Tigger’s Bucket List

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Tigger with Adriene and Michael out and about. Stuart is probably at home and into something. Like the laundry (All photos: Facebook)

When they saw the posting about the senior cat who had been staying at a local Baltimore area vet hospital for close to a year, the decision to adopt the senior cat as a companion to 7-year-old rescue, Stuart, was set in motion.  They also didn’t realize the significant impact 21-year old Tigger would have on all their lives.

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A little backstory on Tigger. He had been left for boarding at a vet hospital, where he had been a patient for about eleven years, first for one night, then a second night, then a week, resulting in a fairly significant period of time.  When there was no further communication with his owner, the vet hospital knew they wouldn’t be taking him to a shelter due to his advanced age, so they put the word out in the off-chance someone would want to adopt him.  Otherwise, he would be spending the remainder of his days with them.  Adriene figures it was about nine months that Tigger had been at the hospital by the time they saw him and she could tell, looking at him, was not at all a happy kitty.  The most curious part was that he was at a vet hospital, but his fur was matted down to his skin, he appeared malnourished, and his kidney failure was alluded to by a technician, but had not been diagnosed.  Nor had his tumor been identified.  Adriene, who works in the industry, and Michael, were further dumbfounded when Tigger was brought to them in a crusty towel, and left alone without any supervision.  They decided right then and there, they were taking him.

 

TiggerBucketList-1 out in neighborhood

As it did turn out, Tigger was having kidney failure, which cannot be reversed, but with the medication, he was eating well and settling in.  Then the other shoe dropped.  He was diagnosed with a tumor.  The combination of his age and kidney issues makes it impossible to do any type of surgery or, for that matter, even a biopsy, so there is no way to know if the tumor is cancer-related or not.  So, the couple has decided to do the next best thing…create a bucket list for Tigger.

 

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So the question was then one of whether a specific bucket list had been created for Tigger, and was it a static list or perpetually growing?  Adriene shared it was a bit of both.  After receiving the tumor diagnosis, she knew the beach was something she wanted to have him experience once the weather cooled down. Tigger loves sunbathing and being outside, so it seemed a natural combination.  Some of the items on the list have been planned, but others are being continually added.  It is all based on things they know he loves to do.  According to Adriene, he is quite good at letting them know what kinds of things he is interested in.

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What exactly is on his list at the moment? First things first, they are waiting for the Maryland weather to warm up a bit and be in the place, as Adriene says, “not too cold, not too hot.”  One of the first things on the list is a little visit to the Canton Waterfront in Baltimore…and maybe a fishing trip.  Their entire goal is letting him do things he will enjoy.  In asking if Stuart got to tag along, she shared one of the things that makes Tigger unique is his escapades are not ones typically associated with what cats would elect to do, but he has a genuine, natural sense of adventure.  That’s what initially got Adriene thinking about the beach trip.  Stuart, on the other hand, is “more of the feed me chicken and sleep in your clean laundry type of kid…. although he does enjoy mooching off of Tigger’s gifts.” Hmmm, sounds like a little brother.

 

 

 

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Before Adriene and Michael saw Tigger, they hadn’t really considered adopting an older pet.  Actually, they were playing with the idea of getting a kitten or maybe even a bunny.  There are also a lot of costs often involved with a senior animal due to health issues, but when they heard Tigger’s story, all of that, the kitten, the bunny, the concern over health costs, went right out the window. Simply put, they were not going to leave without him.  “His insanely hilarious and affectionate personality was a bonus.”

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The one thing that they have discovered is the increased conversations about adopting older pets, how amazing it truly is, and the joy at giving them a second chance for a happy life.  Adriene put it best when she said, “To hear everyone’s support and others sharing their stories from around the world, it’s encouraging. Not just encouraging for us, but that everyone else is connecting, commenting on each others stories and pictures. Giving Tigger a happy life is all we ever hoped for and being able to encourage others to do the same for other pets just makes it that much better.”

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Adriene shares more during her Pet Radio interview and you can follow Tigger and his bucket list on this Facebook page.

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