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Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Tippy Leaves Us\I am sorry to announce the passing of our senior resident cat, Tippy, whose full name was Tippitailus Runamucker Dee. We believe she was 14.
Although we are sorry to lose her, she lived a full feline life.
Tippy was rescued from the side of Aboite Center Road by Angela, Tony, and myself. Spotting a kitten-like blur by the side of this country road, Tony was sent out to investigate, with these instructions: "If it runs away, forget it--it's wild and there's nothing we can do. If it doesn't...."
The second the kitten spotted Tony, it jumped into his arms and clung to his chest. After being rescued, it purred for three days straight.
Inspection of the nether regions led us to believe Tippy was a girl, but then, we couldn't see much.
After convincing Greg that Tippy needed to join a household that already included an elderly, irritable cat, Bitty, and rambuctious Buffy the Wonder Dog, by promising to have her declawed, she was here to stay.
Tippy's name was given to her by Angela and her best friend, Wynn.
A few weeks later, the trip to the vet to have her declawed included this conversation:
Me: "Oh, she's a girl, isn't she?"
Vet ladies: "Yes."
Fast forward four months or so. Tippy has grown and her "fixing" was imminent. Christmas had come and gone, and Angela had received a pair of huge, grey, furry slippers popular at the time--they might have been oppossums, but I'm not sure.
The heretofore established fact of Tippy's sexuality was shaken to the core when one day I discovered Tippy doing the wild thing with one of the slippers in the livingroom, and it was oh-so-evident, Tippy was NOT a girl. She, er, he, REALLY liked the slipper.
The good news was, getting a male cat fixed was $20 cheaper than a female. The bad news was, we had firmly established the habit of referring to Tippy as she, although we now knew she was he, although she was less a he after the fixing of course, and so to the end of her days we mostly referred to her as she, except when we were telling people about her gender ambiguity, when we would say that she was really a he.
Tippy sported a beautiful, shiny, thick coat of black and white fur, although her grooming abilities fell off in her later years. She grew to be the size of cat that caused visitors to our home to remark, "That's the biggest cat I've ever seen!"
Tippy had a congenial personality, was friendly and curious, and, especially at younger ages, playful. She enjoyed naps, she did not particularly like the outdoors, and she always enjoyed her meals.
In her first year of life, she devoted a lot of time to tormenting Bitty, who was at an elderly age and was not very friendly even in her youth. After Bitty's demise, Tippy turned her attention to Buffy the Wonder Dog, and they continued to enjoy a lively relationship until Buffy's passing in 1996.
Tippy welcomed the addition of Sammy, Angela's white cat, in 1998, although their relationship tended to the extremes of friendly tolerance and biting (literally) contentiousness.
Tippy's decline into elderliness was slow and her later years were filled with naps and snacks, puncuated by the occasional spat with Sammy, petting by small children, and visits by her niece Lexy the greyhound, which almost pushed her over the edge of stress.
Tippy enjoyed sleeping on one's feet, a daily dish of milk, and a black cat toy that looks like a spider.
The cause of her demise was a necrosis of the lower jaw area, and an enthusiastic propensity to relieve herself wherever she wanted to, diagnosed by the vet as "feline Alzheimer's."
Tippy is survived by her housemates and caregivers, Cathy and Greg; her companion, Sammy-the-white-cat; former house residents Angela and Tony; her trans-species niece, Lexy-the-greyhound; and grandkittens Julian, Caroline, and Taylor.
Burial was in Aboite Veterinary Hospital Pet Cemetary.

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