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Tim’s Story

“Tiny Tim” – Date of death: 12th Sept. 2010

Tim was born on 19th July 2000 in his family’s garage and cuddled with his brothers and sisters in their basket. The family made a fuss of the new babies when they came in to play and visit with them and the kittens really enjoyed the four young girls, although a little scared by their effusive playing.

After some weeks passed it was apparent that Tim could no longer walk and the family took him to the vet, who told them that he was paralyzed from the waist down. Sadly the family hurriedly decided they could not care for him and that he must leave the house immediately…and, after making some phone calls they stumbled across BrightHaven for assistance.

Tim’s family refused to accept any financial responsibility or even offer a donation to BrightHaven and the usual emotional blackmail started: “He will have to be killed if you do not take him!” And so it was.

One beautifully sunny day Tim arrived to meet his new BrightHaven family. He was overawed by the numbers of brothers and sisters who rushed eagerly to sniff and inspect their new little brother, who quickly showed them how he could scoot along the floor and do most everything they could and with just as much mischief.

From day one he was “adopted” by the huge ex-feral bruiser called Cool Arm Luke, who taught him manners and all things appertaining to daily life and how to grow up to really be something and someone. This huge gray tom would tenderly pick Tim up in his mouth and help him to go where no half-paralyzed cat had been before – to negotiate steps until he grew enough to manage them for himself, which did not take long.

The first months brought many interesting things into Tim’s life: A trip to the office of  renowned and now retired Tommy Walker, DVM, DACVS, where he was diagnosed with a broken back and given a poor prognosis for the future. A brand new and shiny wheelchair. Many toys, along with adoring volunteers to play with him. His own homeopathic veterinarian, Dr. Jeff Levy. Treatment sessions from chiropractor Kye Weaver, cranio-sacral therapist Lindsay Wetzler…and so much more!

During the past six years Tim showed us his strength and toughness, both physically and emotionally, although his life was never quite filled with roses, as he endured many setbacks with urinary problems and infections caused by his scooting on cold floors and in the garden. This boy was deterred by nothing and his sunny spirit shone through however miserable he may have been feeling.

He taught us an interesting physiological perspective best described as: Birds can fly but most of them cannot swim. Cats can run but they cannot scoot. Small dogs can walk but they cannot pull themselves up on high couches and on to laps with their claws. Tim cannot walk, but he can scoot, and play, and pull himself up on to couches and laps, curl up with humans, chase dogs and steal others’ food.


The last months have been very difficult for him after the death of his old friend Luke and then his own subsequent and almost fatal illness.

Against all odds Tim fought back, and until a few days ago I thought him well again. Although unable to be quite his usual vibrant self, Tim amazed us all constantly with his courage, strength and determination to succeed; so much so that we are all truly humbled by this special soul who taught us never to give up. He must have been helping me to prepare, and now I know somewhere deep inside me that it really was his time to leave us.

I have always “known” somewhere deep inside me that on the day that my precious Timmy died, that I might also. Well today I am still here, but he is not. Our precious BrightHaven baby boy died at 3am today and took along with him my deep love, together with a large portion of my heart. As he lay dying in my arms, Richard whispered to him that it was okay to go, and told him that Luke was waiting once more to be his friend and guide him on his way. Susanna, BrightHaven’s general manager, arrived to join us, and then Tim left quickly, surrounded in our love, and circled by too many cats to name.

Tim occupied a huge part of all our daily lives, which will be sadly altered, and very strange without him. Everyone who met this sweet soul fell in love with him, and I know that many will join with us today as we pray, light candles and shed our tears in memory of our boy Tim.

The purpose of life is to live it;

to taste experience to the utmost;

to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experience.

–Eleanor Roosevelt

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