What About Tigger? Part 2: The Heartbreak

I heard somewhere that cats only learn to meow so they can communicate with humans.

Thanks for the advice on what to do about the cute little visiting cat in my back yard. You can find most of the story here. To recap the advice I got:

Most of you thought I should go on feeding Tigger, but deny it to his owners down the block. Certainly, when Tigger still doesn’t want to hang out at their house – where he actually lives – they will be suspicious, and surely there will be a confrontation and a questioning. Can I lie about this convincingly? I don’t know.Banished Tigger

A small but significant minority felt that we should just adopt Tigger – or as some put it, accept the fact that he has already adopted us. I have to say that my heart leans in this direction. But there are two elements to my dilemna that I didn’t mention in the original post.

One is that Mrs. Jones is highly sensitive to stinky cat-pee odors, and a new cat in the family could incite a smelly turf battle. It may be true that the anticipation is worse than the actual occurrence, but she has said she would have to move out if Tigger or Molly the Cat started with the territorial marking in or about the house. I don’t know how to factor this in to our decision, because, for one thing, I don’t know if either of them would do their stinky little spraying, and if they did, how hard would it be to neutralize the smell, and would Mrs. Jones really move out? Still. Let it suffice to say that I would rather lose both cats than Mrs. Jones.

The other element is that there is a little girl involved. We don’t really know these particular neighbors, and it wasn’t until yesterday that I realized that the pudgy ten-year-old wannabe cheerleader I have seen around is their daughter. So “adopting” Tigger becomes more problematic, regardless of whether he has adopted us, or if our neighbors are glad to get rid of him, or anything else. I couldn’t take away a little girl’s kitty. Mind you, I haven’t asked her if it would be OK, but need I dramatize for you what that conversation would be like? I didn’t think so.

So for the time being I am honoring my neighbors’ wishes and not feeding Tigger. As shown in the picture above, he is still hanging out at our back door (coincidentally, it’s the kitchen door). Going on Day 5 of Tigger-betrayal, and he is learning a whole meowing vocabulary. He can now say “I thought you guys were my friends!” And “I am very hungry!” And yes, these are always exclamatory sentences.

With the various complications, together with the fact that Tigger likes us, he really likes us, I don’t think this will get resolved amicably or honestly any time soon. I may not be able to let him join our little family full-time, but if I see that he is losing weight or getting sick or just not thriving, I’ll begin “Operation Feed-and-Deny.”

I’m hoping for a sign that will tell me what to do.

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6 Replies to “What About Tigger? Part 2: The Heartbreak”

  1. I’m with Mrs. Jones on that cat urine front. It is, as you know, a current battle of mine. I promise I won’t have the two of you over until my house is de-peed.

    What a dilemma. I’m curious: Is it even legal for the neighbors to let your cat roam around outside? It’s not here, all animals are supposed to be on a leash. I like the feed & deny plan: desperate times call for desperate measures.

  2. Larry: The dearth of comments does not mean a lack of interest. You have presented a real problem, one that stumps all of us smart people. So don’t feel annoyed that the comments are few.

    But tell us more about the wanna-be cheerleader. What is a 10-year-old girl doing to make herself look like a wannabe cheerleader? Are her parents not doing their job — i.e., are they not raising a person who will become a proper adult with good character? Are they letting a little girl run around with inappropriate attire?

    No, I’m not looking for perverse excitement here. I’m just wondering if you have revealed more about Tigger’s possible home life: Daughter not cherised, cat ignored.

    Ah, but that just makes the problem more touching.

    And then adoption or theft or fur transplants are all out of the question on account of the urine issue.

    You are a devious bastard for bringing to our attention this dilemma.

  3. On second thought, murder the neighbors. Hope that the cat doesn’t get freaked out and leave the neighborhood. Hope that the police don’t blame the cat. Police are like that.

  4. If he’s well-kept, then just pet him and tell him to put a sock in it.

    If not…as the girl is pudgy, give her a lollipop, have him …y’know, that betrayal of the male species everywhere (that does stop the spraying, doesn’t it?), and segregate ’em.

    For my next piece of advice, I shall explain how to eat meringue.

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