The greatest friend a girl could get

Tiikeri, my best friend, my greatet supporter, I thank you dearly for these 17 years and 1 month I got to spend with you... You are my most loved cat ever.

Tiikeri R.I.P.


- Tiikeri's earlier own page.

- was known also as a Tyttö (Girl), Neiti (Miss), Tiutsi, Tiuku... (24.10.1997 - 24.11.2014)

I am now going to tell you a story of the greatest female cat in the world. The best supporter, the best friend, the wisest pet I've ever met. Tiikeri's wisdom might not have been apparent for everyone, but this gentle lover surprised me time after time after time... even during her last year. This story is long, because there are so much that fits in this journey we had together...

How it all began?

I was only seven years old when Tiikeri was born. I had just returned from school and our family had planned a trip to a shopping mall, but the plans had changed; there were 4 kittens born in my sister's bedroom, two longhaired and two shorthaired housecats. At the time being I had no idea how important this litter would be in my future...

Very quickly I fell in love with this brown striped girl and that love lasted. Near Christmas 1997 a family friend came to see the cats, two of them were already sold and only Tiikeri and her brother Jeppe were still available. This woman was very interested in Tiikeri due her beautiful appearance and independant look, and I can still remember clearly how the horror took over my body as I heard she was here for Tiikeri.

I grabbed this tiny little kitten and ran as fast as I could to my own room, under my multi purpose bed's table to a small corner where a 7-year-old could fit well, but not an adult. I remember how I cried from the bottom of my heart, I had just lost my first cat only 6 months earlier and I had a cat-sized hole in my heart, even if we had many cats back then...

My mother came to me and tried to get me to give up the little feline, feline that I held tightly against my chest and denied to give her up... My mother didn't have the heart to tear the kitten from my hands, but let me have her and returned to the woman and asked, if she'd be interested in Tiikeri's brother, Jellona. As the woman was denied the chance of buying Tiikeri, she gave up the intentions of buying a cat from us and so both, Tiikeri and Jeppe stayed with us. This is how our story with Tiikeri began.

The early years with Tiikeri are rather fuzzy, it's rather interesting how I remember the very beginning as clear as yesteday, but from there it's a long way to the next proper memory, but bits here and there.

Little human and her best friend...

I pity the tiny little cat so much, when I think how much she had to deal with an idiot child, who wasn't really aware how to handle cats properly, but this little cat was from the early age on so filled with love, that she really didn't mind how that little human owner tucked her into a shoebox that worked as the cat's bed, with her own little pillow and blankets. As winter came, and the human got colder, the cat, too, got more blanket to keep her warm. Her bed was located to my head-end of my bed in a shelf, next to my own pillow. As I had tucked the cat in her bed, I started reading her night time stories, Disney's children's books, as many as it took to get the lil' feline friend to fall asleep.

We also had a lot of good moments with walking in the leash from the early age, cat transporting with doll carriage, with blankets of course, and a lot of petting and brushing in every possible time.

The link between a cat and a human is so strong...

We developed such a strong bond with Tiikeri, that when I got home from a confirmation camp in summer 2005 only to go on another camp, Tiikeri was buzzing in my legs, strongly meowing and demanding for attention, and in the end, because I didn't lift her immediately, but went to inform my mother that I had returned, Tiikeri bounced from the back of a couch on my shoulder, only to slip and gutter her nails along my back... of course I couldn't be angry at her just simply she was missing me so badly, so decpite of the bleeding and the burning and stinging sensation in my back I grabbed my tiny lil' miss in my arms so she could bump her head to mine fiercely. This was one of her habits and she did this only with me to long in her senior years.

Tiikeri has been the cat that has been there with me unconditionally every time I've come home from school crying from bullying, when I've had a heartache, when I've practiced with my recorder/guitar/piano at home or when I've been singing in my room. Tiikeri has always been there and slept with me almost every night, always in the same certain spot, on the vacant side of my pillows. Countless times I've fallen asleep to the sound of Tiikeri's purring, or the vibration beneath my hand that was caused by her purring as I had pet her until I'd fall asleep.

The year 2005 was the first year Tiikeri got really mad with me, this was the first and gladly the only time. This girl wasn't violent, but he showed her mind by not letting me touch her for an entire week. This was because I had a friend school visit me. This was my crush back then and Tiikeri just didn't like him at all. I can't think of another person since then or before that Tiikeri had hizzed to at first sight. Situation between these two never got any better and the end result with this gent was that I got my heart broken for the very first time, and Tiikeri was there to get through it.

From difficulties to victory...

We had one proper battle with Tiikeri, I think it was back in 2004, I can't remember why we had this fight, but Tiikeri, a very strongly willed, feisty, back then already neutered girl and I, boneheaded 14-year-old, had a fight because neither one of us wanted to bow to the other one. This was the only time when Tiikeri used her nails on anyone, and I am happy that the target was me. At the end of the power struggle she managed to cut my left palm with 8 sharp nails, after which Tiikeri spent couple of hours alone in a walk-in closet on a "timeout". After she got out from the closet she just came and sat on my lap and fall asleep there. After this we were like one and a same person, and we never had much of a debates.

By the end of year 2008 I had my first nervous breakdown, and it ment that I was almost catatonic in my bed, laying there from day to day. My breakdown was due rather colorful breakup and it drained everything from me; during this time, as I was laying in my bed crying, Tiikeri lay next to me washing my hair, washing my face, being right there next to me. I got to hug her very tightly, and she didn't wriggle away. In the good days she made me smile by playing with different kind of "toys" (like an empty tape roll) or just by rolling in the bed. This lil' miss, this extraordinary and indespensable girl, she never left from my side when I was awake. She went to eat and to use the litter box as I slept and came back to me as she heard I was awake (using the toilet, staning up etc etc.). Long story shorter, I am still here just because Tiikeri never left from my side.

Clear page in life, the same old support..

In the end of 2009 I was in new relationship, moved away from my mother and to a completely new area. At this time Tiikeri had already lived in 4 different homes, she'd had countless trips (catshows, riding in a car, visits to friends) and countless people. Wherever I went, I wanted to take Tiikeri with me. If I didn't have that possibility, I spend my days away from home with thinking how the cats are doing back at home, and that I should be back at home... Tiikeri has been the key aspect that has made any house a home for me.

Besides her brother Jeppe and the old mister Juntti, Tiikeri didn't really have cat friends, she was imprinted on me so strongly that is made it very difficult for her to make friends with other cats. Both Roope and Sepi were just irritating in her mind, and this drove the gents to become the best friends, since we only had 3 cats at the time. Tiikeri grew to tolerate Roope by the end of Roope's life, but she didn't ever learn to get along with Sepi. At all.

In the 2010 there was a little miracle born in Klaukkala, Pörrö, and she learned so quickly, almost immediately, to respect Tiikeri so much that Tiikeri accepted Pörrö as her friend. This was helped by the way Pörrö used to boss the boys, which was clearly acceptable, I'd even say that needed, in Tiikeri's eyes. This is how we got to soften Tiikeri's hard character towards other people and pets.

In the year 2011 the birth of our first litter got Tiikeri's fierce character out; I spent more time with Pörrö and the kittens and Tiikeri felt left out. She hizzed to the kittens and sulked at me. And this feline knew how to sulk. Tiikeri was a cat from whom facial expression really told you what she was feeling, even though the learning process of reading her was long and demanded the willingness to learn... the lack of this usually led to that people saw her as this most angry cat ever, like she'd claw your eyes out if you took one wrong step.

The truth was that immediately when you touched Tiikeri, she just started purring loudly, and she started knitting and bumping her head. Beneath the weird noices she made, this cat was the most loveable and loving girl this world has ever carried. And the kittens have always seen this and it made them come to her, even if she ran from them. It took 1,5 litters for her to realize that the kittens are there only for a short while, which after she'd be my number one girl.

This was Tiikeri's wisdom. Tiikeri knew not to cross a invisible line she was once told not to cross, she knew to draw that lin in her mind so it was always there. Calling once was enough, and she'd come to me (except when she was sulking), we only needed to show her twice where her very own litterbox was located and she knew to ask to get there. Tiikeri demamded her attention by herself, she came to get what she needed, but you could never love her too much.

She learned that when you turned the vaccuum cleaner on, she had nothing to worry about, because she knew I'd carry her away from the "danger zone" before vaccuuming around her whereabouts. She understood when I said I was going to be away for certain amount of days; "3 days and mommy will be back", I'd say to her and she'd behave normally for these three days, and on the fourth day she'd poo outside of the litterbox to show how she thought about the lenght of my trip.

Tiikeri loved to go on a car ride, I could when ever grab her with me to go for a ride, I love to ride myself and she'd just sit on the passengers seat, with kindness in her eyes, purring and knitting. Tiikeri knew where we lived and she learned to walk next to me home from the parking lot. She learned that the washing experience is shorter if you just stand still and let mommy do what she does.

Tiikeri was always there listening what I had to say, no matter how dark my mind was, she was always happy. Seemed like the darker my thoughts, the happier she was bumping her head to mine. She's been my best therapist as I've been fighting against severe depression. As I told once before, I wouldn't be here without Tiikeri, this cat gave me strenght when everything else was lost. At those dim moments when I've felt myself totally worthless, she'd been there to tell me that she loves me.

Life-long learning...

As she got older, she learned to appreciate other people besides me. She learned to purr happily in someone else's lap, because every lap brought happiness to this lil miss that couldn't get it enough... but still, my lap stayed as number one to her. You only needed to ask; "Do you want to get on?" and she'd always say yes; "Kurr!!" she'd say, "Mäkkäy!" she'd say if you didn't understand her subtle tips that you're supposed to lift her 5 minutes ago.

Tiikeri was a persona. Tiikeri was the most beautiful cat I know. Rough and masculine, some might say, but I only see the love this lil' girl left behind. Only that tenderness she gave when you needed it. The strenght she had when her owner was left with none, and the ability to go on and will to fight every obstacle we've met along the years. Tiikeri taught me to this person I am today. Without her, I probably woudln't know the half I know of cats.

For Tiikeri, I am grateful for everything.

For 16 long years she was in the shape of her life; the only times we went to see the vet wast to re-vaccinate her and sterilize. She didn't even built any tartar in her teeth before the age of 15. She was the supercat... untill something, that couldn't be cured, hit her.

We removed basal cell tumor from her lip in Autumn 2013, she'd had this for a decade already before in the summer 2013 it started to grow threatening her nasal passages. The tumor was removed successfully and a pathologist told it was of good quality, there shouldn't be any fear of metastasis. Adn we never found any.

On New Year 2013/2014 she started coughing, and it sounded really bad. As the cough was slimy and wheezing, I feared that this old missy would have a heart disease and fluid in her lungs. I took her to be xrayed immediately in January 2014 and her photos where very good for her age, coughing sounded like asthma and we started using inhalation medicine to ease her with breathing distress, and it worked. She got her life back, she was jumping up and down, she was like a kitten all of sudden as she managed to climb into our tallest climbing tree and slept in the highest bag there. I was on top of my happiness, but still worried because she had lost so much weight, so we took blood tests that showed us, among others, her kidney function and how her thyroid was working. Her blood count was good, only thing that we saw in there was the fact that she was a little dry, but my vet didn't see any reasons hydration.

We checked her blood count couple of times during Spring/Summer 2014 and they only got better, so it seemed like the inhalation was the only thing my girl needed for longer and healthier life.

The start of the end, Autumn 2014...

Along the Autumn her coughing increased heavily. At first we thought it was because her medicine had run out all of sudden, but as we got another set for her, it didn't ease her coughing as much. She stopped playing, because playing made her cough and coughing made her gag, gagging brought up slime from her throat and she needed to vomit the slime out.

My little girl was never big, at her biggest she was 3,5 kilos and at that weight her tummy was compact. Her beautiful long and thick coat had always made her seem a lot bigger than what she really was, but in reality she was just a petite little miss with a beautiful gown on her.

When the Autumn came, her weight dropped, and it dropped a lot. During the Spring she dropped from 3,2 kg down to 2,7 kg, from where she returned to 2,9-3,0kg with the inhalation medicine... on Autumn her weight started dropping from 2,9 kilos with 100 grams a week untill it hit 2,3 kilos. We increased her asthma medicine and she gained 100 grams back and she looked more lively, but her coughing didn't stop anymore. It was a sign of the beginning of the end and was here to stay. We visited our vet again and took another xray, and there was no signs of any tumors or changes. In her blood count only inflammation of the values were elevated.

I went on a leture in Espoo in mid November and met Tiikeri's brother Jeppe, who still lives with my mother. Jeppe, the weaker sibling, was now in the strenght of his life, in way better shape than her sister, our iron maiden, the girl who was never sick. At this point I realized in how bad shape my girl was and I started planing the end.

As I was gone, Tiikeri had lost almost 200 grams, she was only skin and bones and fur as I got home. I felt a sting in my heart and my eyes got teary as soon as I greeted my girl, I could feel my heart skipping it's beats...

My beautiful, outgoing, healthy girl was gone. What was left of her was only a shadow of her greatness. At this point we still didn't know what was eating her strength, what kind of evil power takes a beloved pet from it's owner... no inflammation does this.

The final decision...

I made the final decision on her behalf on 23.11.2014, as I couldn't get her to eat anything. Appetite was completely lost from her, and the look in her eyes told me there was no returning from this point.

I reserved the final trip for her on Monday the 24th, I reserved it for the next day, 2:30pm was her time and I just cried. I had been crying for several days. We were really busy for the whole Monday, on purpose, so I could just collapse into my bed after the final trip was done. I checked on her regularly, how she was feeling, how she was responding, what she looked like, and I still had time, but tomorrow was coming so quickly.

We went to visit the center of the town, we were gone for a bit over 30 minutes, but as we got back home I couldn't find Tiikeri in any of her normal sleeping places, in the bathroom over the heated floor, in a bag, on bed, in her nest... my poor little girl was gasping her breath under the dining room table. The end was here.

Love to the very end...

My beloved one was seemingly unwell and she'd gone hiding, bus as I went to grab her from under the table, she looked me deep into my eyes and started purring, made her weird little noises as I lifted her on my arms. I thought to myself that I'll give her her final dose of her asthma medication, I'll give her bigger dose so she'll make it to tomorrow, it was a bit befor 5pm on Monday evening.

Tiikeri was purring as I tilted her on her back as I sat down on the bed to prepare her medicine. She received this medicine twice a day via babyhaler, so she was used to this.

As I set the mask on her face and pressed the medicine into the tube, after the very first inhale Tiikeri just pushed the mask away. I prayed out loud, "This will help you, hang on babygirl, hang on till tomorrow, tomorrow it will be over...", she had always understood speech very well, but at this time she just didn't want her medicine.

Thrice I set the mask on her face, begging for her to breath in the medicine, and on the third time as she shoved away the mask, the emptiness from her eyes went away and there was once again the determination and knowledge, a complete understanding of her own state of health, and she directed her gaze straight into my weeping eyes and meowed with such determination that it scared me. She was ordering me to stop. She knew, that this was it. She knew that the medicine didn't help anymore. She was ready to let go.

Mika tried to give her her painkillers, so she'd be more at ease, but she didn't accept this medicine either... even though this medicine was her treat from the very beginning. This was the kind of medicine that she demanded every morning after her inhalation medicine. Now, for the first time ever, she spat it out.

She stared at me with determination in her eyes. She had always been there for me. Always. And now I had to be there for her. This would be our final moment together.

The last trip...

It was the Monday pre-evening that I called to our local vet, the time was a bit past 5pm and our clinic would be still open for another hour. I called there, hoping they would still take us in for today, my beloved girl won't make it to tomorrow, and after they had checked from the vet, they told me they could take us in. We started driving towards the clinic.

In a complete trance-like-state I walked from our bedside to our car. I just remember crying while holding this tiny, barely 2 kilos weighting bundle, tossing something on me and going to the car. Tiikeri was purring against to my chest for the entire trip. On the short way to the clinic I chattered to her things to keep her calm, I thanked her for everyhing, I pegged for her forgivness for my lack of ability to read her and I thanked her for some more... I promised to be by her side to the end, and I promised that the pain will soon be over.

"Don't worry, it'll soon be over, mommy's here, I won't go away... stay with me..."

The staff in the clinic knows us and they just guided us to an operating room where we had a moment in peace with Tiikeri before the vet came to us. I still held Tiikeri tightly while gently petting her. Also Mika wanted to hold her for the last time, she had taught him, too, so much... And for the one last time she asked to get back into my arms, as she had done multiple times, and soon from there the vet came to deliver the sedative injection, that is when the purring stopped. For the first time in a couple of months she was breathing stedily and calmly, while still leaning towards my chest.

After some time we laid her on the operating table where the vet firstly made her sleep a little deeper, and for the first time in a long time my cat, my most beloved cat, was pain free... After her sleep was deep enough, the vet injected the substance that stops the heart, and soon after my girl stopped breathing... and soon her heart stopped beating. I had made my beloved friend the final servings and I've stopped her pains. I've filled up my promise and I stayed by her side to the very end, just like as she was next to me every time the situation so demanded... Finally her pain days were gone.

Why? How?

After euthanasia my vet did one last clinical check on her, since she had had a little diarrhea after the sedative. There were still no masses and her organs helt normal despice her worn appearance.

As a final diagnosis my vet pointed out that her ears and throat was yellowish and she told me that it could be cancerous cells in her liver, and to her breathing problems cancerous cells between her esophagus and bronchus, which would make it so hard, even impossible, to find. The sudden collapse of her condition and other symptoms would best fit to somekind of cancer, so I decided to be satisfied with this diagnosis and just asked for a individual cremation... and on the following day I got my girl back home, and now there are nothing and no one that can separate us, nothin. ♥

Rest in peace my love, the best cat, a girl could ever get. I am forever grateful for everything you've done. ♥♥

Tiikeri, 24.10.1997 - 24.11.2014, together from the very beginning to the very end.

Home again My little girl