Thursday, September 22, 2011

Less Adoptable: Tigger the Tripod

Today's blog is written by guest blogger, Jeane Ann Baumgartner. This is Tigger's story. This is her story, too. Enjoy...and have a tissue handy!

This post is #12 in a series. You can read post #1 at Sebastian's blog,

Two weeks had gone by since we had lost our cat Junior. The house was sad and empty and I couldn't stand being home. We started our search for a new male kitten less than 48 hours after our loss. My husband patiently took me from shelter to shelter but I wasn't making that connection. I wasn't ready.

My Dad called me one evening to let me know there was a kitten in the Kansas City Star that needed adoption. My Mom had been worrying about his chances all day because he only had three legs. I immediately felt an obligation to this cat. How could I not rescue the crippled cat?

Baby Tigger
(photo: Jeane Ann Baumgartner)
I looked up the shelter's website and was instantly disappointed because the first cat I pulled up was the one I wanted. I had found our next family member and I couldn't have him because I needed to save the kitty with the missing leg. I looked closer at the sweet face and saw some black stitches where a front leg should be.

This WAS the crippled kitty. I read that he was a Manx. A Manx is a wonderful breed and that meant that he was missing more than a leg, he was missing a tail as well.

My husband and I went into planning mode before we went to meet him the next day. We prepared our guest bathroom where we would keep him the first few nights. We devised a plan for ramps to be built along the wall of our stairs. My husband would have built anything on those steps to make me smile again. I was taking the loss of Junior hard.  

I look back on that night now and laugh. One of the first things Tigger did when we brought him home was hop down those stairs. Ramps not included. Tigger pretty much hops wherever he likes. As a younger cat he would get himself in trouble by getting up where he couldn't get down. 

Tigger in his new home
(photo: Jeane Ann Baumgartner)
We've installed our "Save the Leg" Campaign all over our home. Losing a front leg is the hardest for a four legged animal to overcome because it affects their balance. Our campaign generally consists of some doggy stairs and foot rests placed throughout the house so he can get down from places without a crash landing.

Tigger prefers a food bowl where he can rest his stump while he eats. When we put him down we place back feet first. He needs a little extra help bathing. His feline brother and sister help him with the right side of his face and some personal areas that need extra attention. Pet wipes handle the rest. 

Tripods have to keep their weight in check so we offered up a baby brother to help him exercise and I keep an eye on his food intake. What strikes me most often is that I forget his disability unless he is hamming up his Tiny Tim impression.

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Adopting Tigger has shown me that good can come from bad. We have a deal. He doesn't have to be glad he lost his leg, and I don't have to be glad we lost Junior. Without both events we wouldn't have found each other. I can't imagine my life now without this joyful creature.

I hope you can offer an animal with special needs a home. My wish is that you forget their disability as well and focus on what they add to your life, not what they have lost.


  1. That was AWESOME!! Love the tiny tim comment - my aunt had a cat that had lost a back foot - and never limped unless he had an audience...he would go from full speed around a corner to this pitiful limp for attention. :) We know you will forever miss Junior, but are so very glad you found Tigger.

  2. Oh, yes, you were right about the tissue! What a wonderful, wonderful story. Such a joy to read.

  3. What a great match! Mom "liked" Tigger's FB page and I added it to my page's favorites! Thank you so much for sharing your story. *hands Mom a tissue*

  4. That is a great story! Thanks so much for sharing Tigger.

  5. What a wonderful story. Such a sweet kitty too.

  6. MOL! Yes, we kitties are good at grabbing attention. Person stepped on my paw accidentally when I was a kitten and I milked it for all it was worth. Anytime I wanted to get out of a (completely unjustified) scolding, I'd look at her and lift my front paw. Worked liek a charm every time.

    Thanks to Tigger's mom for agreeing to be a guest blogger and tell Tigger's story!!

  7. What an excellent story, and what a handsome fella!!! Rumblemum LOVES the Manx personality and can totally see what a charmer Tigger is!


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