RIP: Tiggy 2000-2012

It is with great sadness that I report the passing of Tiggy the Cat, author of “Travels with Tiggy.” As her readers know, I am her human and helped her write the column. She passed away January 12.
                Tiggy came to me and my late wife in 2001 at an estimated age of 18 months. She was a rescue cat whose original owner had been unable to keep her because of an intolerant apartment manager. We signed a document promising never to have her declawed and to care for her during her life.
                Tiggy quickly became a full part of our little family. She was an exceptional cat, always ready for a scratch behind the ears and making sure her food bowl was kept full. She was very well behaved and never used her claws to damage furniture. She learned several tricks (and they say cats can’t be trained!) such as “Sit up like a chipmunk” when it was time to eat. She also knew “Lie down” and would always come when called.
                Tiggy was close to my wife Patricia, who preceded her in death last June. Pat was in declining health for many years, and Tiggy seemed to recognize her special need for affection and attention. She often slept nearby, acting as a guardian angel.
                Last November, Tiggy and I embarked on a new adventure, the full-time RV lifestyle. Her column was to serve as an entertaining report on our travels, and I had looked forward to several years of companionship. It was not to be.
                She had adapted well to RV living, and was active and purring until nearly the end. On Saturday, January 7, she seemed out of sorts, and the next afternoon she suffered a grand mal seizure. About two hours later, it happened again.
        I took her to a 24-hour animal hospital, where she was admitted overnight for tests. The lab work and x-rays showed no obvious problem, and the veterinarians could not suggest a course of treatment. I brought her home Monday evening and she had two more attacks that night. The next day saw several attacks, but they were less violent so I began to have some hope. However, after that the seizures became more frequent and violent, and I had to face the fact that my kitty friend had reached the end of our travels together. With tears in my eyes, I returned her to the animal hospital the next morning to be put to rest.
                Animals can be a great blessing, and Tiggy played a very important part in my life. I miss her more than I can tell, and will remember her fondly for all of my days.

David L. Brown is a writer and photographer formerly of Rio Rancho who is living full-time in his motor home—or as Tiggy called it, his “box on wheels.”

Tiggy waits on an exam table at the animal hospital where she was diagnosed with untreatable epilepsy. She was euthanized January 12 after suffering repeated grand mal seizures.