November 6th, 2004

Jan Joris

The miracle transformation of Tijgertje.

Some of you might have been wondering what the heck happened to Tijgertje, the cat-behind-the-fridge. Well, he didn't just hide a few days, or a week behind the fridge. Nope, it was a whole month. Not the stuff weblogs are made of I assure you, nobody likes a sad story without a happy ending. So, I waited things out till I had something nice to report...

As said, first there was the whole month behind the fridge. In despair, we chased him away from there. Not a smart move: after that he was lost for two days. I was pretty sure he couldn't have escaped the house, and after a long and increasingly anxious search, I found him again: in the crawl space under the living room, snuggling up to the convection heater (first picture). Sigh! I taped the crawl space shut with duct tape, and from then on, he "just" hid under the linen-closet (second picture). Believe it or not, after five weeks, it seemed like decent progress.

Things brightened up from there: he discovered Tieleke's book case, and started hiding behind her books. Sometimes, when the sun shone, he'd even dare to stretch out on a half empty shelf to tan (third picture). Things were looking up! That lasted two weeks, and then the inevitable happend: Tijgertje escaped the house. He sped across the garden, into the park. Gone! We searched for a whole day and a whole night, but to no avail. The next morning, he was still missing, and I began contemplating how I would ever tell this to my little nephew, who had made me promise that I'd properly look after his cat, and make sure nothing bad would happen...

Then the miracle happened: in the afternoon Gijsje (the tabby kitten) walked into the park, and within ten minutes, found Tijgertje and brought him home. Don't ask me how, but ever since the've been best friends: playing, sleeping together, licking eachother (in funny places, too!), and generally having fun (fourth picture). Finally, this month, Tijgertje has become comfortable enough to trust Tieleke and me. He even started napping in our laps (fifth and sixth picture).

I like to say to all friends that promised me that Tijgertje would accomodate to his new people "real soon": thanks for the support, and thanks for not revealing that "real soon" takes values of up to three-and-half months in the real world!