In the immortal words of Kenny Rogers, you gotta know when to hold ‘em and know when to fold ‘em.
And, today, I don’t mind in the least your sayin’ that Tabby’s Place is out of Aces.
This long, lean tabby was the trump card up our sleeves for over a year. While it’s not too unusual for a cat to spend that long at Tabby’s Place, it’s not how we expected things to play out for Ace. By all accounts, our high-strung, high-energy, highly-awesome boy was the kind of cat who “should” get drawn in the very first round.
Sure, Ace was skittish when he first came to Tabby’s Place. With his oversensitive radar for danger and touchy scare-o-meter, Ace would never be the first cat to strut into a new situation. But make no mistake: while this angel dared not tread where fools rush in, he found his place in the world on his own good time.
And what a good time it was with our Ace of hearts. The wide-eyed tabby who always seemed to have a touch of something exotic - Siamese? Abyssinian? - was no maverick in dealing with human affections. As tentative as he was with new situations, Ace was gentle and loyal with people-hearts. Spend a few spells flinging around a wand toy with him, and Ace would be your trump card for life. The magic of play routinely nudged Ace’s courage to the top of the deck, and by the end of your visit he’d be rubbing against you and letting you love him.
As if you could resist! And, by “you,” I refer to human beans and feline types alike. Ace’s default setting with other cats was “love.” So how did a cat with Ace’s charms languish in a public shelter from kittenhood through adolescence? And, after Ace came to Tabby’s Place at age 1, how in heaven did adopters resist this high card for over a year?
Your guess is as good as mine. Perhaps Marshmallow knows.
Funny thing about winning hands, though; they don’t come together on anyone’s timetable…and they’re well worth waiting for. I’m a firm believer that this world - and every bean in it, furry or otherwise - is in the hands of One who is always right on time.
This past Friday, you probably heard a whoop of glee from wherever you are, be it Flemington, or West Virginia, or Bangladesh. That was the sound of 100+ cats and human beans crowing over a seemingly-overdue, yet right-on-time grand slam.
A forever home became Ace’s place at last.
These clear-eyed AwesomeAdopters know that they’ll need to go slow with their king of hearts. In fact, there’s a good chance that their new family member will spend his early days with them as an “Ace in the hole” (or the closet, or under the bed). Change is not Ace’s favorite draw.
But the AwesomeAdopters know not to fold this hand too early. For, by hanging onto their Ace through his early, nervous days, they will find themselves with the winningest hand of all: a love bug for the ages.