In November, 1999, when I visited Springfield for a Feldman family Thanksgiving, Casey, who saw how much fun I had playing with her cats, urged me to adopt a cat when I returned to Wisconsin. Soon thereafter, a friend of mine surprised me with a gift–a stray kitten who had followed her home on a cold Wisconsin night. I called Casey with the news and when I told her I had not yet named my new kitty she excitedly asked to name him for me.
Thinking aloud she
Yes! How about Cosmo?”
I said “Cosmo,” and he perked up,
mewed his consent, and that’s how he
got his name.
Little did we know that Casey would get to meet Cosmo sooner than any of us expected. A few months later, in April, 2000, after I accepted a position at Temple University, Cosmo and I left Wisconsin and headed to Springfield, where we lived for a few months before moving in to the city. Our eastward trip was uneventful until we hit the windswept bridges on the interstate over the mountain passes of Western Pennsylvania. The rental truck was a bit unstable at times and as a way to assure both of us of a safe arrival, I said more than once: “Cosmo, first thing we’ll do when we get to Joel and Diane’s is touch the the old sycamore tree for good luck.”
When we pulled up in the driveway, everyone was there to greet us. Casey of course, after welcoming me, adorably appointed herself Cosmo’s caretaker and made sure he was settled in up on the 3rd floor where we were to live for the next several months. For several nights thereafter, she would always come up right before bedtime and say goodnight and check on him.
Cosmo, soon acquired several nicknames, mainly my brother Joel’s doing, which Casey immortalized in a screensaver on my desktop “Cosmo…Cosmopolitan…Cozzie Mo-Mo…Where’s little Keeton?”