Wednesday, March 25, 2009

The Other Side of the Window

It was a very warm Saturday in June 1992 and the mother was recuperating after being hit by a car. Trying to make sure that she was OK and work had me frazzled.
And on this particular day, I had to work, thanks to my boss at the time who had volunteered me for a several-month project that culminated with a huge event that day.

I got an early start and then dashed home to check in on the mother around mid-day. “I keep hearing a cat,” she told me. I heard it, too, but since birds often mimic cats, I didn’t think too much of it. I got the mother some lunch and prepared to leave.

As I walked toward my car, I heard a greater sense of urgency in those cries. I threw my stuff in the car and walked toward the sound.

I looked in the tree that is just beyond our property line, but because it was in full bloom, I couldn’t see much of anything, yet the cries kept getting louder. All of sudden, my eye caught something dark mid-tree. It was a tiny tail! There was a kitten in the tree! I ran back inside to tell the mother and got a ladder. I was very near the top rung when suddenly, the kitten sensed my presence and darted a few branches higher.

I gingerly stepped off the ladder and into the tree. This time, he didn’t go up, he moved horizontally, out onto a skinny branch. Somehow, he clung to it and the branch didn’t break.
What I didn’t notice was that the mother had ambled outside. She had broken some ribs and messed up a knee and a shoulder, so this took some effort on her part. I returned to the ladder and she yelled, “I can reach it!”

Before I could discourage her, she thrust the cane she was using to the top of the branch, handle side up, and tugged. The kitten couldn’t hang on, and in a split second, I was holding him. He had fallen right into my arms.

When I set him down to go inside – I figured he could use a little milk after his ordeal – he walked right into the house as if he owned it. Though we tried to find him a home elsewhere, he never left.

Until this morning.
Very early this morning, in the hours before dawn, Tigger headed for the Rainbow Bridge. My distinguished old gentleman (right at age 17) who loved to lay in the window and peer out is now on the other side. And, God bless him, he didn’t make me intervene.

Enjoy your freedom, old friend. We’ll miss you.

R.I.P, TIGGER 1992-2009

19 comments:

Karen Anne said...

So sorry... Seventeen wonderful years though...

Jen said...

Hi, Nicole,

I'm so sorry about Tigger. I'm glad, though, that everything at the end was as peaceful as it could be.

Jen

Ty'sMommy said...

Oh hon, I am SO sorry. I know this as been rough on you and the mother. I am glad he didn't suffer any more than necessary. Keep your chin up.

Vicki said...

Oh Nicole, I am so sorry about Tigger. I pray that you and your mother find comfort in the following days. I also hope the other animals will do ok without their brother.

Gene said...

Sorry to hear about Tigger, but glad it was peaceful at the end.

Mama Martha said...

NV, you were blessed to have had those 17 years with Tigger.

plumbelieve said...

NV - I know you are sad on this day but as I read your account of how Tigger came into your life, you are actually 17 years happier instead of one day sad. He is probably glad to have crossed the bridge. Your account is actually similar to a scene in one of my children's book that features a lost kitten....I should let you read it.

Anyway, please accept my condolances for you and the mother.

PB

cd said...

Thinking of you and your Mom.

starsimplified said...

Nicole,
So sorry for your loss. I know you've been preparing for it, but still...it's never easy. You and the Mother are in my thoughts. Hugs.

Chris said...

I'm so sorry to hear about Tigger. Thanks for all of the wonderful stories about him and your other fur babies.

MonkeyGirl said...

That was the most heart warming (and tear jerking) send off. Bless you and the mother, there is a special place in heaven for the two of you "rescuers". Santa Fe and Charlie are waiting for Tigger - they will get into all kinds of kitty angel mischief!

Love ya!

Jayne said...

I'm so sorry about Tigger.

SmilingJudy said...

So sorry for your loss, but I'm glad to hear he went peacefully on his own. Very touching story. Farewell, little guy.

kspinning said...

I am not usually an animal lover, but your post has me in tears. So sorry about your Tigger. Lovely story...

NV said...

WOW! Again all of you have managed to overwhelm me with your love, kindness, and support. I can't thank you enough. You don't know how much it has meant. Big hugs to you all.

Vanessa Rogers said...

that is so sad. But 17 years is very old for a cat. But I am sure it was hard none the less.

bettyl said...

What a great beginning to a great friendship. My condolences.

Renovation Therapy said...

I am so sorry. I hope Tigger is having a bgt mug of creamy tea and side of salmon with Talas.

NV said...

Vanessa, bettyl -- Thank you. The past few weeks have been a time of adjustment, some times easier than others. Appreciate your kind words.

Jean -- You and Tal were on my mind during those first few days. I caught myself so many times, trying to go feed him or expecting to see him in the window. I think you're right. They probably are having a grand meal together. (though for Tig, it would be BEEF. He was a BEEF dude all the way.)