Just picture it: a sweet-natured schizophrenic, two good-time guys who love to snuggle strangers and pee on the floor, and the prettiest, hissiest girl in town all live together. Hijinks ensue.
As in any sitcom, a simple script for Max, Angelo, Trey and Cypress would mean drawing simple characters and flattening the complexities - and these four loves are nothing if not complex. No, they deserve better than any sitcom can sketch.
Take Max, who you’ve already met. It’s not quite fair to call our long-and-lanky boy with the teardrop-shaped eyes schizophrenic. There’s no DSM-IV for cats, and no vet could confidently slap him with that diagnosis. Then again, when Max first joined our clowder, we couldn’t help but draw psychiatric conclusions. When agitated, this most handsome of cats would growl and eye his own tail menacingly, darting glances over his shoulder at invisible foes that were all too visible to him. Most of the time, Max was a moosh…but it was hard to ignore those times when he was suddenly anguished, doing battle with forces we couldn’t see.
But if Max is living with a mental illness (and I believe he is, bravely), he could be the smiling poster child for learning to live with it. It’s no small feat that he’s become a full-time resident of Adoption Room #2. It wasn’t long ago that Max lived in his own padded cell “private suite” - aka the on-site apartment - for his own protection, as well as that of other cats. When the attacks from another world had tapered off, we felt Max might be ready to meet some other felines. And so, with fear and trembling, we moved him into the real world of sounds and sights and cats.
“Mad” Max will likely always be the kookiest character in Adoption Room #2, but he has shown himself capable - gloriously capable - of keeping his cool even around neighbors who love him all too much.
That brings us to Angelo and Trey. Oh, how these fellas would love to love Max. Spend a bit of time (oh, 2.5 seconds) with Trey and Angelo, and you’ll discover that their shared goal is to enfold the entire world in their affection. Are you human? Feline? A three-toed sloth? Perhaps a giant mole rat? Angelo and Trey love you already.
While Trey’s bibbed-tabby style makes him look like Max’s distant cousin, Angelo stands out immediately for his floofy snow-white coat. They’re batty about each other, and would love to pile in a heap with Max, too. Trey, in particular, seemed optimistic about the prospects of being Max’s friend. Surely, given how mad Max is about humans, he would welcome Trey’s BFF overtures?
Fortunately, Trey is keen on social cues, and it only took a few swats and low-grade “angry noises” from Max before he gave up on bonding with the big guy. Angelo - and every human within an 800-mile radius - will have to be friends enough for Trey.
The good-time guys’ circle of friends has also been limited by that ookiest of habits, “inappropriate elimination.” Trey has a little bit of an excuse, in the form of feline lower urinary tract disease…but his condition is well controlled with a special diet, so it’s a pretty lame excuse in the end. Angelo’s only excuse is that he looks up to Trey. We’re working with the boys on this weirdness, and I’m hopeful that someday we won’t have anything to write on Adoption Room #2’s “Did anyone go outside the box?” log. (Yes, we keep a log of such things. You can imagine the appetizing lunchtime conversations at Tabby’s Place.) With that oddity out of the way, these sunshine boys will be out of here and into forever homes faster than a giant mole rat on a luge.
Finally, that brings us to the single lady cat in this kooky suite, the one and only Cypress. Between a glamorously fluffy grey coat and a quirky tail permanently kinked into a question mark, Cypress is quite simply one of the cutest cats I have ever seen. Mama to our long-since-adopted Pogo and Roo, Cypress was an angry hiss-ball when she first came to us six months ago.
But she’s made progress. Really. It’s just been at the pace of…well, a three-toed sloth.
I hear that certain volunteers can get Cypress to lick yummy things from their fingers (without also eating said fingers). I also hear that, after six months of bringing Cypress wet food every single day, certain staff members still get hissed-out every single day. For my part, I love this icy-beautiful girl, even if she does slink back into her hidey hole every time I enter the room, shooting me withering looks of disdain. (It reminds me a bit of how the popular girls would eye me and my fellow freaks and geeks circa 8th grade. “Could you be more lame?”)
I predict it’s going to be a one-in-a-million match for Cypress. She needs a human bean who she’ll click with right away, based on her own criteria. We can’t predict who that will be or when he or she will arrive…but, I do believe, that superadopter will arrive.
In the meantime, Cypress surveys the silliness of Adoption Room #2 from her lofty hidey-hole. And we human beans get to love this quartet of characters just the way they are.