Acquired: Other (stray, given cat by friend etc.)
Posted Oct 02, 2015
When I was 6 years old this young, handsome orange cat ran into my grandparent's house out of the blue. When I saw him I convinced my grandparents to keep him for me, as I usually spent afternoons after school there. I named him Tiger and he became part of the family.
At the very beginning we had to get him and my grandparent's dog, a beautiful white German Sheppard, Lady, adjusted to one another. While Lady had, in the past, been a cat chaser after some work the two were capable of cohabitating on the 5 acres my grandparents owned. Tiger easily enough got used to Lady and only had spats when personal space was encroached on. Later, after my family had moved out there and I got Buster, a handsome Beagle, Tiger and him became the best of friends lounging outside together.
Tiger was always rather self reliant. Being out in the country he enjoyed spending time outside, didn't come inside much at all after the first few month of having him. While he did request attention by running in front of your and flopping right in your path, for the most part he didn't mind spending time alone. If you were outside he'd come around asking for love and on occasion he spent time inside for an hour or so. We kept cat food out for him, but many times I saw him with a mouse or bird he had hunted, which as far as mice go was nice for us. He was playful at times, much less as he got older obviously. He particularly liked to scare Buster, who was an anxious fearful dog in a lot of ways. Although they were friends, Tiger often liked to pounce on Buster when he least expected it.
His health was almost spotless in the 12 years I had him. During that time the only issue I recall, until the end of his life, was a brief bout with worms that easily cleared up once medication was administered. Other than that he was very healthy until the last 6 months or so of his life. We weren't ever quite sure what he had exactly. Being an outside cat there were periods I may not see him, but during that 6 months he began to get sores on his nose. Something we thought, at first might have just been a scratch he had gotten in a fight with other cats in the area. Time went on and the last time I saw him his sore had turned into a full blown chunk of flesh that had been eaten out of his little cat snout. We never got the chance to figure out if it was some flesh eating disease, cancer, or something else. Part of our lack in seeking treatment immediately is that his demeanor stayed the same, and he was self-reliant as stated earlier. He never acted like he was ill when I did see him, and in the beginning we thought the sore would go away. However, we did apply some antibiotic ointment when we saw him. Eventually he just never came home, something we all understood being that many animals do wander from home to die, but it was still emotional for us to experience.
Overall, Tiger was a wonderful cat. He was friendly with people and animals alike, outside of territorial disputes. He enjoyed company of others. He had exceptional health and lived much longer than any of us thought, being partial to an outside lifestyle.