Wednesday, October 06, 2010

A Sad Farewell

Our Faithful Orange Cat Tigs has been through a lot since May.

First he started scratching his itching ears, which required daily ear drop treatments for weeks. The ears didn't get better; when the doctor took another look, he determined a different kind of medication needed.

And that Tigs had an abscessed tooth.

Actually it turned out to be three teeth, his lower left fang and two behind it. Surgery for that issue, then a few weeks later, more surgery to remove ear polyps that blocked the ear medicine. A small lump had appeared on his neck as well; surely it was just an lymph gland swollen from the other problems. It wasn't. A biopsy showed a cancerous salivary gland, on the opposite side from where he had his teeth removed.

We consulted and prayed, and based on the counsel of two vets, had the salivary gland removed. Cats have four glands, he would be fine with his remaining three.
But after that....he just wasn't his old self. He hid, he didn't eat, and he lost weight and interest in life. He seemed to be in pain when we would handle him.

Tuesday morning we took him back to the vets. Tigs seemed so sad, and hid in Bernie's sweatshirt.
The vet could find nothing specifically wrong...yet...the cycle of not eating, hiding and a few other behaviors led to us needing to decide if we wanted to try some other treatments to perhaps encourage his appetite.

Would it work...or would it prolong his discomfort.
Such a difficult decision to make for an old friend who had been through so much already in the last five months.

In the end, we held Tigs and cried...

Kissed him over and over and told him he would in a few minutes be out of pain. We promised him that when he woke up he would be in Heaven, meeting up with his old friend Mac and Tidbit, and perhaps even the nice red haired lady June H. would be there to give him the nicest brushing he has ever had.

We said good bye, and left, and then held each other and cried.

Our Tigs gave us ten years of faithful orange-ness, many smiles and taught us a lot about many things.

He was the one to put a paw on me when I was feeling down, and purred until I felt better.
He was always with Bernie, carefully snoopervising all work.
He defended our house against dogs.
He sought beauty and posed so that our eyes would stop on him and see in new ways because of his posing.
He introduced small children to the ways of following a cat.
He taught us that asparagus, salmon and shrimp were not just for humans.
He greeted us with his hoarse broken meower that was uniquely his voice.
He was a cat's cat...the cat that welcomed and groomed the other household cats with a servant's heart.

And he was a cat that danced before the Lord when hymns of praise were sung.

Oh Tiggie.

When I picked you, it was only because you were orange. You were one of thirty cats in the care of one person. You didn't really know what to do with humans.

In the end, you were one of a kind, and exactly the cat that we humans needed.

We will miss you so much.
Wait for us, we be coming to where you are one day.
Then we'll all sing faithful praises together, and never say good bye ever again.


Dolores said...

So, so, sad. I have two senior tabbys, two sisters who don't really like each other but they co-exist with a senior dog we brought into their lives two years ago. He tolerates them. I know they will not be here forever but for now, I spoil them.

ellen b. said...

So sorry for the two of you on the loss of your furry friend...

Lovella ♥ said...

I'll miss his poses. I remember when I started reading your blog. was Tiggie who was the star of the show. I wondered. ..does this cat really pose? It always seemed so.

I feel your pain.. .and wish I could give you a hug in person.

So long Tiggie FOC.

Vicki said...

Such a beautiful tribute to a faithful friend...farewell, Tigs...

Spooky said...

Awww, Tiggie, my dear friend. I know you're in a place where you can play with all your old friends and new ones, too...where one day I'll get to meet you "in cat," and where Greenies are everywhere for your enjoyment, and salmon swim in a sea of milk, and small things worth inspecting and chasing await behind every shrub and tree, and where there are countless squirrels and anoles to chase...but those of us who remain will miss you intensely. Purrs, my old faithful friend, and one day we'll exchange headbutts. For now, I need to inspect the water that's running down Treater's face. Purrs.

Vee said...

My mom and I are crying over Tigs as if we had known him. Be comforted... It's not easy.

Anonymous said...

Eyes full of tears.

Islandsparrow said...

I'm sorry to hear about your kitty. It's tough to say goodbye.

Willow said...

Oh I'm so sorry. I know how it is to lose your beloved kitty.

Dawn said...

So sorry, Jill..

Judy ~ My Front Porch said... sorry for your loss!

Heather L. said...

I'm so sorry. that is such a hard thing to do.

running wildly said...

Bawling here.

Oh Jill. So sorry. Please know that I have tears streaming down my face for you guys. I hope your heart will soon not feel so broken.

Amy Letinsky said...

So sad to hear the news. We both lost our faithful orange kitties this year, and I'm mourning alongside you. I'll miss his grand cyber presence. Maybe Tiggie will join up with my ferdy in that giant playstructure in the sky.

Anonymous said...

Don't know what to say, but we feel so sad for you both. Love, mom and dad S.