“Through the eyes of love” is more than a song from Ice Castles. (Note: if you, too, have a special place in your heart for Ice Castles, I love you and we should be best friends.)
It’s not particularly unusual for Tabby’s Place to have visitors under the age of ten. It’s not even that unusual for Tabby’s Place to have multiple visitors under the age of ten in a single family/travel party/herd.
It is, however, a special occasion when Tabby’s Place is the unexpected host to Four Of The Coolest Kids In America…all in the space of a single week.
Now, those youngsters snagging gold medals at age 17 or 15 or 6 (have you seen some of those bitsy gymnasts?) are plenty impressive, sure. But they don’t hold a candle - not even an Olympic torch - to the little luminaries who were lost in love with our cats this past week.
First came a wave of Midwestern greatness. Felis Catus readers will remember the amazing Sam, long-distance admirer of Mittens and adorer of his own sweet cat Ringo. Proving that Awesome Kids have Awesome Parents, Sam succeeded in getting his folks to bring him approximately 500 miles from Michigan to Tabby’s Place (which, as you know, is in Ringoes, NJ…coincidence?). Yes, they technically had other (lesser) reasons for the journey east - but to see Sam’s eyes tell the story, this was the highlight to outshine all highlights.
Bearing a special donation and toys for Mittens, Sam floated on air through his family’s VIP tour with Jonathan. It was a day none of us, of either species, will soon forget.
Little did we know that stellar Sam was opening the floodgates to under-ten awesomeness. A few days later, Mrs. MegaMom arrived with not one, not two, not forty, but three amazing youngsters of her own, to donate goodies and love to our cats. Mrs. MegaMom was instantly familiar to me, so I asked, “we’ve met, haven’t we?”
She smiled. “Oh, yes. I was here last summer bringing the kind of insulin Widget doesn’t need anymore now that she’s on the insulin pump.”
It all came back to me. Widget’s not a cat. (Widget’s also not literally named Widget.) Widget is a lion-hearted little girl with Type I diabetes. And, today, MegaMom had returned with Widget and Widget’s brothers for a special tour.
The kids loved their visit, for sure - but I must confess that I think I was the most-blessed member of this tour. Once in awhile, we’re treated at Tabby’s Place to a glimpse of our cats through new, astonished eyes. Seeing Widget and her brothers gazing upon our cats for the first time was witnessing love in action. There’s something indescribable about seeing a human heart melt. With these soft-hearted young human beans, it didn’t take long. Just gazing upon Ike had the effect on Widget’s heart that boiling water has on a sink full of ice cubes.
Not that there was anything icy about these little hearts. From instant #1, they were undone by our cats. Widget’s oldest brother - let’s call him Sprocket - took it upon himself to make Profound Statements in each room we entered. “He’s a sweet cat. Look how content he is with his life,” he remarked upon learning of Ike’s Special Needs. “This one loves people,” he said of Natalie. “She’s a cheerful girl.” (She’s also skilled in the art of leaping from the floor to the nearest human shoulder, to the terror and delight of her landing post.)
But maybe the littlest sibling - let’s call him Smidgen - had the most Profound Statement of all, uttered once Natalie had ascended his shoulder and begun head-butting his face: “Mom, we should adopt Natalie!”
Profound and wise and worth heeding. Are you reading this, Mrs. MegaMom?
Adoption possibilities aside, this was surely a special week for our cats. I can only imagine what a wonder it is for felines who may have seen stinkalicious stuff at the hands of older humans to witness such gentleness and respect from wise-beyond-their-years little people.
Redemption is possible for all cats and human beans. But how much sweeter when wise love starts early. Tis better to see through those love-eyes from the beginning than to need cataract surgery of the soul.
Here’s to you, Sam and company. You inspire your elders. And you really should adopt Natalie.
PS: Apropos of nothing, it has come to my attention that a number of you thought I was serious about taking a trip to Spain last month. I was not. I did not go to Spain. I went to northeast Pennsylvania, which is exactly the same except for the ways in which it is different. I was, however, completely serious about being the Queen of Spain. Obviously.