My Tiger…

Tiger is the cat that has graciously allowed me to be his mistress. I share my home with three of them actually,  Tiger was the first one  after my divorce. Him and I coming together was sort of an accident, but one that I believe was destined to be. He’s unique, special and just one hell of a cat.

I’ve always loved animals, my ex – not so much. So after my divorce I decided that it was time to bring a cat back into my life and also to give my daughter an opportunity to interact with a pet. I fell in love with a little kitten that was in a box with a bunch of others on a street corner. He was the quietest of the bunch and sat apart by himself. Unfortunately, he may have been sick and that would explain why he was so quiet. I only had him a couple of days before he died on me. I didn’t even have a chance to get him to a vet for a check up. Well, when I came home and found him like that, I took it to the vet. Why? I don’t know, there was nothing a vet could do for him, but I really didn’t want my daughter to find out that her first pet of 2 days died. Don’t ask me what I was expecting by going to the vet with a dead cat, but I kind of think it was destiny because that’s where Tiger and I met.

At the vet’s office, I brought the poor little kitten in and explained what had happened. Knowing in the back of my mind that they’re probably wondering what the heck was it I wanted them to do?? Bring it back to life? Sure would have been nice if that were possible but…   Anyway, back to the story – Weeping, I explained to them that this was my daughter’s first pet. I’m pretty sure they knew that I may have been the one hurting the most over this. I get far too attached to everything. One of the girls working there, came around the corner holding another kitten. She asked if I wanted to take this one home. She placed him in my arms and stood back. I looked at him and he looked at me. He immediately started wriggling and meowing in protest. He wasn’t particularly pretty. He was yellowish and wild looking. They explained to me that he had been found a few weeks prior with 2 other siblings – abandoned.  Hurricane Charley had just come through our area a couple of months earlier and wreaked havoc. We had downed trees everywhere, flooding, etc… the place was just a mess. Apparently, he and his siblings had either been born as wild cats or they had been left behind somehow and they were found amid the rubble. They told me that the other two had already been adopted out and he was the only one left. Dubiously I looked at him as he stalked around the room. Each time I tried to pick him up, he’d complain loudly. Definitely not a cuddly kind of cat. I wasn’t going to leave him behind though, not after hearing his story of being a hurricane survivor.

Tiger and I went home and the next few days was definitely a learning experience between all three of us. I’ve had lots of cats in my lifetime, but Tiger taught me that he was his own cat. He didn’t conform to anyone’s expectations of what cats should be. It didn’t take long before we bonded though. He turned out to be a really fun cat. He fetched. Yes, ‘fetched’ like a dog would. I bought him a little stuffed kitten to play with and quickly found that he absolutely loved for us to throw it for him to chase after. Not only did he chase after it but he actually brought it back to us for it to be thrown again. He talked. No, he didn’t say words, but he mewed his response to everything. If he liked something, he’d give us a little “rrrr” in the back of his throat. If he wasn’t happy, he’d produce a loud, gutteral “maiwww”. That’s the only way I can describe it. He didn’t “meow”, he made noises from deep within his throat and they would come out loud. Sometimes, I could hear him walking around just maiwwwing away. It just felt as if he were communicating with us all the time.

As the months went by, his yellow colors deepened into a gorgeous auburn shade.

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He still hated being held. Hated it with a passion. If anyone picked him up, he might tolerate it for a few seconds before he’d start squirming and meowing in protest. However, despite that particular aversion, he was a very loving cat. Just on his own terms. He’d follow us all over the house and always stayed in the same room as we did. He showed his love and affection by rubbing our legs or nuzzling us with his face. Curled up beside us on the sofa to sleep, purring the loudest purr I’d ever heard coming from a cat. Everything had to be on his own terms. He just didn’t like us picking him up.

There was one side effect from his being in the aftermath of Hurricane Charley’s mess and that was he developed some respiratory problems. At least that’s what everyone has agreed on. Those first few months, I noticed that he sneezed a lot. The vet would treat him for his sinuses, which would let up temporarily then return. After many trips to several vets and finally one specialist, they determined that he may have contracted some kind of bacterial infection in the mess left behind from the hurricane. We never found out for sure because they started quoting me figures in the thousand dollar range just to find out what might have been wrong. I don’t have much money and certainly not to spend a thousand just to “find out what the problem is”… not to mention fix it. He’s not in pain. He’s a very contented and happy cat. He can’t smell and goes into violent sneezing fits, but other than that he’s fine. So I wasn’t going to mess with it any more.

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I mentioned earlier in this post that I had 3 cats. Well, the second cat came into the house as a result of Tiger. My daughter had a lot of stuffed animals (a lot).  I worked and she went to school and whenever we came home at the end of the day, we would always see some of her stuffed cats in various parts of the house. Tiger seemed to know how to pick out the cats from the other animals. He’d bring them out to keep him company while we were gone. So I decided that I needed to get him a companion.

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Bandit.  He’ll get his own post later. For right now, this one is your introduction to Tiger, one of the most unique, fascinating cats I’ve ever met.

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