Coco is my best friend.
I never had any animal growing up, I was actually scared of all of them. Never once did I think I would have one, I always thought it would be too much of a nuisance or financial burden. An ex of mine decided to get him when she saw a Facebook post from someone in Kalamazoo was goingto get rid of him and was going to send him to a shelter if no one would. I was against it. How could I deal with a pet, when I never wanted one and could barely handle myself at the time? Ultimately, I relented, on my birthday no less but it wasn’t a birthday gift for me.
We drove to a gas station almost an hour out to meet these people and get a cat that I was barely consulted about and didn’t want in the first place. They said his name was Tiger and gave his litter box, a half bag of food, and handed him off. No goodbye, just a “thanks so much for taking him off our hands, bye!”. That immediately threw off red flags for me, the guy who didn’t want a pet but relented, as he was thrown in the front seat on to my lap. He was much bigger than we expected and meowed a lot, something that I was told wasjust because he was nervous in the car, I would know later regardless he is just a big talker.
On the hour drive back home, he eventually settled down onto my lap, all while still meowing at me, and as I petted him he slowly purred and fell asleep. This was the same when I got home, and he never left my side, always wanting to lay on my legswhile I sit on the couch or lay on my head if I’m asleep on the bed.
He didn’t seem like a “tiger”, which his previous owners named him. He was so calm and caring and social, I named him “Coco”, after a favorite late night comedian Conan O’Brien, because he was orange just like him.
I grew up hating animals and never thought I would love any until Coco was thrust upon me. I went through a lot of bad circumstances in my life and had some bad thoughts regarding self-harm and suicidal thoughts, but every single time Coco was near me, comforted me, and made me second guess myself, even though he could do nothing but maybe meow at me and lay on me like he always does.
He is my son, my best friend, my therapist, and my comforter. and there is nothing I wouldn’t do for him. I could not imagine a world without him.
Flash-forward to now.
Coco is not doing good. I noticed he was acting strange and not coming to sleep with me like he always does. Cats like to hide their pain and it took me a bit to realize it, which kills me I didn’t notice sooner. Itook him to an emergency vet, compassion 4 paws in grand ledge, paid 500$ for bloodwork that they saw, and they said give him these antibiotics and take him to a primary Vet in 4 days if he doesn’t seem better.
Pardon my language, but F*** that establishment and that doctor for seeing thatbloodwork and seeing Coco and not immediately recommending taking him to emergency and just sending him back with me. I am not a vet so I took the doctors word to follow the treatment he prescribed and would check back in in a few days.
Well turns out Coco wasn’t doing better and it wasn’t something antibiotics could fix. I took him on that fourth day after somewhere else, Waverly Animal Hospital)and within the first few minutes of the exam (Have to wait outside because of Covid, which KILLS ME), the doctor called me to tell me how just on a brief exam, “Cocois really sick” and would do an ultrasoundto see what they could find.
After 8 hours of waiting I finally heard back from the Waverly vet, and she told me Coco had issues with an enlarged and distended gallbladder. She was very nice to me and explained a lot but gave me two options, Euthanasia or to call around and see some specialists across the state who would know more than her since she knew how sick he was and didn’t feel comfortable treating him at their hospital as they felt ill-equipped to do so. Her other option to find me the best place to go who could treat him was cautioned as extremelycostly if that was the route I wanted to go, otherwise the only option was take him home to die in my own house or humane euthanasia.
I wouldn’t let that be an option for my best friend. He’s still young, he wants to live, and I see that everyday when he still wants to jump up and cuddle on to me even if he hasn’t been feeling good.
So on the vet referral my girlfriend Tiffany, who loves Coco as well, and I took Coco far away to Grand Rapids to get Coco the specialized care he needed.
Yes I knew it would be costly there and I didn’t hesitate a second to spend the restof the money I had to get him better. He is still there undergoing tests and might need surgery. This fundraiser is to ask for those funds for his surgery and extra hospitalization fees, as I have already spent all my savings and withdrew my 401k for him. In hindsight I wish I had gotten pet insurance, but was told it probably wouldn’t be worth it unless there was a major cost, which unfortunately it is now.
Unfortunately taking him to the best hospital in Michigan with specialists incurs a lot of costs, which I’ve already gone through all my savings for and now I can barely pay my own rent and bills. But I wouldn’t rethink it for a second and wouldn’t be asking for help if I thought it would be pointless. When I had no house for a few days and I was adamant about staying in Kzoo and still was out in the forest guess who stayed by my side the entire time? Coco.
Don’t think that is redicilous if you don’t think you wouldn’t do the same for your own child.
Coco is my best friend and I could not imagine a life without him. All of my savings are spent in this, so I am asking you for the last bit of medical help to ensure his success.
Thank you very much for reading my long story and why this matters so much to me.
UPDATE 10/9: Since I originally wrote this out a few weeks ago and never posted It because it was too hard for me, Coco took a turn for the worse and was back in the hospital and decided to go for a high risk surgery that would have hopefully helped him survive from his hepatic lipidosis and gallbladder issues. After the surgery, he had complications where his blood pressure could not be kept high enough. He died and came back to life at one point following surgery, enough for Tiffany and I to travel to Grand Rapids to see him, as hard as it was. We were hoping he would get better as he had already lost his 9 extra lives andwas on life 11 at this point. Unfortunately, I got the call in the morning that he had taken another turn forthe worst and passed away, his heart couldn’t take it anymore. I did get to travel back and see him afterwards, and I’m very glad we did, but it was the hardest thing I ever had to do in my life.
I will miss my best friend Coco more than anything in the world, and although I tried to do everything I possibly could for him, he can rest soundly now, and I know he will be with me for the rest of my life, until Iam ready to go and spend eternity with him.
UPDATE 10/9: This was originally written out to help towards saving Coco but I couldn’t stomach the fact to ask for help even thinking that some people may not understand the lengths I was willing to go to save him. I Went through all my savings, took out loans and sold assets in order to do so, and I do not regret doing so in order to save him. Unfortunately it did not work out the way I wanted it to, but I would have regretted myself every day if I had not have tried or done everything I could for him.
Now I have lost everything trying to save Coco. I am at peace with that aspect, I just wish it could have actually saved him. I will not say specifically just how much I spent, but I would be grateful for any help towards Coco’s bills and aftercare at this time, or just to leave a message for him.
To everyone who knew Coco, they knew he was the friendliest cat who just wanted to talk to you and layon you when he could. To those who didn’t know him, he would’ve done the same, and he would’ve loved you too.
- Sarah Haigh
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