When in the course of feline events, it becomes necessary for one cat suite to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of felinity requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.
Or something like that.
The cats of Tabby’s Place hold these truths to be self-evident, that…
- All cats are created superior;
- They are endowed by their Creator with certain inalieable rights;
- Among these are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Complete World Domination.
Butt there’s a little feline secret you won’t find in any official documents of the feline revolution.
They need us. They need each other. We need us all.
Don’t quote me publicly on this one, unless you wish me grievous bodily harm, but it’s a truth: famously independent felines are more connected than they’d care to admit.
Consider the epitome of the loner-lioness, little white Cecille. While most of Suite A huddles in a happy heap of Cats Who Love Cats And The Cats Who Love Them, Cecille walks alone. The solarium is her domain, and she’s happiest when she can stretch her tiny, tubular form in the sunshine with no distractions but the finches beyond the wall and her own deep thoughts. Cecille does not want to go to the prom. Cecille has no interest in football games or parties, poetry slams or barbeques.
But fools rush in on loner lionesses, and so I dumbled my way into Cecille’s solarium yesterday.
The loner’s response? She sat up. Her eyes widened with happiness, as though she were suddenly a 12-year-old girl and I were suddenly The Biebs. And then Cecille allowed me to pet her.
We had a lovely afternoon together. (By “afternoon” I mean “approximately 45 golden seconds.”) She then determined that her afternoon would be lovelier if I was deceased.
Yes, Cecille is a loner. And yet - and yet - no loner is only a loner. The years roll on and they just keep flying at us, and somewhere along the way we realize we need us all. Maybe only in 45-second bursts. Maybe only on our own lonerly terms. But we are connected like a body, and the Cecillian toe can never declare total independence from, say, the Jonathan pancreas (which would be an excellent name for a band, but I digress).
Or consider that most independent entity of all, danger-boy Dobro. When this orange ball of attitude first came to us, he wanted little less than a tiny ball of nothing to do with anyone - human, feline or three-toed sloth. (And that hurts the sloths’ feelings.)
Yet along the way, Dobro’s become the big daddy of Suite A, protecting and welcoming and nurturing newcomers. Our “shy suite” has come to orbit around this onetime loner.
Once the ultimate bachelor cat, Dobro’s long since given his final rose to Gorgonzola. In his young and wild days, I’m sure the ferals never thought old Dobro would settle down. But, had he not found his tiny tabby wife, Dobro’s life might have turned out differently. Without ‘Zola’s love to keep him young, Dobro might be like the retired football player now reduced to making infomercials about how his prostate’s givin’ him fits.
Love and interdependence keep us young and alive.
If you need a little more proof, consider the entire kingdom of kittens. Born utterly dependent, in that closed-eyes, folded-ears, squirmy-hamsterling way, baby cats quickly mature to the Age Of Exploration. Around 4-5 weeks of age, the little beans want nothing more than complete independence from all that might hold them back (siblings, mom, humans, evil government overlords, The Man…). Ain’t nothin gonna breaka their stride.
And yet, for all their undaunted independence, these fearless explorers are gleefully eager to embrace new faces. Put 5 new refugee kittens into a room of feline siblings, and it will be approximately 1.3 seconds before they’re all kin. To be a kitten and meet another kitten is to have an instasibling, an automatic best friend and partner in crime. Although I’ll save the details for sponsors of the Kitten Fund, you need only look as far as our current nursery to see evidence of this. When circumstances swept Billie Rae, Jim Bob, Ellie Mae, Sallie Mae and Clara Mae into the domain of Lentil, Garbanzo, Cora, Wilbur and Harold, they were BFFs before you could say “gee shucks.” (They’re still trying to find a “Best Friends” necklace with ten pieces, but even Etsy doesn’t yet offer that.) Different colors? Cool! Different personalities? We are the world! At one extreme we have serious Harold, the kind of serious-beyond-his-years little boy who would stay up late pondering refutations of Nietzche and making frequent use of words like “galvanize” and “ubiquitous”…even in text messages. The other extreme would be Lentil, whose highest goal in life is fitting Garbanzo’s entire head into his mouth.
They are interdependent in joy.
And, whether it’s Independence Day or not, we’re wisest when we join in the jollity.
We need us all. Or, to shift from Benjamin Franklin to Bono, we get to carry each other.
Light a sparkler for Cecille, Dobro and the kittens tonight.