Friday, January 11, 2008

Remembering Tiga

According to shelter records, Tiga (pronounced Tee-guh) was born somewhere around August 2002. We adopted Tiga from the local shelter in January of 2003. When we first got him, it was because we thought he had pretty eyes, and because we felt sorry for him. He was the only cat/kitten that was not up and attempting to get our attention. He was lying passively in the cage, looking sad.

At first, he was not thriving, wouldn't eat, had mite and flea infestation and was filthy. We took him to the vet, got him de-flead, de-mited, cleaned up and back on his feet.

The vet told us that he was siamese flame point and domestic short hair mix. His eyes were the most unusual shade of blue....light like the ocean against his white fur. He had yellow tiger stripes on his tail and tips of his ears. I'd never seen another cat like him. One thing about him that was unlike other cats I've known (especially Sheba), he would never groom himself much. Sheba, who we got in August of 2003 as a kitten, did most of his grooming for him.

Robert always said that Tiga was "straight up alley cat." For years, he'd tip over our trash and dig in it if given half a chance. Even though food was always available to him. I think it was because he was on his own at an early age, on the streets. No matter how much he ate, he always wanted more, and was getting pretty portly at just over five years of age. I suspect he was going to the neighbor's house to eat in addition to eating his meals with us. Tiga never seemed to do anything in moderation.

We named him Tiga after a Japanese super hero called, "Ultraman Tiga" that the kids used to watch on Saturday morning cartoons. I think his was the only pet name we all agreed on without bickering.

When he was strong enough, we had him "altered," but it never curbed his desire to roam. He always preferred to be outside, climbing trees, exploring, and tormenting the dogs as much as possible. The dogs and all the neighborhood cats knew he was in charge. I literally have videos of Tiga putting our big dogs to flight when they thought they would sneak up on him and hassle him.

This is one of my favorite pictures of Tiga, sitting close to me between the computer and the tv. I thought the angle made it look like he was on tv.

He got in these silly moods and would practically tear the house apart racing around, sliding the rugs all over the floor and generally acting goofy.

If I walked around the block, he followed me like a dog. Same thing in the house, or if I happened to be doing yard work. Wherever I was, he followed, to see if he could help. Sometimes I had to put him in the house while I was mowing the lawn. He'd literally try to hop up on the mower while I was mowing. He knew no fear.

Tiga loved riding in the car with me. If I was going for a ride and he knew it, he would hop in and ride along.
With his best friend, Sheba. He loved Sheba and merely tolerated all other animals....and there were plenty he didn't tolerate. He treated Sheba like she was his daughter.

Tiga died in his sleep last night. We think it was accidental antifreeze poisoning. He was gone for three days this week, came back and seemed disoriented at first, but then seemed to recover rapidly. He was eating and drinking and using the litter box without incident. I didn't know he was so desperately ill.

Though I am overwhelmed with sorrow right now, I do know he lived the short life he had to its fullest.

~We will miss you and we will never forget you, Tiga.~


neicybelle said...

oh kristi....i'm so sorry...please hug your babies for me...

PJ said...

Kristi, I'm so very sorry about Tiga. I have 2 cats myself and love them dearly.

I've begun to write again, slowly. So stop by when you get a chance. Maybe I'll call you tomorrow to see how you're doing, k?
Feel better.....P. xoxo.