when he chased laser beams across the living room floor (yes, just hours after surgery), he had no problem motivating on three legs.

7/4/11: Our new baby. He still has his stitches.

7/4/11: Our super cute baby.

7/11/11: They were close friends from the beginning.

Amelia and Cooper seemed to be friends from the start. Of all the kittens at the clinic, he was the only one Amelia was comfortable with. The others acted like kittens; they ran, jumped and climbed and they were unpredictable and Amelia just didn’t like that. Because of his injury, Cooper was more subdued and quiet (that quickly changed). He sat quietly in her lap and later, when we were home, sat next to her or even played with her. They still are best buds.

Our trip home was surprisingly easy. He slept in the open cat carrier next to me or on my lap, and used his make shift litter box when we stopped (the only time it was available). At that point, I didn’t want him roaming around the car too much since his stitches were new, but ultimately he ended up sitting with Amelia. When she got too rough, he’d just move up front with me. He is very laid back. So much, that we are comfortable taking him places with us. He doesn’t mind car trips at all (although lately he’s gotten car sick on bumpy roads). Last summer he spent a week at our camp with us. We brought all the cats and the other two barely made it out from under the beds before we were ready to head home. Cooper owned the place, and any place he visits. Last October we took him to Kokadjo bird hunting with us. He stayed in the camper and seemed to love it.

8/5/11: He and the other kitties spent a week at camp with us. I think he was the only one who enjoyed it.

10/10/11: He went bird hunting with us in October. He stayed in the camper.

8/26/11: Traveling buddies

8/28/11: Doesn’t mind traveling in the car at all.

Even now, at one, he’s friendly, outgoing and a huge pest, especially to the other cats. He acts just like a younger sibling, always fighting to be first, to get all the attention and generally irritating the other cats, Amelia and even us. But, he’s so affectionate and endearing, we can’t resist him or his antics.

8/12/11: “Hey guys, can I come out?”

8/12/11: Will fit just about anywhere.

9/22/11: He won’t go in, but is very intrigued with the bath and doesn’t mind getting wet.

12/11/11: Bird watching together.

1/31/12: Will sleep anywhere, even wrapped around a stinky foot.

While we eat dinner, Katie has gotten into the habit of laying on the kitchen floor until we’re finished, you know, just in case we want to give her a little something. Coop figured out this gig early on, and now he hangs out next to Katie while we eat (nothing like an audience). The funny thing is that while he rushes to be the first to get anything, he almost never eats it. He just has to be first in line.

3/21/12: Begging partners.

4/4/12: Usually sleeps on his back, or sitting up propped in the corner of the couch.

Technically, I suppose, he’s still a kitten, or young at least, and he LOVES his toys. Any little plush toy will do. He carries them around in his mouth and multiple times a day, we pull them out of the water bowl, squeeze them out, and they go back into toy circulation. I’ve tried putting the wet toys up to dry, but he seeks them out and returns them to the floor. And, I never can put his toys away (we have a bucket), as he immediately drags them all back out onto the floor. And I mean, immediately. He has one toy, a blue dog with a missing arm that is his favorite. Artie thinks it’s because it too is missing a limb. You’ll see it in the video below.

He’s our Cooper-kitten and he’s been a joy.

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