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  • Melissa Terlizzi

Big Orange Cat


Tiberius the cat

This pile of legs and fur is my cat, Ty. Ty is short for Tiberius, and he is the best cat ever to shed his hair upon this great green earth. If the price was right, I could be convinced to sell any one of my 4 children--but Ty? I would never--could never--part with him.


Ty follows me everywhere. He sits on my keyboard when I type things. When I work in my studio, he nudges my tools off the table and clears himself a place to nap. Most nights we doze together on the couch, and he has never once groused about the number of old British TV series I watch.


We're not sleeping; just "resting our eyes" for a minute.

You might recognize Ty on this old notebook cover, or from the tutorial I did last year for "Polymer Week Magazine." Most recently his face appeared (looking a bit like Alice Cooper) on the mosaic pendant I made in Cynthia Toops' wonderful class in Czechia.

In my life, Ty is larger than life.


A couple years ago, Ty nearly died. Unbeknownst to us, he had developed diabetes mellitus. His blood sugar levels were off the charts, and his organs were beginning to fail. His health deteriorated fast, and after we rushed him to the animal hospital, he spent almost a week there hooked up to IVs and monitors, while a team of vets worked day and night to save him.


They DID save him, thank goodness, and these days Ty is back to being pretty healthy. He is still diabetic, and we give him insulin injections twice a day. After every shot, he gets a crunchy treat from a jar on the kitchen counter (the only reason he cooperates.) Recently, I decorated a new jar just for him. He doesn't care, of course. All that matters to him is how quickly I can unscrew the lid and extract his reward! But having a jar that looks like my big orange cat makes me smile.


He approves!

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© 2019 by Melissa Terlizzi