Before you read this post, there are a few things you need to know. Consider it a Surgeon General’s warning, only minus the Surgeon General and plus a lot of cat hair.
You can’t eat Nutter Butters if you’re allergic to peanuts. You can’t drive a tractor if you’re three years old. You can’t get on the Tilt-a-Whirl if you aren’t tall enough. You can’t eat vegan cheese if you dislike vomiting. And you can’t safely read the following if you have an aversion to signs, wonders and/or miracles.
You’re about to slip into the Dot matrix. Consider yourself warned.
We should have known something unusual was up with the universe when this past Saturday - January 7th - was inexplicably summery. Last I checked, summery January days only happen south of the equator.
How fitting that the world was about to be spun on its axis.
When I got a call from Jonathan, my first reaction was alarm. When Jonathan’s number shows up on my cell on Saturdays, it’s generally Very Very Bad. Either (a) Webster sent someone to the ICU, (b) Cecille needs someone to bail her out of prison again or (c) one of our Tabby’s Place cats is ailing - or worse. And, indeed, Jonathan’s tone of voice was deadly serious - shell-shocked, even.
“Angela. Hi. I’m calling because something amazing is happening. It’s hard to believe, but it’s real. That family who was interested in a Special Needs cat is here, and they’re adopting Tashi and Gabriella together. I wanted to let you know, if you want to come say goodbye.”
If my Subaru had wings, it couldn’t have made it to Tabby’s Place any faster. My legs trembled as I flew into the lobby. Standing beside Tashi’s nighttime crate were Three Generations of Awesome. I blurted out something barely intelligible, along the lines of, “Are you them? Are they you? You good nice blessing people yes? You can haz TashiGabby?” And they were. They are. Oh, are they ever!
Tashi and Gabby’s new family had contacted us earlier in the week, expressing interest in adopting a Special Needs cat - maybe even two. We human beans have learned not to get too excited over these “maybes.” Some folks who apply to adopt online don’t ultimately visit. Everyone defines “Special Needs” differently.
But no one - noooooooo one - could have imagined that by “Special Needs,” this family meant: “not one, but two, incontinent cats who can’t walk.”
That’s the thing about this family: they didn’t see Tashi and Gabby through the lens of their disabilities. They looked at these cats and saw two luminous, large-as-the-moon souls. This family saw their lives enriched with more love than all the tabby stripes in the world could count.
They saw forever.
I will not pretend that saying goodbye to Tashi was easy…or pretty. The Amazing Grandma in Tashi’s new family remarked, “Oh, gosh, I feel badly leaving behind all these crying people!” It must have been weird to see so many of us weeping, hugging Tashi close and donning sackcloth and ashes (okay, not literally…my sackcloth was at the dry cleaner).
“No,” I bawled, “this is wonderful. We’re happy. We’re thrilled. This is the best day of their lives. It’s <sniff> wonderful. Just <snorklesniff> ama-a-a-a-zing <wahhhhhhhhhh-don’t-take-my-Tashi> We’re so haaaaaaaaaa-a-a-a-a-ppy…”
But we are. Oh, dear ones, we are.
Already volunteers are asking questions: How can we live without Tashi and Gabby? and How can any home be as good as theyhad it at Tabby’s Place? I have no answer for the first one. But, rest assured that we set a very high bar for our angels’ adopters. We would not let them go to any home we didn’t see as an improvement over their heavenly life at Tabby’s Place.
I’ll let The Ultimate AdopterMama speak for the family:
“Both Tashi and Gabby are continuing to do so well that I took some pictures of them this morning to share with all of you (see below left). It is really hard to get both of them to stay still long enough to snap a picture, since they keep following my children and I around just like little puppies. They are both just TOO PRECIOUS!!!!
“Tashi and Gabby are both doing great! They are both eating very, very well. Tashi is taking his medicine very nicely for me, and he is also doing all his exercises. I am expressing his bladder three times a day with no trouble at all.
“Gabby is also doing so well. She is not having any problems with her bladder or bowels, and she is really getting around quite a bit and is becoming quite the explorer! She just loves going all around the bedrooms and checking everything out along the way.
“We have been very careful about all the furniture so they cannot get hurt. Both Tashi and Gabby have the full run of our top floor, and there is a door at the top of the stairs that stays closed so they cannot get near the stairs. We have a nice routine that we are following with them, and everything is going very smoothly.
“I promise to continue to share pictures and keep all of you updated on the progress of these precious little angels.”
Love is the order of the day Casa TashiGabs. And, for the first time, Tashi has kids of his own. If we thought he loved kittens, we hadn’t seen anything. Tashi, it turns out, is SuperNanny, Mary Poppins and Uncle Buck all rolled into one irresistible tabby package. He is in his glory. He is in love.
He is in his forever home.
I remember, two nights before Tashi came to Tabby’s Place as a four-month-old kitten, a conversation I had with Jonathan. One or the other of us said, “this kitten is going to change our lives forever.” And so he has. Forever.
But that’s all just the Part I, opening the door to something very, very epic.
Gabby and Tash, it seems, were seeking to follow in Bagheera’s footsteps more than anyone could have dreamed. Far from simply seeking a forever home, they were on a mission from God, a la the Blues Brothers.
Thoroughly confused now? Patience, my loves; wait ’til tomorrow. Meantime, I leave you with a clue from the heart of the Dot matrix…