Tiger, a long-haired domesticated tabby cat, has been living a life of comfort in East Auckland, New Zealand, for the past 16 years – with his mother owner, Tina, a retiree, and her family.
Now aged 84 in cat years, Tiger had originally been a birthday present for Tina from her two children in 1999. And over the years, she has grown extremely fond of Tiger, despite his occasional naughty pranks, and she loves him to bits.
I interviewed Tiger – with the help of Tina, who interpreted his meows – on his life as a tabby living in East Auckland. Here is what Tiger shared with me.
How long have you lived with your owner and her family in Auckland?
I was born in Hamilton on the 8th January 1999 on a farm, hence my excellent preying instincts. I was my mother owner’s birthday present from her children. I still remember 8th March 1999 when I came to join the family. They love me so much and am the centre of their lives.
Do you think that you are an obedient and well-behaved cat?
I am very well behaved, I have a scratching post too (a place for cats to scratch so that we don’t do it on the furniture) and I use that 99.9 % of the time. When I go outside for a short spell and my mother owner calls me back, I will come running as she always give me some titbits later, as a reward.
Do you think that you are pampered?
Oh yes I am pampered. When the family have ice cream I also have some too. I love their yoghurt and at dinner time I have a taste of their meat dish given to me on my special plate. At 11 pm, my mother owner has toast with cheese for supper and I also have the cheese too. When it is hot and humid in Auckland, Tina puts the fan on for me.
What is your favourite daily activity?
I love running round in the garden when my owner is working there too. I run up and down the trees and I have a tennis ball that I chase around. Inside the house, I have a red ball that I love to chase around in my box. Best of all, I love sleeping in the formal living room, because it’s so quiet inside and there is no tv or phones to disturb my sleep in the room.
What do you usually detest doing most everyday?
I don’t like going to sleep in the garage at night times because I miss the company of my owner and her family.
What is your favourite food?
I love fishy wet food, as well as the Temptations brand of cat biscuits too, because of the crunchy feeling of these yummy treats in my mouth. If I meow a number of times my mother owner will give me a few of them throughout the day. I am fed on demand!
What are a few of the most helpful things that you have done for the family?
I have caught a number of mice for the owners. I am also very good at catching flies and other flying insects too.
What are the three naughtiest things that you have done?
The latest happened a few years ago, a new neighbour had moved in and I didn’t know they had a dog as he was very quiet. I was sunbathing on the fence when he started barking and I jumped down and went up their huge tree. I stayed there for some time as the dog was barking. A different neighbour took the dog to another part of the garden but I still refused to come down. So many people were calling my name but no way was I coming down. Eventually after an hour and half the fire brigade came to rescue me.
When I was small I made my way up to the spouting on the second floor of the house and then I could not get down. My owner had to lean out of the window and put her hand way up above her to try and find me on the spouting. And my owner’s son was telling her which way to put her hand.
Another time I ran up a neighbour’s tree and nearly reached the top but when I wanted to get down, I couldn’t, because I was way too high. So I meowed and meowed and Tina and her children came running and my owner had to climb up the tree to get me down
Whenever you misbehave, what is your secret weapon to making your owner forgive you?
In my younger years I refused to sleep in the garage and I would rush upstairs and hide under the bed, so quite often my owner had to move the bed to get me. And when she talked, I could tell from the tone of her voice that she was not happy so I would just rub my head under her chin and all would be well again.
What are some of your pet peeves?
It’s so annoying when my mother owner spends time on her iPad or laptop, so once I sat on the laptop’s keyboard and she was not happy, because I think I deleted all her work.
I have such long fur too, which needs to be combed as I drop hair everywhere. This is annoying!
Do you have your fur trimmed? What’s your grooming requirements?
No I don’t get trimmed. That is for dogs mainly. I have to be brushed at least twice a day though and I really love that. I am also bathed once every few months though – but I don’t like that at all because it makes me all wet!
When your owner is away, I understand that you stay in a cattery. Do you like it there?
Yes. I stay at the Care vets cattery in Mt Wellington suburb in Auckland.
I love staying there and I have made plenty of cat friends at the cattery, as we do not fight. I do miss my owners though when I’m there, and I don’t like the car ride to the cattery because it means that my owners will be going away for some time.
Any final words that you would like to add?
Meow, meow, meow.
Abide by the rules of your owner and in return, you’ll be given a very comfortable life – including having as much tidbits as you want!
Catch a video of Tiger engaging in his favourite activities here.