Elisa’s Update on Cocoa

Elisa’s Update on Cocoa

by Elisa Black-Taylor

Cocoa and his true love Jasper

Two useful tags. Click either to see the articles: Toxic to cats | Dangers to cats

Cocoa and his true love Jasper

Cocoa and his true love Jasper Cocoa soon after rescue Cocoa's new lean look

Today I wanted to give everyone a lighthearted story about what it's like to live with a toothless declawed cat.

Since many of you fell in love with my Snowshoe rescue Cocoa (named Tooth at the shelter because he has only one tooth), I decided to update everyone on his life (previous update).

A lot of people have asked me why I wanted him. Who would want a toothless, declawed on all four paws cat? I'll be the first to tell you that Cocoa has really been a surprise in how he's adapted to his forever home with us.

First of all, he's one of the few cats who actually knows his name and comes when I call him. He can be found nightly laying either in my lap of chewing on my hair while laying across the back of the couch.

Defenseless - Defensive

Cocoa only seems to have one problem at this time in his life and that's putting forth a brave front since he's totally defenseless. He doesn't like other cats intruding on our together time. He shows his displeasure by giving a fierce hiss while frantically slapping his paws at anyone who enters our space.

At first this frightened me. With a cat with claws and teeth I'd have been beaten up. Instead I have a cat who looks like a viper but is totally harmless. This is good for me but bad for his ego. He's totally defenseless since some stupid person went and had him declawed on all four paws. He has no teeth to bite with. He's confined to an indoor life and only me for protection.

The other cats are afraid of him when he does his mad cat impersonation. Still, I find it sad. If anyone wants a declawed cat, please visit a shelter. Don't do this to a cat you love.

Dry cat food

Another thing about Cocoa I wanted to mention is his lack of teeth and his ability to eat dry cat food. He hates wet cat food. Won't smell it or touch it. I have to watch out for him sticking half of his body down in the dog food bag for a piece of food. He loves the dry and does an excellent job of digesting it.

This doesn't surprise me, as I have false teeth and can easily eat most foods without them in. The gums toughen up over time.

Cocoa has started to take an interest in steamed vegetables. Especially broccoli and squash. He also enjoys scrambled eggs.

Cocoa sleeps with me most nights now. For a long time he slept in the main room, but I guess with the colder nights and the space heater on my nightstand that blows onto my bed, he's most comfy (and protected) with me.


His best friend and love of his life is Jasper, from our very first rescue. They spend a lot of time wrapped up with each other and gazing into each others eyes. These cats know the meaning of true love and aren't afraid to show it. They're actually rather entertaining to watch. Cocoa only plays with his Jasper. He has no interest in any of the other cats. Perhaps he sees Jasper as his cat bodyguard, as Jasper has claws and can protect him.

Change in coat color

Now I'd like to tell everyone about the biggest change in Cocoa. He's a different color than we we rescued him back in April of 2011. He's lost most of the black hair on his back and he's lost a lot of fat. He must have been overweight for his breed at 13 pounds. Instead of being a big pudgy boy, he's developed the streamlined body of an athlete. Every muscle is defined, much like a Siamese. And the hair on his back is almost all cream. He still has black on his face and paws.

I never knew his breed (either a Snowshoe or Siamese mix) have fur that changes with the temperature. If I saw a photo of Cocoa at the time of rescue alongside a recent photo of him, I wouldn't recognize him as the same cat.

My friend Jessica Feeney, who begged me to pull Cocoa, later apologized for asking me to pull him. She said she didn't know who would want a toothless, declawed cat. I'll tell you who-ME! He's a doll-baby and he's with us for life. No more mean people cutting away body parts and then throwing him in a shelter to die.

Cocoa is grateful for being rescued and we're grateful to have saved him.


I'm curious about something. Do you like the old Cocoa with all the fat on him and the black hair? Or do you prefer the athletic lean look he's developed over the summer? He's very healthy and the vets now say on a scale of 1-10, with 1 being skinny and 10 being fat, 4 is the perfect size. So my Cocoa is PERFECT!!

I'll list some other Cocoa related stories at the bottom for those of you who missed them.


Associated pages:

Question about a cat losing teeth.

Cocoa had blood work today

Misty and Cocoa are both declawed

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Elisa's Update on Cocoa

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Feb 22, 2012
Cocoa-- My Godson
by: Ann Wilson Smith

I love Cocoa no matter how he looks, but I am sure he is healthier now that he is buff! I am glad he has love too. Have you ever heard of the breed Balanese? The cat I cat-sat for looked a lot like Cocoa and he is Balanese. (Kind of like Siamese but bigger and mouthier LOL). He has the same coloring as Cocoa. Please give Cocoa my love and tell him I said he is looking fantastic!

Feb 22, 2012
certain breeds
by: Elisa

A friend wrote and told me some breeds are temperature sensitive. Cocoa is now beginning to grow back his black hair. This is very strange to watch. Siamese is the main breed for this.

Feb 22, 2012
Lighter color
by: Michael

This is a bit of a guess but maybe the change in color and loss of fat are linked.

The color is heat sensitive as you say. The warmer skin the lighter the coat. That is why the extremities of the body are darker.

The cells that change the color of the coat are in the skin.

As there is less fat, the skin will be warmer as it is nearer the warm interior of the body. That will produces the lighter coat.

With a lining of fat around the body the cells in the skin will be cooler as the fat presents a barrier between the warm interior of the body and the skin. That results in a cool skin and a darker coat.

The purebred Snowshoe should be fairly slender (foreign shape). Cocoa has a nice traditional appearance (not so slender) but I prefer the slightly more slender appearance of Cocoa now that he has lost some weight. It is probably more healthy anyway.

Thanks for posting Elisa.

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