The people have spoken! Tiger was one of a series of Pet of the Month nominees who were nominated by their regular StudentCo sitters. With a staggering 92 reactions on Facebook, Tiger won the competition and along with the title of October’s Pet of the Month!
His prize? A R500 donation from StudentCo to an animal charity of his family’s choice.
In light of the Tshwane SPCA’s current financial slump, pet parent Caren decided to donated the R500 to them. This donation will make a huge difference in ensuring that all of the SPCA’s furry residence have sparkling cages and full bellies. Yay Caren! ❤️
Tiger was nominated by his StudentCo pet sitter Japie Theron:
“Tiger is the most interesting striped cat that I have ever seen. One day he just pitched up at the Van Rooyen family and he just never left. Tiger isn’t like most cats. He actually enjoys water, and on a hot summer’s day, you will find him laying next to the pool with his paws in the water.
His favourite hobby is to distract humans who are trying to study. If you don’t find Tiger sleeping, playing or laying next to the pool, you will find him at his food bowl eating. You can time him if you want. He will be at his food bowl every 30-45 minutes having a snack.”
Mom, Caren, was so excited to hear that Tiger had been chosen as Pet of the month. She eagerly answered these fun questions for us so that we could gain a deeper understanding of Tiger and his furry life!
Everyone loves a good origin story – how did Tiger become part of the van Rooyen clan?
“One late afternoon in the beginning of January, having just arrived at home, we got out of our car, only to hear an unfamiliar cat’s meow. Being a cat lover himself, my boyfriend, Wikus, meowed back. Out of the bushes a tiny Tiger came, now meowing very loudly, making sure that we spot him. Wikus picked him up and brought him into the house.
We immediately saw that he had a collar on and knew he had to be someone’s little pet kitty. We offered him water and food outside, as he was a bit skinny. We didn’t know the last time he had eaten. We took him back to the front yard, so he could find his way back home. He just stayed with us – laying on the grass playing.
We thought it might be a neighbour’s cat, so we walked down our street to ask around, only to have him follow us the whole way. He followed us back home too. We searched for his owners on Facebook and neighbourhood WhatsApp groups… we didn’t find anyone. We kept all the doors and windows open and didn’t give him too much attention, because we wanted him to go home. We carried on as usual.
The next day, he still hadn’t left. We took him back outside the yard to see what he would do. Again, he just stayed with us – following us back into the house. He walked through the house like he’s been there for years, not afraid of our 2 big dogs, or even bothered by our other 2 cats. He made himself at home. He was content.
We printed flyers and posted them in our neighbourhood as well as pet shops. We also posted Facebook posts. No one called or came looking for him. We were already starting to fall in love with the unnamed cat.”
Naming our fur kids is always fun – how did you choose the name Tiger?
“He had a huge appetite from the start and the energy to match. We saw he loved water from the beginning, too. Every time we opened a tap, he would appear out of nowhere, sometimes even running! He would sit next to the bathtub, with his front paws and tail in the water. He also loves the pool. It is his favourite place to be.
Our German Shepherd loves to swim, and jumps in and out of the pool’s first step for a quick dip while she’s running around. She has endless energy. Tiger will hide behind a bush, or flatten himself on the grass, ready to pounce on one of the dogs running pass him. He’ll jump out onto them and immediately retreat back to a bush to repeat.
He loves playing with the 2 big dogs. He will often sprint across the yard with them. One hot afternoon, clearly believing he was a dog, he followed our German Shepherd, Moeba, right into the pool, jumping fearlessly into the water. He never did that again, but he still dips his paws in every now and again. After two months of having him, he was starting to wander as male cats his age tend to do. The furthest he’s gone is to say hello to an immediate neighbour’s cat. We decided to neuter him and by then his name was decided – Tiger.”
Does he have any unique quirks or habits that can’t help but make you smile?
“He tries to play with the other 2 cats, but they don’t want to play quite as much as he wants to. In the last month, he has been quite close to Baloo, one of our cats, following her, chasing her and just being close to her. She accepts him, but shows that she is in control.
He loves sunbathing next to the pool, or in the shade at the pool. He comes when you call, from wherever he is. He sleeps in different places every night – sometimes with the dogs, in my bed, my mum’s bed – with everyone, anywhere.”
As pet parents, we’re not allowed to have favourites, but who is Tiger’s favourite human?
“He still has not chosen his owner or favourite human. He just isn’t fazed with much. You can pick him up and carry him like a baby. He will walk in the rain like it’s daytime. He doesn’t care if Moeba and Fay, our doggos, run over him and make him wet. He will follow in pursuit. He loves everyone equally. Our pet sitter, Japie, and his girlfriend, Lulu, also noticed that he doesn’t have favourites. He’s always happy no matter where he is or what’s happening. Not like other cats who might remove themselves from an unfamiliar situation.”
What is Tiger’s favourite toy?
“He plays with anything that moves: toes, dogs, tails, balls, sticks, leaves, pens. If it’s, moving it’s a toy.”
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