Tigger, my survivor - Cat Forum : Cat Discussion Forums
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-11-2013, 01:35 AM Thread Starter
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Tigger, my survivor

Tigger's mom was a feral stray living in our barn. We only caught glimpses of her on and off for about 3 years. She'd clean the food bowls when we weren't watching but the rest of the time was a gray-ish blur. One night when I was about 12, I came around the corner of our house and there she was with a brand new kitten still in his sack. She took the kitten into the garage and we quickly locked her in. She had 3 more kittens.

The date was March 31st. I remember going to school the next day and excitedly telling the entire class that our cat had had kittens. As it was April Fools Day, no one believed me.

All four kittens were boys...two orange and white patchy kittens, one orange tabby and one black tabby. Baby (their mother) was violently ill when they were three days old. They spent the night snuggled up with our 19 year old cat, Buddy. He was a very good mom. Once Baby was feeling better, we gave her the kittens back. She was clearly a first time mom and very inexperienced. She almost smothered them more than once. When they were about 2 weeks old, we decided to let the dog meet them. He was a very rowdy and curious young golden retriever/irish setter mix. Tigger's eyes weren't quite open yet, but we held the tiny kitten up to the dog's giant nose so he could smell the kitten. Tigger took one sniff and smacked that dog across the face with his tiny claws. The dog knew his place around the cats for the rest of his life.

Once the time came to find homes for the kittens, we asked friend and family. The two orange patch kitties (later named Thomas and Peekers) went to coworkers of my mom's. Lucky the black tabby was going to stay with us. Tigger (the orange tabby) was supposed to go to my Uncle, but his track record with cats was less than stellar and we didn't feel it was a very safe place for a kitten. In the end, we kept Tigger and Lucky together. (Their mother was spayed as soon as they were weaned and lived with us to the end of her days--she was still half wild and we were never once in 10 years able to pick her up and hold her).

A few years later, Tigger was one of our cats who was dosed with a Hartz flea product. He was very ill for a while but ended up making a full recovery.

Tigger was King of his house. He walked around proudly with his tail held high and wasn't afraid of anything. He put all the neighborhood dogs in their place and none would come near him. Even as he got older he managed to terrify our lab puppy into submission. I remember taking walks up and down our (very long, private) driveway with my "herd." Our dogs (a golden mix, mentioned above and a german shepherd mix), the neighbor's mini poodle, and Tigger. He had no idea he wasn't a dog.

He was a consumate hunter and when his brother Lucky got old and sick he would bring him "gifts." He would snuggle with him at night and help keep him warm. Lucky passed away about 18 months ago. Tigger got very thin after he died but bounced back. We thought he'd made it through the winter, but tonight my parents found him dead. He was 15 years old.

Rest in peace my sweet boy. You are loved and will never be forgotten.
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-11-2013, 01:38 AM Thread Starter
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He is now burried out in our little pet cemetary with his mother and brother and all the little creatures we've loved and lost over two decades at that property.

Last edited by Venusworld21; 05-11-2013 at 01:42 AM.
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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-11-2013, 08:38 AM
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Aww - what a sweet story. Rest in peace little Tigger - I know you are enjoying chasing and playing tag (in love and play of course) with all those dogs over the Rainbow Bridge and being reunited with your mom.

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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-19-2013, 08:27 AM
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What a great cat, Tigger was. I loved reading about him. You are so fortunate he graced your life. I can only amagine the loss you feel. Run free Tigger. You were a very special cat.
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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-19-2013, 08:47 AM
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RIP Tigger.

What a blessing you were, and will one day be again, to all the lives you touched
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 06-03-2013, 01:27 AM
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I'n so sorry about Tigger. It sounds like he was quite a character and is now probably bossing around all of the dogs at the Rainbow Bridge.
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 06-10-2013, 01:21 AM
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My condolences. I lost it when I saw the picture of Tigger and Lucky. Now I need to go find some Kleenex. *sniffle*

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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 06-10-2013, 10:46 AM
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Kleenex moment for me too. How lucky you were to have him for 15 years, I think that is an exceptionally long life for as outdoorsy as he was. RIP beautiful boy. I just know he is running and playing with his brother Lucky now. So sorry for your loss.
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 06-11-2013, 09:36 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you...that picture was taken not long before Lucky died. You can see he looks a bit thin and scraggly. He also had a thyroid problem and was on medication for the last few years of his life. Tigger is fat and sassy in this picture, and that's the way I remember him being his whole life, except for the last year or so.

I know outdoors is not an "ideal" life, but he was truly his mother's son and wouldn't have tolerated being an indoor cat. He also developed a spraying habit (even though he was neutered very young) and that made his choices outside or a new home. He loved life and was really very well suited to being outdoors. He'd start every morning walking across the lawn to the horse's trough for his drink, then out into the neighbor's overgrown property to hunt. He knew his whistle though, and would come when I called him and didn't mind being locked in the garage during the really bad weather. Mostly I remember him taking really excellent care of his brother. Lucky wouldn't have made it to the age he did, if not for Tigger.

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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 06-11-2013, 11:25 PM
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I think sometimes that is the call you have to make, outside or or re home and hope for the best. My sister had to come to that decision with her cat. He is now going on 10, and I fear he is having problems, health wise. But this cat, like yours, was never meant to be an indoor cat. I think he had a good life, being an outside cat, being able to hunt and come and go as he pleased. I'm so sorry he is gone, and his brother, but it sounds like you gave them wonderful lives.
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