So, sorta sad news from home this weekend...my old cat Tiger became sick and had to be put to sleep. I did not expect her to survive the winter anyway because she had lost a lot of weight this fall. The last time I was home, she seemed to look a bit better but Mom said they had been finding hair all over the place, and she just kinda took a turn for the worse. Plus, she was 14 so we knew the end was near.
I'm not overly emotional at her passing but I think that's because I wasn't with her when she went to the vet's, and also that cat had a hell of a run. She got her name because, well, she's a tiger cat. "Marie" was your typical middle name - just something else to yell at her when she got in trouble. She and her brother, Bandit, were foster cats from the barn. Their grandmother was my first cat, Fluffy. She brought them a mouse one day when they were kittens, as they were outside playing, which was kinda cool. Gross, but cool.
Bandit was always a lot friendlier than Tiger . In fact, she was downright snotty until he disappeared when they were four or five. Then she decided she could be affectionate, until Mom and I brought home That Dog - Athena the German Shepherd. My brother's Aussie dog, Red, also came along at the same time, and spent quite a bit of time at the farm. These household changes prompted Tiger to stay inside all the time and, most of the time, on my parents' bed. I can remember watching TV one evening, when I heard my Dad hollering and swearing upstairs. Mom and I looked at each other, puzzled. Usually the reason Dad swore like that had something to do with the dogs (or the cows) but they were outside. We later found out that Dad had just laid down on the bed, shirtless, when Tiger decided to pretend she was a Ferocious Tiger stalking the large, white Beast (also known as Dad's gut) on the bed. She launched herself onto my father's stomach, claws extended.
When my parents moved into their new house, the first six months were probably the best six months of Tiger's life. The house was decent size, but all on one floor. Her food was no longer on top of the dryer, so she didn't have to climb up the stepladder. Shortly after the move, Scooby was declawed so now he was completely and utterly her bitch. Life was great...until Mom had the audacity to bring home an Aussie-Sheltie cross, Lilly. But Tiger had decided she was taking a more offensive approach with this pup. She ran down the hallway and launched herself onto the unsuspecting canine and held on, riding the puppy and hissing in its ear the entire time. My mother managed to separate the two and clean up Lilly's "piddle" (that would be piss...she peed all over the floor after that, and really, who wouldn't?). After that, Lilly would not go within three feet of Tiger. Mission accomplished.
So Tiger was a cat that did not get in your face, but occasionally could be affectionate. She hated dogs, hated being picked up, and loved ruining woodwork, especially door jambs. Her favorite toys were my hair elastics, and catnip was really the only treat she ever wanted. She was a cool pet, and I'm glad we had her as long as we did.