Monday, July 4, 2011

R.I.P Tigger. I love you so much.

Today I lost someone very important to me. I lost a friend. I lost a family member. I lost someone who has seen me grow up, and who has stayed by my side during many momentous occasions in my life. My beloved cat Tigger, who just turned 18 years old on June 23, passed away this afternoon.

I'm going to miss you, friend.

I knew something was wrong the moment I woke up. You see, every morning Tigger wakes me up by opening my bedroom door (yes, he knew how to do this), jumping on my bed and meowing in my ear. It was my own personal feline alarm clock. He wanted food and he wanted it NOW. But, if I didn't get up right at that moment and feed him, he'd be okay with just getting some quality pets, rubs, scratches and snuggles.

This morning I wasn't woken up by a meowing cat. This morning I opened my door and my mom had a sad look on her face. She told me that Tigger didn't go down to eat breakfast this morning (this was very unusual for him, since he loves food and is always first to get fed.) In fact, he hadn't moved much at all and was acting very unlike himself.

I went downstairs and found Tigger lying on the kitchen floor. He tried to get up a few times, but kept wobbling around and falling down. It was extremely painful to watch. I wanted so badly to help him but I didn't know what to do. I felt so useless. After awhile he began to pant quietly. My mom and I tried to stay near him and pet him, but he just wanted to be left alone. He wouldn't even purr when I scratched the sides of his face. I brought him his favourite mouse, but he didn't pay any attention to it. I prayed and prayed that he would get better, but his body began to deteriorate further as the hours passed. Over time he stood up once and urinated on the kitchen floor. We knew then there was nothing more we could do. Tigger had lost control of his body as it began to shut down.

Over the past year Tigger has lost a lot of weight. It had gotten so bad that you could feel his spine and ribs when you petted him. He also became deaf and unable to hear us call his name. He stopped washing himself, resulting in many clumps in his fur. He would urinate around the house, oftentimes not being able to make it to the litter box in time. He even developed a lump on his tail that grew bigger and bigger as the months passed. Tigger began to develop an unquenchable appetite and thirst. No matter how much we fed him or gave him water he'd still want more. We knew he was sick, but because of his age surgery wasn't an option. His heart couldn't take it. We just tried to provide him with a comfortable life. We knew this was coming.

Still, at 2:30pm when my parents picked Tigger up from the kitchen floor and took him away to the vet  to put him down, it felt like I was losing such an integral part of my life. I knew it was the right thing to do, but that decision wasn't easy. I felt so empty and defeated as he left. I still feel empty. I am happy I got to say goodbye, and I am happy that he is no longer in pain. But, my heart broke in half as they carried him out of the house and he meowed one last meow at me. I wanted to help him so bad. I wanted to make him comfortable and free of pain and I wanted him to know that I love him so much and that he means the world to me. I hope he knows that now.

I couldn't bear to make the trip to the vet. I just couldn't see him without life in his eyes. I hope he forgives me.

And now he's gone. My best friend for 18 years.

Being an only child I've always formed very close relationships with my pets. When my first cat Sticky died I was devastated, and this is no different. I know most people won't understand what I'm going through, and might even think I'm overreacting, but losing Tigger is similar to losing a brother for me.

Tigger used to sleep next to me in bed almost every night. If he wasn't on my bed, he'd be outside my door. I'd like to think he was protecting me during the night when he did that.

Tigger loved begging for food during dinner time. When he was allowed "people" food, he loved eating: corn, sour cream and onion crackers, Smartfood popcorn, chinese food chicken, tuna, heck... anything really. But those were his favourites. It was impossible to eat cereal around Tigger, since he would always try to stick his paw right into the bowl. He loved milk so much. I'd sometimes purposefully leave a bit of milk at the bottom of the bowl and let him lick it up - he really enjoyed that.

He came close to catching those squirrels!

Tig also loved laying outside in the backyard soaking up the sun in the grass. He loved watching the birds and chasing the squirrels. He even chased after a bumblebee once and got stung on his paw. It swelled up to the size of a softball. Poor thing... He never went near those bees again. He also enjoyed munching on grass and then coming inside the house and throwing it all up everywhere.

Tigger snoozing in the shade last August

Tigger was extremely social and would sit on any stranger's lap and demand snuggles. He meowed all the time, and was definitely not shy at all. It was hard having a conversation on the phone without him interrupting with all his meows; but I didn't mind. Tigger had a favourite purple mouse that he played with. He would carry that mouse everywhere in his mouth - sometimes even singing with it! One time he left it in my ski boot and I found a nice little surprise in there when I was at the ski hill changing into my equipment. Tigger loved everyone and always wanted to meet and great every person that came into the door. That cat had one hell of a big personality, and I loved him for it.

Tigger loving the attention. 

The house seems so quiet now. It feels so empty without my furry friend.

There's so much more to say about how amazing of a cat Tigger was, but it's hard to type coherently amid all the tears. I've been crying non-stop since he left.

Tigger leaves behind a younger brother, Spook, who is going to miss his older brother very much. Spook always followed Tigger EVERYWHERE and wanted to be involved with whatever Tigger would do, so I am sure he's going to be just as heartbroken as I am over the next while. Spook is already searching all of Tigger's hiding and sleeping spots wondering where his big brother went.

Spook and Tigger... best buds.

I miss you Tigger. I've cried so much today. It kills me that I will never see you again. Well, see you here again, anyway. I'd like to believe you're in heaven with our old cat Sticky right now. I'd like to believe I'll see you again one day. I hope you're having a great time in heaven and that you're warm and comfortable and happy. I hope you have all your favourite foods and I hope you have tons of squirrels and birds to chase. I love you very much. You will be missed each and every day. Today I've lost a friend, but you will forever be in my thoughts, prayers, and heart.

<3 Jennie
"Not the least hard thing to bear when
they go from us, these quiet friends, is
that they carry away with them so many years of our own lives."
- John Galsworthy

"Ask the beasts and they will teach you the beauty of this earth." 
- St. Francis of Assisi

"God's finger touched him, and he slept."
- Alfred, Lord Tennyson

<3 you always.

Goodnight, sweet friend.


  1. I'm so sorry for your loss, Jennie. That was a beautiful post and I've tearing right up now after reading it.

    I know how you feel as our family has lost a few pets over the years. They really do become a part of the family.

    I hope you can take solace in the fact that Tigger provided many years of love and companionship to you over his 18 years (which I know probably isn't much comfort to you right now but it's a pretty awesome feat as the average life expectancy of a cat is much less than that so even though I never met him, I know that he was way better than the average cat). *hugs*

  2. So sorry to hear about your kitty. :( I just lost one of mine a couple of months ago (she was 2, got hit by a car), I think I cried for a week.

    I know how much it hurts, hope you start to heal a little soon. And glad that both you & Tigger had each other for so long!

  3. What a beautiful post... as you know, I lost Tyson a couple of weeks ago... anyone who has grown up with animals knows that you're losing much more than a pet... you're losing a friend.. a family member... You're not over-reacting at all.


  4. So sorry to hear about Tigger :(
    What a lovely memorial post for him.... <3