Tiggy is my tabby cat companion and best friend

Meet Tiggy

When I first moved to Tenerife I was a tenant in Cindy aka MistyHorizon2003's house in the south of the island and she had two cats - Smudge and Tiggy. The cats became my friends and so when Cindy decided to move back to Guernsey and to put her place on the market I agreed to take the two cats on.

Photos of my cat Tiggy and Smudge too

Tiggy as a young girl
Tiggy as a young girl
Tiggy again as a young girl on Cindy's wall
Tiggy again as a young girl on Cindy's wall
Tiggy's lovely face
Tiggy's lovely face
Tiggy's head
Tiggy's head
Tiggy as she is now in a box
Tiggy as she is now in a box
Smudge and Tiggy in 2005
Smudge and Tiggy in 2005
Smudge with dolls
Smudge with dolls
Smudge and Scampydog
Smudge and Scampydog
Tiggy on the bed and Smudge in it in Cindy's house
Tiggy on the bed and Smudge in it in Cindy's house

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More about Tiggy

Smudge was a Siamese tom but he wasn't very much like a tom at all. He liked to stay in and be cuddled and made a fuss of. When he went out though he had an unusual habit of bringing plastic Barbie dolls back with him.

My Little Pony toy

One time he brought back a My Little Pony too. It was never mice or geckos or birds for Smudge just plastic toys and he really used to play with them. I can only assume he stole them from a neighbour's little girl but never found out where they came from so couldn't apologise or give them back.

Tragically Smudge got poisoned when he went out one night. This happens on this island but it really shook me up and I worried every time Tiggy went out after that.

Eventually I found a new place to live up north and it is safe for Tiggy here because there is only a balcony and she is too fat to risk jumping on the railings and then on to the dividing wall to the next balcony, which in many ways is just as well because there are dogs in some of the other apartments and a woman and her daughter further along on this floor lost their tom when he went over the wall from their place.

I used to call Tiggy "Squeaky" because she couldn't miaow properly but used to make little squeaks and a sort of chirping sound when she was doing something like jumping up on some item of furniture. She still makes little squeaks to get my attention and it usually means she wants me to smooth her spotted tummy when she is lying on her back.

I also call her "my little girl," "my baby" and "Little Tigg," although she is now anything but little. As she has grown she has somehow learned how to miaow and also to purr, which is another normal cat sound she hardly made at all when she was younger.Now she purrs a lot if I pet her or cuddle her.

Monarch butterflies in Tenerife

Tiggy loves to hunt, so I feel sad that I don't have a proper garden for her but at least I know she is safe here. She has, however, managed to catch two birds on the balcony. One was a pigeon and I managed to rescue it and it flew off with just a few feathers missing but the other bird was a little Chiffchaff and I was unfortunately too late. She has also caught Monarch butterflies and killed a few.

Because I have reared hundreds to adult stage I have had to think well, a few have lost their lives to Tigg but many many more have flown away.

When I was still in Cindy's old place she caught three shrews, one mouse and three geckos. Again, sadly I was too late. She caught a big gecko one night here too but I was able to rescue this one but I got bitten by the ungrateful reptile although it didn't hurt.

Tiggy also loves to catch moths that come in at night and are out on the balcony. She eats them and she also likes to eat Silverfish.

Cat Grass

Tiggy likes to eat grass to keep her digestive system in good health, and as I discovered on a website for the folic acid it contains. She will pester me if I don't have any grass for her here and so I grow it in flower pots as well as collecting it from the wild.

She is actually very fussy about grass though and will not accept any types of "cat grass" that you can buy and grow easily. I told a friend of mine called Katrina the problem I was having at one point when it was very hot and dry here and it was hard to find grass. Katrina very kindly bought some catgrass in Germany and sent it over thinking it would hopefully do the trick.

It all came up and grew well but Tiggy just ignored it. She only likes certain wild types including Coutch grass. I wondered if she could detect something about the commercially available types and thought maybe they are genetically modified strains or something. Whatever it is she turns her nose up at anything but wild grasses!

Tiggy is very fussy about her toys too. She is simply not interested in many types that I have bought or friends have got for her. However, she will still play with a grubby silver-paper mouse I had from when Cindy had her.

She also used to love a dirty squidgy rubber ball that I would throw and she would fetch and then drop for me to throw again. I used to spend lots of time playing this game but eventually there was hardly any of the ball left. I tried her with other rubber balls but none have had the appeal that old one had.

Cat Toys

I have a pretend furry mouse toy I throw and she jumps after. She also likes a game of chase in which I chase her from one bedroom down the passage all through the apartment to the other room and the balcony. Tiggy likes to hide behind the curtains and expects me to look for her behind them or to throw a toy at the curtain which she will then pounce on.

Tiggy also loves investigating and sleeping in cardboard boxes. The only problem is she soon gets bored with them and I have to get new ones from the supermarket. I use the old ones to fill withpaper and cardboard which I then take to the recycling container.

Tiggy tends to be fussy with her food although she is very greedy. Most of all she likes canned Gourmet tuna paté but she will eat other canned foods but not all. Some she will just sniff and ignore so I have learned what ones she will eat and what she won't touch. I never give her dry food exclusively anymore because she once got constipated after eating it at a very hot time in the year when we had a calima dust storm and I got really worried about her.

Eventually she went after a few days and I was so happy when she did. It seemed strange to he happy about a cat going to the toilet but that was what happened and I remember she had a burst of playful energy right afterwards. I said to myself, to never give her just dry food again and nowadays she gets a mixed diet.

Danish Blue

One food she absolutely loves and so do I, is Danish blue cheese. If am eating this she will come and beg and I give her very tiny lumps of it. She looks like she would happily scoff a whole packet of it though.

Sometimes Tiggy catches other flying insects and I have seen her eat an Antlion and an Ichneumon wasp. I have rescued dragonflies she has caught.

Tiggy is very bossy and tends to boss me about but I don't mind really. Tiggy has become my family here and my companion who I spend most of my time with.

When I go out I know she will be waiting for me when I come home and she comes to the door when I get back. I don't know how she knows it is me at the door. She doesn't like most people though and unless she knows them tends to run and hide under a bed if anyone comes in.

Tiggy doesn't like most other cats and she hates dogs. Keith aka Animal, who is a good friend of mine and Cindy's used to bring his little dog Scampydog around when he visited and Smudge used to be fine about this as you can see in the photo of the two animals sleeping. It was totally different with Tiggy though who was never happy when Scamp was there and went for him on one occasion I can remember.

Tiggy sleeps in the bed with me and she likes to go under the blankets. Sometimes she gets in the bed before me but she also sometimes wakes me up in the night. If I don't respond she will jump on the keyboard by my computer and monitor and fearing the worst that is enough to get me up.

Knowing my lack of luck in life in finding a woman partner, Keith once said to me that you have to be careful what you wish for and you must be very specific when requesting what you need from the universe. "What do you mean, Keith?" I asked.

"Well," he responded, "you have been hoping to find a girlfriend but you never specified what species!"

More by this Author


Comments 46 comments

Katherine Baldwin profile image

Katherine Baldwin 7 years ago from South Carolina

Hi, Bard of Ely

Cats truly are fascinating creatures. We have four, which gives new meaning to the phrase "herding cats". I think that they know that we'll do whatever necessary to provide what they want when they want it. What's that saying? Dogs have Masters, Cats have Staff

Katherine


mistyhorizon2003 profile image

mistyhorizon2003 7 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

Lovely hub Steve. I really enjoyed looking at all the great pictures of both Smudge and Tiggy and thank you for the plug of my hub about where cats go when they leave your house. I can't believe how big Tiggy has got, she used to be such a tiny little thing:) A bit of advice on the food front. It is okay to feed cats an all 'wet' diet, but later in life they are far more likely to get really bad teeth if solely fed on wet food. It is important they have some dry food in their diet to help clean their teeth as they eat. I would suggest a combination of wet and dry food in each meal to avoid the problems you experienced, and if the problem does ever arise again a little liquid paraffin should easily resolve it. Thanks again for the trip down memory lane :)


TheSandman 7 years ago

Hi Bard, As you already know from one of my Hubs I am a cat lover, and loved reading this and looking at all the great pictures.


Bard of Ely profile image

Bard of Ely 7 years ago from Lisbon, Portugal Author

Thank you, Sandman, Cindy and Katherine, for your comments!


Feline Prophet profile image

Feline Prophet 7 years ago from India

A cat that likes blue cheese? How perfectly charming! :)

I'm sure Tiggy doesn't let you feel the lack of a woman friend...she seems like a thoroughly engaging companion! And she does have beautiful eyes...


Bard of Ely profile image

Bard of Ely 7 years ago from Lisbon, Portugal Author

Thank you, Feline Prophet! You are right!


compu-smart profile image

compu-smart 7 years ago from London UK

Hey Bard, loved the hub! and your adorable kittyts!! It soo much reminded me of my two kittys, one which is called tiger! and also i lmao at your last few words in hub!! Brilliant and it seems your wish DID come true!!lol You have a very faithfull partners!;)


Bard of Ely profile image

Bard of Ely 7 years ago from Lisbon, Portugal Author

Thank you too, Compu-smart!


Bard of Ely profile image

Bard of Ely 7 years ago from Lisbon, Portugal Author

Hahaha! Thanks for posting, badcompany99!


Janetta 7 years ago

Great hub! Your cats sound like pretty cool crittters. And the girlfriend comment your friend made is too funny. It does seem that way with our pets sometimes..thinking they are people :)


Bard of Ely profile image

Bard of Ely 7 years ago from Lisbon, Portugal Author

Thank you, Janetta!


Shalini Kagal profile image

Shalini Kagal 7 years ago from India

That was a great hub and your love for Twiggy just shines through. I sometimes wonder with pets - were they our soulmates in some previous life? So often, the bonding is beyond definition!


Bard of Ely profile image

Bard of Ely 7 years ago from Lisbon, Portugal Author

Shalini, that makes sense to me and I have had similar thoughts.


Lou Purplefairy profile image

Lou Purplefairy 7 years ago from Southwest UK

i believe our pets and animals are a part of ur soul group, a connection to the natural world. I totally understand how you feel about Tiggy, and the other cats you have been privelidged to have live with you too. The love they have for us is unconditional, and in return we love them unconditionally too. My cat Twizzle is very affectionate and vocal, and our pup Angel (as bonkers as she is!) absolutely loves the cat. I often have both of them in my bed at night, (under the duvet too!), and sometimes if I am away to my bed late I get "told" to go to bed by the animals, who are patiently waiting to get some sleep, and are waiting for me to retire. Twizzle often comes calling to me to see what I am up to, and sometimes even brings a friend home for some food!


Bard of Ely profile image

Bard of Ely 7 years ago from Lisbon, Portugal Author

Thanks for posting your thoughts, Lou! What you say also makes good sense to my mind. I just wish I had a more interesting place for Tiggy with a proper garden like she used to have, although as I sadly found out it wasn't safe there.


Lou Purplefairy profile image

Lou Purplefairy 7 years ago from Southwest UK

My daughter wrote a poem which was published in an anthology of kids poems a couple of years ago, about our tortoiseshell cat, Twizzle, which i think is beautiful, and quite emotive for a ten year old, so I post it here for you!

Enjoy.

How The Kitten Played (2007)

(Inspired by "Cat Began" by Andrew Matthews)

She stole the emeralds for her eyes,

She took the patterns of the mud for her fur,

She picked up the splinters of the glass for her claws,

She stole the mountains for her ears,

She took the playfulness of the dolphins

And the kitten played.

By Roxanne Mansfield (age 10)

(hugs to you and Tiggy x)


Bard of Ely profile image

Bard of Ely 7 years ago from Lisbon, Portugal Author

A brilliant poem, Lou! Thank you!


hglick profile image

hglick 7 years ago from Ronkonkoma, NY

Bard,

A great Hub on Cats, one of my favorite topics. Tiggy has a great personality pose and seems like a character and what a great face on Smudge. (also the perfect name!)


Ivorwen profile image

Ivorwen 7 years ago from Hither and Yonder

I love the picture of Smudge and Scampydog! Makes me miss having lots of animals around.


Bard of Ely profile image

Bard of Ely 7 years ago from Lisbon, Portugal Author

Thank you, hglick and Ivorwen! It was terrible for me losing Smudge. I couldn't believe that someone could poison such a dear and beautiful animal but a man who works with an animal shelter here told me there were other cases that had happened on the same housing complex. I didn't want to live there after that.


marisuewrites profile image

marisuewrites 7 years ago from USA

I have had a cat all my life, this brought back so many memories. My most recent feline love of my life died in December, the same night my husband had his mild heart attack. I miss her terribly, she was "addicted" to me, and we had a most special bond and companionship.

Before that, I had a cat for 27 years, she raised me from the age of 7 (me) - she came into my life when she was 7 weeks. I'm sure she regarded my three sons as her own offspring, and would look at me occasionally telegraphing "Didn't we do a good job?" and then blink twice and look back adoringly at the boys.

I hardly knew how to live when she passed away, I was 34 and could not remember not having her.

I adore your cats.


Bard of Ely profile image

Bard of Ely 7 years ago from Lisbon, Portugal Author

Marisue, what a terrible night of distress that must have been for you and I can understand how you must miss your cat really badly still! To my mind they are like good people and I cannot understand how humans can be cruel to them and eat them as they do in some places nor do I understand how people, including vets, can kill them! I still miss Smudge and do not understand how or why some evil person poisoned him! There are a lot of things I cannot understand!


frogdropping profile image

frogdropping 7 years ago

Aw Bard - you're owned! You're nothing unless you're in cahoots with a cat! I had three. I wanted to bring my youngest moggy with me when I first came to Lisbon. I knew it wasn't the right thing (for him) so he stayed with my ex. And - sorry to hear you lost Smudge. That was bloody awful. I just don't get some people, or their actions.


Bard of Ely profile image

Bard of Ely 7 years ago from Lisbon, Portugal Author

Thanks, frogdropping, for your message and yes, I do feel as if I'm owned at times but don't mind! lol


Montana Farm Girl profile image

Montana Farm Girl 7 years ago from Northwestern Montana

Wonderful hub!! We have 4 cats on our farm and they all have their own jobs to do! Without them, we would be overrun with mice! Thank goodness for felines!!! :-)


Bard of Ely profile image

Bard of Ely 7 years ago from Lisbon, Portugal Author

I am glad you liked it, Montana Farm Girl!

Thank you!


gwennies pen 7 years ago

Love the names of your cats and the photos. Great hub!:)


Bard of Ely profile image

Bard of Ely 7 years ago from Lisbon, Portugal Author

Thank you!


Uninvited Writer profile image

Uninvited Writer 7 years ago from Kitchener, Ontario

Excellent hub. I was very sad about Smudge, poor kitty.

Tiggy is beautiful.

My cat Boo also sleeps under the covers beside me at night.


Bard of Ely profile image

Bard of Ely 7 years ago from Lisbon, Portugal Author

Thank you, UV!


AdeleCosgroveBray profile image

AdeleCosgroveBray 6 years ago from Wirral, Cheshire, England.

A cat who loves dolls, hmm? That's a new one to me.

One of my cats has a PVC fetish. No, really. Put a new binbag in the kitchen bin, and she'll sit inside the folded-over length of the bag and lick the plastic for hours.


Bard of Ely profile image

Bard of Ely 6 years ago from Lisbon, Portugal Author

Adele, I would try to discourage her from that. Plastics are poisonous to varying degrees.


Cat Catalyst 6 years ago

lovely page! Thank-you for sharing! x


Bard of Ely profile image

Bard of Ely 6 years ago from Lisbon, Portugal Author

Thank you, Cat! :)


Joy56 profile image

Joy56 6 years ago

That was such a lovely hub, i like to get to know hubbers better. Somewhere there is a Barbie less child, wonder if she ever suspected the cat, great that you got the photos. They made me laugh when i scrolled down after reading your article. Will be back to read more, Brenda Scully


Bard of Ely profile image

Bard of Ely 6 years ago from Lisbon, Portugal Author

Thank you, Brenda!


Teresa Schultz profile image

Teresa Schultz 5 years ago from East London, in South Africa

aaw, you make me miss my 3 cats (more) I had to leave behind when I left my now ex-husband and moved to my parents, as my mom's allergic. What a lovely story this is of your Tiggy. My cats were Squash, Peaches, and Spitfire. My boys go to their father often, so they tell me a bit about my cats. Peaches died a few months after I left, (about 3 years ago) and Squash and Spit are still doing fine. They were/are gorgeous but never fetched a ball like your Tiggy!


Bard of Ely profile image

Bard of Ely 5 years ago from Lisbon, Portugal Author

Thanks for posting, Teresa! Tiggy is here as I type! She wants even more food! lol


Teresa Schultz profile image

Teresa Schultz 5 years ago from East London, in South Africa

Reminds me of my cat Ginger I had for 17 years while growing up (I was aged 6 to 23) she would sit on my books I was reading or on my homework I was trying to do - does Tiggy sit on your keyboard as you try type, when she wants your attention or food?


Bard of Ely profile image

Bard of Ely 5 years ago from Lisbon, Portugal Author

No she doesn't do that but she paws me and bites my leg or arm gently and if I am in bed and ignore her she jumps on top of me at which point I give up!


Teresa Schultz profile image

Teresa Schultz 5 years ago from East London, in South Africa

She's gorgeous and I know you know it already, but you're really lucky to have her.


Bard of Ely profile image

Bard of Ely 5 years ago from Lisbon, Portugal Author

Yes, I know and that's why she takes priority in my life even if many people don't understand that!


lilith babellon 4 years ago

Yay For the lovely in up Tiggy. My Puma just has to sample what I am eating!!!! I love to daub his nose in yogurt then watch him lick it off!!! "Blanki" is a good game - toss a throw or a t.shirt over her= ane enjoy the scuttling!! Puma chomps on all my plants and loves swotting at mtself and any two legs!!!


Bard of Ely profile image

Bard of Ely 4 years ago from Lisbon, Portugal Author

Thanks for sharing that, Lilith!


BLACKANDGOLDJACK profile image

BLACKANDGOLDJACK 4 years ago from Blitzburgh area

Hey Bard of Ely, I bet my cat can do more tricks than your cat.

I was always a dog person, but now I’m a cat person. My teenage daughter brought home a little kitty about a year ago. She found it by the side of the road in a box.

So now me and the cat are best buddies. He is absolutely hilarious, and he loves beer. My daughter, incidentally, has yet to feed the cat or change the litter. Well, she does give it a drink of milk sometimes when she is eating cereal.

My daughter named him Boo and I call him Boo Boo, Mr. McBoo, and Booby. I call him some other names when he follows me around the house and keeps jumping on the back of my leg or when I’m sitting in my easy chair concentrating on the newspaper, and he decides to jump up and bite my arm.

Today he was enjoying the snow storm. I came in from outside with snow on my boots, and he played with it in fascination on the floor until it melted. Then he is up on the window sill in the kitchen pawing at the big snow flakes hitting the window like he is going to catch them.

Thank you for the enjoyable hub.

Take care,

Jack


Bard of Ely profile image

Bard of Ely 4 years ago from Lisbon, Portugal Author

Thank you for your feedback, Jack!

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