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Ode to our cat Tigger

Updated on October 18, 2016
cherylone profile image

I have owned cats for over 50 years. Between them and their vets, I have learned a great deal about how they tick.

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Tigger creeping up the stairs and hoping no one is looking."What, I was just gonna lay down, I swear!""Hey, he took my spot!  Someone move him, please!""You wanted something?""I'm just chilling out!""Hey, I'm King of this castle and don't you forget it!""Uh, is it safe to come out?""I'm sleeping, can't you see that?"
Tigger creeping up the stairs and hoping no one is looking.
Tigger creeping up the stairs and hoping no one is looking. | Source
"What, I was just gonna lay down, I swear!"
"What, I was just gonna lay down, I swear!" | Source
"Hey, he took my spot!  Someone move him, please!"
"Hey, he took my spot! Someone move him, please!" | Source
"You wanted something?"
"You wanted something?" | Source
"I'm just chilling out!"
"I'm just chilling out!" | Source
"Hey, I'm King of this castle and don't you forget it!"
"Hey, I'm King of this castle and don't you forget it!" | Source
"Uh, is it safe to come out?"
"Uh, is it safe to come out?" | Source
"I'm sleeping, can't you see that?"
"I'm sleeping, can't you see that?" | Source

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.

We found him on a cold rainy day.
We found him on a cold rainy day. | Source

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

I would love to hear from you!

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    • cherylone profile image

      Cheryl Simonds 5 years ago from Connecticut

      Sorry, Peggy W, I missed this one for some reason. Yes our pets do become family members and it hurts when we have to let go.

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 5 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Chery,

      Just heard from a dear friend of ours that their dog is being put to sleep tonight. They did all they could regarding treatments...but still so sad to lose a beloved pet. My heart goes out to her and thought of you and your recent decision to make. Never easy! I well remember mourning the loss of our pets and people that do not have pets will never understand the true loss. They become family members!

    • cherylone profile image

      Cheryl Simonds 5 years ago from Connecticut

      TKs view, thank you for your kind words and hopeful thoughts. Our babies worm their way so deep into our hearts and then they are gone all too soon. Hubpages has been an incredible help to me and I appreciate all of the comments and support that I have received on this hub.

    • TKs view profile image

      TKs view 5 years ago from The Middle Path


      As one who has had animals almost my entire life, I've faced that difficult choice too many times. To alleviate the suffering is the best one to make. If the other cats are attacking, it means they are following instincts and trying to drive him away from the rest of the pride.

      It's good you have this outlet to express your feelings, I hope the rest of your family can do the same.

      All my best to you all.

    • cherylone profile image

      Cheryl Simonds 5 years ago from Connecticut

      Hyphenbird, thank you for your your kind words and support. Tigger means so very much to us that we feel one of our own family is going down. Yes, we feel that we don't want to put him down, but it is the better choice for him.

    • cherylone profile image

      Cheryl Simonds 5 years ago from Connecticut

      FloraBreenRobison, I have read about you kitty and she is wonderful. I know she is a great joy to you. Yes, Tigger is a cute kitty and a very loving one, I guess we all fall into the trap of loving our animals like children (especially kitties-I'm know I'm being bias but I can't help it)

    • cherylone profile image

      Cheryl Simonds 5 years ago from Connecticut

      wordscribe43, I am sorry for your loss, and the loss of everyone who commented on this hub. It truly tugs at the heart when we have to put one of our beloved animals down especially for cancer or a painful condition that can't be helped.

    • cherylone profile image

      Cheryl Simonds 5 years ago from Connecticut

      Peggy w, you are so kind. I had a lot of tears writing this, but not a lot of trouble as the words just flowed. We will miss him so much.

    • cherylone profile image

      Cheryl Simonds 5 years ago from Connecticut

      yolanda yvette, thank you for your kind words. Yes, Tigger was spoiled and very much loved. He was a great companion and a cuddle bug. We will sorely miss him.

    • Hyphenbird profile image

      Brenda Barnes 5 years ago from America-Broken But Still Beautiful

      What a difficult and painful decision. Your love for Tigger is greater than your desire to keep him. Part of love is to do the right thing. I am so very sorry and want to to know that I believe we meet our animals again in Heaven. Bless you in this time of sorrow.

    • FloraBreenRobison profile image

      FloraBreenRobison 5 years ago

      Oh, Cheryl. I am heartbroken for you. My cat is old and was old when I adopted her three years ago. I know I will not have the time with her that I would love to have. This is a beautiful poem. I agree that Tigger shouldn't suffer. What a sweet kitty. I am so sorry.

    • wordscribe43 profile image

      Elsie Nelson 5 years ago from Pacific Northwest, USA

      I'm so sorry, I'm heartbroken for you. I had to put my kitty down not too long ago, so I know how you feel. She had oral cancer. It's a tough decision, but a kind act. Thanks for being such a loving cat owner, Tigger is lucky!

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 5 years ago from Houston, Texas very sorry to hear about your Tigger's diagnosis of cancer. If you think that he is suffering at all, having him euthanized is truly the kindest thing to do...although sad because you will miss him. So very sorry for your personal loss of a family member that is still so fresh as well.

      We lost my husband's mother and one of our beloved dogs only days know the feelings that you are having although your Tigger is still with you for the moment.

      I have a lump in my throat just reading this!

    • yolanda yvette profile image

      yolanda yvette 5 years ago

      This is one of the loveliest writings I've read on the subject of our precious, furry friends. Even though it's written under sorrow, it's beautiful and Tigger would be very proud. I personally thank you for giving him a home. I've done this a number of times myself. I've also lost a couple cats to illness/old age. One I had to put to sleep. And even have been left with the agony of letting a cat outside (on a regular basis) only to find that one day he just vanished. Heartbreaking to not know what happened. Heartbreaking to lose your loved one under any circumstance. I know you all loved Tigger. It shows. And I know he was blessed to at least have had a portion of his life be filled with love and tender care, as all animals should have. But unfortunately in this world....I'm truly sorry for your loss. I know what you all must be feeling. Healing to your Tigger lives on in your memories, and of course, in this memorium to him. God's blessings.

      Thank you for sharing this with the world.