Musings from Quince

Kosmo – Cat Extraordinaire, and then some….
March 14, 2012, 5:54 pm
Filed under: Essence | Tags: , ,

Hi, it’s been way too long since I’ve posted a new blog! I could offer a zillion legitimate excuses, but this time there’s no bailing out.  Kosmo deserves at least some semblance of a tribute recalling what made him truly one-of-a-kind, and I’m very sure he would expect this acknowledgment at the very least!  It’s so hard to believe he’s not around….Kosmo was quite the exceptional kitty, and I’m very sad that he’s “crossed the bridge”, so to speak.  But, it was his time, after 18 years of a near-perfect life, to peacefully “move on” after a pretty rough year, health-wise.  So, here are some of the high points of his life which illustrate what made him so darn special.  All of you fortunates who have been on the receiving end of his affection already understand exactly what all of the hoopla is about.  Back in 1994, after semi-agonizing over whether or not I could actually take responsibility for…a pet…. I decided to go ahead and check out the CASPCA, figuring that I’d know “it” when I saw “it”. I went every single day for a week, all dressed up in fancy business attire, making my way through a semi-stinky, wet series of rooms which housed dozens of cats. I was getting impatient until, on day 7, I rounded the corner and there he was, in a corner cage, waiting patiently for me to show up.   Just brought in by someone who found him in the bushes along Rt. 29, about 6 months old, tuxedo on, gorgeous, ready to come home….yes!  We locked eyes, and I knew he was it; unfortunately, he had to remain there for another 5 days to rule out any weird bug, germ, etc.  So, I visited every day, and he couldn’t wait for me to get him out of there!  I brought him home, and that night had about 6 people over for dinner….trying to figure out a name, someone suggested “Kosmo”, and bingo, that was it! I also realized, at that point, that he had chosen me.

So, basically he had this “air” about him; if he could wear a smoking jacket and smoke a pipe, it would have been so right.  His facial expressions ranged from debonair to aloof, and when he wasn’t tormenting Babs, his counterpart who joined him a year later, he was very busy lounging in front of huge windows, watching the cardinals, snowflakes, and bees twirl around outside…snoozing on the porch, choosing the warmest lap for a nap, or supervising all activities throughout the house (whew, busy schedule!).  While he seemed like he was in such control over so many things, he was downright greedy for hugs and love – he never, ever got enough!  He made it a point for his entire 18 years to greet every visitor, whether a new friend, old friend, repairman, houseguest, etc. to be sure they had everything they needed throughout their stay.  If there were 2 people or 10 people seated in the living room, he would travel from lap to lap for some petting and reassurance that everyone was happy – I’m not kidding, he continued this practice right up until his last week!  People were amazed, and immediately melted – even cat non-enthusiasts (and you know who you are, gentle reader(s)).

Of course, being feline in nature, there were many opportunities for him to push the envelope.  I remember very clearly the night he went up in flames (literally!).  I had just finished a complete renovation of my master bathroom and was celebrating with a glass of wine by candlelight, the cell phone in hand, while enjoying an inaugural bubble bath, on the way to a party.  The votive candle was set on the toilet tank lid, out-of-the-way, or so I thought.  Koz decided to investigate, gave it a sniff and turned away, his tail brushing the flame, and within 2 seconds, he was COMPLETELY engulfed in blue flames!  He took off, I dropped the phone, and I, dripping, buck naked, found him sitting under my bed, probably the most flammable thing in the house!  The flames had extinguished, but the stench of burning fur was horrible.  I lunged for him and he took off, this time, running under the dining room table….My windows provided any UVA student next door (I was living on U-Circle at the time) a full range of comical shots of a crazy naked cat woman chasing her charred cat around the house.  Luckily, the only damaged he sustained was to his ego….that was a close one!

He always loved to investigate bowls containing any kind of liquid or food – he lapped up water, most beverages, butter, bowls with remnants of food in them, whatever.  I always had to be on stand-by, ready to shoo him off the kitchen counters or dining table.  One New Year’s Eve, I had a party and had the house all spiffed up.  Some guests (ironically his vet. was in attendance) noticed he seemed to be staggering around….couldn’t figure it out until later until I noticed the essential oil I had poured into a vessel was bone dry…seems he had lapped it all up…again, luckily no harm done.

Throughout the years, I had some misgivings about confining Kosmo & Babs to the house.  Was I being cruel by denying them the delights of running around freely?  Well, I think not – I wanted them to live longer, and my neighborhood wasn’t exactly prime for safe roaming….on occasion, however, Kosmo would bolt when he had the chance.  He once got out after a snowstorm, and all I could see was the tip of his tail making its way down the driveway towards the street, along a narrowly shoveled pathway….another time, I followed him to a neighbor’s garage at the end of the street…the most embarrassing time was when I was going to a black tie event, waiting for 3 people to show up (yes, Cindy & Sanjiv).  My date was a blind date (forever the last one I will ever have) and I was dressed in chiffon and sequins….we had a few drinks and as I opened the door (it was now dark outside) for us to leave, Kosmo ran out, straight down a very sharp incline in my next door neighbor’s lot.  Well, that wouldn’t do, so I took off after him, slipped and landed, face first, in a pile of leaves and mud. Nice!  I managed to retrieve Koz, but I was a messy wreck.  All 3 stared at me in disbelief as I marched into the house, with cat, to freshen up.  They swear I was drunk (no way after 2 drinks), but I was not, only afraid Koz would be run over or kidnapped by UVA undergrads.

Three years ago, Millie & Dexter, 2 black & white shelter kittens, took up residence with Kosmo, and it was a very slow transition.  After about a month, he finally gave up and allowed them to be part of the family, but I know they tired him out with their energy and playfulness.  We moved from Ivy back into the city last summer, and he, in his curmudgeonly way, seemed to be content.  So, he was a cat.  Big deal.  Yes, he was, actually, a very big deal!

Thank you, Kosmo, for all your charm, personality, and everything else that made you so absolutely fabulous!  You had a great run, and will be sorely missed!  If any of you readers would like to comment on Kosmo, he and I would love it!