Story of Tommy (Tiger Boy) and Gina (Crystal)

Ten Lives Club received a very heartfelt e-mail from the proud purr-parent of these 2 beautiful babies!

Cara adopted Crystal & Tiger (now named Tommy & Gina) together from our adoption location at Pet Supplies “Plus” in E. Amherst back in February during our “Best Friends – The One” promotion.

The following is Cara’s story:

“On November 21, 2013, I had to take my 12 year old cat to the vet in the middle of the night. It was 2:00am. Angelo was diabetic and was on insulin for about a year. What I thought would be a trip for different medication and then back home to bed turned in to one of the worst times in my life.

Before I could take my jacket off and sit in the exam room while they took Angelo in the back, the vet rushed in and said “we have him on life support, doing CPR. Do you want us to keep going? “.  My first thought was that they had the wrong room. I brought in Angelo. He isn’t that bad. Apparently he got “that bad” real quick. After 8 times of telling them to “keep going”, I asked if he would be ok if he came through. The answer was devastating to me and at 4am, Angelo passed away.  He had diabetes and cancer.

I was taken out of work for three weeks during the month of December, diagnosed with Major Medical Depression. I was on medication and not getting any better. I was truly all alone. My family lived in another state and it has always been just me and Angelo. Now it’s just me. I have never been diagnosed with anything and never on medication so this was all scary to me. My friends and family told me the best thing to do is get another cat.

Get another cat?? How could I do that! There is no way I will ever get another cat! I can’t go through this ever again!  So I thought…

I heard about Ten Lives Club through some friends and in January, just playing on the internet one day, decided to take a look and see what it was all about. I knew I would not get another cat so what’s the harm in looking around their website? After all, how could I do that to my Angelo? Replace him just like that?

I looked at all the cats on the website and cried and cried. One day, I saw a beautiful cat on the TLC website named Carly. She looked sooo much like my Angelo! In the pic, she was “photo bombed” by another cat named Tiger Boy. That made me smile and I kept my eye on Carly, hoping and praying she would get adopted.

After a few days I thought I needed to snap out of this…stop being silly…go see Carly and get over this depression. On a Saturday morning, I got dressed, grabbed my keys, got in the car to go see her and couldn’t leave the garage. I cried and cried. I wasn’t ready.

I kept looking on the website and somehow, Carly and Tiger Boy were just stuck in my heart. Then the day came that Carly was adopted. YAY!! I was soo happy, I cried but this time, tears of joy! I thought, I CAN DO THIS!! So I got dressed the next day and off I went.

When I arrived at the Ten Lives Club in East Amherst, I sat in the car for a few minutes, took a deep breath and in I went! After all, it’s February and it has been 3 months since Angelo had passed. I need to try and help myself get out of this depression.

I walked to the back of the store to the room with big windows. I looked in and there they were! All that I have seen on the website! There was Skye, Crystal and Tiger Boy! I cried, I smiled, I walked away, I walked back, I cried, I smiled…it was a time of all emotions.

I saw a beautiful lady and an adorable boy in the room with the kitties and I thought “I hope they are there to adopt them all!” As it turned out, it was Amy, a TLC Volunteer and her son Matthew. They asked if I wanted to come in and I shook my head yes. I went in and started crying.

I told Amy my story and she and Matthew were just amazing. Listening to my every word…handing me Kleenex…hugging me…then we started talking about the kitties.  Skye was doing her own thing but Tiger Boy and Crystal were playing, running, jumping, having so much fun. I told Amy that I had my eye on Tiger Boy and told her my story of trying to come see Carly.

I then found out Crystal was a stray picked up in October and has been in the shelter ever since. That is a long time! Matthew was telling me funny stories of these two and I finally looked at Amy and I said, “I’ll take them! “She looked at me kind of funny and said “you want BOTH?” I said “YES!”

Amy was so happy that Crystal finally was getting a home and that Tiger Boy was going with her! Amy made the calls and I filled out the papers and I was now a proud owner of two beautiful fur babies!

On my drive home, I was laughing as I thought about how I was saying I would NEVER get another cat again. So what do I do? I get two! Angelo was my only child and he preferred that. I always thought he should have a friend to keep him company while I am at work but he wouldn’t hear of it. So here I go…two kittys in the back seat and me to start a new life with them.

I already had names picked out for them before I even left the store. Crystal, the beautiful 3 year old Calico and Tommy Boy, the 7 month old Orange Tabby had names but that was their shelter names. I wanted them to have “forever home” names. So being a big Bon Jovi fan, I thought about a Bon Jovi song called “Living on a Prayer”. It is about a couple named Tommy and Gina who are living on a prayer getting through life.  I figured all the kitties at the shelters are living on a prayer to find a home and these two are now going to have a new life so I named them Tommy and Gina.

It’s been 5 months since Angelo passed and almost 3 months that I have had Tommy and Gina and I could not be happier! From the first night, the three of us slept in the same bed. Gina at the foot of the bed and Tommy as close to me as he can possibly get, with his face resting on my cheek and paws on my shoulders. I can’t breathe but he is comfortable!

On the very first night as we were sleeping, it was as if Tommy realized they were not in cages any longer so he walks gently over to Gina, gives her a good WHAP!!!! on the head as if to say “we have this whole house to run and play…wake up!! “ And off they go! They run full speed through the house, down in the basement, up the stairs to the main floor, then upstairs to the bedrooms and all the time jumping over furniture, sliding across tables and enjoying life!

Gina is a little more mellow then Tommy.  She was a stray and then in a shelter for 4 months so she did not have much interaction with people, who wanted to hug her, pet her, hold her, love her. Tommy is a playful kitten and loves to get in to everything.

Gina, at first, would let me pet her for about 5 seconds then that was enough for her. That’s all changed. She is coming around now, sleeps closer to me, lets me pet her and even hold her. Not for long but she is made much improvement. No hurry- no pressure! We all have a longgg life ahead of us and in time, she will be 100% confident! I am 100% sure of it!

Tommy is already spoiled more than any cat should be. I bought tons of toys for them (I had gotten rid of everything “Angelo” the day he passed away so I had to start from scratch). His favorite toy is the crinkle balls. But not the big ones! They HAVE to be the little ones. I know this because somehow all the little ones disappeared and he wouldn’t play with other toys as much. I went out and bought more but they were out of the little ones, so I got the bigger ones. He plays with them but it’s not the same so I drove to 4 stores and finally found the smaller ones. When those too disappeared, I tore the house apart and yes…they were under the refrigerator…under the stove…in his water dish…and even in the litter box! He loves those toys! He even plays fetch! For hours, I flick the crinkle ball across the room and he brings it back and drops it at my feet. If I am not paying attention, he puts his paw on my foot so I know he and the crinkle ball are there ready to go!

Now Gina is getting in to the action! She has a favorite lil pink pillow that she will toss in the air and run after!

I can’t say which one is the bully of the two as if one wants to play, that one just walks over to the other, grabs the tail or whaps their head and off they go! The run, they tackle each other, then they run some more!

Many times, I will be sitting downstairs and hear the commotion upstairs of them just running and playing. It is no longer a quiet house, that’s for sure!  It’s just so much fun to see them having so much fun!

They do have some down time too. When the hours of wrestling is over and one calls a truce, they both love sitting in the sun and watching the birds and squirrels in my yard. I even rearranged the furniture in my living room to where they each have their own window to look out of.  I can’t watch TV now without getting a stiff neck but they can watch everything going on outside!

I never thought I would get over the depression of losing my beloved Angelo and I probably never will but with the help of Ten Lives Club, I am definitely doing much better.  Tommy, Gina and I all have a bond that I can’t explain.

It hasn’t even been 3 months since I brought them to their furr-ever home and in that short time we all became best friends!  I am sure this bond will last a lifetime and I only hope I bring them as much joy as they bring me!”   By – Cara A., Cheektowaga, New York

What a beautiful story!  Quite a testament to the value of having a kitty (or kitties!) in your home & as part of your family.

I was so thrilled when I first got the call about these 2 & beyond happy when they found such a wonderful, loving forever home!

Cara posts pics & updates regularly on our Facebook pages.  Thanks so much Cara!  Ten Lives Club volunteers and supporters LOVE to hear  our kitties forever home stories and see pictures of their happy lives!

Bringing purr-parents and their forever furr-babies together is the most rewarding experience EVER!

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