Jan. 1, 2020

Tigger

When my daughter was about three or four, she adopted a gray striped stray cat that lurked around her grandfather’s Maryville Shell Station. This cat adored my daughter. She would lug it around holding it by the neck (poor kitty), but he was too big for her, as a toddler, to carry.

He really did not seem to mind. He would run to her whenever he saw her, knowing he was going into a choke hold. She named him Tigger after the infamous Winnie the Pooh character with the bouncy tail. In her defense, it was the only kitty she knew that had tiger stripes.

She would lug him over to the bench Clyde had outside the building and drag him onto it. Before she crawled onto the bench herself, she would point her finger at Tigger and tell him, “Stay!” as if he were a dog and he would sit right there waiting for her to sit down next to him.

He liked boiled peanuts and so Tigger and Amber would sit on the bench together eating boiled peanuts. It was just so amazing how this cat took to my daughter. Everyone noticed it and was just as amazed as we were.

The family home was a block down the street behind the station. Everyone knew Clyde lived there, especially friends. One morning, my father-in-law answered a knock on his door. Someone came to tell him he had found Tigger dead on the side of the road behind the Maryville Shell Station.

My father-in-law went back inside and got my brother-in-law, Ritchie, and told him what happened. Together they got dressed, grabbed a shovel, a plastic bag, and headed down the street.

As Clyde looked on, Ritchie dug a grave for the cat. They didn’t want Amber to see her precious and obedient kitty dead, so they were burying him before she found out.

Several minutes into it, Clyde tells Ritchie. “I don’t think the cat is dead so, you can stop digging now.”

As he continues to pull up the earth he asks his dad, “Why do you say that?”

Clyde says, “Look.”

Ritchie turned to look at his father. Tigger was sitting next to the bag with the deceased cat in it which was at Clyde’s feet. They were both watching Ritchie dig his grave.