With great sorrow and heartache we said goodbye to our Tigger today. We were with him for his very last breath, he went peacefully and quietly.

We found Tigger at a shelter when we lived in Chicago shortly after getting our first cat. He was a bundle of kitten, full of energy and play. He was like that until the very end when we knew it was time.

Denise and I early on started out our lives together by becoming a dog owner, then an owner of two cats. At some point we transitioned from animal owners to animal lovers, and our two cats and three dogs have been part of our daily life. They often inhibit our ability to just do whatever we want, but in return we have the warmth, comfort, trust, and responsibility of being the pack leaders. Nothing compares to winding down in the evenings with the two of us and all three dogs and two cats relaxing on the sofa, then a parade up to the bedroom to turn in for the evening.

Since we moved to Colorado, our furniture buying has been based on ways to include the animals, a king size bed, a huge sofa that barely fits in the room! It is worth it. We bring these wonderful, helpless creatures into our home and they become our children. We try hard to keep the line drawn between animal and human, but we spoil the heck out of them and love to do so.

As animal owners, in the beginning I always knew this inevitable cycle of life would come. Honestly though, it came unexpectedly with Tigger. It is hard to say when Tigger became sick, he’s has always had a lot of energy and that never really seemed to change much. I suppose about a month ago he seemed to have lost considerable weight, though it wasn’t visible due to his long hair. When I touched him though he seemed skinny and boney. His demeanor never really changed though, he was himself, a kitten still.

Then he started to pee on stuff, a lot. Several times a day. With the weather change we figured maybe he was upset with the level of attention he was(n’t) getting. We dealt with this for about two weeks and finally took him in to the vet.

The vet found Tigger to be diabetic, along with kidney problems. He was in pretty rough shape and was suffering. We needed to make a choice. Treatment would be long and difficult, a week or more under the care of the vet, then daily blood level tests (by collecting urine somehow), specific feeding, and insulin injections, repeating every day. One mess up and likely the process would start over. With all that, it would be difficult to determine how much Tigger was suffering. Knowing how difficult diabetes alone can affect a human, not being able to communicate directly with Tigger had us concerned about his quality of life. So we made a very hard decision.

I have to admit, I’ve been sobbing on and off since yesterday. Tigger and I had some differences, but he always rose above those knowing when to keep some distance and when to approach. He was totally Denise’s kitty, he was so attached to her. The last 48 hours has really been hard for the both of us. Though, when Tigger’s end came today we knew this is what we signed up for by giving him a home, and love.

Tigger, I hope we did okay. We miss you little buddy…


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