I know! I know! My owners are supposed to be telling this. But how are they supposed to know what I went through? Really. Let’s get serious! So, why don’t I tell you myself.

My name is now Tippy. It used to be Tippers. Good coincidence. I didn’t have to adjust much to remembering who I am.

It was cold, drizzly and just a plain dismal California day in November at the Cathouse on the Kings. I usually stayed out front, hoping and dreaming. That’s where I happened to be when a lone car pulled into the empty parking lot. Two people got out and just looked around, trying to figure out where to go.

“Hey, guys,” I waved my tale to signal my feline friends, “Prospective adopters. Hurry up!”

As the couple approached, my buddies joined me at the gate.   Apparently this was a big clue for the pair as they realized that was where the entrance must be. They opened the gate and came in. We immediately surrounded them like Custard at his last stand.

The man got down on one knee and we were all over him. I boldly jumped up onto his bent leg. He started petting me and just like that, we bonded! He got up and followed his wife to the office. I was right behind. Apparently they were expected and were going to spend the night at the Senior House where the older felines lived. It used to be the owner’s home until she turned it over completely to the cats and moved herself to a trailer which she brought onto the property.

The next morning I was waiting when they came out. The man saw me and petted me right away. I liked him. They went on a tour of my place and I moseyed along. That’s when they gave me my new name. Much of the time they didn’t know I was around, but they sure found out after they got home and saw me in most of the pictures.

They spent the day there walking around and visiting with us. It was great. I was so-o-o hopeful! Late that day they made ready to leave. They asked about me and on cue I walked right up to them. There was a lot of petting and sighing and wistful wishing. And then I knew. I was staying. Again! After seven years here I thought that maybe, just maybe, they would take me home.   They had given me the most attention of anyone, ever. They just had to take me! But I was left standing at the gate watching them leave. Left behind, again…

For days I was downcast. I just wandered around the Cathouse, not interested in anything.   Birds. Ho-hum. Butterflies. Boring. Food. Guess I have to.

The Christmas holidays were approaching and everyone was bustling about.   Adoptions were usually pretty good around then, but mostly for kittens and the younger residents. I didn’t qualify. I was too old.

One day I was taken to the Doctor and given some shots. He also gave a lot of paperwork to the staff member. I couldn’t figure it out. When we got back I was put in the owner’s home. I was shocked! Why? I wasn’t allowed outside, but that didn’t matter. I liked it inside. I guess they were figuring out if I could be an indoor cat, which would improve my adoption chances. I must have passed with flying colors because everyone was happy.

Then they let me stay in the Office, which I really liked because of all the attention I was getting. There was a pet carrier there and one day I was put into it along with a bunch of papers on top. But I didn’t go anywhere. I didn’t know what was going on, but it suited me just fine. I no longer was the unnumbered fur ball outside.

Christmas came and went and in January we did the pet carrier thing again. Was this a new game? It still was real cold outside so I didn’t mind. I just humored them.

Now it was February. Actually, it was Valentine’s day. I knew because I saw all the hearts around the office. Out came the carrier once more. “Oh, brother, here we go again’” I thought.

I was put inside and the papers went on top as usual. I sat there, patiently waiting for the door to open. It didn’t. “Okay, enough! Let me out, guys. Game’s over!” I meowed. Instead, I was picked up and the carrier placed in a car. The staff member got in and started driving away.

“Wait! Where are you taking me? What’s happening?” I mewled frantically as I watched my long time home disappearing from sight.

The car started to slow down and I saw a whole bunch of huge silver birds all around. A lot were just sitting on the ground and some were in the air. I used to see them flying over the Cathouse, but they didn’t look so big! We parked and I was taken inside this building and put on a counter.   Papers were exchanged. The staff member petted me through the bars and said goodbye. A stranger now picked up my carrier and took me away. I was confused! I was worried! I was really scared!

Another stranger took me and started walking towards one of those giant birds.   Oh, no! They’re going to feed me to the bird! “Help! Help!” I yowled, as my heart almost thumped itself out of my skin.

The stranger put a finger inside to pet me. “It’s all right kitty, kitty. You’ll be just fine. You’re going to be put in a special place. Good thing you have a long fur coat.”

He walked into the bird with me and placed me next to my traveling companions – two dogs. He left.. It was kinda dark . I was numb, not from the cold, but from fear.

“Hey, Buddy, where ya headin’ to?” one of the dogs barked.

“You talking to me?” I answered.

“Ya see me starin’ rite at ya, dontcha?”

“Guess so. I don’t know where I’m going. For that matter I don’t even know where I’m at or what I’m inside of. Is this what it feels like to be eaten?”

“Har-har-har!, the dog laughed along with his sidekick. “This here must be yer first time”.

“First time being eaten. Right!”

“Ho-o-o-w-l ” they both screeched! “Yer too much.   This here thing we’re in ‘s a plane. Just like a car, only with wings ‘n flies. We’re headin’ out to Texas.”

“Texas? Where’s that?”

“A fer piece from here, I ken tell yer. Where abouts Cal’fornia ya come from?”

“The Cathouse”.

That brought about another round of laughter. “Boy, I been in the doghouse plenty a times, but cain’ say I e’er been in a cathouse afore! Why dontcha settle down and get some shut eye.   We all be air travlin’ fer a long while.”

“What’s yer name, by the by?”

“It’s Tippy, I think.”

“This here’s Houston and I’m Austin. Now like I said, grab yerself some shut eye. Makes the ride easier,” he said with an air of experience.

About five hours later the noise got louder and there was a big bump. The pet carrier jumped up a bit. Soon the persistent humming stopped and the door opened.  A stranger came in and one by one put the three pet carriers on a trolley. We were driven to a really huge building.

“We’re in Dallas,” one of my travel mates volunteered. “We’re home! There’s our family”, he barked as they both frantically wagged their tails!

“S’long, Buddy”, Austin woofed back to me. “Happy trails.”

I was taken in and left in a special room for pets. It was warm. My water and food bowls were checked. They were fine. I had no appetite.

I heard the phone ring. An attendant answered. “Yes, he arrived safely. He’s here and will be put on the next flight as scheduled. You’re welcome.”

Wonder what that was all about?

About an hour later another stranger picked me up once more. Would I ever see a familiar face again! I was brought outside and, you guessed it, taken into another bird, I mean plane.  This was a much smaller one.

I was no longer afraid. Been there done that. Actually, I was excited. Was this another game? Where to now? What great adventure lay ahead? Was I destined to go from bird to bird for the rest of my life.

This time I had no companions. I was traveling solo. Less than an hour later the noise changed and we did the bump thing again.   The door opened and someone came and got the carrier and brought it into a building. This was getting old!

I was left with a bunch of luggage. It was very late at night and dark. Only that one man was around and he was busy getting the bags onto a moving narrow floor that went around in a circle. The bags would go through a flapping door, just like a monstrous kitty door, and then disappear. They never came back. I wondered what happened to them. When they were all gone, he picked me up and took me through a door.

I heard someone call out, “Oh. Tippy, you’re here!”

I knew that voice. From where? In the recesses of my mind it came back. The lady with the man who had come to visit at Thanksgiving time! It couldn’t be! Was it true? Was I dreaming?

She rushed up and took possession of the carrier. “Oh, Tippy! I’m so happy to see you! Welcome to Copperas Cove!” she exclaimed.

“Not as happy as I am to see you!” I thought as I began purring.

A bunch of papers were given to her and she took me out of the building and to her pickup. She put me in on the passenger side and then jumped in herself on the other side. Making sure the doors were closed she opened my carrier door.

Wow! What a relief to stretch and walk.

She reached over and put me in her lap. I don’t know who was the happiest, me or her! She petted and petted me and I purred and purred some more. We stayed in the parking lot enjoying each other for awhile.   Then, still in her lap, she drove away. I wondered where HE was.

About 15 minutes later she drove to a house and into the garage. She got out of the pickup and carried me inside. We went into a room – and there He was! He was working at a computer.

“Hi, Honey,” he said still working. “I’m glad you told me you would be late tonight or I’d be worried. Lots of work to catch up on?”

“Yes, there were things I had to get done.”

“Do you remember that Christmas present I couldn’t get shipped out because it was so cold and told you it would get here late after the weather warmed up?” she asked.

“Now that you mention it, I do. So?”

So, here it is.

He turned.

‘TIPPY” he exclaimed. “Is it really you!”

He swiveled his chair and grabbed me in a tight hug!

“Oh, Tippy!”

I was home.




My husband and I occasionally traveled to California to visit family. On one of those trips we decided to visit the Cat House on the Kings which is the largest no-kill feline facility in the State having at that time some 1,200 felines in residence. Check out their website to truly appreciate the scope of the donation-only funded rescue which was started and continues to be run by one dedicated woman, Lynea Lattanasio along with staff and countless volunteers. https://www.cathouseonthekings.com/

After we got back to Texas from visiting my family in California, my husband would quite often mention Tippy. We didn’t get him originally as we already had four cats. Yet, he often figured in our conversations. I finally realized that Tippy would be the perfect Christmas present for my husband. After all, what’s one more!

I contacted Lynea. She made sure he would do well indoors. Then the preparations began. He was all set to come before Christmas, but the weather was too cold to be transported by plane. It wasn’t safe since animals were transported along with the cargo. Same thing happened in January, too cold. It finally worked out for Valentine’s Day when the weather warmed up.

Tippy lived with us for seven short years. He was a wonderful cat, so laid back and easy going. He got along with all the other felines in our house and bonded with my husband.   He also bonded with our once feral cat, Friendly. After he was gone, Friendly felt his loss deeply to the point she has never befriended another cat to this day.





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