Feral Paws Rescue: A Special Kittie Named Tillie

Aug 19, 2023 | 2023 Articles, Animal Rescue Adventures, Feral Paws Rescue, Pets

by Paula Hunsacker

This is the story of Tillie, a very special, senior Tortie cat who touched so many lives throughout her years. This is one of the hardest stories I have ever personally written about an adopted cat from our rescue, and I know writing this story will cause many tears to fall from my eyes.

At the rescue, we see many cats and kittens come and go. Then, there are special adoptions, which build a bond between the adopter and the rescue. Tillie is one of these kitties. Tillie gave me a very dear friendship with her adopted mom Nikki that will keep growing in the future. A friendship made possible by this very special kitty Tillie.

Tillie and Nikki

Tillie was adopted by Nikki and Dave from San Francisco on October 11, 2014 at noon. While talking with Nikki during the interview as a possible adopter, I learned that her now husband was very much against her coming to Fresno to adopt a cat from our rescue, let alone a senior cat. Dave felt Nikki was crazy for driving the distance! Dave was certainly in for a big surprise in the years to come. Tillie absolutely stole his heart very soon after and for the next eight years.

Tillie was adopted at the age of 12. After being in her new, loving home, she bonded with her new family and was focused on making her daddy love her. It’s like Tillie knew she had to win him over. It was not long after the adoption that we got a text message telling us that Tillie was now a daddy’s girl. Tillie is so loved by both mom and dad!

Tillie and Dave

After Tillie was adopted, over eight years ago, our friendship grew. We shared hours and hours of laughter and tears over Tillie. So many photos were exchanged. If Tillie did anything funny, Nikki would fill me in. How Tillie would set off their house alarm when they left for work. To crying when Tillie ran out the door and was missing for a short time. To beautiful stories of Nikki outside with Tillie enjoying the sunny day. Nikki worked nights and if Tillie did something cute at home Dave would take a photo and send it to Nikki, and she would send it to me. Nikki had a beautiful painting made of Tillie that hangs on their wall. This special girl was dumped at a high kill shelter by a heartless owner, and her reward was being given the most loving parents to care for her. There was nothing they wouldn’t do for Tillie, and she knew it and played them both to get her way. She was so loved and ruled her home.

This past year, Tillie turned 20. It was a very hard year for Nikki and Dave. Tillie began to show her age and started having health issues: a collapsed lung with a prescription for steroids. Nikki would call me and update me on Tillie’s vet visits. Nikki and Dave would have given any amount of money to make Tillie better. She was their girl. Tillie in return loved them both so much. During this emotional time, I felt like I was living the heartbreak alongside them.

On July 20 at 11:18 p.m., I got the most heartbreaking call from Nikki crying uncontrollably. I knew it wasn’t good news. I began to cry along with Nikki telling me Tillie had just passed away in her arms.

Tillie may have been a senior, but she still wasn’t ready to leave her mom and dad. They weren’t ready to let go either. For the past year, Tillie fought to get better. But in life, as we age, our body starts to slow down, and our health begins to fail us. Because of one special cat named Tillie, so many lives were wrapped together. She personally gave me a friendship with Nikki and Dave I never want to lose in my lifetime. Tillie is at the rainbow bridge and will one day be back in the arms of Nikki and Dave! Until that time, Tillie will never be forgotten through our friendship and stories shared over the years. Tillie gave so much love and happiness to so many.

EMAIL: fprg.org@gmail[dot]com
Phone: 559-412-7226

Check out more animal rescue stories in our Pet Perspective section & watch for more stories from Feral Paws every month, and we would love to have you join our KRL Pets Facebook group. Advertise in KRL and 10% of your advertising fees can go to Feral Paws.


Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.