Back when dinosaurs roamed the earth c. 2008, the Community Room was a female-only zone.
Jonathan was permitted visits, but otherwise all the cats - and humans - in this main office space were of the female persuasion.
Then, one ordinary day, everything changed.
It was Tony, creamsicle cat of infinite gentleness, who was first allowed to cross the threshhold between Lobby and Community Room. Believe it or not, in that backward era, we didn’t yet have an open-door policy for our Community Cats. (Fortunately, they were patient with we slow-witted humans as we came to see the light.) But Tony was so harmless, so loving and so uncontestably inoffensive that it seemed okay to let him saunter in.
You should have seen the look in Molly’s blue eyes when Tony made his debut: It’s a man (pronounced maaay-un). A big, strong man!!! Hillary began fanning herself, and Franny swooned into a cardboard box. Even the imperious Peachable one was heard murmuring, I do declare!
OK, maybe not.
But, even if the old (feline) ladies of the Community Room weren’t quite getting the cat version of Bieber fever, that morning marked a shift in the Tabby’s Place universe. Community Cats could now come and go…and boys could enter the Community Room.
It’s been two years now, and the boys are here to stay. In fact, aside from humans (still all female) and the occasional interlopers (Geoff, Mr. Grey and Chance), the regular Community Room population is an equal balance of male and female: Webster, Harley and Tashi on one side, Peachy, Allison and Franny on the other.
I don’t think this will be breaking news to anyone, but it bears mention: boys are different from girls. And boy cat spats are very different indeed.
Enter the Community Room silverbacks.
On any given afternoon, around 4:30 pm Eastern time, a strange scenario unfolds. Invariably, Harley is in a close-to-comatose sleep on Ginny’s desk, dead to the world. Suddenly, the world within shakes him to life, and he’s tearing around the Community Room at approximately 8,000 mph, making a sound that can only be described as…well, turkey-like. Along the lines of…Gobbagubbalubbalubbalubbagubbagubba!
I am not making this up. (And, yes, I did mention it to the vet. And she did laugh.)
As quickly as it begins, the gobba-lubbing and frenzied running is over, and Harley is back in a coma. But, with other boy cats around, you can’t expect to go gobba-lubbing on a daily basis and not get some comeuppance. Territory is a huge issue for many male cats, Webster and Tashi included, and there’s apparently something threatening about a wild-haired old man running around and going gobbalubbalubbalubbalubba.
About every third day, Harley’s daily frenzy goes from turkey-esque to downright gorilla-like in a matter of seconds. Alarmed by the sounds of insanity, Webster leaps off my desk to investigate, and within moments, the two mighty men of the Community Room are Kung Fu fighting. (Naturally, Webster is never, ever, ever, ever at fault here. And I am 100% objective about this fact.) Always eager to be where the action’s at, Tashi will scamper over to watch, chanting Fight! Fight! Fight! If Geoff happens to be in the room, he’ll participate - and by “participate,” I mean “stand at a safe distance and hiss.” Chance will add his roar. It’s often a little bit frightening. Fortunately, these cats are fast as lightning, and fight with expert timing.
From cat to turkey to silverback, all in a five-minute span. Never let it be said that Tabby’s Place doesn’t have the best cats - or at least the most otherworldly oddball cats - on this planet.
Or any other.
On that note, gobbalubbalubbalubbalubba to all of you, and a very happy weekend too.