TiggerTigger was the personal pet and very best friend of Jonnie, a freckle faced lad with a mop of curly hair. Jonnie was a bit of a scamp, always playing jokes or pranks on friends and family. He was also known for pushing little white lies to the limit. As a consequence, Jonnie was never given much in the way of responsibility or rarely trusted or believed.  But he did have one thing that everyone loved, and that was his ginger cat Tigger

Tigger loved to play with Jonnie; ping pong ball, catnip mouse, goose feather on a piece of string and all sorts of other cat toys. Jonnie did all the things that cats like best, like making Tigger stalk, pounce, claw, bite and best of all purr.

At night Tigger would curl up with Jonnie in bed, and as a reward for being such a good cat carer, Jonnie would often be presented with something from the garden by Tigger. It usually was covered in fur or feather. Even a live grasshopper was presented to Jonnie on the bed on one occasion.

It was coming up to Christmas and Jonnie was trying to think of something really special for his devoted cat. He’d done catnip toys, scratching posts and he had even saved up his pocket money to subscribe to the various cat websites like Cat Hampurrs who would send new delicious treats and unusual toys which arrived through the letterbox in a cardboard box which Tigger would supervise while Jonnie opened it.

But Jonnie was trying to think outside the box. One Saturday morning Jonnie was sent to his room to tidy all his things away. Put away his toys, gather up dirty clothes and place them in the laundry basket then make his bed. In the bottom of a chest of drawers whilst Jonnie was sorting some of his toys, he found an old cash box which he’d almost forgotten about. He took it out and gave it a shake.

“Treasure my boys,” giggled Jonnie. There was money inside, certainly coins and possibly even a note or two. But the key to the little box was nowhere to be seen. Tigger had been watching from the bedroom window, curious as to what Jonnie was up to. Jonnie was determined to find the key as one by one he looked through every drawer. Tigger came over to help as Jonnie rifled through the contents of drawers. Tigger was looking for a game, anything to pounce on. But he wasn’t helping. The key was nowhere to be found. Jonnie became quite frustrated. So he resorted to a screwdriver from the shed to prize open the box.

Inside were coins of all denominations and even a £5 note.

“Look Tigger, look” he laughed and pointed inside the box. Tigger’s paw flashed inside the box and started moving coins around.

“I’m going to get you an extra special Christmas present Tigger. What would you like?” He stroked the cat, and received a meow followed by a rumbling purr.

That afternoon, they day before Christmas Eve, Jonnie made his excuses to his parents and disappeared off on his bicycle towards town. An hour later he returned with a small brown cardboard box with lots of perforations, in which was a present which was to be kept secret at all costs. At the back of the shed where he kept his bicycle, there was an old kitchen cabinet which stored an assortment of tools and screws. Jonnie undid a small door in the unit, carefully removed the lid of the box and there, inside the box was a beautiful white mouse with eyes which stared back at him. The mouse then shuffled underneath some shredded paper inside the box. That would be his home for the next two days.

This was Jonnie’s Christmas present for Tigger. But no-one was to know until Christmas morning, especially Tigger. It would be a surprise.

On Christmas morning Jonnie was awake at silly o’clock in the morning. He quietly slipped on his dressing gown and got the head torch which had been a birthday present from his Aunt. He crept down the stairs, through the kitchen and outside down to the shed.

The little brown box was retrieved from the kitchen cabinet. Jonnie lifted the lid to make sure that the mouse was OK. The mouse had eaten most of the bird seed which Jonnie had put in the box for him. Jonnie crept back into the house with the box.

By now Tigger was awake. Tigger and Jonnie were the only ones who were up.

“Tigger, Tigger, come here. I’ve got your Christmas present,” coaxed Jonnie. He placed the box on the floor and eased the corner of the lid open.

Tigger’s nose told him everything he needed to know. But Jonnie wasn’t going to let him have his present just yet. For maximum enjoyment, Jonnie needed to hear his Mom squeal! But the mouse had other ideas.

Later that morning, when it was present opening time, Jonnie’s mother asked him what he had got in the box.

“Oh… er… it’s my present for Tigger,” he replied.

“What is it Jonnie? Come on let’s have a look,” she asked curiously.

“Perhaps better if you don’t,” Jonnie whispered.

“Jonnie, what is in that box?” His mother demanded.

“Er…. A catnip mouse,” Jonnie replied not too convincingly.

Tigger was by now clawing at the lid of the cardboard box.

“Well, you’d better put it down for him to play with,” smiled his mother, “Tigger loves catnip.”

“OK,” said Jonnie brightly. “Are you ready Tigger?   Three…. Two….. One…. Go!” and with that he whipped off the lid of the box. Tigger lifted his front legs and sploshed, headfirst into the shredded paper.

The mouse was one step ahead and had jumped at least two feet into the air. Jonnie’s mom screamed. Jonnie laughed and Tigger gave chase. A scene then unfolded, not unlike the ones in classic black and white British films. The mouse went first, Tigger was a close second, Jonnie ran after Tigger and Jonnie’s dad ran after all of them carrying the empty cardboard box.

They all thundered upstairs, then back down again. Then the hapless mouse found what it had been looking for; a small gap behind the skirting board. Tigger was pressing an eyeball up against the wood when Jonnie, arrived breathless a split second later.  

“Well, this is a fine Christmas,” grumbled Jonnie’s mom. “We’ve got a live rodent running round the house.” Then she questioned Jonnie as to what on earth he thought he was doing buying a live mouse.

All Jonnie could think of at the time, was that he wanted a special treat for Tigger.

“A treat?!!” yelled him mom, “It’s not much of a treat for the mouse is it? Well Jonnie, you had better catch it and take it back to where you got it. Come to think of it, where did you get it?” she demanded. “I’m not happy sleeping in my bed with a mouse loose about the house. It could run over my nose in the night, or even worse get down the bed.”

“Or run up my trouser leg” smirked Jonnie’s dad trying to diffuse the situation.

So things hadn’t quite gone to plan for Jonnie. Another of his stunts had backfired, big time. Jonnie’s dad then took control of the situation. The kitchen door to the dining room was closed and he started thumping on the kitchen walls in an attempt to flush to beast out. Tigger had run out of the house, shocked by all the noise, but he didn’t go very far. Not with a mouse in the offing.

The plan worked. There was a flash of white as the mouse shot out from the skirting board, skimmed across the floor at lightning speed then jumped over the step and out into the garden.

Jonnie squealed with delight.

“Tigger, Tigger” he shouted. But Tigger was no match for the mouse’s speed and it was safely ensconced under the garden shed, its little heart beating faster than it ever had before.

“Next year Jonnie,” sighed his dad, “stick to sugar mice for Christmas.”

Five Good Reasons for Having Your Cat Neutered

  • Reduces fighting, injury and noise
  • Reduces spraying and smelling
  • Much less likely to wander and get lost
  • Safer from diseases like feline AIDS, mammary tumours and feline leukaemia
  • Reduces the number of unwanted kittens