Ode to our cat Tigger
Ode to Tigger
He was such a cute thing standing forlorn in the rain.
His thin wet body looked sad and full of pain.
He was hungry, you could tell by the lack of fat.
His mother abandoned him leaving him like that.
We wrapped him in a towel, to ward off the cold.
We dried him and warmed him, a mothering role.
He was bashful and frightened, hiding under the bed.
We think he was feeling we would hurt him instead.
Quickly he grew, to an enormous size.
A beautiful face with yellowish eyes.
He ate more than most and began showing love.
We felt he was family, an Angel from above.
Soon he was acting like he was the King.
Often regally posing for our picture taking.
But his Kingly days, it seems, were a passing thing.
For his days became more sleep and less waking.
We took him in for the doctor to see.
Were we going to loose a member of the family?
A test was taken, what would it show?
The call finally came, the news was a blow.
Tigger had cancer, his brain was a mess.
His life was difficult, even at rest.
We wanted so badly to believe it would regress,
But sadly, we knew euthanization would be best.
The tears haven’t come yet, we’re still in shock.
We would like to think we’re as strong as a rock.
But when the time comes, well, our strength will sway,
Because Tigger will sadly have gone away.
Explanation of the poem (the poem is at the bottom of the hub)
Tigger was the kitten of a stray that lived near our apartment building about eleven years ago. We found him one rainy day, soaking wet, underneath the slats of a falling down porch. We knew the kittens had been there at one time and we had gone to check on them to be sure they weren't getting wet under the porch. We had a tarp to put up if they were getting wet. The mother was gone, however, and only Tigger remained of all the kittens. He looked frightened and shivered almost continuously. Normally we would have waited to see if the mother would return, but he was so wet and cold it was pretty obvious that the mother wasn't coming back. We wrapped him up in a blanket and took him inside the house with us.
At first, he hid underneath the bed and the chairs. Slowly though, he began to cuddle in our arms and sleep curled up at the crook of one of our neck's. Then he slowly began to get bigger and lost a lot of his fear. He raced with the other cats and ate way more than any of them. He grew to be about 19 pounds, but was loving and cuddly even to the other cats who seemed to like him a great deal.
Recently, Tigger began spending most of his time sleeping and the other cats were fighting with him and chasing him all over the house. We also noticed a growth inside one of his ears that he kept scratching and making bleed. We hoped it was nothing major even as we made the appointment with the vet.
At the vet's office, the vet took a biopsy of the growth and told us he didn't really see anything, but that he would run further tests and let us know if he found anything. He was pretty confident that it was nothing more than a fatty growth that would need to be removed and Tigger would be fine once he healed.
When the vet called us with the bad news, cancer, we had to fight to keep back the tears because my eight-year-old Granddaughter was sitting nearby and we didn't want her to hear the news that way. As is we had a great deal of trouble trying to keep her calm as we told her because she had lost her Great Grandmother in June to cancer and was still trying to come to grips with that loss. Now she had another one to face and she wasn't happy.
We weren't happy either, not wanting to put Tigger down, but we also knew the facts about cancer and we were certain that Tigger's chances of survival were very poor. We have made the decision to put him down, however, and are just waiting for the appointed day. We don't want that day to come, but we also don't want Tigger to suffer anymore than is necessary. We are all very sad that we will have to loose Tigger, but we are trying to be strong for my Granddaughter.
© 2011 Cheryl Simonds