This is a very hard story to write because Tiny Timmy touched so many lives in so many ways. To condense his life into a few paragraphs doesn’t seem a fitting tribute, because he is deserving of so much more. Timmy saved many cats in his lifetime through consumer education, although the normal life he should have had was taken from him as a kitten from the use of Sergeant’s flea products.
Tiny Timmy had neurological damage from over-the-counter flea and tick products. In Timmy’s case it was Sergeant’s Flea and Tick Spray and Sergeant’s Gold Spot (a spot on treatment). He had good days and bad days. He suffered from tremors, seizures and GI issues caused by flea products that should have been safe and are still on the market today. On his Facebook: Tiny Timmy’s Healing Journey, Timmy describes his life
“I am a little wobbly when I walk, and some days fall over a lot. Sometimes I need help doin’ my ‘business’ and others I do it all by myself. It depends on how strong I feel at the time. My peeps rescued me from a very bad place. They weren’t looking for another more kitties, but couldn’t say no. Had they not rescued me, the bad people where I was at were going to dump me in the forest. It’s a very scary place there for a kitty who at the time could hardly hold my head up, suffering from toxic exposure to OTC flea and tick spray. My fur was caked with it and the vet didn’t give me 48 hours to live.”
This YouTube video shows Timmy when he was very young. Please check out the other video’s on his YouTube channel, especially Tiny Timmy Movie-Heal Me series (see sources below). Not only did Timmy entertain with YouTube, he was a feline educator on the danger of “supermarket” flea products. Timmy and his human servant Claudia refused to give up on their quest to make the public aware of the dangers of topical flea products. These are products the respective companies want the consumer to think are safe and improved when they’re not. They’re made by Sergeant’s, Hartz, Sentry, Farnam, Summit, Adams, Advantage, Zodiac and Bio Spot just to name a few and include sprays, spot-on treatments, shampoos, dips, flea bombs and flea collars.
Timmy travelled to Washington on several occasions to meet with the EPA and lawmakers, but these products are still out there. Thanks to Timmy’s fame, cat and dog owners have learned first-hand what these products can do to a healthy pet. When Timmy came into what would become his forever family in September 2009, his pet parents were told he had a muscle condition. Then they handed Claudia a bottle of the Sergeant’s Flea and Tick spray, bragging that it was only $2 at Wal-Mart.
On December 4th Timmy was diagnosed with a very rare and aggressive case of LGL lymphoma. His prognosis was 17 days to live, with or without treatment. Timmy thrived with ups and downs for 67 days, but in the end the disease attacked the left side of his neurological system, traveling from his foot all the way to his face. The results of this was a very fast decline. It seemed especially cruel that it affected his hard won mobility as relentlessly as it did. Timmy was always so proud of the places he could go despite being told it was impossible. It was his time.
On February 9th, 2016 Timmy died. The beautiful story of his last day can be found here. Leslie A. Palleria named a star in the constellation of Leo after him. You will be able to see him in the sky most clearly in July through September, the month he was rescued. This isn’t the end for Timmy. His ashes are being placed in 1/4 dram bottles and will be sent to all parts of the world along with “Timmy stones.” How to apply can be found on the Timmy’s Ashes Project. Claudia writes:
“Timmy never just belonged to me. He belonged to everyone. I was just his nearest Sherpa. We had an incredibly deep and symbiotic, often intuitive, connection but he still never belonged to any one person. It’s only fitting he should be laid to rest all over the world. You have shared his ups and downs these past six years and made his healing possible in more ways than you will ever know.You are the Ripples. You are The Wave.”
Those who participate in the Timmy’s Ashes Project are asked to write an essay of what Timmy meant to them and to chronicle how each person spread his ashes. A book will be compiled from the essays and will be available for download.
Thousands of cats and dogs have died or suffered neurological damage or burns from these products. Please research each and every product you consider buying to use on your pet, including those made with natural ingredients. As it turns out, some of them can be as dangerous as the chemical ones.
I loved Timmy and kept up with his story over the years. Because of him I never purchased those cheap flea products. He may have saved a few of my cats because he taught me to research every product and every ingredient. Readers, remember that just because a product is being sold doesn’t make it a good product. I learned that lesson through Timmy and sympathize with Claudia and Timmy’s extended family as they adjust to life without him.
Please comment on Facebook to spread the word. Please click “Also post on Facebook”. Thanks:
Did you find this article useful and interesting? Can it be improved? Please tell me in a comment. I am always keen to improve the site for animal welfare and reader enjoyment.
Links to videos
- Tribute to victims and survivors: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EVdUQGwVw64