Cocoa Is Toothless AND Declawed!

by Elisa Black-Taylor
(USA)

Cocoa in the linen hutch

Cocoa in the linen hutch

Cocoa in the linen hutch This is how Cocoa sleeps

My poor rescued cat Cocoa is toothless and declawed! Readers, I hope I can write this without breaking anything nearby or having another crying fit. Please start by reading yesterdays story here.

25th April 2011: Urgent Notice: Cocoa will not eat and is being fed liquidised food through a syringe. He needs to get vet diagnosis and treatment. Please put out the word. I hope people can chip in too - the link has broken March 2013.

After I made the comment on yesterday's story about Cocoa NOT being declawed, I decided to break my own rule about not disturbing a new cat and headed to my bedroom closet where he is in transition from the shelter. I like to give a cat a few days of privacy upon arrival. If the cat wants attention then I'm available. This allows the cat to adjust and also prevents any jealousy from my other cats.

declawed and toothless cat

I picked up my big sweet boy and took him over to my bed and felt of his front paws. I even squeezed them a little just in case he's really good at shielding his claws. I'm just going to come right out and say it. He's declawed on all four paws and the only tooth in his head is snow white. My daughter helped me double check this before I left for work tonight.

How can anyone do this to a cat!? And which came first, the declawing or the pulling of almost all of his teeth. We believe they WERE pulled or the remaining tooth should be anything but white. Wouldn't gum disease discolor the remaining tooth? What do you all think? Or do you all think it was stomatitis (inflammation of the mucosa of the mouth) and the teeth HAD to be pulled to prevent a reaction from the bacteria in the teeth?

Cocoa wasn't listed as declawed on his GCAC euthanasia list paperwork. This is almost always mentioned as it's very important. The importance of a declawed cat is the other reason I'm borderlining on furious.

There are two groups of people who want a declawed cat from a shelter. The first group is those who rescue like myself who want to get the cat out of the stressful environment of a shelter. We want to find a home both safe and worthy for the cat.

The second group is comprised of those who promote declawing. They see DECLAWED on the cat's information and think "that sure will save me a lot of money on declawing the cat. It's already done so we'll get THAT cat. In other words, any declawed cat will do because plans would be made for toe amputation at the earliest convenience anyway!

I'll even bet there are people out there who would want him BECAUSE he's toothless and clawless. They think "this cat can't hurt my kids (grandkids) since it doesn't have claws or teeth. But how much more emotional (as well as physical) abuse should this cat have to go through?

Now for my biggest dilemma. Should I make Cocoa a permanent member of my home? I need advice on this. With my daughter and I he'll receive love, attention and care. He'll be kept inside because he has no defense inside or out. I'd hate for him to be adopted out where kids or other pets could torment him.

Maybe I'm selfish, but I don't want him to get adjusted and comfortable in my home and then him get uprooted again to go live somewhere else. We work hard getting these cats to trust humans again. It's my educated (okay, I don't have a degree in cat psychology) guess, but I feel he's the most abused cat I've taken in.

If someone convinces me they'll give him an exceptional home, of course I'd let him go under those circumstances. He's definitely not going to live with anyone who "just wants a cat." His adoption would definitely include a home visit and vet references.

It hurts me to imagine the mental anguish this cat must be going through. Cats who are declawed learn to bite and cats without teeth scratch to defend themselves. Cocoa has neither.

Please advise me on this, dear readers. Laura wants to keep him permanently so he'll be safe. I placed a large pillow in the linen closet where he chose to lay after the paw check. My bathroom and bedroom are huge and safe and he'll be cared for in my home. He's in a cabinet below where Samantha has settled in. They appear to be becoming friends and perhaps roommates.

I just don't want the outside world to hurt him any more. If that's even possible.

I'll update everyone once I have a better chance to examine his mouth for any problems.

Elisa

Associated Page:

Declawing? Why not detoothing as well? - by Finn Frode. This is a page criticising the absurdity of declawing not imagining that it might happen.

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Cocoa Is Toothless AND Declawed!

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Jun 22, 2011
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Cocoa is great
by: Anonymous

He has a page under Cocoa Salmons on Facebook. He's eating dry food. Doesn't want canned. And now he has a condo on a table to live in. Check out his Facebook page. He's great.


Jun 22, 2011
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Cocoa is great
by: Anonymous

He has a page under Cocoa Salmons on Facebook. He's eating dry food. Doesn't want canned. And now he has a condo on a table to live in. Check out his Facebook page. He's great.


Jun 22, 2011
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Hacked?
by: Anonymous

Has this page been hacked? I keep getting an email about a new posting on this page, and it's the same message, but none of them are here . . . What's going on?


Jun 22, 2011
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Update please . . .
by: MyKinKStar

Yes, please update us about Cocoa.


Jun 22, 2011
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An update on Cocoa please
by: Anonymous

I don't know how I came upon your web page. It must have been divine intervention. Anyway, hearing about Cocoa made me think of my own cats. They are brothers who were abandoned in the woods. They were both declawed and one is toothless. It was love at first site. That was 15 years ago.

Please tell us what you decided to do with Cocoa. I hope you chose to keep him, as he needs a loving and caring person who can provide the protective environment he deserves. He will be so thankful and show his appreciation with much loyalty and love in the years to come.

Best of luck.


Apr 24, 2011
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EMERGENCY!
by: Elisa

Cocoa needs to see a vet Monday as he only eats when food is squirted thru a syringe. Please help out with a few dollars if at all possible. I'm worried about him


Apr 22, 2011
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Can't spell
by: Anonymous

How do you run an essay service when you can't even spell a four letter word like pity. One t-not 2.

Hi..I deleted the comment your refer to as it is spam. (Michael).


Apr 21, 2011
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Cocoa Is Toothless AND Declawed!
by: Jinx

He is a beautiful cat and i am glad to see that he found such a wonderful home 🙂


Apr 20, 2011
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Been Thinking . . .
by: MyKinKStar

I've been thinking of you AND Cocoa, since I saw and clicked the link on Facebook that brought me here. I read some comments, but didn't post then, just kept the tab open to come back. I am tickled to see you've decided to keep Cocoa, and I'm sure you will never regret it. It makes my heart warm.

You did the right thing, but you don't need anyone else telling you. I know you did it because of your heart and soul. Bless you AND all of your fuzzy family members.


Apr 19, 2011
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Elisa
by: Elisa

I have Elisa now too. She's the one who was hit by a car and brought to the shelter probably to PTS by a clinic. The shelter kept her and it turns out all she needed was a tooth extraction from the accident and they spayed her yesterday at the same time. Thank God the ladies raised $600 for her surgery or she'd be dead. They sent her home with 3 days of opium for pain. Lucky cat! I'm going to put her and Cocoa in the little bathroom as Cocoa keeps hiding and we don't know if he's eating enough yet.


Apr 19, 2011
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Keep him!
by: Ginny

If you let him go, you will always worry about his safety. If you let him stay with you, you will know he is safe......allow him to become part of your family permanently!


Apr 19, 2011
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cocoa
by: toni

I think he is ALREADY home. BTW, he is gorgeous - even without claws and teeth!


Apr 19, 2011
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Cocoa
by: Susan Foxx

You should keep him that way you know for sure he will be safe and loved for the rest of his life I would love to do the same thing to the person for did that to him!!That poor baby yes keep him safe and give him love so he will know not all of us are bad!


Apr 19, 2011
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Keep Cocoa!
by: Faythe Goldsmith

I think you and Cocoa came together for a reason! I cannot imagine a vet that would both declaw AND detooth an animal that way. If Cocoa gets along with your other fur-kids, then the best way to be SURE he doesn't ever endure more torture is to keep him! <3


Apr 18, 2011
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Failed Foster's Support Group
by: Elisa

Go to Facebook and type that in. I've started a group for those of us who foster and then have to keep the cat instead of adopting it out. It's going to be a fun group where we can share pictures of the "failures" we've decided never to part with.


Apr 18, 2011
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YAY!
by: Colleen

Well, triple YAY! LOL So glad you decided to keep Cocoa! Keep us posted, OK? Thanks for all you do for the kitties!!!


Apr 18, 2011
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We're keeping him
by: Elisa

We did let Shirley go to her forever home today. A lady called me and we took 3 kittens we thought would fit into her family and she sat in the floor with all of them. Shirley acted like she owned the place. The lady has a few small dogs and Shirley didn't mind them and they seemed to like her. That was a great way to do it. Just pay a home visit and take the cats that would blend in with the family the best.

I'm so happy Shirley found a good home. I go to Greenville on Wednesday to get Elisa. Petsmart has offered to take Misty and adopt her out and if she's not chosen she'll come right back to me.

So far I've made all the right decisions. I can't believe I've found something I love that I'm good at. I've been told I really get to know my cats and what they like and need.

Cocoa needs peace and quiet right now. Laura made an area in the bathroom where we can sit and pet him. He doesn't like to be picked up.


Apr 18, 2011
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You should keep him!
by: Colleen

Elisa,I think you already know that you want to keep him and just need a little nudge! Am I right? He trusts you SO much now. I think you might be too sad if you let him go to someone else. Keep us posted! Cocoa is such a beauty!


Apr 18, 2011
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Keep Cocoa
by: Jules

Please keep cocoa. This beautiful creature has entered your life for a very good reason - you care.


Apr 18, 2011
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keep him. for his good and yours!! 🙂
by: sonya

It sounds to me like you have a good understanding of all this poor guy has been through and you would be best at providing him a safe nurturing home. In some ways from reading your posts, I really think u have already made a choice and so has sweet Cocoa! !! I say keep him and love him. Someone was very rough on this guy 🙁 thank you so much for being willing to take on a hard case! !


Apr 18, 2011
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You should keep Cocoa
by: Aimee

Elisa you sound to me like the very best home Cocoa could have. If it is at all possible for you to keep him I think it would be the best for you and for him.

As to the guardian angel picture.. do I believe? Yes. I'd say he's telling you something too!


Apr 18, 2011
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Declaw the vet
by: laura carol iancu

Declaw the vet or the lost heartless being that did this. When declawing has been done ,,,it has only been the first two @ ) in front, NOT ALL FOUR ( 4 )! Outlaw declawing and de volcalizing, period.


Apr 18, 2011
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KEEP COCOA
by: jmuhjacat

...need I say more?


Apr 18, 2011
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Which came first?...
by: Vancat

Reflecting on what I have heard about the psychological impact of De-Clawing a feline, These Monsters who had her De-clawed, found out soon after that a Cat who realizes their natural defenses are no-longer Effective in deterring the grabby-brainless paws of bratty kids, will become "Nippy". I would venture a guess here that, when she then Bit the inbred offspring, the 'owner' took her back for a follow-up surgery to remove her teeth as well. No-Doubt after that, she changed her lair to living under furniture and Avoiding the family. Now, an anti-social cat, created by them, was useless to the owner as she was no-longer entertainment for her inbred offspring. So then, Uncle-Daddy or, Auntie-Mommy took and Surrendered the Ruined for life Feline over to the Care of the local Gulag/Shelter. What else should one expect from a cruel and heartless Human who, things all other creatures are far below their standing on this earth?


Apr 18, 2011
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Keep Cocoa
by: Spunky's Rescue Ranch

I have been in rescue 11 years. Certainly I have taken in more than my share of declaws (front), but the very saddest of all are the 4 paw declaws. They are so defenseless, and my heart breaks. I adopted out my first 4 paw, because the PERFECT couple fell in love and didn't even know about his condition. My husband and I kept (foster failure) the second one, who came in as a senior (11 years old), cranky, and dumped because the family was moving (same old story). He just passed two weeks ago, after a long battle with CRF.
I have just now taken in a PAIR OF 4 claw declaws, 10 years old, owner-surrendered. Is that incredibly sad?
Keep Cocoa, if there is anyway possible. On the other hand, if the PERFECT adopter walks in your door, and Cocoa recognizes them as the parents he's been waiting for, well, you will know...


Apr 18, 2011
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A special cat requires a special home
by: Michael

I think my title to this comment tells you what I think should happen.

He has been "legally" abused more than almost all others (if we agree that he was deliberately detoothed, which seem to be the case). He deserves, therefore, a home that is better than almost all others.

Michael Avatar


Apr 18, 2011
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cocoa, should be kept by you.
by: preciousfelines

I think you should keep cocoa.he is happy and has shown what a special kitty he is.I have a declawed all 4 paw kitty,no mine was not tortured or declawed just to be declawed,it was for deformed feet.I dont know why Cocoa lost his teeth there are many variables to why a cat losses teeth.It seems you are doing wonderful job taking of Cocoa and it would seem to me it would do him unnecessary grief to adopt him out.You were chosen to take care of him.I think you are doing a wonderful Job feeding him canned food and seems to be thriving with all the love and attention that is bestowed upon him.what a wonderful addition to the family.


Apr 18, 2011
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Thank You
by: Ann

Oh, Elisa, you need to keep him! He was abused by his previous owner by being declawed and if they had to pull his teeth because of disease, they weren't caring for him like they should have been. If his teeth were pulled for any other reason, I just can't even imagine how much pain that must have been for him. He needs you and your loving home. You are a saint for taking in all those kitties and helping them. There will be a special place in Heaven for you! Thanks for all that you do!


Apr 18, 2011
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Cocoa Found You!
by: Anonymous

I believe that cats find us somehow, and Cocoa found you and your loving and caring soul. He reached out to you and you listened.

This said, after all this poor cat had to endure, and it was devastating for him with the pain and suffering he must have experienced, and he found YOU.. if it is at all humanly possible please make a permanent place in your home for this beautiful boy.

We have two cats that, due to stomatitis had most of their teeth extracted. They have their front teeth, and they are quite white and healthy. They do absolutely fine in the eating department.

People who want to declaw their cats, in my opinion don't deserve to have them in the first place. And, from what I have learned over the years, the practitioners who continue to perform this inhumane and brutal surgery to make money, and don't bother to fully disclose to the client how the surgery is performed, and the risks attached to it, are the ones responsible for the surgery's popularity.

I do hope you will keep him, Elisa. He needs ( kneads) you.


Apr 18, 2011
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Cocoa
by: Anonymous

Please keep Cocoa. It sounds like you have a very good understanding of what Cocoa needs and not everyone will. It takes a special person to care for this kitty. I agree that uprooting him agian would be very difficult as I'm sure he already has trust issues.


Apr 18, 2011
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De-clawing should be banned
by: No abuse Wanda Cross-poster

No animal should have any kind of surgery that is not deem necessary… Vets who de-claw, remove healthy teeth, crop ears and tails, should loose their Vet license plain and simply. I would love to know what vet mutilated Coco… yes mutilated… to remove the claws on all 4 paws is more than a sin, not only does that remove Coco’s ability to defend him self, but he cannot ever get up high enough to get away from hard. Cats that have their front claws removed have a hard time jumping on to sofas and beds, but can still use their back claws to help them, but with no claws whatsoever, Coco never stood a chance inside or out side the home. What the Vet did to this cat is criminal… in my mind. Unless there is a medical reason, there is no reason good enough to justify de-clawing an animal. And to remove Coco’s teeth… That is inexcusable, unless they were rotten, but by the sound of the condition of the 1 remaining tooth it doesn’t sound as if it were rotten.

As for adopting him out to another family. I couldn’t… Not with knowing how defenseless he is, accidents can happen. I would was be worrying and wondering if Coco was ok, if you keep him forever you will always be assured that he will be as safe as you can keep him… Just my opinion…


Apr 18, 2011
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Adopting declawed cats
by: Ruth

Anonymous I agree with you. Far better someone wanting a declawed cat adopting one already disabled that way than putting a healthy cat through surgery.
There is a train of thought by some that adopting declawed cats should not be encouraged as it makes it seem they are in demand. I can see the reasoning behind that but I don't think it's right denying already declawed cats the chance of a home.
The only drawback is that many in Shelters are there because of problems from the declawing and when relinquished other excuses were made. The favourite being an allergic child !
So when the cat gets to his new home and starts biting or avoiding the litter box, he is returned to the Shelter as a 'bad cat'
It's disgraceful that vets hide the truth about declawing and there are thousands of people feeling guilty at what their cat went through.
We need to educate as many people as we can so that those greedy vets suggesting declawing at the time of neutering, find their clients aren't so gullible as to trust them any more.
UK vets make a good living without mutilating cats, so USA and Canadian vets should too.

Kattaddorra signature Ruth


Apr 18, 2011
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Cocoa Is Toothless AND Declawed!
by: BJ

Whoever had Cocoa declawed and apparently had his teeth pulled when he started biting to defend himself. People that have cats declawed do not need to have pets. I wonder how they treat their children. They should not have pets.

I have owned many cats and dogs and never were they mistreated in anyway. Right now we have two feral cats that we found as kittens, they are sweet and loving;but, are not lap cats. I can pet them and brush them, and I am treating them for ear mites. They don't like it but they don't try to scratch or bite me.

A law needs to be passed to prevent this cruelty to cats, and fines for vets that declaw cats and the people that ask them to do this horrible act.


Apr 18, 2011
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Devil's Advocate
by: Anonymous

I agree with you that declawing is a horrible form of torture, both immediately and in the long run. However, I wanted to add my two cents about people wanting to adopt already-declawed cats. There are people out there who would never declaw a cat, but still want a declawed cat because they don't want their precious furniture ruined. In this case, I say more power to them. They're giving a home to an animal in need, and they are aware of what de-"clawing" actually is, and would never have it done themselves.

But even if it's as you say, and someone wants to get a cat that's already declawed so that they don't have to spend the money on it, I still say that there's something positive in that--namely that a cat will get a home. Obviously there's the argument that if they would ever get a cat declawed, they're not a suitable home for a cat. And I have to say I agree. But I think it's important to keep in mind that there are still MANY people in the world who truly don't know what declawing is.

When I was a toddler, I picked out my first cat at the shelter. Toddlers in general are NOT good matches for cats. I made that poor cat's life hell (with good intentions; I just wanted to be with the cat all of the time, and have her love me and follow me the way the dogs did). She scratched me a lot, and so my mother made the decision to get her front paws declawed. My mother had NO IDEA what declawing was, and simply thought that it was akin to a human having his or her toenails or fingernails removed (something that is done, and doesn't hurt). When she found out, years later, about the truth of declawing, she was absolutely horrified, and to this day she carries around a lot of guilt. She never would have thought that a veterinarian would perform an operation that was harmful to an animal, or that had such drastic, lifelong side effects (and Barney did become a biter), simply for the convenience of a stupid person with money.

The real root of the problem is two-fold: Educating the public about declawing, and addressing the fact that there's something scary about a medical professional doing something purely for profit.


Apr 18, 2011
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The floor
by: Elisa

Is a rough grain of wood since Laura pulled up the carpet to put down tile and we can't afford tile just yet.

Cocoa lays on my bed and allows me to pet him. He allows me to carry him. What can I say? I have a way with animals and crazy people. The rest of the population I don't understand.

He seems very happy even though he doesn't stretch out to sleep/ Samantha rolled onto her back to take a nap the first day.

I have a chance to put some of my cats up for adoption with Petsmart Charities and I'm hoping to take Lily, Misty and Samantha to Greenville Wednesday before I pick up Elisa at GCAC.

I'll keep pics posted on Facebook under Furby the Feral in his Halfway House album.

It was weird how the bathroom door got shut the other night and Cocoa had to sleep in my room. Whatever is in my house hid Lauras glasses for 3 days then they were magically in plain sight again.


Apr 18, 2011
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YOU are his Guardian Angel Elisa
by: Ruth

If it was Cocoa's Guardian Angel he was was a bit late !
I think he met his true Guardian Angel in YOU Elisa.
I can't imagine how anyone could be so cruel as to take all his toe ends and his teeth too.
I don't believe it was done for medical purposes, no one going to those lengths and expense for their cats health would then abandon him.
I think that 4 paw declawing could only be asked for by someone with no feelings for cats and as for the vet who did it, words can't describe my hatred for him/her.

Kattaddorra signature Ruth


Apr 18, 2011
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Cocoa
by: Marietta

I don't know how many cats you have at home but if they get all along and Cocoa doesn't mind other cats and you don't mind keeping him, I would advice to keep him. If you feel you have too many cats or Cocoa wouldn't feel to well in your home, than try to find a good & loving home.
Cocoa was badly abused and hurt and disrespected. It will take time to help him to overcome his past. It can take over a year to see improvement in his shy and scared behavior and it can take even longer than that.
This is a very sad and shocking story.
I do not believe that Cocoa had stomatitis (gum disease) because if, he would still have slight red gums and he would have inflammation around the one tooth left.

Is Cocoa purring when you touch him? Can you touch him or is he very scared?
If you have hardwood flooring you want to consider to put carpet out for him. He will slip away on a floor like this and it will hurt his paws.
I'm thinking the entire day about Cocoa and I'm so sorry that this innocent kitty endured so much pain in his life and nobody helped him. Declawed on 4 paws is really insane. Declawing the front paws is already animal cruelty and the worst you can do to a cat. Declawing on all 4 paws is pure evil and cruel and insane!!! I almost can't believe that a vet would do this kind of surgery.


Apr 18, 2011
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Of the subject a little
by: Elisa

The big picture of Cocoa has a very weird story behind it. I took the other photos of him first. Then as I was about to take that one I thought a bird had flown into the bathroom. Something went right in front of the camera. The flash didn't fire because that something tricked the light meter into thinking there was enough light to make the photo.

Did I capture Cocoas guardian angel? Kind of looks like angel wings to me.



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