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Back in 1995, my wife and I had rescued a kitten who had just walked up to our car and climbed in one Sunday night. After several weeks, we decided to adopt another kitten to keep Zorro company during the day while we were at work. We went to an adoption affair at a local pet store for a local shelter and my wife picked out a 10 week old kitten. The shelter people couldn't tell us anything about him but he didn't mind being held or petted, so we adopted him and named him Tigger.

When we got home, we let him out of his carrier and he made a bee-line to the bookshelf at the end of the hall and would hiss if anyone got close. We gave it time and eventually he became very close with my wife. He was so-so with me.

In 2007, my wife was diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer and in 2008, she succumbed to the disease.

Immediately upon her passing, Tigger was all over me! It was as if he knew that Donna was gone and I was the only one left.

Several years passed and one day I came home from work and was feeding my 3 cats when I noticed that Tigger wasn't walking right. It was like he didn't have full control of his hind quarters. I took him to the vet and after the exam, they told me that he had had a stroke. He was recovering nicely, but would always have difficulty walking and jumping. That didn't affect his affection for me, though.

One night, late last year, I was awoken around 1:30 in the morning by this strangled meow and found Tigger lying on the floor, barely breathing. I immediately took him to the vet where they said that he had had another stroke and recommended euthanasia.

After 20 years of love and joy, I had to let Tigger go. I miss you, Tigger!

Lancaster, CA

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