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RIP Tyger

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
When my wife was about 14 she was walking to school and heard a tiny mewling. (this was in metropolitan Los Angeles). She saw a bedraggled kitten, so tiny he couldn't climb up on the curb from the gutter, calling for help.

She adopted him "just til they could find someone to take him". He and her Cocker Spaniel puppy, Tweety, became fast friends and would play with each other endlessly.

A couple of years later he began spraying the entire house, and quickly became an outdoor cat. Her dad would get home from work to see Tyger outlined against the sky, sitting on top of their house. She'd see Tyger running by on the lawn, either with Tweety, or being chased by one of the local crows. Unlike most outdoor cats, he never wandered the neighboorhood, and always remained on the property near his family.

When he wanted attention he'd crawl in through the mail slot (no mean feat for a 20lb cat).

He was about 7 or 8 when she and I moved in together and adopted him. We figured it was safer for him to be an indoor cat (we had no lawn), and it took almost a year before he stopped trying to get out. He lived out the next 8 years of his life on our laps, never far from the side of the nearest human. He slept at my wife's feet every night, mostly because she doesn't kick and roll over in her sleep like I do. Often she'd wake to find him pinning down the covers, trapping her in bed.

He'd always purr when you picked him up, a loud even timbre, but if he wanted down he was fast to let you know it with a swat of his claws.

He got really sick his last year. His kidneys had failed, and we ended up having to give him subQ injections to keep him hydrated. After two weeks of the injections he was amazingly strong again, but he also wasn't going to let us give him any more injections. We decided it was better he be happy and die sooner then be scared of us and die later, so we kept him on a diet of K/D, and stopped the injections. He lived for almost another year, but eventually his health failed. He was down to about 8lbs when he died, and much of that was lost in the last couple of weeks.

We didn't realize at the time that the vet would let us keep his body if we put him to sleep, and we didn't want him to be thrown out as "biological waste", so when it became painfully obvious he wasn't long for the world I talked the vet into prescribing some powerful pain killers. I gave Tyger the injection, and he was in my wife's arms when he died a couple of hours later. We buried him under a big tree in our back yard. It was a selfish thing to do not to have him put to sleep, but somehow I think it was better this way. He wasn't in pain, and he was in the home he'd known for half his life.

a few days after he died my wife and I both woke up in a start. We'd both clearly heard the sound his collar and tags made when he scratched his neck coming from the foot of the bed. Logically I know it was the dog, on the porch, scratching behind her ears, and my imagination filling in the rest, but there's still part of me that believes...

He was a loving cat, and to this day (it's been almost 6 months, he was about 16 or 17) I can't look at a Ginger cat without wishing he was still here. We've gotten two adorable kittens since then, and that helped some, but still...

There's some pictures of him here.
post #2 of 12
Thank you for sharing your story. The pain never really every goes away, does it? How wonderful for Tyger that you and your wife were in his life. He was very lucky. He also was very beautiful
post #3 of 12
Thank you for sharing Tyger's story. It was a very loving tribute to a cat who was obviously loved very much. I too lost a cat to kidney failure and often second-guess my decision not to pursue home treatment because she would have hated it so much. She was down to a very low weight also and I delayed making that final decision. The day I did make it she did me a favor and passed away that afternoon. I hope she didn't suffer. You took care of Tyger so wonderfully. He had no pain or anxiety.
post #4 of 12
Thank you for sharing your story, I'm so sorry to hear about Tyger's....my thoughts and prayers are with you and your wife.
Rest In Piece Tyger's.
post #5 of 12
what a beautiful tribute to a handsome cat

what a heartbreaking decision you & your wife had to make but it was also the most unselfish and loving act any of us can make for our babies. It was obvious how much Tyger loved you and how much you loved him - he knows that

he is now playing happily at the Rainbow Bridge - this I believe without doubt - I also know that he is watching over you and will wait there until you meet again...

RIP Tyger
post #6 of 12
What a touching story, I feel like I got to know him a little bit and I am glad. Although I could not get to know him more while he was alive, It sounds like he was very well loved and that he knew it. My condolences on your loss. Best wishes to you and your family in this hard time.
post #7 of 12
What a lovely story and tribute to a much loved cat. You accepted Tyger on his own terms which is often hard. Logic does not always come in to it when things happen - maybe it was Tyger coming to say thanks and all it well in his world.
Thanks for sharing and good luck with your new little family.
Take care
post #8 of 12
We decided it was better he be happy and die sooner then be scared of us and die later
I am sorry for your loss I know how hard of a decision that was to make.
This was just about my thoughts concerning my cat Blackie who had renal failure, after a few weeks of fluids his number were only going up not down and getting the fluid injections really stressed him out. So I thought it be better for him to have his time remaining be as happy and stress free as possible even if it was shorter.
RIP Tiger
post #9 of 12
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the kind words...

The funny thing about the home treatments was that when we started, Tyger was nearly on death's door, and didnt' even complain during the injections, so we thought we were home free. a couple of weeks later when my wife would bundle up in her winter coat and work gloves to protect herself, things looked a bit less cut-and-dried...

Thank you all...
post #10 of 12
So sorry for your loss.
post #11 of 12
The pain never goes completely, but will fade some with time. He will be waiting for you and your wife at the bridge, and someday you will all be together again. Hugs to you and your wife, my sympathys for the loss of your precious companion.
post #12 of 12
So sorry to hear that, my thoughts with you....
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