Most Tabby’s Place cats have us well-trained within a few weeks hours, and spin standard spiels out of our mouths.
There’s Jackie: “The pretty white cat will rub your legs until the cows come home, but I strongly recommend keeping all fingers and toes inside the vehicle at all times.” (I have learned not to take Girl Scout troops into Jackie’s suite without first issuing this warning. Repeatedly. Turns out parents don’t like it when their Girl Scouts get maimed.)
Then there’s Cory: “It wasn’t long ago that he wouldn’t even let us make eye contact with him…so it’s a reeeeeeeally big deal that he’s letting you stand just 4′ away right now. You must be special.”
Or Lola: “Say goodbye to your heart - she loves you already.”
Or Dobro: “Um…don’t take it personally.”
And Webster: “You are in the presence of glowing infinite greatness.”
I’ve become a bit infamous for introducing multiple every durned one of the cats as “one of my favorites.” As one visitor finally said in exasperation, “Angela, that phrase has become completely meaningless because you don’t seem to have any unfavorites.” Oops.
But then there’s Babs. No, no, she’s certainly not an unfavorite. But she is…well, tricky to introduce.
If I start to warn a visitor that Babs can be “feisty” (the nice code word for “liable to swallow you whole”), she will invariably act like the gentlest creature this side of Little Bo Peep.
If I don’t warn a visitor about Babs, she will invariably be “feisty.”
Just call her the cat of 1,000 faces. And, perhaps, 1,000 species: more than one well-meaning observer has compared Babs to an opossum.
In all fairness to the Babbling One, this opossumesque look is not her fault. Babs has environmental allergies, which contribute to her patchy-furred look. Her allergy injections have helped with this considerably, but she’s still got more balding spots than a convention of George Costanza impersonators. Most of us girls would be embarrassed about balding…but Babs is no ordinary girl.
In fact, Babs isn’t embarrassed about anything. To the contrary, Babs is quite confident that she is all that and fifteen bags of chips. (And that’s the good kind, with all the fat and calories and whistles and bells - none of this “lite” looniness.) Walk into Suite B and you will see her strut, carrying herself like the most fabulous thing ever to happen to Ringoes.
I want to be like that, don’t you? (OK - minus the bald spots. And the tendency to eat people and cats. And the angry growls-from-the-underworld. But otherwise the same.) Babs owns her own personal brand of awesome, and noooobody can take that away from her. We could all stand to be a bit more Babbsy in that regard.
She’s been waiting a long time - 4-5 years now - for someone to recognize her strange sparkle. But it’s not too late; it’s never too late. Things are always right on time when it comes to cats and providence.
While she waits, we’ll love Babs for all her oddities, and thank her for the high honor of getting to share her world. Babble on, quirky girl - you are what you are, and you are amazing.