Updated: Dec 14, 2019
This is Tippy's story.
Tippy is officially known as Tipster, now a permanent resident of the Alley Cat Cafe. Tippy lives there with his brother Nefer and 4 other residents, Clementine, Tahnee, Ricki and Neville.
When we began to put together the plans for the Alley Cat Cat Cafe, we knew right from the beginning that we would need to have some some of the best residents to be our spokescats for both hooman and feline visitors to the cafe. Thus began our search and as you will begin to see, Tippy's story.
As we began to spread the word that we were opening a cat cafe, we started to let everyone know via social media that we were planning on a new cat cafe for Stratford. This led us to someone who knew of some cats who needed to go to a good home. We agreed to meet up and were asked to look at a couple of brothers, Nefer and Tipster (affectionately called, Tippy). We met these fine two fellows and were thrilled to have adopted the first two permanent residents of the Alley Cat Cafe. Little did we know at this point but our work with these two was just the beginning!
They were pretty scared and unsure of a new life with us, but soon came out of their shell and started to love the attention we gave them. Tippy was always a bit shy and loved to hide out in his 'box'. Essentially a box with a nice moving blanket surrounding it. This was his comfort place.
Tippy and Nefer soon had some more company as we inched forward towards the building of the cafe and eventually their new home.
Ricki, Tawhnee and Clementine soon joined them and thus began a new life of trying to teach a trio of newcomers to a pair of 9 year old brothers! The shenanigans were hilarious to see. Tippy however, always took refuge in his box. We kind of wondered if something was up, but attributed it to being older and now surrounded by kittens!
Fast forward to the beginning of August and we were set to open in a couple of weeks! All work now focused on creating a new home for Tippy and the gang! We knew it would another big change for them , but also it would be their fur ever home. We couldnt be happier for all of them. A big cozy living room with lots of toys, plush furniture and to top it all off, people! Hoomans who come to visit them and spend time with them! What could be better?
Tippy just took this all in stride. After all he had his box. We brought it from home and made sure it made it to the cafe so he could have his place. Everyone else just made the kitty lounge their place. Not Tippy. It was his box he was most comfortable in. Again, we thought it was just due to new surroundings, new people, new sounds.
As we settled into the routine of the cafe, we also had more chance to see how the residents were adjusting to their new life. Sleeping in the window. Sleeping on the humongous cat tree.
Sleeping on the catastrophic creations on the wall. Generally, having a good breakfast, some playtime and a long nap! Who wouldn't! Supper was coming......
Had to have room for that......lol
Tippy would always eat well, but we then noticed he would become sick or have diarrhea and we thought it was still due to the new food and being timid in these new surroundings.
After watching this for a week or so, we decided to take him to the vet. The initial thought was feline IBS, so we changed his diet but it didn't help much. He was still getting sick and still losing weight.
So began a couple of trips to the vet, which ultimately led to an ultrasound and some real concern by the vets. We were just devastated and scared.
3 weeks ago, October 3, 2019 our worst thoughts were confirmed by the vets. Tippy was diagnosed with lymphoma cancer. One of the worst kinds. Silke and I cried. Why Tippy? How could this be? Everybody was so healthy! We were at a loss for words. Crying left us feeling better but still we had a very sick cat we had adopted and fell in love with. What could we do?
Our vet, Dr. Sandhu, told us to start a treatment plan that included prednisolone everyday, an anti cancer pill, Leukeran once a week. No prognosis or cure for this type of cancer.
Once we notified our staff and team of volunteers, everybody gave us some suggestions to to try, as well as more tears. We knew everyone cared, but we didn't know how deep the feelings ran.
When Tippy was diagnosed his weight had fallen to 2.2 kg. Dreadfully thin. Although he ate, his feline IBS along with the cancer diagnosis didn't allow him to keep any nutrients in or put any weight on.
Since we started Tippy on his meds, we thought, there has to be a better way to give him the pills, rather than putting it into his mouth. And so began our elaborate scheme of hiding it in his treats, and ultimately some food - BFF by Weruva. We split up a pouch into four small serving containers and dropped a pill into it. Magic! He loved the 'real' food and in doing so took the pill! Same for the Leukeran!
We also then took the advice of a bunch of people and looked into CBD oil for pets. Why not we thought? After all, he is our first resident and we were going to do anything to give him a fighting chance! He is our Tippy!!
Now a couple of weeks later, and what a change! He as since gained weight, now up to 3.4kg, his coat is shinier, he is no longer skin and bones!
We researched some companies but some of our suggestions were made by staff members to try Hemp4Paws for the CBD oil. Silke and I agreed, why not?
We ordered some CBD oil for pets and were thrilled when it arrived. Well, we thought, how are we now going to give it to him? Can't just squirt a ml or 2 into his mouth everyday! Hmmmm. Could we mix it into the Weruva? why not? After all, he know sees when I come into the lounge and he literally makes a beeline over to me. More weruva treat? Sorry Tippy - but not every time I come in! And so we mixed his oil into the food treat and he devoured it. I'm just lucky he didn't eat the serving portion container!
Today, October 24. I came home and said to Silke, we need to start Tippy's story. He was so good! His eyes are bright, his coat shiny, he was out in the lounge with all sorts of people petting him, and every time, and I mean every time I came by he looked at me with his big eyes.... more treat? We, Silke and I, and our staff couldn't be happier for him.
He is doing so well. And thus, you our readers and supporters, now know Tippy's story. Keep us tuned in as we will post updates regularly so we can all root for him. He deserves the best we can provide for him.
After all, he is one of our original Alley Cats.
Today, December 13, 2019.
As you are all probably aware, we have had a difficult last couple of weeks with our Tippy. He quietly passed away and crossed the Rainbow bridge on Saturday Dec. 7.
While under our care and our vet's care, Tippy had some great days at the Alley Cat Cafe, sitting on the big easy chair, intensely staring you down to see if you were bringing him (and the other Alley Cats) some of his special treats! It was quite amusing to watch him watch you! His big bright shining eyes never left you.
Tippy always had a big meow for you when you entered the room or when it was time eat. His appetite had become quite good and we were silently hopeful that we would have him around for quite a while.
Little did we know that when he had his 'bad' days it was only a sign of things to come. Trips to the vet to stabilize him and then a day at home and he bounced right back. However these 'bad' days became more frequent.
Dec 3, Tippy had a great day! He was out, the lounge was busy and he was getting pets, hugs, meows out and of course his treats. His brother Nefer, though could sense there was something not right. He sat beside Tippy on the couch all day, something he never did. He stayed with him the whole day.
The next day though, Tippy was telling us he wasn't well. At the end of the day, Tippy said goodbye to all the Alley Cats and his brother Nefer. We brought him home with us to see if we could get him over this 'bad' day.
It wasn't meant to be and on Saturday morning, he asked us for help. He was tired and couldn't fight this anymore.
We lost a special cat this morning. Tippy was kind, playful and really enjoyed his pets, the company he was with and touched everyone he met.
He was one of the original Alley Cats and will be greatly missed and never forgotten.
He taught us how to be patient and kind, and most of all how to care.
"So when I'm all choked up and I can't find the words Every time we say goodbye, baby, it hurts When the sun goes down and the band won't play I'll always remember us this way
When you look at me and the whole world fades I'll always remember us this way " from Lady Gaga.......
Tippy will always be with us at home and at the cafe, waiting for us at the Rainbow Bridge.
Some pics to remember him by below.
He liked to hide out here!
One of his days of keeping an eye on you!
Tippy, With us at Christmas. Waiting with Coon at the bridge. He got to see the lights of the tree before he left.
Goodbye my friend. Rest in peace.