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A Legacy of Love

A Legacy of Love

Tiger was such a good cat.  She came to us after our first family cat passed away.  My two boys (little at the time) were distraught by the loss, so my husband told them, “when one kitty dies, two new kitties come!”  Oh how we searched and searched for the right pair determined to save a special duo from being euthanized. That’s when we met Spike and Tiger, females, one tabby, the other calico.  Now each boy had a cat.  As if predetermined at birth, the cats split up to favorite the child of ours that most matched their demeanor– one somewhat quiet but strong and sensitive, the other friendly and quick with a purr like a 1.5 liter engine.

While I didn’t mean to, I blinked, and suddenly my oldest was getting ready for college this fall.  As we began the college countdown, Tiger spent most of her time uncharacteristically on his bed.  She slept by his head and we thought she knew something was up.  Animals sense things, you know.  Then she stopped eating her favorite food, so I immediately dropped everything and went and bought more varieties, as if my own life depended on it.  I thought she was as depressed as I was to see the empty bedroom sans the smelly sneakers and music coming from within.

With a trip to the vet planned first thing in the morning, I petted Tiger a little longer that night before bed.  She purred. By morning she was gone.

We picked out the right blanket to wrap her in and my husband found the perfect spot to dig a hole.  The littlest among us, this creature of God made one of the biggest impacts on our lives.  She taught us about unconditional love and ultimate acceptance, the power of just being there without a word, and always the value of a warm embrace.

People love their animals, and we find that often at the Community Foundation. I thought about the couple from Shell Point and the gentleman from Cape Coral who I met with recently – they have trusts for their animals should their furry friends outlive them, then after the pet is gone, the money will fuel a fund for animal causes in our community.   It is no surprise that we have several funds established by donors throughout the years to provide for animal causes in our community.  We have others who are giving now through their donor advised funds to protect and provide care for four-legged Southwest Florida residents now.

Tears streaming down our faces, we lowered Tiger into her final resting place, and at that moment I am pretty sure I never loved my husband more as he covered her in dirt and planted a coconut above her.  We placed a decorative flower, a piece of yard art purchased earlier in the week from the Exceptional Entrepreneurs program, to mark her spot.  (The story of the yard art is its own great story for another time.)

If you love animals, or have a cause that you care about, we can help you customize a fund so you can give to that cause now or after you’re gone.  Contact me at [email protected] or call us at 239-274-5900. Rest in peace, lovely Tiger.

Carolyn Rogers
Carolyn Rogers

VICE PRESIDENT OF DEVELOPMENT & COMMUNICATIONS