Sunday, September 13, 2009

Sunday Stories

TIGGER'S TALE:   

  As mentioned in Patches' Story, Tigger arrived on the scene in May of 2001.  He was approximately 6 weeks old, and since no one knows when or where he was born, or his parentage, his birthday was assigned as April 15th.  (This gives a bit of a pleasant twist to an otherwise very unpopular day--income tax filing day!  It also makes it easy to remember.  Patches, on the other hand, had her birthday reverse-calculated to be celebrated on the anniversary date for our wedding.)


    So, enter Tigger, one of a litter of 13 kittens!  His story is much simpler, and much happier than Patches'.  Where we were living at the time, we were operating a small handyman service, and one of our clients either worked or volunteered (I cannot recall which), at the San Francisco SPCA.  One day, a woman brought in this huge lot of kttens in a big box, proudly stating, "I've brought you some kittens!"  as if she thought she was doing the folks at the SPCA a huge favor.  How naive!


    Sadly, that animal shelter, city run, and also operating the animal-control services for the City, is not a no-kill shelter.  :-(  The staff said they were already full, and had no more space for kittens, it being 'kitten season.'  It was stated that this entire litter of beautiful little kittens would only be euthanized.  Luckily for this litter of kittens, our client, had other ideas. "No, you won't,"  he told them,  "I'll take them all home and I'll find homes for them!"  And he did.


    We saw the ktties, and wished we could take them all.  Nonetheless, we were limited to selecting just one, since we were technically already at the limit of 2 pets--(we had 1 cat and 1 dog)-- allowed by the rules of the condo complex. Although, we did choose one of the others, a female, for my daughter and her family..you've seen Kaylee's photo in this blog.

   Since hubby had picked out Patches, he left it to me to pick out one of the kittens from this lot.  It was a most difficult choice.  I know he liked one that looked very Siamese, and had a very loud voice, earning him the nickname of  "Mouth."  However, I saw Tigger, and fell in love with the beautiful Orange Marmalade cat I'd always wanted.


    My penchant for orange cats was no doubt influenced heavily by my childhood exposure to the fantasy book series of "Orlando the Marmalade Cat...   ...  Goes Camping;  Buys a Farm...."  etc.  Delightful anthropomorphic tales of a large marmalade cat and his "wife" Grace, a Tortoishell--and their children.  I loved these books so much, that as an adult, I attempted to track them down, and did find the two titles mentioned here.  They were printed in Great Britain, and are long since out of print.  But I digress. 

    So, the pretty little orange kitten came home with us.  I wanted to name him "Marmalade," but hubby thought that was kind of a wussy-sounding name...so, we bided our time, and watched his personality.  We had intended for Patches to have a companion and playmate, but as this was nearly a year after we'd gotten Patches onto her meds, she wasn't very enegetic and playful anymore....it made us sad.  


    Tigger loved to go bouncing sideways down the hallway...literally bouncing on all fours, rather than really running.  If Patches or Delila (the dog) were in the hall, when he got to them, he'd stop, rear up on his little hind legs, and spread his front paws apart in a "BOO!" gesture, right in their face!  Then he would scamper off.   I wish we had video of that ... it was quite comical.  And so, referring to another set of stories for children, this time by A.A. Milne, author of Winnie the Pooh, he was given the name of Tigger,  because, according to the Tigger character of the  "Pooh" stories, "Bouncing is what Tiggers do best!"


    Little Tigger grew up to be quite a large cat.  He tips the scales at about 13 pounds. I think he is mostly fur--although his paws span my three middle fingers!   He is a medium-long haired cat, and has the appearance of having been brushed with a balloon, so static-y is his fur. 


    Tigger loved to hide in very out-of-the-way places, and more than once gave us a terrible scare that he'd gotten out somehow, and been lost.  He was a very naughty boy, for he would not answer when we were calling him, and I would get very panicky and tearful, fearing of having lost my precious Tigger.


    One day, it was a horrible rainy night, and I'd been mopping down the stairs and doing other cleaning in preparation for selling the house.  When I came in (dead certain that I'd had the door shut while I was cleaning), Tigger was nowhere to be found.  He would not answer, and we could not find him.  I was devastated, and went out in the rain, door-to-door asking if anyone had seen an orange cat....of course, they had not...who was outside on a night like that???  I even drove the car around a couple of blocks, knowing that cats can move very fast when they want to.  I did not find him, and I was terrified that he'd been lost.


    When I got home, however, hubby told me that I had not been gone very long when Tigger came strolling nonchalontly up the hall, as if nothing was amiss.  He was not wet, so he'd not gotten outside.  Where he'd been hiding, we have no idea to this day, since we'd all but torn the house apart, looked in closets, under furniture, and everywhere we could think of.   When I saw him, I scooped him up and gave him all kinds of kitty loves, and at the same time scolded him for being such a bad boy and giving mom such a fright.


    I think he must have understood, for he never hid anywhere that well again.  After we moved to our current location, he snuck out the back door only a few times, but always very cautiously and slowly...and minded instantly when told, "Get back in that house!" 


    Tigger is my cat...he will sit in my lap, he loves to be petted, but he is more aloof toward everyone else.  He will sit in hubby's lap rarely, but he lets my daughter play with him and pet him...which is good, since it is she who is charged with coming to the house and kitty-sitting when we need to leave for a few days. 

    Tigger is the one who most likes to play the "I'm gonna git you!"  game.  However, he also has a very large streak of cowardice. ... ... perhaps the 'wussy' name I wanted in the first place would have fit him better.  When we introduced 2 new kittens about 5 years ago....little, tiny kitty girls....he hid under a chair, tried to make himself as small as possible, and hissed at them!  Bad boy!   Eventually, thought he got accustomed to them, and they all became buddies.  He and Munchkin especially seem to have a strong bond. 

      Our very newest addition, though, Jigsaw, and he are constantly having stare-downs and chase-a-thons.  I keep telling Tigger,  "If you don't run, he can't chase you!"  Poor Jigsaw just wants to play and be friends, but Tigger isn't having any.   (They are both males.)  We've had Jiggy about a year and a half, and if I recall, it was nearly 2 years before Tigger accepted the other two new kittens, so I hold out hope. 


   Tigger celebrated his 8th birthday this year, but he is still very playful...when he is awake...he spends a lot of time napping on his cushion at my feet while I'm working in the office.  He is one very lucky kitty, and we are very grateful to our former client for rescuing that litter of kittens!  (And he did find homes for each and every one...counting the one he and his roommate kept for themselves!)   Would that there were more such folks!

1 comment:

Nina the Torbie said...

Oh, Tigger sounds like a great cat! I like deep hiding places, but I would never go outside. I don't even go near the door when it is open. I agree, if only more people cared to find homes for kittens! I hope someone told that woman to get her momma cat fixed.