NAPLES, FLORIDA – This may quite possibly be the most inspiring story you will read today!
Tiger the cat has been around for exactly a quarter century. Adopted as a kitten, she spent those 25 years growing old alongside her owner in Lee County.However, a medical procedure forced her owner to give her up for adoption. And suddenly Tiger, the orange tabby with the hazel eyes, was left homeless.”She’s a sweet old girl,” stated Trinity Hansen, who runs a canine rescue group in South Florida called Big Hearts for Big Dogs.
Tiger was originally turned in to Lee County Domestic Animal Services, but the people who work there soon learned she didn’t like other pets. So the shelter decided to reach out to Hansen, hoping for some help. Tiger was the wrong animal, but Hansen couldn’t refuse.Through her network of foster homes and adopters, she discovered Sandi Smith, a cat and dog lover, who had a bright idea.”My heart just broke,” Smith stated.Now the feline lives at a second-hand furniture store among the other various antiques and items appreciated for their age.
Smith adopted Tiger just at the end of May, despite her husband’s protests. The Smiths already have seven cats and two dogs in their home. But there was something so pitiful about a cat who had lived for so long only to be left homeless during her golden years.
“I just couldn’t stand the fact that she had been there even for a week,” Smith stated.
Now Tiger is the official greeter and mascot of Paris Market Antique Mall, 2161 McGregor Blvd, Fort Myers.
She has the absolute run of the place and there are plenty of knick-knacks — everything from mid-century furniture to fine china — for her to hide behind and explore.
“It was an interesting solution, but it got her out of the shelter and there are no other cats there,” Hansen stated.
She’s very friendly, but she’s been a bit skittish since she moved into the new surroundings, Smith stated.
To help Smith, Big Hearts for Big Dogs has even offered to pay for all of Tiger’s expenses for the remainder of her days. It’s a program they offer for senior dogs at their rescue to help place them in homes.
So far she hasn’t needed any of the medical help. Aside from a slight cold she likely picked up at the shelter, Smith said she seems perfectly healthy.
“It’s pretty impressive,” Hansen stated. “Twenty-five and still kickin’.”