Twelve years ago my daughter picked him out at the animal shelter as a kitten. He would turn out to be the family’s favorite cat. She named him Tigger. I called him My Tigger.
All of my family became attached to Tigger. He grew to be a large orange tabby who loved to be held and petted. He had a loud, soothing purr-fect purr. He even liked to cuddle.
When my daughter moved out, Tigger stayed with us. I grew very close to him even though I have other cats. He was a constant companion through my difficult nights. When I was feeling bad he would always jump up on the bed, purring away, waiting to be petted. I hugged and cuddled him and he comforted me.
Tigger passed away last week. I noticed a spot on his hind leg that looked like he had been bit. He was eating and seemed fine. He later crawled up on my bed with one of my other cats. After about an hour he let out a big groan. I checked on him and thought he was just sick. I went into the kitchen to find something to give him some water and went right back into the room he was unresponsive.
I was crying so much and was so upset that I couldn’t check his breathing or heartbeat. I was panicked. I called my veterinarian’s office. I talked with the very consoling receptionist named Cindy. I told her what happened and that I didn’t want to give up on him if he was still alive. She said I would know if he was alive or not. She kept asking me if I had someone who I could call that would come help me. I said that I could call my husband.
Since I was not able to reach my husband I decided to call my sweet sister. Yes, the same caring sister who a few weeks ago had driven me out-of-town to get a bladder instillation because I was in so much pain from an *IC flare.
She came over and helped me with My Tigger. First she asked me what happened and then she checked on him. She asked if I had an old towel. I brought her a towel and she placed him on it and gently rolled him over to check his other side. I told her the story of how my daughter picked him out and raised him from a little kitten. I told her that I was not ready to let him go.
She listened and we continued to pet him. A few minutes later she asked if I had I box. She placed him in the shallow box, and took him into another room, and closed the door. She stayed with me and we talked for a little while. It was exactly what I needed. I needed my sister who is a fellow animal lover to just be there for me and calm me down.
One of my last memories of My Tigger happened earlier that day. I was brushing him while he was eating and he plopped down, quit eating, and enjoyed me brushing him. I stopped and he came back to me wanting more attention and love…that was the way My Tigger was…always wanting more love…always giving love!
I also remember the night before when I was having a difficult, pain night he was right there by my side purring and snuggling with me. I am so grateful that I have all of these fond memories of him and that he didn’t have to suffer. I have twelve years of good memories of My Tigger…My Purr-fect Friend.
*WHAT IS AN IC FLARE?
IC flares are not the same for everyone. Nearly 750 people responded to a 2009 ICA Quick Poll asking them to define an IC flare. Definitions included:
- Period of extreme pain with increased urinary frequency/urgency across several days or weeks (19%).
- Sudden increased intensity of symptoms (12%).
- Dramatic increase in IC symptoms across several hours (7%).
- Worsening of symptoms from baseline (5%).
- Subtle worsening of symptoms (4%).
- Over half (52%) of the IC patients surveyed felt that all of the above definitions defined an IC flare.