Tiggy is my tabby cat companion and best friend
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
MistyHorizon2003's hub about her cat friends
- Where Do Your Cats Go When They Leave Your House?
I can't help wondering where on earth cats go when they head "through the cat flap". Quite often they are gone for days at a time, and when they do return they are frequently not hungry and seem pretty...
Do you have a cat?
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 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. My Little Pony
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.
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.
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.
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!"