Just a Baby Tiger

At one of our fall visits to the Minnesota Zoo, we saw a baby tiger. These aren’t particularly good photos, but that tiger cub was so cute.

The baby tiger in our household (aka Ripley) made me think about the one at the zoo. My feelings about being a cat “guardian,” as the politically correct like to say, vacillates wildly from day to day. Last week, on the day I had my mini meltdown, Ripley served as a tipping point. His pitiful crying as I was trying to eat my breakfast (outside of his designated space) literally brought me to tears. I just wanted a few minutes to eat in peace and he wouldn’t even give me that.

Then, the next day, he laid down in my lap and napped for over two hours. He hasn’t spent more than 20-30 minutes in my lap since he was a kitten and he usually ends up biting at me before he leaves. This was a full on, sprawled out, totally relaxed nap. My legs were numb before he got up, but it was totally worth it.

Moments like that give me hope that Ripley might yet settle down and become a more affectionate cat as he matures. As of now, he’s clingy and wants to be around us, but doesn’t really want to be touched. If he just wanted to keep to himself, I would respect that, but the clingy/bitey behavior is super frustrating. I think he needs more turf to roam. He’s probably as anxious as us to move into the new house.

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