Friday, January 24, 2014

From Pet to So Much More

It's amazing how selfless pets are, especially considering how selfish us humans can be. We expect from them a constant companion. We confide in them our secrets. We burden them with our sorrow, which they take on as their own. We turn to them for comfort. We drag them through our life changes and ask them to change. We might move them several states away, a few times. We move their homes. We change their routines. We introduce and remove other humans and animals. We take, demand, require, and decide. They give, obey, trust, and adapt.

The bond between us and our pets is like no other. It stands to reason, then, that there is no good way to prepare for a goodbye. No matter how many times you might feel ready. How much you might know it's coming. Or how much you know it's time for them and it's for the best. Selfishly, a part of you always expects they can stay around.

Today, we lost a treasured companion. Tigger was always so much more than a cat. She had an old soul, a spunky personality, and unlike so many other cats I've known, was always available when needed. She loved interacting with everyone and had a purr that rivaled a boat engine. She was the runt of her litter and was left in my uncle's barn as a kitten, deemed unworthy of keeping around by her family. But, I think that's just because she was meant for ours.

We shared our lives with Tigger for 19 years, and she gave her whole 19 to us.

She was in good health until recently, and she went peacefully while with my mom. For that, I am eternally grateful. But, I'm also heartbroken. It's really the only way to feel when you've lost a friend you've had the majority of your life.

For awhile, I questioned the decision I made to send her to my mom's this summer. But, since Hayley was born and Skitzy (our other cat that Tigger was kind enough to tolerate for 8 years) was gone, I knew she wasn't getting the same attention she used to and the attention she still wanted. She actually found a surge of youth being around other animals and my mom. And, she lived out her last several months surrounded by love, attention, and friends. I don't know that she would have stayed as long as she did had she been here.

To Tigger. The one creature who probably knew and remembered more about me than I would ever care to admit. She graciously lived with, throughout her life, six other animals. And, she made friends with all of them. She lived in seven houses. She lived in two different states, twice. She made several long roadtrips over 11 hours. She survived the birth of a new baby and adjusted.

She was a good friend and will be missed.


  1. So sorry! It is hard losing a fur baby. Hugs!

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  3. What a wonderful tribute to the most wonderful cat we were blessed with!

  4. I tried not to cry. But I couldn't help it.

    1. I'm pretty sure Hayley thought I'd lost my mind when I started sobbing after hanging up the phone. And here I thought I had prepared myself.