Saturday, March 26, 2005

Farewell

We weren't cat people; that was one thing we knew. Cats were inscrutable and mysterious. They didn't come to you when called. They're standoffish. But I don't recall ever seeing a prettier face on a kitten; he stood out - no one in that litter was more playful either. Holding him was like lifting a cloud - you barely knew he was there.

After much debate and changed minds, he finally found a name: Tigger.

Tigger was like all cats. He was kind of lazy and did as he damn well pleased. But he also enjoyed curling up in a nearby lap for a quick nap, and he loved being brushed. He would come running for two things: food in his bowl or his brush in your hand.

Over the years, he adopted each of us for a brief time. At first, he was my cat - until I left for a week's vacation; then he was done with me. Next, he moved on to Mike - until Mike went away for school; after crying by the door every night for a week, he moved on to Mom. Where he stayed for several years.

Mom's lap became Tigger's favorite haunt; that, or the arm of her chair. And while he never really trusted Dad (who once sat on Tigger as a kitten), he tolerated him. When Dad was very sick, Tigger finally put aside years of mistrust to rub up against my very sick father. Unfortunately, we figured out how to get the oxygen cylinder working right at that moment, and the hissing sound scared the cat right out of the room, breaking up the long-awaited reconciliation.

Recently, Tigger became my cat. With Mom living in an apartment temporarily, Tigger had to stay with me. After a few weeks of adjusting to one another (and cleaning up cat droppings from around the house), we finally came to an agreement. Tigger, Trudy and I enjoyed a peaceful coexistence, where every morning, I would pet and brush my cat before I headed off to work.

Yesterday, Mom and I had to say goodbye to our friend of 14 years. Tigger was diabetic, and growing very ill. Realistically, I wasn't going to be able to give him two insulin shots daily and monitor his diet enough to guaratee he would be able to live any kind of life.

I know we did the right thing for him, and that he was able to die with two people who cared for him. But I'm still going to miss scratching his head before I crawl into bed at night.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hell Brian. March is not your month! Sorry to hear about Tigger. He was a proper cat, good when you needed him. Aaron

Monkey said...

I'm so sorry about Tigger. I know what it's like to say goodbye to a cat friend of that many years - it's very hard.

:-(

Gordon said...

Sorry to hear about Tigger - I know that it's not easy letting go of a pet. My first two cats, Blake and Steed, had to be put down when they both got sick - I raised them through high school and college, and Mom took over when I moved out.

They were older cats - 17 and 16 - but it's never easy to let go of a pet.

Of course, Dax (my current cat) will probably outlive me, but who knows?

Gordon

Farrell said...

I know what it's like. My mom had to put her cat - who used to be my cat - to sleep when she moved here. His kidneys just couldn't hold out any longer. Maybe Tigger and Butterscotch are now playing together in kitty heaven:)

Brian said...

Thanks for the kind words and thoughts, everyone. I really appreciate it, and I'm more than ready for March to end now.