img00099.jpg I didn’t know what to name him.

He was a feral cat that my late wife Marian and I found when he was a kitten over 20 years ago.

He quickly became loving but never lost his wild side. He seemed fearless. I saw him chase dogs off our yard. Other cats didn’t stand a chance. His presence intimidated them.

He became my best friend. His fearlessness was something I admired. He seemed strong and content. He seemed quiet and wise.

We called him ST, which was short for Super Tiger. He seemed to like being named after a jungle animal. He was a Maine Coon breed.

Marian and I had him for 14 years. Nerissa and I have had him for another 8 years. He’s lived a long, happy, luxurious life.

He got shrimp every night.

He got catnip cigars when I could find them.

He got all the attention he ever wanted or allowed.

I even built the Catarium for him and his late brother, Brownie. It allowed them to explore the great outdoors without hunting or being hunted.

ST developed diabetes a while back, but we managed to completely cure him of that.

But he also developed several internal tumors, the last two coming in quick and growing fast. A third showed up last week.

We haven’t been able to do anything about the cancer.

So we made Tiger’s last days as loving and comfortable as we could.

He left us today, around 5 pm.

I thank you for all the love you sent our way.

Tiger felt it, too.

Ao Akua,


PS – I’m relieved ST has passed on, isn’t suffering, and is one with all again. I love him.


  1. August 1, 2008 at 4:57 pm

    What a wonderful story, thank you for sharing with us. We love you.


  2. August 1, 2008 at 4:59 pm

    Keep your memories of him alive, and he will live on. Sometimes cats are more than just furry friends sometimes they seem to give us something more.

    It is good that you accept his peaceful leaving, although the pain is still fresh. Be safe. I love you. I am sorry. Please forgive me. Thank you. ~ The Quiet MJ

  3. August 1, 2008 at 5:01 pm

    So sorry to hear about Tiger, Joe, but as YOU seem at peace knowing HE is at peace, that is really all I can wish for you along with healing. TWENTY years is a great gift for a pet tho I am sure it makes it much harder to let him go. 🙁

  4. August 1, 2008 at 5:03 pm

    Love for an companion animal is a really special thing, especially when they share in the different stages of our lives. Much love, Joe.


  5. August 1, 2008 at 5:05 pm

    Blessings to you and your wife. You know only too well how much your love means to Tiger . . . and we all are the better for it too!

    With Infinite Love and Gratitude,

    Stephanie Bell

  6. August 1, 2008 at 5:05 pm

    Dear Joe,
    Please accept my condolences. It’s hard to lose our furry family members, isn’t it? It sounds like you gave ST a good, long, catnip- and shrimp-filled life. I’m willing to bet he’s already playing in fresh green fields on a warm, sunny day just across the rainbow bridge.

  7. Teddy Towncrier-Reply
    August 1, 2008 at 5:20 pm

    My sympathies on your loss, Joe.

    I’ve often heard that cats are not as devoted as dogs but I’ve sensed that your has been the opposite experience.

    Thanks for sharing the blessings he brought to you.

    I know your many memories of him will be a priceless treasure for many years.



  8. Our condolences Joe. We send you love and we are grateful that you were willing to share the love you and Tiger had with us all. Whiskey and Socrates will be eating shrimp tonight in Tigers honor… If they are in the mood. Love and great big hugz to you.
    In Gratitude

  9. August 1, 2008 at 5:34 pm


    Sorry to hear about Tiger… we do fully understand how attached you must have been. We have two farrel cats that we rescued from a sink hole on our property 12 years ago as 4 week old kittens. They are the most loving cats we have ever had, but don’t get between them and their prey (moths and flys) or you’ll risk loosing a limb. Definitely different than a domesticated cat.

    All the best memories are still with you… hope you’ll take some time to preserve them.

    Kathy and Wes

  10. August 1, 2008 at 5:42 pm

    Me and Stephanie both feel terrible and offer our condolences to you and Nerissa. We both enjoyed the times we got to spend with Tiger at your home and he will be missed big time. I know he had a rough go at the end and we can just be grateful he’s now in peace and resting comfortably.

    Please accept our deepest sympathies,
    Peter and Stephanie Wink

  11. August 1, 2008 at 5:49 pm


    I’m so sorry Super Tiger passed away but like you said, at least he’s pain-free and healed now. He sounds like a Super Special Guy.

    We recently lost our almost 20 year old cat, too. It’s always hard losing a member of the family.


  12. August 1, 2008 at 5:50 pm

    Namaste Joe! Godspeed Tiger!

    What a great life that little Tiger had here on this plane… over 20 years with you, and he surely fulfilled his purpose as an inspiration in your teachings to all of us.

    The many life lessons we all have learned in your lessons that came directly through your experiences with ST, I am sure are great in number.

    Also,I am sure Tiger will continue to teach us, through you, as you will be enlightened even further in your new vibrational relationship with him. May the frequency of his spirit ring in your ears long, loud and often, and with it new awakenings:)

    Peace y Pura Vida! Nico

  13. Mark Ryan-Reply
    August 1, 2008 at 6:38 pm

    When i saw Tiger the other day..he sure didn’t look 24 even though he was so sick.

    He came and sat down by out feet as we talked in your kitchen. We gave him some petting and love and he absorbed it up. We saw him later in what you described as one of his favorite areas in the catarium laying comfortably but his breathing a bit labored. We stayed looking at him an extra amount of time. We were acknowledging Tiger knowing it might not be much longer for him on this earth.

    The Love from you Joe was so apparent.

    When i have gone to Joe’s & Nerissa’s to visit… i have only seen Tiger and the other cats treated with love & caring. The love & caring of a true friends.

    For a cat to stay around for 24 years must have meant Tiger knew what friends he had in you & Nerissa.
    What a testament to what he thought & felt about you two!
    There was no hurry for him to move on as other cats do…he went from 24 years of cat heaven.. to cat heaven.

    Sending Light & Love,


  14. August 1, 2008 at 6:49 pm

    I too have had many cats and dogs dear to my heart. They can love you in a special way that few humans can. :o)

    Super Tiger has returned to the source from which he came. And no doubt the world is a happier place for his having been a part of it.

    I’m sorry for your loss Joe. Of course you know ST has expanded into something even greater than he was before.

  15. August 1, 2008 at 7:25 pm

    So sorry for your loss, Joe. I enjoyed your story about Tiger – he really sounds like a special friend. Bless you for making his 20+ years on earth so wonderful and for making his last days so comfortable.


  16. August 1, 2008 at 8:27 pm



  17. August 1, 2008 at 8:27 pm

    What a handsome guy! That Catarium is something (and i thought I spoiled my cats!)

    We’ve been the faithful human servants of a bunch of cats over the years (the Egyptians sure had that relationship right!) It’s almost unbearably sad when they leave, but our lives have been so much richer with them in it, and we have so many great and funny memories that they are really still always here with us.

    Our current mistress (Lucy) is sleeping next to me and for once not helping me type.

    Let me share the first penguin cartoon I published (it’s all about who owns whom):

  18. Collin Lee-Reply
    August 1, 2008 at 9:18 pm

    When a loved one is lost, we each experience it in our own way. When another’s loss comes along, we feel loss as if we were them. With sharing we can bring healing to one another.

  19. August 1, 2008 at 10:13 pm

    My condolences in the passing of Super Tiger. Wow—24 years? That is a very long life for a cat. You were truly blessed. ST completed his mission here on Earth and has moved on to a greater place. After reading everyone else’s comments, I feel like they’ve pretty much summed up my thoughts. So, peace be with you.

  20. August 1, 2008 at 11:00 pm

    Your story touched my heart. I sent my old girl-dog Bonnie to sleep covered with kisses and whispers of “go to sleep pretty girl” just a few months ago. My kitties are the sweet little spirits that balance my life. We’re so lucky to have these beautiful creatures around to share our lives. Super T. was the one of the LUCKIEST cats in the world because he got to be loved and cared for by you, Marian and Nerissa.

    Love to you and yours,
    Cathi (and Jasmine, Sophia & Jade too )

  21. August 1, 2008 at 11:09 pm

    Your adventures with Tiger for these years touches my heart. Bless you and your family. Tiger will be back to visit with you from time to time. Watch for the messages he brings you. His energy will be with you forever.


  22. August 1, 2008 at 11:58 pm

    Super Tiger was genuinely magical to have attracted hoomans like you to serve him!

    All our love to you and Nerissa,
    Mike & Christy

  23. August 2, 2008 at 1:05 am

    I know the feeling of losing a beloved pet; They are not just pets, but really, they are a part of the family. The loss of our pets is felt on intense levels. ST especially being with you for so long, really must have felt and been so much a part of your family’s every day way. So I will keep ST and you and Nerissa in my thoughts, and hope any grief that you may be experiencing will soon be eased….At the same time however, I am Happy for you that you had him in your lives, and imagine the joy and love shared by you all.-Chantal Menard

  24. August 2, 2008 at 5:01 am

    🙁 So sorry Joe. We had to have our beloved Butterball put to sleep less than two weeks ago. We only had her 13 years, but we certainly had her spoiled. She had a cancerous tumor in her stomach. She was her Daddy’s girl. When we got her at the animal shelter, my husband would not leave her cage. She kept rubbing up against the wire when he put his fingers in the cage. I can still hear him saying over and over again, “I just have to have this kitty.” She had him suckered the minute she saw him!

    She leaves her brother, Kaycee our dog, who is 18 1/2 years old and still going strong. He has outlived 6 kitties. He is moping and very sad that his playmate is not here. Of course, he doesn’t understand where she has gone. But at this very moment, my husband is bringing home a new kitty. I am so excited. No one can replace Butterball, she is still very strong in our hearts.

    But I am sure if there is a kitty heaven, Butterball is probably teaching ST all of her bad tricks. God gave us these special animals for comfort and unconditional love, and their time is so short on this earth. They are truly cherished members of our family.

    Love and sympathy,

    Super Sassy Sue

  25. August 2, 2008 at 5:04 am

    Sorry to hear that Joe, My girl Chloe` who I’ve had since the mid 1990’s died on July 6th. I still walk around looking for her 🙁
    Youngstown, Ohio

  26. Tamara Nerby-Reply
    August 2, 2008 at 6:43 am

    I had a big lump in my throat reading your post. Having lost my dog Gus six months ago, I know how you must be feeling right now. It’ll seem quiet for a while.
    Hey, maybe he’s up there playing with my pooch Gus!

    I’m so sorry that you and Nerissa have suffered this loss of a friend.
    I love you both!

  27. August 2, 2008 at 7:53 am

    Joe, I met you by chance briefly in Asheville, NC at a soda fountain. My partner talked more than I, I was too tongue-tied to say much, I’m a big fan of your work. Anyway, this post touches me as I can see it does so many others. Our animal companions are so briefly a part of our lives and yet they bring us such an understanding of relating on a different level that is not always “in the mind”, so to speak. Being with cats, particularly is so intriguing as they communicate in such vastly different ways from humans and yet we have no problem understanding them, do we? It is something that we could learn to bring to our interpersonal relationships, this level of wordless communication that the cat teaches. Blessings to you Joe & to Nerissa. Peace in this time of transition. Love, Tracey

  28. August 2, 2008 at 8:07 am

    Bye bye, Super Tiger,
    as you’re in Heaven, please say hello for me to Caline & Minouche who were wonderful “cat companions” for me as you did for Nerissa & Joe.

  29. Connie-Reply
    August 2, 2008 at 9:16 am

    My condolences to you and Nerissa. You obviously gave Tiger a good life, and I hope that provides some comfort.

    Having said goodbye to two elderly cats and six old dogs within the past few years, I know what you are going through. One of my cats was sixteen and one was eighteen and a half; I’d had them both since they were kittens. As I’ve often said…no matter how long they live, it’s never long enough.

    Kinky Friedman, devoted cat lover who has rescued many unwanted cats (and other animals), wrote a eulogy for his cat Cuddles in 1993. He said, “Dogs have a depth of loyalty that often we seem unworthy of. But the love of a cat is a blessing, a privilege in this world.”

    The Kinkster was right. A person usually doesn’t have to work too hard to get a dog’s love and loyalty. With cats, you often have to earn it – but it’s well worth the effort.

    OMT: As I may have mentioned to you after Brownie’s passing, I think one of the best things you have done for your cats was not allowing them to roam at will. The Catarium is a wonderful idea, and I wish more people who have the means to do so would do something similar, or keep their cats indoors. As you no doubt know, the average life span of a cat that is allowed to roam at will outdoors is five years, as opposed to twelve to twenty years for a cat that is confined.

    When it comes to the things that engage our attention on a day to day basis, we big-brained bipeds have our differences (which is putting it mildly). But one thing that so many of clearly have in common is the unconditional love for our four-legged companions.

    I am truly sorry for your loss.

  30. Kimber-Reply
    August 2, 2008 at 10:04 am

    Love to Super Tiger, for generating love in this world and on to his next.
    Currently working on cleaning what is in me that is causing health problems in my beloved 10 yr old cat. Super Tigers story reminded me that if I can’t heal myself in time Nefer will always live on. I have been listening to Zero Limits non-stop for 2 weeks. Joe if you have had a buzzing noise in your head for the past two weeks it is probably all the conversations I have had in my head with you transmuting somehow. Thanks for being. ILU Kimber.

  31. August 2, 2008 at 10:07 am

    So sad to hear of Tiger’s passing Joe. You were a great cat “Dad!”

  32. August 2, 2008 at 11:55 am


    I am sorry for your loss in a wonderful companion. I know that it may be hard for awhile, to walk around any corner and wanting to see him there. I still look for our cat Cuddles and she has been gone for almost two years. It is a wonderful blessing of love that our pets bring us, even after they are gone from our lives. I have learned to cherish every memory and moment that I have with each of my pets.

    Love you,

  33. August 2, 2008 at 1:04 pm

    Thinking of you and sending warm thoughts for ST. Bright blessings, ST, wherever you are.

  34. Shanley-Reply
    August 2, 2008 at 2:46 pm

    It is most difficult to lose a furry member of the family, though knowing he is not suffering will help ease the pain. Sending love to you and Nerrisa in the loss of Tiger.

  35. August 2, 2008 at 3:14 pm

    I am sorry Joe, the part I most love about your story is the lessons animals give us. Repeating their actions in front of us allowing us to observe and eventually incorporate the behavior. I had a female black lab who taught me to set boundaries to my space. She started doing it for me, guarding the kitchen when I cooked and guarding my bedroom when I went to bed.

    Here is to Super Tiger and his fearless existence

  36. August 2, 2008 at 7:05 pm

    Joe, You have experianced what being a hopsice caregiver is all about. Caring and loving another living being as they prepare for the transition to pass out of their physical body to the Divine. Grief is part of the process, but as you are doing celebrate life completely and speak of ST frequently to immoralize his spirit. You have once again witnessed the Divine in loving action. Rejoice and be grateful. Love Ellie

  37. August 3, 2008 at 7:45 pm

    Since you’ve mentioned this Joe, I feel like I’m responsible. It’s tough when your animals die. My animals aren’t just animals. They’re my family. I have two cats and two dogs.

  38. Erin-Reply
    August 4, 2008 at 6:10 am

    “Who would believe such pleasure from a wee ball o’ fur?” – Irish Saying

    When searching for joy, love and things that keep us feeling good, I am often surprised how we feel we need to go digging or do something large and yet, usually the joy is right there in front of us. No searching needed, it is just there…often in a child’s eyes, a lover’s smile, and I know for you and many, in a pet’s presence.

    From just a small blog, I can feel what an impact he had.

    Sending love your way,

  39. August 5, 2008 at 8:42 am


    Sending our love, prayers and condolences on the loss of ST.

    I know he’ll be remembered and, as you know, he’s not really gone.

  40. EwaZen-Reply
    August 5, 2008 at 9:37 am

    Hi Joe,
    I am so happy for Super Tiger that he had such a wonderful life with you!!! I’m sure he was a very happy and grateful cat!!!
    I have had two cats (one ~Xena~ watching your Dreaming Abundance daily, and the other ~ Ophelia~ drinking Dr. Len’s blue water daily…) until a few days ago… When I adopted Tiger ~ a lil kitty, who’s sandy in color and has stripes going even across his tiny belly 😆
    On my way back from the library I saw a woman carrying a lil fur ball meowing terribly. I asked her about the cat and she said that she was taking him to the shelter. I took the munchkin in my arms and he stopped meowing instantly…. WHAT COULD I DO IN THIS SITUATION BUT TO TAKE HIM HOME W/ME?! I said to myself… ‘If I can care for, love and feed 2 cats, I can certainly do it for 3 of them!’… I called him ‘Tiger the Bliss’, cuz my other cats’ full names are: ‘Xena the Joy’ and ‘Ophelia the Abundance’ 🙂
    Well, when I read your blog today, I thought it very interesting that your cat that passed away was named Super Tiger… I think Tiger is his family 🙄
    here r 2 photos of my new beast:mrgreen:

  41. Hossein-Reply
    August 5, 2008 at 11:45 am

    Sorry to hear this, Joe. I wish you and your partner a happy, healthy and long life.


  42. August 5, 2008 at 7:19 pm

    Sorry about the Kitty Joe…

    Tiger had a great life.. That is what counts!



  43. August 5, 2008 at 8:18 pm

    Sorry to hear about your loss, Joe. That ST was one handsome kitty. He looked a lot like one of mine who is a youngster. I am thankful he loved a long life of love and contentment.

    Have you ever listened to Animal Intuition on Sirius Radio? The animal psychic there talks about how our animals can reincarnate back into our lives. I lost my beloved Spatsy in 2005 and he returned to me in the guise of a little 6 week old kitten my daughter found in front of my house under a bush in the rain this past May after the Attract Wealth Seminar. SAME FACE! That’s why I am convinced it’s Spatsy returned.

    I hope ST will find his way back to you in kitty form in his own time.

    Lots of LOVE,

  44. August 5, 2008 at 11:40 pm

    My love and good thoughts to you and Nerissa.

  45. Lynda Filler-Reply
    August 6, 2008 at 12:30 am

    A friend of mine owns a local coffee shop. The other day I noticed a delightful little 3″x3″ tile :
    “Dogs have owners. Cats have staff”
    I know you will be remembering the good times and because you loved him, it was time for him to go.
    in light and love

  46. August 6, 2008 at 7:20 am

    Dear Joe & Nerissa,

    I’m sorry to hear of your physical loss of ST but have no doubt he is still a part of your lives, and not just in memories. As an animal communicator, one thing animals tell their people often when they have just crossed over is, “Our relationship has not ended, it’s just changed.”

    I hope you are already seeing signs of your beloved friend being around you, but if not, give it time for that all-consuming grief to clear a bit. If you’d like, I’d be honoured to help you reconnect… my gift to you both in honour of a real special guy.

  47. August 7, 2008 at 9:00 am

    Cancer is certainly an interesting disease. The fact that in spite of so much money being poured into research, it only becomes more common leads me to believe that we still have more to learn from it before we’re done.

    This has become more and more obvious as I wrote my book Their Cancer – Your Journey, but up till now I hadn’t realised that ‘them’ could be as likely to be a pet as a human – though just as much a loved one.

    I hear that you know that dying is just fine for ST – a step from one room to another – and that you are celebrating your time together at the same time as missing his physical presence.

    Blessings Joe and Nerissa,

    Anne Orchard

  48. Laureen-Reply
    August 8, 2008 at 1:43 pm

    My condolences on your loss of your loved one – ST. Our animals are such a large part of our family. After I read your article, I silently cried at work and later went home find all my cats to hug and kiss them.

    I know exactly how you felt about your Super Tiger, because I too, have a feral Maine Coon female. I worked in the metal business and vowed to save as many as the cats that I possibly could. I found my “Daisy” at the scrapyard. She was so malnourished that she had the body of a 2 month old kitten with half her coat gone from fleas. I brought her to the vet and was actually quite suprised to find out that she was 7 months old and in heat. I didn’t question, paying the vet bills for this cat, but I questioned whether this cat would allow me into her world.

    I brought her into the family of my other two cats (also feral – but I got them as 6 week old kittens) and dog (rescued), and proceeded to give her as much love as she would allow me. I made a special effort to pet her, pick her up, kiss her, talk to her, play with her and let her know that I loved her even though she hissed, growled and attacked me when I brought her to the vet. We learned to use the “happy gas” at the vet’s office for everyone’s sake. But over time, she has finally let me in. She’s still part wild, but she’s finally responding to the love I’ve given her.

    After 5 years, she finally comes to me for petting, kisses & catnip treats. She also sings with me when I sing opera & musicals around the house. She’s the first one by my feet, when I’m making jewelry, and will parade around the house with my necklaces on. With her long flowing, brown hair, she’s an artistic, free-spirited cat.

    I love all my animals for different reasons. I love this cat – Daisy – because in her soul, she’s free.

    Joe, you have to pat yourself on the back for giving everything humanly possible to give ST a great, healthy life (including the Catarium – which is a fantastic idea). ST had a great soul, a great freedom about him, and I’m sure that he’s free and happy in the afterlife.


  49. marina-Reply
    August 8, 2008 at 2:54 pm


  50. August 9, 2008 at 3:48 pm

    Just caught up with your post about ST. My condolences to you and Nerissa on the passing of your dear companion. All my best, D

  51. Stuart Collins-Reply
    August 9, 2008 at 9:00 pm

    Joe~ my heart goes out to you and yours, and I mourn with you…
    With a lump in my throat and a tear in my eye,
    I vividly remember my close kitty COMPANION
    of 17 wonderful years. Perhaps they shall meet! Perhaps
    you and I shall…ie: while here on earth!

  52. August 11, 2008 at 7:42 am

    Hi Joe,

    We just got back from taking 3 more of our cat’s to the vet’s for routine shots, and checkups.

    I am grateful. They are all healthy, they all are fine.

    I am grateful that you had a friend like Tiger be with you for all those years.

    I am grateful that you have the memories to share, and the heart to care.

    I am grateful that you remind me today, of what a precious gift of love and life that we have here.

    Blessings to you, Nerissa, Tiger and the rest of the kitty crew.

    Twenty Twenty

  53. Kimber-Reply
    August 11, 2008 at 4:39 pm

    Well per my condolances to you on August 2nd, my Nefer did not make it.
    She passed last night. Hard to take responsibility and not feel guilt but I am trying very hard. I listened to ZL disc 2 on the way to work and your message reminded me that whatever it was in me that caused her sickness is like catching a cold. I told myself that I would not feel guilt for catching a cold and continued to clean so that know one else I am in contact with suffers. Better days ahead.

  54. August 13, 2008 at 6:34 am

    joe ~ I’ve been thinking an awful lot about Tiger and just haven’t made it over here to write. He was a super cat and contributed tremendously to your lives and the lives of those who met him. A real giver! I know he’s still with you and you know it too. Just not physically – so you and Nerissa can enjoy a few extra shrimp each night in his honor. 😉

    I’m glad he was able to spend his last days home being surrounded by love. How beautiful for all of you.

    Sending Love and Hug for you and if you listen closely you might even hear a purr.

    With Love and Joy,


  55. Gini Diane Collinson, LCSW-Reply
    August 20, 2008 at 2:34 pm

    Joe & Nerissa ~~ I am sorry to hear of your loss. I remember when Super Tiger’s brother Brownie was in poor health. You asked your readers to pray for him & I felt really privileged to be asked. Since Brownie had already gone to the other side, I’m certain the two brothers are together again. Here’s to Brownie and ST & all the unconditional love they brought to your family. For sure you’ll see “the boys” on the other side!

    gini diane

  56. August 28, 2008 at 9:44 am

    Thanks for the sharing, I have met Tiger a few times, and feel your energy about him. My beautiful cat great, 17 moved on a few weeks ago, I miss her a lot, she was a lady, a love and totally unique. The house is empty without her, yet I know she left when she wanted to, as the vet said she had 20% kidney function over 6 years a go and she looked and felt great till the day she left!
    What a blessing these furry friends are!
    Love, Nan

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