Baltimore Couple Create Bucket List For 21-Year-Old Cat

After finding a tumor on their second rescue kitty, the two cat lovers are making Tigger’s final chapter memorable one.

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Chillin' at the beach has been one of Tigger's favorite adventures to date. Via Tigger's Story/Facebook

When Adriene Nicole and her boyfriend, Michael, decided to adopt a companion for their cat, Stuart, they had no idea how the experience would change their lives.

Nor did they plan on creating a bucket list for the now 21-year-old Tigger — giving their newest family member the experience of a feline’s lifetime.

It was February 2015 that the couple saw a story on their Baltimore neighborhood Facebook page about a senior cat who had been at an area vet hospital for almost a year. Although the former Baltimore Ravens cheerleader and stunt team member said she was happy the clinic never sent Tigger to a shelter, she said they failed to groom him and give him the proper care needed for an aging cat who showed signs of health problems and depression.

In less than 24 hours, the cream-colored Domestic Medium Hair had a forever family. But how long “forever” would be was the question. Tigger immediately went through testing and Adriene Nicole learned he had kidney failure, as expected. Benazepril, and a prescription diet for kidneys, were quickly ordered.

Mommy hugs are the best! Via Tigger's Story/Facebook

Mommy hugs are the best! Via Tigger’s Story/Facebook

“Though you cannot reverse kidney failure, you can extend their life comfortably,” the 31-year-old Charm City Vet Hospital employee told “Well, the medicine is working great; he eats like a piglet and drinks a more normal amount of water now.”

However, their lives took another turn when they found a golf ball-sized tumor on Tigger.

“That’s when I wanted to start a bucket list,” Adriene Nicole said.

Because of Tigger’s age and kidney failure, he is not a candidate for surgery or even a biopsy; so the couple (who asked that their last names not be used) aren’t even sure if the tumor is cancerous or not. But not taking any chances, the bucket list adventures began.

Everybody enjoys a snooze on the beach.

After frolicking along the water, Tigger enjoys a snooze in the sand. Via Tigger’s Story/Facebook

“The beach trip was one of our favorites… he loved taking naps in the sand and walking along the water,” Adriene Nicole said. “He had visitors stopping to hear his story and give him a head scratch. He also had some fun going on Fox 5 news; he loves interacting with people.

“He even purrs when we dress him up,” she added. “He is actually enjoying what we do with him!”

Adriene Nicole said the frigid Maryland winter has kept their outdoor adventures to a minimum, but she is looking forward to traveling beyond their Baltimore neighborhood when the weather warms up again.

Out and about in the neighborhood. Via Tigger's Story/Facebook

Out and about in the neighborhood. Via Tigger’s Story/Facebook

On Feb. 27, Tigger’s family celebrated his “Gotcha Day” (the day of Tigger’s adoption), scratching off another item on his kitty bucket list.

“We made a day of it,” Adriene Nicole said of the chicken breast cake, with candle, kitty placemat and decorative birthday boy hat.

"Happy Gotchya Day to Yoooouuu!" Via Tigger's Story/Facebook

“Happy Gotcha Day to Yoooouuu!” Via Tigger’s Story/Facebook

So do Tigger’s parents have any regrets in adopting a cat whose life with them is limited?

“I ended up choosing a senior cat because of his sad story… but it’s the best decision we ever made,” Adriene Nicole told, adding that Tigger and Stuart, who is now 7 and also was a rescue found in a nearby Dumpster, are “hilarious together,” as most brothers are.

“Tigger likes to antagonize Stuart when the youngin’ is in a fussy mood,” she said. “He is so full of life and so extremely cuddly. He always has to be in my lap.”

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  • You two are the best! So thankful there are caring and compassionate animal lovers like you! Thank you for everything you do to make Tigger’s senior years happy:)

    Amy Spino March 23, 2016 8:05 pm Reply
    • Your rescue and love for Tiger makes my heart happy!

      Pam April 20, 2016 7:51 am Reply
  • Fantastic story of love and compassion at it’s best

    clair March 24, 2016 9:49 am Reply
  • Pingback: 人間だと100歳以上?捨てられた老猫と新たな飼い主の“最期の日々”に心温まる | 大人のきわどいニュース速報

  • So happy that you kind people have taken in this lovely cat and given him a chance of happiness at last! What a wonderful thing you are doing for him, he reminds me of my own Tigger who I lost last year due to giant cell sarcoma! He was a cat we rescued four years ago when we heard he was being boarded up in a house after the owner was evicted! Love to hear news like this about our furry babies

    Charlotte Edwards March 24, 2016 3:37 pm Reply
  • This is one special story! Bless you both for giving Tigger a chance. These kind of stories are heartwarming and uplifting!

    Tracy Sanders March 24, 2016 5:11 pm Reply
  • Tigger is a doll! I’m so happy two human angels adopted him and are giving him the best life ever. All cats should be so loved and pampered. Wishing you all a happy, fabulous, life together, for a very long time.

    Gayle Janzen April 20, 2016 1:25 am Reply
  • Beautiful story and wonderful that the two of you are giving Tigger a loving home to live out the rest of his time. He certainly appreciates all you do for him and so happy he is no longer living in a cage. One request though when you take him on your adventures, would you please consider putting him in a harness? It would be awful for him to be startled and run off. Thank you for the care you’re giving him!

    Pam April 20, 2016 1:33 am Reply
  • God bless you for adopting and rescue
    I will pray for tiggers continued health.
    Thank you for allowing us to be a part of tiggers life.
    What you are doing is Wonderful!!!

    Shirlie r stratton April 20, 2016 1:37 am Reply
  • You two are real human beings, with human hearts. The love, affection and sympathy for this sick cat suffering from a terminal disease shows how great people you are. May you be blessed for the kindness shown to this dumb friend .

    Gamini. Kawiratne April 20, 2016 1:45 am Reply
  • You make me proud to be a human Adriene Nicole. Tigger’s home reminds me of the song “You Saved The Best for Last.” You are the best!

    Claudia Hall April 20, 2016 2:10 am Reply
  • Tigger is a beautiful cat who is spending quality days with wonderful owners. I pray you are blessed for the love you share with such a wonderful cat. My family loves to adopt senior pets that have been abandoned at the time in their life where they should be feeling the most loved and safe. Continue the “Kindnes!”

    Sheila Miller April 20, 2016 2:53 am Reply
  • Tigger looks very happy in the pictures. It warms my heart to know that there are such caring people like you and your boyfriend. Keep giving Tigger the best days of his life and thank you for sharing his story and reminding people that senior cats and dogs still deserve to be in a loving home and not in a shelter.

    Janet R. April 20, 2016 3:17 am Reply
  • GOD BLESS YOU… You are amazing and I Love what you are doing to help make a beautiful kitty’s life a lot better

    Diana April 20, 2016 4:16 am Reply
  • We had a cat that lived 20 years and her daughter lived to be 21.The mother was a stray and had kittens just after we trapped her. All our cats and most of our dogs were all homeless before we took them in. Tigger is a lucky cat to have a great home , wishing him a much longer life. Right now we have 4 cats that were on their own for most of their life, I think the last one, full grown, we trapped never saw the inside of a home and is now so loving and plays like a kitten , even though he is on insulin twice a day. The last cat that passed away was 16 years old.Her son is still with us at 15 years.
    She came to us with two kittens, one passed away not long before his Mother.

    Heather April 20, 2016 4:29 am Reply
  • You guys are awesome.I’m praying that his kitty tumor isn’t cancerous.You did a great thing by adopting a senior cat.Keep doing what you’re doing.

    Eric April 20, 2016 4:42 am Reply
  • Thankyou for saving this precious little Sweetheart ???? God bless you for caring. You are an amazing person for making his life full of love and joy.

    Susan Bortolussi April 20, 2016 4:46 am Reply
  • You guys are so awesome! Thank you for taking a sweet senior cat in. Tigger is so precious and hopefully his tumor is not cancerous. It is so wonderful that he has a brother Stuart. Thank you for loving him so much. I know that he loves you just as much if not more. God Bless all of you ❤❤❤ xoxo

    Lin Kristian April 20, 2016 4:58 am Reply
  • Remember: animals have no concept of past or future, so making them comfortable and happy in the time they have left – no matter how short – is the best present ever!


    Kelly April 20, 2016 5:00 am Reply
  • Bless you for giving this beautiful cat some good times before he crosses the rainbow bridge. He is so fortunate to have been chosen by you. You are truly kind, caring, compassionate people. I wish the world could be full of people like you. I wish the best for Tigger. I have had many cats in my life, but have never had one that has made it to this ripe old age. Tigger was truly fortunate the day you took him home.

    Diane April 20, 2016 5:18 am Reply
  • God Bless. His love for you will be rejoined with you in the golry of heaven.

    A. Thoresen April 20, 2016 5:22 am Reply
  • I am so happy Tigger has found a forever home with 2 extraordinary people who love him Thank you.

    Darlene Maxwell April 20, 2016 5:24 am Reply
  • This is such a heart warming story, Tigger is such a beautiful furbaby and you are all blessed to have found each other. Bless you for the life you have given him and you have been blessed for him coming into your life. Please keep us informed on his life.

    Angela April 20, 2016 5:27 am Reply
  • Much love to you all, especially sweet Tigger.
    Thank you for adopting a senior and giving him the best days of his life:)

    DeWitch April 20, 2016 5:28 am Reply
  • You both are saints ………..for making his golden years……….shine with lots of love!! Bless you

    vee April 20, 2016 5:34 am Reply
  • What beautiful couple you are to do this!!! God bless you and Tigger.
    I wish the world had more compassionate people like yourselves.
    thank you.

    lisa April 20, 2016 5:39 am Reply
  • Blessings to you And Tigger, I pray the tumour is benign, and that Trigger will have a long Happy life with you, Thank you for being the wonderful , kind caring people you are, hUgs and Purrs to All of you

    A April 20, 2016 5:41 am Reply
    • Please also try cans of salmon. Not only do cats love it, but salmon is definitely an anti-cancer food!

      Guest100 April 20, 2016 12:45 pm Reply
    • The couple saw a story about a senior cat who had been at an area VET HOSPITAL for almost a year and the clinic failed to groom him and give him the proper care needed for an aging cat who showed signs of health problems and depression!! That is the part of the story that appalls me. How in heaven’s name can that place justify that neglect?! What a relief that Tigger found decent, loving people who were also RESPONSIBLE.

      Guest100 April 20, 2016 12:50 pm Reply
  • I don’t usually comment on stories but this one touched me heart because it hits very close to home. We recently rescued a senior kitty (18 years old) who was dumped at the local shelter because his family was “moving”. I volunteer at this shelter & when i saw him, i had to do something to help – no way i could turn my back on this handsome guy. I knew that the shelter doesn’t give owner surrenders, especially older animals, much time before they are euthanized so I contacted a local rescue who helped me pull him the night before he was set to be put down. At his first vet visit, a lump in his abdomen was noted, he was anemic (due to fleas) & severely underweight. The anemia reversed once he was put on flea preventative but the weight continued to be a problem as he could not seem to gain or maintain. The lump, which our vet believes to be cancerous (like Tigger, Gordie’s age made it too risky for the tumor to be biopsied or have any type of surgery to remove). At our most recent visit, the vet said his anemia is returning & the tumor has grown from the size of a grape to the size of a tangerine. We are continuing medication to keep him comfortable but know our time with him is coming to an end. Like you, we are doing our best to make his remaining time the best possible – trips outside in the backyard, sharing our dinners with us (loves brocoli!), plates of tuna every night, cuddle time with mom, etc. I wish i could’ve healed him but i’m grateful that we were able to step him to provide him with a comfy, happy home where he is loved & cherished beyond measure. When it is time for him to cross the bridge, he’ll go surrounded by & carry with him tons of love, knowing his life mattered. Gordie has only been in our lives for 4-5 months but he will leave a permanent pawprint on my heart which is where he’ll live on forever, chubby & pain-free.

    Laura April 20, 2016 6:03 am Reply
    • Bless you, Laura, for the loving TLC you are giving Gordie. We never regret the good we do for these animals, and they truly bless us.

      Darlene Uhlenkott April 20, 2016 9:12 am Reply
      • You have a heart and soul of gold, Laura. God bless you and Gordie.

        Buffy April 20, 2016 7:24 pm Reply
    • I love the photos of Tigger on the beach and wearing the crazy birthday hat my pets wouldn’t tolerate. I also don’t think my indoor cats would “stroll” along the beach. They would be more likely to bolt, never be seen again. Bless you for giving this beautiful soul the love that all older pets deserve and for sharing your story with us.

      Darlene Uhlenkott April 20, 2016 9:20 am Reply
  • Bless you for making Tigger’s life SO much better – I don’t understand why people give up their animals at ANY age, but especially seniors. My animals are my FAMILY and I wouldn’t give them up – I even have them in my will if anything were to happen to me prematurely. They make our lives so much fuller and richer and just happier and more fun. Thank you again for this beautiful story.

    Jen April 20, 2016 6:15 am Reply
  • God bless you both for your loving care of Tigger in his later years. Our pets deserve everything we can do for them for all the love they give us.

    Joan April 20, 2016 6:40 am Reply
  • God Bless you both for caring for this wonderful, sweet kitty. I wish there were more people in the world like you with such love and compassion for animals.

    Diana April 20, 2016 7:14 am Reply
  • Thank heavens for people like you. I always adopt older animals as they are the ones that don’t usually don’t get a second chance.

    Barbara. Hanson April 20, 2016 7:32 am Reply
  • Very heartwarming.
    Great to hear there are people like you in this world that would make
    every final day for Tigger a special one, filled with love and new adventures.
    Bless you, bless Tigger and all animals.

    Rick April 20, 2016 7:46 am Reply
  • This is a very heartwarming story. A horse barn closed in our area and no one would take the three old barn cats. They are with me now and I can totally relate to the pleasure it has given me to give these beautiful old cats a warm cosy safe place to live out their lives. The oldest is 21 the other two, we are not sure, definitely in their late teens. We continue to have some “cat wars” with my other two rescues, but life is settling.

    Ann Stutsbury April 20, 2016 7:56 am Reply
  • Bless you for the wonderful care you are providing this beautiful cat. He reminds me very much of my cat, Eli, who also had failure and sadly, passed away in March 2016 at the age of 17.

    Larry April 20, 2016 8:02 am Reply
  • Thank you so very much for compassionately taking in this precious cat who had been through so very much…..most heartwarming to hear the wonderful life you have given Tigger in his late senior years, thank you so very much for being so kind and caring!!!

    Penny Jones April 20, 2016 8:36 am Reply
  • You are two very wonderful, special people! God bless you & thank you for what you’re doing and all the love and care you’re giving Tiger. I believe in miracle and will keep him in my prayers for a complete and speedy healing. <3

    Lynn J April 20, 2016 9:05 am Reply
  • My faith in human kindness has been restored by Adrienne and Michael.
    Tigger and Stuart are so lucky to have them and vice versa. The best to
    all of you. : )

    Jan Ball April 20, 2016 9:06 am Reply
  • So nice of you to pick a senior cat and to do such nice things for him. Your an angel. Not so sure about dressing him up though. Might hurt his old bones.

    Sherie Litteral April 20, 2016 9:12 am Reply
  • God bless you and your little kitty. The world needs more people like you!

    All the best! !!

    Roberta Storey April 20, 2016 9:28 am Reply
  • Thank you for being his guardian! He will greet you on the other side.

    michael shay April 20, 2016 10:06 am Reply
  • I just want to say THANK YOU for all you are doing for Tigger…. <3

    Lucille Larivee April 20, 2016 10:48 am Reply
  • so i’m being a bitch (pun intended) but cats, especially older ones are homebodies, and VERY nervous in strange places…….His bucket list is probably “TUNA!!” and Naps. SO Sorry for the pain you will feel when he passes..

    beth April 20, 2016 10:54 am Reply
  • Thank you for making Tigger’s last days happy ones. I sure wish that there were more people like you on this earth. God bless you both!

    Kelly April 20, 2016 10:56 am Reply
  • This brought tears to my eyes. We too, have a geriatric cat with the mid stages of kidney failure and we count our blessings for every day that he is still with us. He is lucky – we got him as a kitten. Tigger is lucky too that you took him in and are making his last days so full of love.

    Helene April 20, 2016 11:28 am Reply
  • This story hits home as I recently lost my 15 1/2 year old princess to stomach cancer as well as issues with her gallbladder. It was the most devasting day as I have had her since she was 6 weeks old. I hope every day that she crossed the rainbow bridge knowing the love that was felt for her. We tried to do a few “bucket list” items with her as well when she felt up to it. It is an extreme challenge giving hospice care to a terminal cat and causes major anguish, but I wouldn’t take change one minute of it. Cherish every moment you have with Tigger!! I can’t say enough about how grateful I am that there are people like you in the world!! Best of luck to you and Tigger!

    KERI April 20, 2016 12:06 pm Reply
  • May the universe bless every one of you forever.

    Meg + Threegood April 20, 2016 12:10 pm Reply
  • Great story! Hope you and Tigger have many wonderful adventures together!

    Scott April 20, 2016 12:23 pm Reply
  • Laura, we had our 18 Year old to anot animal hospital where she had bowel portion removed due to cancer. She lived a happy life until at 21 another cancer occurred unfortunately spread throughout and we lost her. She was a great cat and kept us hopping to do what she wanted until her last day. She is greatly missed.

    Suzanne April 20, 2016 12:30 pm Reply
  • I want you to know how much I admire you two for careing for and loving Tigger.I have had 3 ginger cats, I know how special they are. My cat Abigail and I send you our love !!????????????

    Maxine Fultz April 20, 2016 1:13 pm Reply
  • This made me cry – bittersweet and happy tears. Tigger looks so happy in the pictures. The 2nd – hug – picture says it all! You are awesome, taking Tigger into your home and giving him the love he deserves. Senior cats don’t get that chance too often.
    You have our Good Thoughts/prayers for strength and love in the days to come <3
    Tigger reminds me of a senior cat, also tan-red, we took in after he was thrown out at around 18 YO. Named him Mooch because if you were eating it, he wanted some! 🙂 We only had him 10 months, but they were great months. I still miss him so much. Love to you all from The Crew <3

    KatWrangler April 20, 2016 1:58 pm Reply
  • “He who saves a single life saves the world entire.” That is one of my favorite Bible quotes. What you’re doing and what you’ve done for this living, feeling being should be held up as an example to others. I too adopted an older cat, big, black, front and back declawed by his former owner. He sat in that shelter for months, overlooked by those seeking cute kittens. I visited with him several times then realized he was angry at being abandoned and frustrated that he wasn’t going to a new home as he watched countless others do. I too was lonely and frustrated in my new city. He has become the most affectionate, talkative, cuddly companion, and my best friend. I can’t imagine life without him. Please to all who read this, consider adopting an older animal. I saved him and he saved me.

    Evan Jane April 20, 2016 2:31 pm Reply
  • Hope he lives a long time!

    Shelley April 20, 2016 3:36 pm Reply
  • I just put my 16-year-old boy Cranston down last week due to kidney failure. He was a neighbor’s pet they moved and left him. He was emaciated, pus in paws from declawing, abscess in hind quarter….I had him 16 years. In his last week I gave him everything and anything he wanted. Last week Thursday hardest day….but he went out with dignity, glory and having a good day. I miss him so….my other cat Bella does too. I loved seeing your baby be happy doing the things that brought happiness. My baby is now showing yours around Rainbows Bridge.


    Becky Magnuson April 20, 2016 3:47 pm Reply
  • I hope he has a good quality of life when they get old and don`t have much time left . We need to make sure he being comfortable and not suffering to make the best of his life before his time to leave with the angels and be happy at the end with love and attention till the end with peace.

    Bertha Farron April 20, 2016 3:53 pm Reply
  • We also took in a senior cat and we’re so glad we did. The vet knew she was old–at least 12 and had been on her own for awhile. We had her just 6 months before she passed–but she was the sweetest, most cuddly, and had the loudest purr of all our cats. It really hurt when we had to put her to sleep, but we know her last months were happy for her and filled with love and attention.

    Sue April 20, 2016 5:24 pm Reply
  • Happy tears to read there are such wonderful humans out there such as yourself. God Bless you for loving rescue Angels!

    Buffy April 20, 2016 7:21 pm Reply
  • I extended two of my cats lives by getting holistic meds from “Pet Alive” for kidney disease.
    I also bucked the conventional thinking and feed them high quality protein diets…this extended their lives in one case nearly a year in the other nearly 3 years! Don’t give up,,,God bless you for treating your cats so lovingly.

    barbara flick April 20, 2016 8:16 pm Reply
  • You are two extremely special people ! Thank-you for making Tiger’s senior years extra special ! You both have made up ten fold for the beginning of his life that was probably very rough for him, I hope you have many years left to finish his Bucket list. God Bless you both for being wonderful kitty parents !!!! xxxooo

    Denise Doychak April 20, 2016 9:57 pm Reply
  • Please try and keep us updated on his bucket list activities. Thank you for adopting him.

    Sandra Quinn April 21, 2016 12:08 am Reply

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