We have been hoping to feature Cokie from Cokie the Cat: Hollywood Insider for a number of months but his mom was always so busy with work and then she had shoulder surgery, and then …. the unthinkable happened. For this reason, we are deviating from our normal structure and strict “No Humans Allowed” policy.
Before we begin the interview, we did have a pre-interview conversation with Cokie a few months ago, so we’ll just let him introduce himself.
Cokie: My favorite color is red – the color of my catnip tomato which is my favorite thing in the world, next to Mom and Jazzy. I think it’s supposed to be an apple but it’s clearly a tomato.
I co-founded the Anipal Times with Snick the Dog and was editor in chief for 18 months. I still write once in a while.
The AT Anipal Events Calendar that most anipals use to coordinate and see when Twitter chats and pawties are happening was transferred from the one I used to have on my blog, back when it was just me trying to keep track of all the pawties so I didn’t miss out on the fun.
Mom is the Special Projects Manager at BlogPaws – a social media company, online community and conference for pet bloggers, brands and enthusiasts.
My favorite thing about Mom’s work with BlogPaws is that she’s very involved in BlogPaws’ “Be The Change for Pets”mission, and gets to spearhead and participate in projects to help animals, rescues and shelters.
I’m a ’94 model flame point Ragdoll mancat. Just a few days after Mom busted me out of the Burbank city animal shelter when I was a year old, I climbed and consequent got stuck in an 80′ palm tree. After 3 days I finally jumped down. I was ok but I did walk a little bit funny after that.
6 years ago I was suddenly paralyzed – the result of a long gradual degeneration process related to my spine injury. Mom and Dad were afraid that was it for me. They took me to a weekend night time emergency vet in west hollywood ( I live on Hollywood Blvd- between Laurel Canyon and the Walk of Fame with the stars on the sidewalks and the Kodak/Chinese Theatres).
Turned out that the vet on duty was Dr Patrick Mahaney – a BlogPaws regular & Board Member. They didn’t figure out that they knew each other till last year!
He told Mom there was a chance I could pull through if she took me to a kitty neurologist. She did and after a few weeks I was walking again and doing pretty good, but I never got the feeling back in my tail and I’ve been semi incontinent ever since – so I wear manpants! Incontinent cats unite!
Funny Farmer Felines: Would you introduce yourself?
Kristin: My name is Kristin, and Cokie was the most wonderful, magical cat I’ve ever met. The Funny Farmer Felines tried to interview him for six months, and we were always too busy. Now I’m going to have to do the interview for him, as his time came this past Wednesday night, and we had make the call to help him to the Rainbow Bridge – the hardest thing Cokie’s dad and I have ever done. He was 19 years old, and lived a long amazing life.
Funny Farmer Felines: What about nicknames?
Kristin: Cokie’s blog is Cokie the Cat: Hollywood Insider, so that’s how a lot of people know him. His full name is Cokie Kokopelli the Kitty Kachina. We also called him sweetheart and sweetie boy, but mostly just Cokie.
Funny Farmer Felines: How did you come to live together?
Kristin: I was looking in animal shelters for a cat to adopt after my previous cat, Lump, had gone OTRB at age 21. I was looking for a tabby because my last two cats were tabby sisters and I thought they were just the best kitties ever. I’d visited several shelters and rescues looking for a cat that stood out to me as being ‘the one.’
I was looking at tabbies at the Burbank Animal Shelter when someone starting meowing insistently until he got my attention. When I got close enough to the cage to look in, a big cream colored cat with light blue eye stretched his paw way out of the cage and planted it firmly on my nose. That was it. I brought Cokie’s dad-to-be back with me and he agreed. He was our cat.
They had him labeled as a girl, which turned out to be a mistake. He was a beautiful neutered flamepoint Ragdoll mancat. A lot of people wanted this gorgeous cat but I was the first one there on the day he became available. They sent him out to be spayed and the vet called me that day to let me know he wasn’t a girl and did I still want him? Yes, I did.
Funny Farmer Felines: What about a special ladycat?
Kristin: Cokie had been seeing a pretty tart of an English cat on Twitter for some time. One day, he woke up after having had some teeth pulled at the Vet, to @Jazzydacat’s announcement that they’d eloped to Vegas while he’d been under the influence. He took her word for it and sent her a wedding ring for her collar. Their long distance marriage worked out very well for them. They’d tweet, email and talk to one another through their bathtub drains.
Funny Farmer Felines: Every kitty likes to get into mischief.. What about Cokie?
Kristin: Cokie talked *a lot.* We think maybe that’s why his previous owner had surrendered him to the shelter. After about a year, we decided to get him his own cat to talk to. We adopted Wynnie, a lovely lynx point Siamese. Cokie hated me for bringing another cat into our apartment and didn’t like her. It took a long time but eventually we’d come home and catch them snuggling. Cokie would always jump up and act like Wynnie had snuck on on him while he was asleep and he had nothing to do with it. It was hilarious. After many years, he gave in and just loved her. Wynnie went OTRB two years ago.
Funny Farmer Felines: What about clubs or groups? And participation in blogging events, such as Talk like a pirate day?
Kristin: Cokie always participated in Talk Like A Pirate Day and was an honorary member of The Pink Pups via his pretend fake sister @PrincessGwennie. He often sent his stand-in, Plush Cokie, to represent him at celebrity events, and for photo ops (like a flat pet) whenever I traveled – as he didn’t like traveling at all.
Funny Farmer Felines: What about blogging?
Kristin: Cokie and I started blogging together because I spent a lot of time on the computer and he loved sitting on the floor at my side. He would even wake me up, and when I’d follow him to see what he wanted, he’d lead me to the computer desk and plop down. We loved just sharing his fun personality, helping other pets, promoting adoption events and rescue fundraisers, hosting prize giveaways, and Cokie being a shining example of a happy special needs pet.
He fell from a palm tree when a few days after we adopted him in 1994. He was OK but the Vet said he’d probably have early arthritis. More than a decade later, something from that early fall finally resulted in his being temporarily paralyzed. When he recovered, shortly thereafter, he was quasi-incontinent and had no feeling in his tail. He was still vital and vibrant though.
He wore his manpants – denim diapers made for female dogs in heat – for nearly six years, whenever he’d leave the bathroom we made into his bedroom – and never once tried to take them off. In his room, he could go naked.
He had a hitch in his giddy-up and walked a little funny, even with his pants off, but he’d still run up and down three flights of stairs with me for midnight strolls around our apartment courtyard – and rummage through the shrubbery jungle under our balcony right up until last week. He took hyperthyroid meds, prednisone and Cosequin ground into his food without complaint the last few years. He was a trooper. He was very feisty and full of life until his last day – and very, very loving.
Funny Farmer Felines: Any advice for someone just starting a blog?
Kristin: The first thing I’d say would be to read a lot of pet blogs and get some ideas of the type of voice you’d like your blog to have. Cokie always blogged and tweeted in ‘his own’ voice – a gregarious, hip, handsome Hollywood mancat. To me, Blogger (Google’s free blogging tool) is the easiest way for beginning bloggers to start. We started with Blogger and later moved to paid WordPress web hosting, which gave us more freedom to customize and build the blog – and just play with it more.
Joining Twitter and Facebook, and following other pet ‘microbloggers there is a great way to make friends, find new blogs to follow and get followers of their own. Once they have a pet related blog or social media account, I would suggest the BlogPaws community and conferences.
Thank you for featuring my beautiful boy. We’re still grieving and will miss him forever, but we’ll always be grateful to have been blessed with having Cokie in our lives.
Funny Farmer Felines: Our condolences, Kristin. It was most kind of you to “volunteer” to stand in for Cokie and do this interview now. Cokie was a well-known and well-loved cat. We understand it’s too soon for you to know what you will do about Cokie’s blog but we’re certain you will find a way to continue the essence of it and all the good you’ve accomplished in Cokie’s memory.
Visit Cokie’s blog – Cokie the Cat: Hollywood Insider.