Category Archives: Cats

Tigger Passes (2009-2021)

We lost our cat Tigger yesterday. He’s had some chronic health problems the last few years including asthma, allergies, and ear infections, but he was generally happy most of the time until about a month ago when he started having frequent diarrhea. We took him to our vet and all the usual tests were done, including x-rays, but they couldn’t find a cause, though they suspected some kind of cancer that’s hard to detect like lymphoma. Tigger had always been a finicky and slow eater, but finally he didn’t want to eat at all. He spent some time in the animal hospital where they gave him fluids and IV medications, then he came home with new medicines for about two weeks until he was in about the same place again, and had lost about a quarter of his body weight. A week ago yesterday we took him to the vet thinking he would need to be put to sleep, as he wasn’t happy at all, and getting weaker, but they suggested another hospitalization where they would try stronger medications. He was there two nights, then came home with even more medications, some of which he hated, but we gave them as ordered, and he had another week with us, and got lots of love and attention. Yesterday morning he threw up twice, refused to eat at all, and refused all his medications by struggling violently, so we just let him go. By the afternoon he was back in the same place, getting weak, not happy, so we took him in and had him put to sleep. He went peacefully hearing that he was a good boy.

Tigger and his brother Leo came to us as kittens in 2009 when a friend of Ellen had a stray cat give birth in her barn. We took two of the litter of four, even though our older cat Katie was not happy about it. They were fun and entertaining, especially as kittens, and long-time readers of this blog may remember some of their escapades. I’ll include links to a few below. As they grew, their personalities emerged. Tigger was the runt of the litter, and smaller than Leo, but he was more outgoing and brave. We called him our greeter because anyone who came to the house had Tigger’s demand for attention and pets, while Leo was more cautious and usually hid out for a while. Tigger was determined to get what he wanted, but good natured and loving. Lap time with me in the evening was usually a must, and if Leo got there first, Tigger would just lie on top of Leo until he moved. They both loved our screened porch and spent lots of time there, but Tigger always wanted to get outside, and he succeeded briefly a few times, once by going through the screen after a stray cat in the yard that Tigger wanted to fight. Luckily we got him back in before that happened.

We will miss Tigger so much, but at least we still have Leo, who is quite healthy, and he will get even more love and attention now, which is fine with him. Goodbye, Tig. You were a good kitty.

End of May

RosesPhotos © Todd Klein

I’m always a little sad to see the end of May, my favorite month, but this year it was a hectic one, and I’m looking forward to June. More flowers are blooming in the yard, these Roses are doing quite well.

HoneysuckleThe Trumpet Honeysuckle is elderly and nearly dead, but still putting out a few clusters of blossoms that the hummingbirds love.

PansiesThese pansies were the first annuals I planted, at the end of April, and they’re still looking good. When it gets hot they’ll probably need to be replaced.

BegoniasAll the annuals I put in last weekend are doing well, like these pink Begonias. Of course, I have to water them, we’ve had very little rain for the last two months.

LeoThe cats were each relaxing in their own way this afternoon, Leo in a sunny corner of the porch…

Tigger…and Tigger on our bed upstairs. We relaxed, too. I finished a book I’ve been enjoying all week, played my guitar a little, and rocked on the porch, where Ellen was doing some scrap-booking after a small watercolor. A good day, lovely weather, and on we go to June!

Farewell, Katie

KatieOur older cat Katie has gone to her final rest. She was a rescue, abandoned at a kennel where we used to board our other cats. We had her a little over 17 years, but she was full grown when she came, so must have been at least 18. Katie was not an easy cat to love. Grouchy and feisty, she never sat on laps. She liked to be petted JUST on the top of her head, and when she decided. Any other time and place you might get nipped. When we brought our orange tabby brothers Tigger and Leo into the house five years ago, Katy would have none of them, and until about a month ago, when she got too weak, would hiss and swipe at them if they got too close. Katy had been in decline for a few years. This past year, Ellen gradually went to greater and greater lengths to keep her going, including hand feeding and fluids, but finally she was too weak to walk much, and had trouble breathing, so it was time. Our lives will get a little easier now, but we will miss her.

Snow Day!


We’ve had a rough winter in New Jersey, with well over 20 storms passing through since December. Here at the southern end of the state we’ve escaped the worst of the ice and snow, but today’s storm got us, dropping about six inches. I shoveled the front walk, the driveway was still passable without shoveling, as Ellen proved with her car. Good thing, I shouldn’t be shoveling the driveway, bad for my back.


After our snow work we went for a walk in the woods behind our house. I don’t go there most of the year because there are plenty of ticks, but in winter that’s one thing we don’t have to worry about. Ellen is well bundled.


We had rain last night before the snow, and the changeover left a thin coating on the trees, like this American Holly, which grows throughout the woods in our area. The Robins that winter here get by on the berries when the ground is covered or frozen and they can’t dig for worms.


No matter the weather, our boys Tigger and Leo want to go out on the screened porch to watch the birds and squirrels at our feeders, but this snow thing on the porch floor is an unexpected hazard.


Tigger didn’t stay out long. Leo lasted longer, dancing from one pair of feet to the other, with lots of shaking and licking the cold toes.


He did enjoy watching the birds, but before long he was at the door wanting to come back in. We stayed in the rest of the day, too.