Tina by Kathy Sacksteder / Mommy

I had Tina ever since she was 2 days old. She came here on 9/3/93. Her umbilical cord was still attached. She was my first bottle baby and I fell in love with her when I realized everyone was oohhing and aahhing over her sister, just because she had meezer points (their mom was a snowshoe siamese). The lady who brought Tina and her sister to me had been baby sitting their mother and didn’t know she’d given birth until 2 days after their mother went home. Her neighbor found the babies on her porch. When the lady took them to their mom’s owner, their mom wanted nothing to do with them and their mom’s owner didn’t have the time or desire to bottle feed them. I carried them around in my shirt to get and keep them warm while a heating pad warmed up for them.

Tina got her name because my now ex-husband, Ken, thought she had a “Tina Turner Attitude”. She’s always strutted around like she was the queen of the house. Whenever anyone went to “get” her, she’d play wildly for a while and then make them stop with an “I’m done, now leave me ALONE!” glare.

When she was a baby, she used to lay on the pillow beside me and nurse on my lip and kneed my face. One night I had a dream that Ken and his BIL were moving a bar we didn’t have to the basement we didn’t have and some huge black crickets scurried away when they moved the bar. Ken read me the riot act about letting some of the crickets I brought home for my frogs and lizards get away, and just as I was explaining to them that they weren’t escapees from my cages because those were brown and these were black, one giant cricket leaped up and grabbed my face. I woke up with a jerk to find 2 month old Tina nursing away on my lip and kneading my face!

Tina was spayed while she was in heat the first time. 4 days after her surgery, I brought home 10 day old Nuggs and she adopted him immediately. She did everything but feed him. It was the first time I ever had feline help with raising babies. She took as good of care of him as any doting seasoned mother. She wanted nothing to do with other kittens, but she made life much easier with Nuggs.

She used to jump up on the arm of the couch and give me the “I’m here!’ look. I’d say “hi” and go back to watching TV – just to see what she’d do. She’d tap my wrist, and look at me a little harder, and I’d pet her briefly and pretend to go back to ignoring her. Pretty soon, she’d tap my elbow and do the “Pet me now!” look, I’d pet her briefly and go back to ignoring her. A few minutes later, she’d tap my shoulder and give me the “Pet Me Now!!” look. Again, I’d pet her briefly and pretend to ignore her. Finally she’d get fed up, sock me on the nose, and glare at me with her “I SAID PET ME NOW!!!” then I’d lavish all the love and attention she could stand on her. After that, I played the game with her every time she came up for attention. Within a week, she started to bypass all the arm tapping and would bounce up, plunk down on the arm of the couch, and sock me on the nose!

Tina was one of the unfortunate few who got FeLV after I brought home a kitten for socialization who looked perfectly healthy but turned out to be very sick with FeLV 6 weeks after I stupidly let him have run of the house without testing him for it first. He came to the house on 12/29/99, Tina was positive for exposure from 3/00 until she went positive for disease in 9/00. She passed away on 3/11/03 after becoming anemic and having neurological symptoms from FeLV. She was lucky enough to stay symptom free until 2 weeks before she passed away.

I love you Tina. You’ll never be far from my thoughts and always live in my heart.


I'll see you at Rainbow Bridge sweatheart.
11, Mar 2003
Kathy Sacksteder