MR. TIGGS THE CAT

HELLO FRIENDS. A while back I said I might write about my cat, but the other day I realised I have not mentioned him, as of yet. I feel like it is important to tell you that this cat isn’t actually alive anymore, and I don’t mean that in a morbid way but really because I was making it sound like he is here sitting on my lap or something and I don’t want to be misleading.

My cat’s name was Mr. Tiggs. We collected him from a rescue shelter when I was in year 5. I remember reading Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire in class and passing my friend a note behind it that said “WE R GETTING A CAT TODAY!!! HIS NAME IS MR. TIGGS!!!!!!” We didn’t know quite why his name was Mr. Tiggs, just that his previous owner had called him that and that we weren’t sure about it but that there is no accounting for taste. I mean, Mr. Tiggs is really quite cute, if you think about it. His owner had gone to work on a cruise ship, which is no place for a kitty.

We dropped the ‘Mr’ when we felt like we’d got to know him a little better. He didn’t seem to mind, and he responded to anything. In fact, IMO one of the best things about having a pet is that you can give them all sorts of different pet names (LITERAL PET NAMES FOR YOUR ACTUAL PET) and they sort of just go along with it. EEE JEE:

  • Tiggs
  • Tigg
  • Wig
  • Wiggy
  • Baby Wig
  • Mr. Wigglesworth
  • Mr. Tigglesworth
  • Tiggy
  • Tiggsy
  • TiggsywiggsyohmygodwhyareyousocuteOWstopscratchingmeIjustwantedtotouchyourtummy

I liked the idea of a cat who would be my best friend, but in my experience cats don’t really like BFFs. They like food and giving people dirty looks and sitting in the airing cupboard. Mr. Tiggs was a fan of lying at the top of the stairs and swiping at my leg when I tried to walk past him, and my mum would say “He thinks he’s above you in the pecking order because you don’t feed him*.” Excuse ME. I know this is a lie b/c when I did feed Mr. Tiggs he tried to eat my ankle. There was no pleasing that cat.

*Also I don’t mean like, I tried to starve him. I mean, my mum took care of the adult stuff like getting food for the cat and doing the litter tray.

Sometimes I tried to gain the trust of Mr. Tiggs by being the one to perform his nightly brush (he had long fur and I found it very cute that he had his own hairbrush) but this didn’t work either because I gave him too many treats and exposed my weakness. There was this girl at my primary school who used to give out Mars Bars in the playground if you promised to be her friend and I believe that Mr. Tiggs viewed me in the same way as I viewed this poor girl. He would take my snacks but HE WOULDN’T GIVE HIS RESPECT IN RETURN. Can you tell that my childhood cat had a weirdly large impact on my self esteem. CAN YOU??

I’m being silly; he didn’t really. Well maybe a bit. But he did make stuff really fun, in a grumpy, I-don’t-want-to-be-stroked kind of a way. We still talk about him all the time, even though he died in 2008. He got cancer, which I didn’t even know cats could get, and we had to have him put down. On the day he died I went to see Horton Hears a Who with my boyfriend-of-the-time, who said “I don’t know why you’re crying; it’s just a cat.” I cried some more. (That one quote is representative of our entire relationship and I would just like to zigzag off for a moment to say that if your boyfriend ever talks to you like that then maybe tell him HORTON ALSO HEARS A BREAK-UP ON THE HORIZON).

I liked that movie, though. It was an okay distraction. I went home after and it reminded me of when our first cat, Kash, died and my mum took us to the Science Museum so we wouldn’t have to think about it all day.

I had an old phone with a video of Mr. Tiggs on and I used to watch it when I was sad except now the battery has died and I accidentally threw the charger out. It was me stroking his back and saying “AWWWW” really loudly while he glared at me. I loved it when you stroked towards his tail and the fur rippled back into place. He hated it. He hated ME, but sometimes we still find bits of his fur in bags we haven’t used since the mid-noughties and it is the sweetest softest weirdest thing.

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