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Tigger is . . . Ten! July 21, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Animals, Humor.

In 2004, over the Labor Day weekend, we stopped at Sylvia’s farm stand on Deal Island to pick up a watermelon and fresh corn.

Tigger, about 6 weeks old at the time, sauntered over to say hello.

Sylvia said he’d shown up a few days earlier, without mom or siblings.  Her eight-year-old grandson, who had more cats than he could count, wanted to take Tigger home.  Sylvia encouraged us to adopt him instead.

Tigger consented to the arrangement.

We went home with fresh fruit, fresh veggies, and a fresh little ball of fluff and fur with feral feline tendencies.


First up on the Agenda was the Name Game.  We had to figure out what to call the little guy.

That weekend, Deal Island was celebrating the Skipjack Races, as it has for years and years.  We tested Tigger with the name “Skipper.”  Not a good fit. He seemed less like a Skipper, and more like a Gilligan.  We tried “Gilligan” on for size.  Nope.  Still not right.  Then “Tigger” popped into mind!

We took it for a test drive, calling out, “Hey, Tigger!”

Tigger-BouncingTigger stopped what he was doing, stared straight at us, and began bouncing, side to side, much like a boxer warming up in the ring.

Delighted that we’d discovered his moniker, he bounced from one corner of the room to the other.

Bouncing is what Tiggers do best!

As we watched his personality and mannerisms unfold, we conjectured that he must have been adopted for a short time by a raccoon before being relinquished into Sylvia’s care:

* Tigger loved water.  As a kitten, he hopped into wet sinks and bathtubs to splash in shallow pools.  Every time he heard the toilet flush, he raced to its side to watch the vanishing tide.

* Tigger used his paws like hands.  When we tossed a treat into the air, he jumped up on hind legs to catch the treat, mid arc, with his front paws. Then, treat in hand, he used both paws to bring the morsel to his mouth.

* Instead of bringing his mouth to his food bowl, he’d fish around in the bowl, grab a piece of food, and bring it to his mouth.

He does the same thing when we play “hockey” with treats.  He reaches out with both paws, pushing the treat between them, and lifts it to his mouth.

We shoots . . . he scores!

Our curious conjecture about Tigger’s step-family seemed plausible each time a masked bandit waddled up to the sliding back door to inform us that “the bird feeders are empty and we would like some service, please!”

If any other animal had the effrontery to wander into Tigger’s territory, he chased them away!

Racoon-babyNot so with raccoons.

Instead of growling or yowling in protest, he would race to the back door and stand on his hind legs to emulate the posture of the raccoon on the other side of the glass.

His brave persona didn’t surprise us.

Tigger has always been brave around vacuum cleaners, thunder, other noisy noises, dogs, other nosy noses, and people.

Except the vet.  He dislikes the vet.  With feline intensity.


For that reason, we opted against treating his diabetes with vet visits and insulin shots.  For the past two years, we’ve focused on “home care” and lots of loving.

But don’t get the wrong idea.  Tigger is NOT a lap cat.

If I pick him up to snuggle, he acts like a teen-aged boy who is “too old for that, mom!” He gives me about 15 seconds before he starts to wriggle and squirm to get away.

2014-06-03 20-48-34_0003

Free-At-Last, he wanders off with a raccoonish waddle to curl up for a nap.

Because napping is what 10-year-old Tiggers do best!


Happy 10th Birthday, Tigger!  You are Purr-Fect for us!

Aah . . . that’s better!

Related posts:  Early Consciousness (Kate Crimmons) * Tigger is Sick * Tigger is NOT Your Average Cat * Eat, Drink, and Be Hairy! * It’s Tigger Time! * Don’t Train Us . . . We’ll Train You! * Tigger Had A Busy Summer * Tigger’s End of the Year Wrap Up * Stand Your Ground * Janna’s Kitty, Cybil (Janna T. Writes)





1. suzicate - July 21, 2014

Happy Birthday, Tigger!

nrhatch - July 21, 2014

We just gave him some “people tuna” for his birthday breakfast. He’s a happy camper.

2. Pix Under the Oaks - July 21, 2014

Happy Birthday Tigger! Never heard that much history about you and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I know you will get some extra treats today out of that little bag! We were very happy to have met you Tigger. You have a cool place to check out all kinds of different animals and birds! Have a Tiggerific day!

nrhatch - July 21, 2014

Meow! I liked meeting you too, Pix. Especially enjoyed the scritch behind my ear!

My 2-leggers just sang Happy Birthday to me and gave me a heaping helping of TUNA! The good stuff. Not the kind packed for cats when it’s NOT their Birth Day. It’s good to be King.

3. Jill Weatherholt - July 21, 2014

He definitely looks more like a Tigger than Gilligan! Happy Birthday to Tigger!

nrhatch - July 21, 2014

Thanks, Jill. He has a “floating birthday” since we don’t know exactly when he was born. This year, today’s the day and he’s enjoying a special bowl of Tuna for breakfast.

4. Maggie - July 21, 2014

Aww, happy birthday to Tigger! 🙂

nrhatch - July 21, 2014

Thanks, Maggie. He runs, jumps, and plays a little less than when he was a wee one . . . but he’s still got plenty of SPUNK!

5. Crowing Crone - July 21, 2014

Happy Birthday Tigger, keep on being your bouncy flouncy self!

nrhatch - July 21, 2014

Thanks, Joss! I have these two guys wrapped around my paws! It’s great having minions to do my bidding.

6. sued51 - July 21, 2014

I do belief as we see their personalities…their names almost become obvious! Happy Birthday to Tigger! (a worthy namesake).

nrhatch - July 21, 2014

Tigger ignored “Skipper.”
He paid no mind when we called him “Gilligan.”

When we tried “Tigger,” his ears perked up and he bounced.

sued51 - July 22, 2014

My cats’ names were “Stella” and “Patti” when I adopted them. Patti became “Zoee” and responded to her new name right away. (“Zoe” means “life” and believe me, she is that!). I was calling Stella, “Mimi” as a nickname for “Aimee” in the beginning, but she is definitely “Aimee”…”my love.”

nrhatch - July 22, 2014

Good detective work ~ and great names. The Universe clues us in . . . if we LISTEN.

7. Don - July 21, 2014

Also a happy birthday to Tigger. 🙂

nrhatch - July 21, 2014

He’s having a great day being a bit more spoiled than he is every day.

8. Silver in the Barn - July 21, 2014

What a great story. It is amazing how much animals enrich our lives, isn’t it? Tigger definitely hit the feline jackpot when he came home with you!

nrhatch - July 21, 2014

It’s been a win-win for all of us, Barbara. We factored life quality into the equation when we opted out of insulin and vet visits for his diabetes ~ Tigger eats, drinks, pees, poops, and sleeps more than B.D. (before diabetes), but he’s still a Happy Camper most days. And today, especially! 😎

Silver in the Barn - July 21, 2014

I couldn’t agree more with your decision. We will do the same with our beloved old Berkley as he heads into real old age.

nrhatch - July 21, 2014

I’m glad that you found a way for him to enjoy your camping and hiking excursions. He’s got a sweet face.

9. katecrimmins - July 21, 2014

Awww! Happy story but you have to watch those farm stands. You more than you bargained for!

nrhatch - July 21, 2014

Our life for the past 10 years has been far different than it would have been if we hadn’t stopped at Sylvia’s stand that day. We’re glad that Tigger found us.

katecrimmins - July 21, 2014

I think pets always enhance life. Although there are days……

nrhatch - July 21, 2014

Like most things in life, pets both enhance and detract from our enjoyment of life. For example, when they wake us at odd hours, they distract us from the joy of deep sleep.

10. valleygrail - July 21, 2014

I love a self actualized cat!

nrhatch - July 21, 2014

He is very different from our previous cats ~ jazz and Cayenne. They were much more inclined to cuddle and snuggle. Tigger has always been a bit put off by public displays for affection.

He does give us the occasional head butt as part of his approval rating system. 😎

11. NancyTex - July 21, 2014

Happy birthday, Tigger! May you enjoy a cuddle-free day!

nrhatch - July 21, 2014

Thanks, NT. Tigger wanted me to tell you his favorite Yoga Pose ~ yup, the Cat Pose. MEOW!

NancyTex - July 21, 2014

Tell him that it’s my favourite too! Love how it releases my low back!

nrhatch - July 21, 2014

Yes! S~T~R~E~T~C~H and release! Aah . . .

12. ericjbaker - July 21, 2014

Cats rule the Earth and the rest of us don’t know it yet.

nrhatch - July 21, 2014

The King of the Beasts! Or as some cats like to say, “Cats rule. Dogs drool.”

13. Kate @ Did That Just Happen? - July 21, 2014

How sweet! I’m glad you could give him a good human home! 🙂 Sounds like you guys have made a great life together!

nrhatch - July 21, 2014

Thanks, Kate. Tigger’s been a fun addition to the family.

14. lindsaycummingswrites - July 21, 2014

Tigger sounds like quite the character! Happy birthday you springy little thing 🙂

nrhatch - July 21, 2014

Thanks, Lindsay. He had a special day ~ with tuna, treats, a walk, and several naps.

lindsaycummingswrites - July 21, 2014

Naps. Naps are the best!

nrhatch - July 22, 2014

A big *PAUSE* button in the middle of the day. Aah . . .

15. Eric Tonningsen - July 21, 2014

Going to sidestep the cat/dog debate, as I’m obviously biased. 🙂 Happy birthday, Tigger!

Funny thing about his vet aversion… yesterday I took Bailey and Logan to get groomed (simple bath and brush). As soon as Logan sniffed his whereabouts it was ‘I’m outta here.’ Bailey on the other hand sensed a luxurious experience. Must be a gender thing.

nrhatch - July 21, 2014

Thanks, Eric! Sounds like a Spa Outing for dogs. Tigger does most of his grooming on his own . . . with an occasional combing by us if he gets a knot.

16. Barbara - July 21, 2014

It was interesting to read about Tigger’s history, how he got his name and came to be a part of the family. Glad to hear he is still a happy camper and doing so well despite his diabetes, which you seem to be handling so well without a vet. Good for you.
Happy Birthday Tigger!

nrhatch - July 21, 2014

If his aversion to the vet hadn’t been so extreme, that route would have made sense ~ but he stopped looking forward to going out for his daily walk. Instead of heading for the door when he heard BFF get his leash, he’d hide under the bed to make sure he didn’t get carted off to the vet.

He enjoyed his day today ~ tuna, treats, tummy rub, AND a walk outside after dinner. Plus a nap or four.

Barbara - July 22, 2014

Good for him……he is enjoying life!

nrhatch - July 22, 2014

Most days, he’s a happy little guy . . . with a BIG appetite.

17. jannatwrites - July 21, 2014

This is such a sweet post – I love the story of how you ended up with Tigger. Geez, if my husband knew coming home with a kitty was a possibility when visiting a fruit stand, he’d surely avoid them 🙂

Happy birthday, Tigger!

nrhatch - July 21, 2014

Thanks, Janna. We got our first two cats at a street festival ~> someone had a basket of kittens on display . . . we went home with TWO! 😎

18. Val Boyko - July 22, 2014

Happy for you and a Happy Birthday to Tigger!

nrhatch - July 22, 2014

Thanks, Val. He had a love-filled day.

19. When in New Places - July 22, 2014

Happy Birthday to Tigger!! What a great cat ~ so cute!! 🙂

nrhatch - July 22, 2014

Thanks, Andrea. We think so too.

20. Tokeloshe - July 23, 2014

It’s great to see that Tigger is doing so well and looking pawsitively great for he’s age.

nrhatch - July 23, 2014

Thanks, Tok! He’s having a great birthday week.

21. Three Well Beings - July 28, 2014

Well, a very happy, but belated birthday to Tigger! I’m absolutely amazed at his skill level! I would love to just sit and watch him at play–or eating. 🙂

nrhatch - July 28, 2014

He’s a fun little guy. Yesterday, “infidels” arrived with guide dog in tow ~> Tigger was a real trooper, allowing us to enjoy the visit without having to act as referee for feline-canine disputes. :mrgreen:

22. pix & kardz - August 11, 2014

happy belated birthday, Tigger. Timmy sends you purrs – he recently turned 8 years old 🙂

nrhatch - August 11, 2014

Thanks, Kris! Glad your Timmy is still purring along too. Give him a High Paw from Tigger.

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