Twig's Story

In August 2008 my beloved 5-year-old cat Tigger was diagnosed with a lymphoma cancer in his nasal passages. Chemo was suggested but with no guarantees it would work and a cost through the roof that we just couldn’t do. Within a month he showed serious decline. What started as a constant sneeze ended as an inability to stand up and loss of appetite. We chose to stop his suffering. I admit I didn’t do well as I exclaimed fuck! with my back turned to the needle. My sweet soulmate kitty was gone. We buried him in the rural backyard with other beloved kitties.


My grief was intensified by a marriage on the rocks. A month after Tigger passed, I decided I would adopt another male kitty. I went to the local animal shelter and visited the cat room. I looked in every cage and held a few kittens and older kitties but didn’t connect with any of them. As I turned to leave, a small 6-month-old white and black kitten suddenly appeared at the front of his cage to eat.

First day home

Crunching away and kneading the blanket as he did so, I said “hi”. He looked at me with these big green eyes and in full purr mode, so I picked him up and held him. It was getting late, so I went to the front counter and said I’d like to adopt “Copper.” Copper’s story was that he had lived in a family with too many animals.


I had to leave him at the shelter to be neutered at a local veterinarian clinic before I could take him home. A few days later I picked him up and took him home to live with the other two kitties in the house, the elderly tortoiseshell Marbles and the younger tabby Lovebug who was abandoned by a neighbor so I brought her into the hose and made her an indoor-only cat.


Crunching away and kneading the blanket as he did so, I said “hi”. He looked at me with these big green eyes and in full purr mode, so I picked him up and held him. It was getting late, so I went to the front counter and said I’d like to adopt “Copper.” Copper’s story was that he had lived in a family with too many animals.

I had to leave him at the shelter to be neutered at a local veterinarian clinic before I could take him home. A few days later I picked him up and took him home to live with the other two kitties in the house, the elderly tortoiseshell Marbles and the younger tabby Lovebug who was abandoned by a neighbor so I brought her into the hose and made her an indoor-only cat.


After a couple of weeks Copper became Twig. Unfortunately, I wasn’t careful and didn’t keep him separated from the other two cats. him separated from the other two cats. They all ended up with an upper respiratory infection- very common in animal shelters. Lovebug and Twig recovered well with medication, but Marbles did not. (She was in and out of the vet clinic and after too much of that we started force-feeding her. After days of this we decided if she didn’t eat on her own within the next day, we knew she was done with this life. Amazingly, she started eating on her own the next day. She lived a few more years to the ripe old age of 17. Always keep newly adopted shelter cats separate from your existing cats for a couple of weeks.)


My sweetie boy and I have been through a lot together. He was used as a weapon by my ex threatening to hurt him by putting an indoor-only cat outside because Twig didn't do well with the new cats- Sage and PineCone who had been living at a different home with my ex. Twig was packed up with a few of my possessions and we stayed with a friend for several days until things cooled down. Then, a month later, Twig and I moved to another friend’s house for a few months until I could find a rental. Once I found one, we settled in and he became a solo kitty for about 3 months before I adopted a small dog (Templeton’s story comes later). Twig sees him as a bratty little brother, but they regularly groom each other. We moved again after 4 years at that place and have settled into this rental for a while.


Twig was diagnosed with serious heart disease this summer after suffering what appears to be a small stroke-hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. This condition is common in Maine coon cats which, considering how big he is, would explain it. He’s on a blood thinner but due to its bitterness he’s not a fan of eating the crushed piece of pill in his food so things are a little scary. I’ll be trying some different foods.


We always know that our furry companions will not live as long as us. Knowing that one has a dis-ease that could take them at any moment brings this reality to the forefront and Every moment we have together becomes a gift.



5 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All