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Thread: The Tig Reports

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    Default The Tig Reports

    Tig Reports, the Backstory

    One warm fall day in the late '90s found me on the porch, sharpening a knife in preparation for dicing a basket of chilies for the dehydrator when up walked a stray cat. He was friendly and sat down beside me. He looked up at me and gave me “The Silent Meow”. (The Silent Meow is designed to be the most pathetic expression in a cat's repertoire of importuning expressions.) He liked to have his head scratched. He liked to have his scruff rumpled. His head looked too big for his body which was hardly more than a fur bag full of bones. He had been living rough for a long time and was losing ground. His fur was dirty; he could no longer spare the energy to groom himself. He needed a home.

    Jody and I already had two cats and didn't really want a third. With three cats and two people, there wouldn't be enough laps to go around. But this guy was a perfect gentleman so we decided to take him in , put a little weight on him, and then find him a good home with someone else. Uh-Huh! We all know how that turns out, don't we?

    So we let him into the house, much to the dismay of Brigit and Furgason. They chased the new arrival under the bookcase instanter. When it became evident that the new guy was going to stay, he was given rights to the dining room and clearance to visit the food dishes and the litter box. Everything else was off-limits.

    The stranger was a gray cat with black markings that looked like fish scales. There were darker tiger stripes on his sides. His underside was white and there was white spilling over to his legs and feet. There was a narrow white stripe down the center of his back about where the dorsal fin is on a shark. He was what we call a mackerel tabby in these parts. After he had been with us for about a month, we named him “Tiger” – or variously Tigger, or Tig, or Mr. Tiggs, or The Tigmeister, or . . .

    He gradually earned full privileges including lap sitting and induction into the Crepuscular Order of Bed-cats. In the evening, when the laps were full, the odd cat out would circle our easy chairs like a parlor shark waiting for an opening. Eventually, he and Furgason would become hunting partners; Tig pointed the game and Furgason led the attack.

    https://imgur.com/a/7fWbr

    Tig supervises crystal set construction.

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    Default Re: The Tig Reports

    From the Cat Journal:

    The evening of the 15th of April was warm and damp. "Cat weather". Tigger was outside and
    nowhere in sight when we decided to turn in for the night. Jody opened the door at about 6:00
    AM and Tiggs pulled himself inside. His rear legs were in bad shape. He had tangled with a
    car. A visit to the vet was in order. I got out the cat carrier and put it on the floor next to the
    invalid. When I removed the carrier’s top, Tiggs got up on his own and crawled inside. He
    was in the cat hospital for four days.

    Friends and family asked to be kept posted on The Tigmeister’s condition. The following "Tig
    Reports" are a running commentary on his condition.


    Tig Report, 20 Apr 02

    I was sitting in my chair this afternoon, reading a magazine,
    when the Tigmeister crawled out of his room and pulled himself across the living room rug.
    The cast on his rear wheel (shotgun side) makes navigation a real problem for him. The rear
    wheel on the driver's side doesn't work too good either; it won't take his weight yet. He pulled
    over to Jody's chair and tried to hoist himself onto the seat. No joy; he can't lift himself that
    high.

    So he's on the floor and lashing his tail back and forth, which means he's gettin' a powerful
    case of the ass. Suddenly, he somehow hoists himself up into a handstand, fer heaven's sake. He
    balances there for a second and then tips 'er forward to get up some momentum and then
    walks about three steps on his front feet. Well, he hasn't quite got the hang of that heavy cast
    on the starboard side and goes ass-over-tincups. Now he's really pissed. He gets up on top
    of the skis on our "certain ethnic" ski slope and promptly falls off the side between the frame and the
    end-table over there and commences to thrashing around, trying to right himself and
    knocking dents in the woodwork with his cast. I tell him, "Remember this, next time you see a
    goddam car! Which ain't likely. Don't hold your head in a bucket of water until that happens."
    He finally hoists himself back up on the skis and settles down.

    Jody comes in and lifts him down onto the rug again. He begins to pull himself toward the
    litter box. We don't let him use that box; we're afraid he'll get that granular litter between his
    cast and his "tender regions". She puts him in his special box with the shredded newspaper,
    where he is able to drain "Old Gomez" without mishap.

    So now he is back in his room, sleeping off his exertions and resting up for a nap.

    If he keeps up with this handstand business he could be a pretty good circus cat. We'll take
    him on the road (inside the car, this time) and bill him as The Great Tiggerini". Our fortunes
    are made!

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    Default Re: The Tig Reports

    Quite a character. Lots of cattitude, as they say. I hope the Tig is all mended now. Awaiting further reports!
    “We go to the garrick now and become warbs.”--James Thurber

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    Default Re: The Tig Reports

    Spoiler alert! Tig mended from this scrape and several others besides. He lived until about the age of 18, when his thyroid played him false. We kept him going with medication and his favorite foods (raw chicken livers and ice cream) for a couple of years and he finally went to the land of Bastet. I sent up a rocket to let the goddess know she was getting a rare old street fighter and a gentleman who knew how to turn the word "bliss" into a verb.
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    Default Re: The Tig Reports

    Tig Report, 21 Apr 02.

    This morning the Tigmeister was looking a bit frowsy and depressed. Jody gave him a drink with an eyedropper and stuffed some food down his conchwalagus and he seemed to perk up a bit. He actually took a few bites on his own. I held him on my lap for a while and scratched him behind the ears. That got the purring started - with cat smiles, even.

    We bought some high-test cat food yesterday. It is the stuff sold in the tiny cans. Maybe the stuff has a critical mass; I dunno. You could probably mix some of that with a bit of catnip and get ball lightning whenever you wanted some. The third ingredient would have to be a "catalyst", of course. Sorry.

    Anyway, the Tiggs can pull himself around on the floor a little better now that he is stoking up on nitromethane cat food. I always wanted a Double-A Fueled dragster.

    The other cats are getting their little furry noses out of joint over The Tiggs' special treatment. Last night, Brigit clumb up on my lap and commenced growling and rumbling. I told her to pipe down, or I was gonna have to reverse her fields for her. If you have a three-phase cat, you reverse any two leads and the motor goes the other way. I scratched her head and she started with the purrs and smiles.

    This morning, Furgason walked into Mr. Tiggs' room and hissed at him; gave him a real "explosion of opinion". Tig looked at Furgason and seemed to say, "Nyaaaa shaddap!" Yeesus, Ole! We have fur bearing five-year-olds in the house.

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    Default Re: The Tig Reports

    The Tig Report, 24 Apr 02

    There is more improvement on the Tig front. His Nibs will now take nourishment on his own if the food is placed on the floor in front of him. He won't eat from a bowl or a dish. Go figure.

    He is getting around much better today. He gets up on his cast and pokes himself along like an inchworm on stilts. It looks a bit like he is poling a punt with paws. Tonight Jody opened the door to let Brigit in and the Tigmeister tried to make a break for it. Yeesus, Ole! He hasn't been home from the cat hospital for a week yet, and he wants to try his luck again. If he got outside in his condition, a geriatric chihuahua could catch him and chew him to ribbons.

    The cast on his right rear leg is a major problem; he just can't get all his "cat stuff" done properly. The cast is too heavy to hike up into the air. This makes it impossible to "play the cello" in the accepted fashion. He just can't play those high notes the way a cat should. Instead, he has to play everything sideways.

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    Default Re: The Tig Reports

    Quote Originally Posted by Paddler View Post
    Spoiler alert! ...
    Ah well, but in a way it's never a spoiler, is it? When we let an animal into our hearts we always know how the story will end. "Here are your tears, I will save them for you until it's time to drink your fill." What a great cat life, though.
    “We go to the garrick now and become warbs.”--James Thurber

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    The Tig Report, 26 Apr 2002

    The Tigster went to the vet yesterday for his first week's progress check. The vet decided the patient was doing well ... all except for that left rear leg. There was a dislocation on the inside and an owie of the outside. He put a cast on the leg and sent Tigs home. Now we have a cat with two casts. He was still groggy from the anesthetic last night and couldn't figure out what was wrong with that other leg. He would roll around on his back and try to kick the new cast off his gam. He sort of looked like one of the Olympic gymnasts scissoring his legs around on the pommel horse.

    Regardless of the new impediment to locomotion, Mr. Tiggs was mobile during the night. He put a good sized divot in a bowl of cat kibble and washed it down with some of Adam's ale. He got in and out of the litter box by himself. He got in and out of his pyramidal lair by himself, and he accomplished it all in the dark with a good deal of noise and thrashing around.

    Oh, and the new cast can be hoisted up to his shoulder and he can "play the cello" and just git them high notes like a respectable cat should. Yay!

    At about 3:30 A.M., Brigit and Furgason jumped another mouse. At 6:00 they were still at it. They had the little blighter cornered behind my tool kit. I wonder where they will cache the corpse this time. If I find it in one of my shoes, there's gonna be war in camp! I only caught two mice in the joint all winter; now that it is spring, the hunting is better. Go figure.

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    https://imgur.com/a/KR1KE

    Tig with symmetrical casts.
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    Default Re: The Tig Reports

    The Tig Report, 28 Apr 02

    Tigger is getting better at navigating on his two casts. He looks like a muscle car with his ass jacked way up in the air. If we just painted his differential a bright orange, the illusion would be complete.

    The gourmet victuals seem to agree with him. He eats and drinks on his own now. Altogether, he is living about as high on the hog as a cat can bite.

    He is having a problem with temperature regulation. Yesterday morning we found him huddled and shivering on the register in his room. It was not cold in there, surely for a critter with a fur coat. Last night Jody slid a heating pad under his bedding and turned it on low. Tiggs thought that was the oyster's ice skates. Jody turned it off this morning at 7:00 AM (medicine time). At noon, the Tigster still wouldn't give it up.

    The other cats jumped two more mice last evening. There was lots of satisfying squeaking going on in the kitchen and dining room until they tired of the game and decided to dine.

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    Default Re: The Tig Reports

    I am sure Tig would have been just fine with getting his differential painted orange.
    “We go to the garrick now and become warbs.”--James Thurber

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    Default Re: The Tig Reports

    Quote Originally Posted by R.A. Stewart View Post
    I am sure Tig would have been just fine with getting his differential painted orange.
    Yeah, but then he would have wanted higher cams, new shocks, and a snotty-sounding muffler; there would be no end to it. The vet bills were eating into his college fund as it was.
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    Tig Report, 4 May 02

    Heretofore, The Tigster's favorite nosh has been Friskee's "Mixed Growl" cat food. I guess, in an effort to induce him to eat, we pushed his favorite a bit too much. He has eschewed his old gustatory delight in favor of Ocean Whitefish (kitten formula, of course). He will attack that stuff straight from a bowl - no hand feeding necessary. He goes after it with the single-minded purpose and voracity of a lumberjack after a long day with a dull saw.

    Whenever we open the door to effect the entrance or exit of Brigit and Furgason, Tiggs tries to make a break for the great outside. Hell, in his condition, an arthritic blue jay could have him for lunch. He has been promoted to Full Time Majordomo, Butler, and Lord High Greeter of Guests and Plenipotentiary to the Pridefull Court of the Awe-Inspiring Indoors. Said title has been bestowed for the life of the recipient. Longer, if possible!

    He has one small problem which mortifies him, no end (so to speak). With casts on both hind legs, he can't achieve a proper squat in the litterbox. So when draining Old Gomez, he sometimes dribbles on the cast. He tries to clean the cast, but it is no go; the cast is made of fiberglass and is too porous to lick clean. We are afraid to wash it and let water soak through and perhaps make trouble for the leg inside.

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    Tig Report, 8 May 02

    We arose this morning to the sound of much hissing and growling. Tiggs had cornered Brigit under the secretary. He was standing there with his forelegs on the floor and his ass hiked up on those two casts, trying to larn the "dominant" female a thing or two. Anytime he can stuff Brigit under a bookcase before 7:00 AM, it's gonna be a good day!

    He is still partial to "Ocean Whitefish" cat glop. When we put a fresh blob in his dish, he wobbles over there and begins to make sounds like a hippopotamus pulling its foot out of the mud.

    The cast problem is slowly getting worse. He tries his best to cope with it, but it ain't in the cards. We wouldn't notice it so much, but he wants lap-sitting. He has got to have it. If you sit down and don't put him in your lap, the little olfactory horror outs with his shivs and tries to pull himself up your leg. Fortunately, the casts can come off in two weeks.

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    Default Re: The Tig Reports

    I truly, truly hope we never have to have a cast on any of our cats. Especially that one particular cat.
    “We go to the garrick now and become warbs.”--James Thurber

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    Default Re: The Tig Reports

    There are things that are far worse than casts, as you will eventually read about. But the Tigster was a tough old guy and survived it all except, well, a dodgy thyroid. Still, he had many years of hunting with his buddy and sitting on his plank in the middle of a catnip bush, stoned and grinning.
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    Default Re: The Tig Reports

    The Tig Report, 13 May 02

    Well, there's good news and bad news on the Tig front, tonight.

    Good news: The Tigster spent most of last night doing his duty as one of The Loyal Order of Bedcats. Along about 3:30 AM he became restless and Jody put him down on the floor. He stumped off to his room, presumably to visit his litterbox. Before Jody went to work in the morning, she checked on him. He was still in the box. He was not best pleased. The cast on his right rear wheel had fetched loose and he couldn't walk on it, much less hoist himself out of the litter. Jody dropped him off at the vet's on her way to work. He is home now; the vet had just slipped the cast off. The broken leg has healed. It is too short to match the other leg which is still in a cast. So we now have a real arithmetic cat; he puts down three and carries one.

    Bad news: The vet wants us to do "physical therapy" on the shucked leg. Stretching and bending exercises. Yeesus, Ole! I wish I had kept my old beekeeping gloves with the elbow-length gauntlets. A standard sized pair of Wells Lamonts may not provide enough protection. I mean, the Tigmeister still has all his shivs and a face full of sharp snags. If we start trifling with that leg, he's gonna be about as reasonable and stoic as a Visigoth with a boil on his ass.

    I have often wondered how the vet would remove one of those fiberglass casts. Given the way a cat's leg is built, he can probably squirt some Kentucky (KY) Jelly down the inside and just slip it off. We will find out in about a week when the other cast is due for removal.

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    The Tig Report, 18 May 02

    The Tigster is one bored kitty. He wants to go outside. This is not in the cards. If he stands at the door and howls long enough, he finds out just how far outside the deck this idea is; he learns it from the business end of a squirt bottle.

    We didn't have to do physical therapy on the shotgun-side rear wheel. Tiggs could straighten and bend it pretty well the day he came back from the vet after the cast was removed. Tiggs can stump along on his remaining cast and put the other leg down to steady himself. The "new" leg can even take some of his weight. The second cast comes off on Wednesday.


    Tig Report, 23 May 02

    The Tig had his remaining cast removed yesterday afternoon. We put him in his carrier and bundled him off to the cat mechanic. We think that at his previous home, Tig was used to riding in a car. We think this because, of all of our cats, he is the only one who doesn't get carsick. He still rides in the carrier, though. We stick to the rule,"No loose cats in the car!"

    So the cat mechanic was going to slip the Tigmeister a Mickey Finn for the cast removal process, but when they pulled him out of the cage, he was so relaxed, the doc decided to try the procedure without benefit of drugs. Three of the staff took Tig back into the surgery. They were about to learn wisdom. There was a sound like an industrial strength Dremel tool was cutting into a big tooth. Then silence. Soon the silence was ended by an explosion of opinion from the Tig. He was free at last, and wasn't gonna brook any more trifling with that leg.

    He is at home, now. He cleans and preens and licks on that leg until his tongue gets tired. Then he has a nap. When he wakes up, he starts licking again. He hasn't begun to use his newly reclaimed leg yet. He gimps along with the rear wheel that was liberated a week ago. Sometimes he gets impatient with the awkward three-legged gait; he picks up the two rear feet and takes off on the front two. He can't keep that up very long, even though he is developing shoulders like a weight lifter's.


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    Tig Report, 30 May 02

    The Tigger is now navigating on all fours. He doesn't have enough spring in the hind legs to jump up on anything, but he has a novel way of getting down from a chair or a lap. He steps off headlong for the ground, catches himself in a handstand and then lowers his gimpy hind quarters gingerly down. His gait is slow and a bit awkward, but he is making it.

    Since Tiggs has not been allowed outside, he has taken up lap-sitting in a serious way. He sits in your lap and puts his paw out. He wants to touch skin, the crazy beast. I let him put his paw on the back of my hand, making sure that my thumb is under his forearm. When he falls asleep and begins to dream of chasing chipmunks, I can quickly raise my thumb and hoist his shivs out of my hand.

    The Tigmeister's taste for Ocean Whitefish cat glop is beginning to flag. He is now partial to "Savory Salmon Feast". The little git is getting better comestibles than we are.

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    Default Re: The Tig Reports

    Tig_Report, 10 Jun 02

    The little guy is nearly back on the strength. He still walks a little stiff legged in back, but gets around the place without help. I don't think he's getting enough exercise, being cooped up in the house the way he is.

    A few nights ago I put him on the stairs a few steps from the bottom to see if he would go up or down. He came down. Next, I put him on a step about half way up the stairs. He came down. I then put him at the top of the stairs. He came down. I was getting most of the exercise. Last night, Brigit went upstairs. Tiggs went up after her. Then there began a whole lot of hissing and growling up there. If he can walk up sixteen steps and stuff Brigit under a cedar chest, he is definitely on the mend.

    We will not allow him to go outside, though; he's not that fast. In fact, a slug with bunions could probably catch him and stomp him flat. Even if he fully recovers, he will still be grounded. He has proven that he doesn't have the intellect to stay out of trouble. Tiggs is Full Time Majordomo, Butler, and Lord High Greeter of Guests and Plenipotentiary to the Prideful Court of the Awe-Inspiring Indoors. The title has been granted, the investiture held, and the scepter passed. If the other cats don't mind their behavior, Tiggs will have some minions, underlings, subalterns, apprentices, lackeys, and fools to boss around.

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    Default Re: The Tig Reports

    Tig Report, Supplemental 18 Jul 03

    Yesterday I was sitting at the 'puter, checking my traps on the Internet, when I heard cat-music coming from the front porch. I had just seen Tigger out there sunning himself and lording it over the rest of creation. Now I looked out and saw him in a face-off with Beelzebub. (Beelzebub is a neighbor's cat. He's blacker than the Earl of Hell's waistcoat and has a temperament to match.). The language they used would have blighted the soul of the bo'sun on the Flying Dutchman and their grammar was just awful.

    I grabbed my air rifle and pumped it once. Not wishing to really plug the interloper, I didn't chamber a round in it. I figured the snapping sound and a blast of air would give old 'Bub the idea he was "cattus non gratus" (pardon the Latin . . . or is that French?). I went out, pointed the rifle and pulled the trigger. The air puffed the fur on 'Bub's flank and he took off for distant parts.

    Tigger figured that, as reinforcements had arrived, it was time to clean Old 'Bub's clock. He pounced on 'Bub in the back yard. I ran over there and stood by a spinning cloud of fur, fang, and claw, with the odd clump of hair flying off and landing in the grass.

    I don't have much experience in breaking up a cat fight, but I figured that putting one's bare hands in there amongst the combatants was a bad idea. I timed the spin and when 'Bub came around on my side, I gave him a quick boost with my foot. "Break clean!" I yelled. 'Bub landed a couple of feet away with a big back and language even more foul than before. Tigger waded into him again.

    There was another spinning cat-cloud to deal with. I walked over there and boosted 'Bub about four feet in the air. Tigger was waiting for him when he landed. There was more spinning and tufts of fur in the air. Again I timed the spin and clouted 'Bub up against his knowledge box. That got his attention. He ran for the tall grass out behind the garden. Tigger followed him. "Tiggs, you idiot! Give it up. He's gonna chew your face off!"

    When I got there, they were circling each other, revving up for another go. 'Bub saw me and disappeared into the tall grass. Tigger tried to follow, but I caught him and carried him into the house. When I put him down, he walked around some, but he was movin' slow. By evening his right front leg was swollen and he was favoring it heavily.

    Jody found him this morning, holed up in a closet upstairs. Later he came gimping down the stairs on three legs. He meows for more canned cat glop. He wants a lot of lap sitting.

    MCR>
    Abstractor of the Quintessence
    Order of the Digital Grail
    Written on a real computer and real keyboard with capital letters, punctuation, and everything.

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    Marsilius (November 16th, 2017)

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