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Coco: The Cat that Changed My Life 

Posted on 4 m read 392 views

I will be honest and admit that I never liked cats (until I met Coco, that is). I think it was obviously because in Nigeria, they are usually associated with witchcraft {how sad!} and how as children we were warned fiercely not to associate with them and any old woman who had a cat was considered a witch. {sighs}. So on this beautiful day in December, I was blissfully unaware of how my life was about to be completely and irrevocably changed by this cute ball of utter fluffiness called Coco.



Camera-shy Coco and me! 


It so happened that one of our clients had a cat that had just littered and he was looking to give her away. One of the sales assistant having heard asked for one of the kittens and the next day, the client brought in a black and white cat into the clinic. I remember entering the pharmacy and spotting the black kitten. I asked out it got there and was told.

My first reaction surprised even me. I quietly walked up to her and carried her. That was when I realized she wasn’t much different from a cute cuddly puppy ( I was soon to disprove that!). She was warm and so snuggly. I fell in love and so our love affair began.

Thankfully, my boss requested that the kitten be allowed to live in the clinic to keep the rats (and we had hoards of them!) at bay. With our team member’s approval, the clinic became the official home of the 4-month old black Kitten.

So, the next day, I asked if the kitten had been named and got a negative response. I named her Coco. A cat had to have a name. Most of my co-workers disliked {putting it mildly} cats and were not pleased with the new arrangement at all.

Coco liked to hide behind the clinic. It was always a laborious but pleasing chore bringing her out. She drank milk, ate home-cooked meals, ran through the clinic floors and to our surprise and my boss’ consternation, was scared of rats!



Coco  helping DrGbaks with office work


She developed this bad habit of pooing on my bosses’ visitors seats. She loved his office so much that one day she was mistakenly locked in and we didn’t realize till the next day. Unfortunately, the boss was not scheduled to be in the office that day. We ( Coco’s owner and I- we were the only ones that cared for her anyway) were so worried. Coco whined all through the day, till we came up with a plan to pass her food and water underneath the door. Thank God.

Coco hated water (like most cats). So, after several weeks when I decided that it was time to have a bath, it was met with much resistance. Fortunately, I had my way not without some scratches to pay for it though. But at least, I got her clean and smelling good.

Cats are incredibly flexible and Coco was no exception ( so unlike dogs). Many times, when she decided she had enough of my constricting arms, she would jump off. The first time she did that, it was from such a height that I was scared. She landed on her back, simply rolled over and ran off.

The most interesting things happened when our clients realized we had a cat. In one instance, a woman entering screamed, “Jesus!!!” when she saw me holding her. I couldn’t help but laugh heartily. Another told me I would give birth to cats, when he saw me playing with her. Many warned me to be careful, that she was a witch or was affliated with witches. None saw her for what she really was: God’s creation; an innocent object of much superstition and stigmatization. I was not deterred!

I particularly enjoyed using her to terrorise the vet technicians and handlers. When they were unsuspecting, I will carry and place her on their laps. The speed at which they would jump off was sure to always induce great hilarity.



That time I tried to get Coco and Mimi to play together


Coco changed my perception of cats forever. Before her, I had an intense dislike for them but now that story is changed all thanks to Coco. I enjoyed getting to know her and how quickly she grew. From the little scratches, to always suckling my chest region looking for milk (lol), to finally being able to hunt down rats and making my boss a happy man, my memories of Coco will always be cherished.








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