It’s a little-known fact that Tabby’s Place is larger than it seems.
There are a lot of doors in this place, and they all lead somewhere.
I’ve been here three-and-a-half years now, and I still haven’t been able to find the magic door that slides open, Clue-style, into a secret passageway directly from the Conservatory into the Ballroom, where cats are being trained as ninjas who ride unicorns. That doesn’t mean there isn’t one.
Just this week, our beloved Grumpy Old Man, Chance, has made much of his favorite closed door. Technically, Chance lives in the Lobby. Or, to be more precise, Chance lives within 6″ of the door between the Lobby and the Community Room. He may be on the Lobby side, or he may be on the Community Room side, but he rarely strays far from his door. (Only exception: Chance does make some time for the door to the Promised Land Of Fancy Feast Sanctuary Operations Center.) If Chance is on the Lobby side of his door, and you dare to open it, he’ll saunter into the Community Room with a roar. I am not exaggerating: this is no meow, growl or yowl. They tell me Chance is a “domestic” feline, but his roar tells the truth.
But, this week, Chance has been far less interested in actually entering the Community Room. In fact, when we daft humans have opened the door for him, he’s looked up and roared at us, his eyes clearly sighing, How long must I suffer these fools? Obviously he doesn’t want to go inside. Obviously he wants to play…with the door.
Can’t you see the Hasbro ads now? Introducing, just in time for Christmas…closed doors! Hours of enjoyment for kids of all ages! Smack ‘em, whack ‘em, and scream at ‘em - it’s the one toy they’ll never tire of!
OK, it’s not exactly the door itself Chance is enjoying. It’s the little hints of Cat that come flashing from under the door, daring Chance to interact, to flash back…to play. And make no mistake: this is Grumpy Old Man-style play, but it’s play. From Chance.
I don’t know if it began by accident or if Bialy knew exactly what he was doing (my money’s on #2), but one day a teensy black paw started all these shenanigans. Anyone who doubts Chance’s vision only needs to witness one instance of his tracking that paw. With all apologies to Goose and company, Chance would excel as the true Top Gun. Now Bialy’s graduated to sticking both paws, a tail, or even a toy under the door for Chance. Today he taught his Uncle Tashi these new moves, and now Chance has a second playmate.
But only on one condition: the door between them must be closed.
Chance should only know what goodness lies behind other closed doors at Tabby’s Place. These days, I’m craning my neck to see eight - eight! - balls of glorious goodness back in Quarantine. The word on the street is that, tomorrow, the Wine Kittens and the Fall Kittens will be sprung, and the apartment will again turn into an insane asylum. I can’t wait.
So consider this your warning/sneak preview: next week, the door will be opened onto the world of Shiraz, Malbec, Chianti, Cabernet, Acorn, Autumn, Cider, and everyone’s favorite…Harvey Harvest. (He’s real. He’s red. And he’s unspeakably amazing.)
‘Til then…I’m still looking for that secret passageway. If you don’t hear from me for awhile, please send out a search party, led by cats.