A Paws For Pets — Mr. Cooper’s new life, thanks to Mrs. Cooper

By LaMoine Roth, York Adopt A Pet

I think most people in York may remember April of 2005 when we had, if I remember correctly, up to 7 inches of rain in and around the York area.

After the rain subsided, I received a call that afternoon from Mrs.  Cooper. Everyone who met Ruth in their lifetime said she was so kind and gentle. My husband and I have often thought if the world had more Ruth Coopers in our lives, the world would be a much better place.

Ruth had called several days earlier saying that a big Himalayan cat was living in the storm sewer near her home on Nobes Avenue. She had been leaving food near the opening hoping to entice the cat out. That afternoon, he finally felt safe enough to come out and into Mrs. Cooper’s waiting arms.

He was such a sorry sight, he was so thin and his hair was matted close to his skin which had made sores. He had to have belonged to someone at some time because he was declawed and neutered.

She brought him to me and he looked simply horrible. I called to see if I could take him up to the vet and get him shaved because I couldn’t begin to get the mats out of his fur. I was so afraid of cutting him if I tried to cut the mats out. We decided on a “lion cut” and when I picked him up, I didn’t know whether to cry or to laugh.

His ribs were sticking out and he looked down right embarrassed by his new hair cut. He adjusted quickly here at the shelter and was the mellowest guy. He would look at you and meow, only no sound would come out. He had incredibly long whiskers which curled on the ends.

Exactly a month went by when Mrs. Cooper called to see how “Mr. Cooper” was doing. She had been thinking about him and had decided to adopt him.

Her husband had passed away several years prior and she thought he would give her company. And the name Cooper was fitting. Her daughter, Sherry Murphey, came with her to pick up Cooper.

It was music to my ears as he was not only a pathetic looking guy, but he was most definitely a senior cat who would be hard to place.

Mrs. Cooper kept me informed from time to time and she said that he had gained about eight pounds and he had the sweetest disposition.

Then several weeks later she called and was concerned. Mr. Cooper had begun having some bathroom accidents and it seemed as though he was lax about using his cat litter box. Mrs. Cooper felt so bad but she just wasn’t able to handle this new “problem due to her age.” She tearfully asked if I would take him back but begged me not to take drastic measures by having him put down. I assured her I would do everything possible to find him a new home but deep down I knew it wasn’t going to be easy.

I took him to the vet to rule out any medical problem and watched him closely. He just reminded me of a proper respectful older gentleman. He tolerated the younger cats, sat back to wait his turn at the cat dish and had grown even more gentle and accepting of his life.

I put his picture and information on our website and thought I will give it my best shot. I presented his age as senior, said he had issues but was the gentlest affectionate cat who had ever graced the sanctuary, which was not an exaggeration.
After a week I received an email from Cori. She was interested in Mr. Cooper. She fell in love with his picture and asked what his issues were. I emailed her back and said if she would call me I would explain him to her.

She called and I pulled no punches. I told her exactly what his “issues” were and could make no promises that he would not continue.  She said, “I am definitely interested, let me sleep on it and I will call you tomorrow.”

Tomorrow arrived and with it came a phone call.

“Yes I know by adopting Mr. Cooper I will need to deal with his issues but I am in a position to do so. I have a Himalayan senior cat named Mr. Lion (I kid you not) who needs a companion and Mr. Cooper and Mr. Lion can live their remaining years together.”

What makes this an amazing story is Cori lives in Denver, Colorado. She is a young professional woman and when she arrived last Saturday in her little black sports car, you would never guess she would take in a gentle but older cat with issues, much less drive a 880-mile round non-stop trip to adopt him.

Just goes to show you how people continue to surprise me when it comes to the connection between humans and their pets.

She turned around and made the round-trip home, arriving at 3:40 a.m. I asked her to email when she got home so I knew her trip back was a safe one.

I have received several emails from her.

This is the following I received today:

“Just wanted you to know that Mr. Cooper is doing great. He and Mr. Lions have made friends and they are chasing each other around the house right now. He has even started to talk (loudly!) and they like to talk back to each other. He has had NO accidents, he is a good boy!”

This is truly a special story.

To imagine that at one time Mr. Cooper was a pampered cat because he was declawed and neutered when found living in the storm sewer, only he could explain why he was abandoned to live on his own, then a caring Mrs. Cooper rescued him from almost certain drowning. Circumstances had him once again looking for a home. And that new home is 440 miles to our west in the suburbs of Denver with a friend with which to share his remaining years. This is what makes all the effort so worthwhile. Cats like Mr. Cooper, and people like Cori and Mrs. Cooper.

I just read on the Metz Mortuary website that Mrs. Cooper had passed away at the age of 97. You can see by her picture she was a kind and compassionate person. She always stopped to talk and was always asking about the cats and kittens. I would like to dedicate this article about Mr. Cooper to Mrs. Cooper. And I want to thank you, Sherry, for allowing me to share a part of your mother’s life. Mrs. Cooper, may you rest in the arms of Jesus, and may her family and friends find comfort.


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