Fear not: our adopters have not taken to collective spontaneous combustion.
What they have done is cause our hearts to grow at least 470 times in size.
The last few weeks, my inbox has been more explosive than the volcano section of a 5th-grade science fair.
That’s merciful timing. In the same few weeks, we’ve been gobsmacked by too many losses. Yes, one is too many. But this summer, the losses have been unrelenting. We now know exactly what Bono meant by the line “Did I ask too much? More than a lot?” This has been “more than a lot.” And it has most assuredly been “too much.”
So it’s a balm to our hearts to hear of the ways life chases out death, and cats thrive and delight their humans months and years after leaving our doors. Tie on your bibs, kittens — you’re in for a smorgasbord of alumni updates:
Yelena and Honeysuckle:
“Honey is accepting the fact that Laina is around and not going anywhere. She is much more tolerant of her, and, while they are not best friends, she is friendly towards her. And we have caught them hanging out together. I even caught them on the couch together! Gasp! I almost died in tears when it happened.
“Earlier this year, when I had a nasty stomach flu, I had been asleep in bed with Honey at my head. When I awoke, Laina was at my feet and Honey still at my head!
“Honey is still ‘Top Cat’ in the house, though, and Laina has learned to give her her space. After initially being a little grouchy about Laina’s arrival, Honey has started being herself again and playing again, even with Laina’s around.
“Laina is the biggest goofball-adorable-sweetest-cat ever! She is always playing. We keep a herd of mouse cat toys around at all times. She’s always rubbing at my legs for attention when she’s not sleeping in her basket or in the cat tree (which we have taken to calling the Castle). She loves to hang out with us. Even when Honey is on the couch with me, Laina will find a place under the coffee table or on the rug to be nearby. She is not nearly as skittish as she was and she is getting more trusting of guests more quickly. She used to be scared of the TV, and now she sits and watches it with us. We love our ‘Bug’ so much. Especially my husband, who is/was a self professed ‘Dog Person.’ Whenever Laina does something cute (which is about every second), he says, ‘Look at this cat! She’s adorable! (turns towards me) You turned me into a CAT PERSON!’ LOL! Only Laina could have done that!’
“As you can see, Sinatra is telling me he wants to eat…problem is, it isn’t dinner time yet. Oh, and there is always dry food around for them…but the spoiled brat (can I call him that if I did the spoiling?) wants the wet food. They are well, as are the rest of my brood.”
“We are celebrating McKinley‘s 5th birthday today. She has presents, treats, and will have a tuna dinner this evening! We love her sooooo much!”
“I thought you might like to see some pictures of Aphaia, who celebrated her ninth birthday yesterday. My husband’s aunt spent the week with us recently, and on day four ‘Phia finally decided it was safe to allow herself to be petted.
“She loves to be brushed and rubbed under her chin and behind her ears, and she loves to be with us, but not on us. She is not a lap cat, but she lies on the rug next to the sofa or by my husband’s chair when we are in the living room. She has a few favorite toys that she plays with at night, and one or two usually end up in our bedroom in the morning. She is quite a talker, especially when carrying her toys or commenting on her food!
“PS: Yes, you can use Phia’s pictures and my comments on your blog. Phia thinks it is a wonderful idea as long as it doesn’t interfere with her nap time, meal time or play time (mostly in the the dead of night when she has great conversations with her fleece ‘snakes’ and feather birdies).
“At 5am on Monday, she was golfing, sending her pink golf ball down the stairs, one step at a time. She doesn’t follow it downstairs, but comes into the bedroom, plops down on the carpet with a contented sigh, and watches to see if I am awake. I am! So is Daddy!”
“Here is a photo of Rumor (on the left) and Caitlin after an exhausting day of watching the birds and having a snack or two. I think they fell asleep while Rumor was washing Caitlin’s face.
“Often I will see Rumor washing Caitlin’s face and Caitlin really seems to enjoy the attention. Right now they are spending time quietly digesting dinner. What a life! Rumor and Caitlin will be pleased if you shared their photo with everyone at Tabby’s Place.”
“Julius is clearly the love of my life. There is not a single day when I don’t hug him and think about how fortunate I am to have him in my life.”
“We adopted Bongo and Nero from Tabby’s Place (or Tabby’s Palace, as my Vet calls it) earlier this year. We had been to Tabby’s Place to see the cats after losing three cats to cancer during the previous 18 months. It was time to bring home a new cat.
“I was drawn to Nero, who was pitifully meowing. It was obvious he was afraid. We decided to adopt him. We also saw a white cat with two different colored eyes – one blue and one yellow. He was terrified, hiding under his blanket. I was sure he would be adopted quickly because of his eyes. So, we did not arrange to take him. But, by the time we got home, we had changed our minds and called Tabby’s Place to adopt Bongo, too.
“We started Bongo and Nero in our basement, and at first they were both a bit uneasy. Eventually Nero ventured up the steps to explore. However, by now Bongo had hidden himself so well that we couldn’t find him. We were frantic and tore the whole basement apart looking for him. Finally, after about four hours, we found him.
“Our plans to get him used to the house had to change, as we were not going through that again. So, we brought him upstairs and closed him in the laundry room for a few days until he got used to us and a new environment. We let him out when we could watch him, and we did NOT let him go in the basement. After a few days, we let him loose in the whole house and he was fine. He did not go to hide, and he went up and down the basement stairs to use the litter as if he had been doing it his whole life.
“Bongo and his new brother have been best friends right from the beginning. They wrestle and play together. They will go tearing through the house — first with Bongo leading the way, and then return with Bongo in pursuit. They groom each other and eat politely from their own dishes side by side. At times they even curl up in the same chair together to sleep. It is as if they are litter mates, the way they get along.
“Bongo loves to play with his toys and will bring them to the bedroom at night and leave them as gifts, crying as he does this. The record is five deliveries in one night. One toy is a stuffed lion that is quite large. The other is a tiger-striped tube. I have no idea how he manages to drag the thing, as it is also quite large. His favorite toy is a rather large stuffed rat. Both cats have the catnip gene and go wild when it is offered to them.
“If I am outside and come in through the basement door, I hear footsteps coming down the stairs to greet me. Bongo supervises everything, and if you move anything or open a drawer, he has to see what is behind it or what is in it.
“All our past cats were wonderful and are sorely missed. Two stand out as being super intelligent. Bongo is now the third, as he also is super intelligent. He notices everything and has begun to ‘talk’ in response to my talking to him. He is an exceptional cat.
“Every day, I ask Bongo if he likes it here and tell him that his ‘Mother’ had a hard time giving him up, and that I am sure she misses him very much. For a cat awaiting a home, there is no better place in the world than Tabby’s Place. The founder, Jonathan Rosenberg, is an amazing person who has created the most wonderful facility for homeless cats. The staff at Tabby’s Place is also amazing, and they do everything possible to care for the cats and make sure they are placed in good homes. If the cats are not adopted they can live at Tabby’s Place forever. Plus, if for some reason an adopted cat must be returned, Tabby’s Place welcomes it back without a problem.
“We love Bongo, and he has a home with us forever. Please know that we will give him the best care possible and are very happy that he came into our lives.”
“Darty is doing great as always. He loves his laser pointer, and he’s great at climbing.
“We have a couch that he climbs up (sometimes), despite having stairs for him to use. It’s a rougher material. so maybe it remind him of the scratching post? The couch is his favorite spot to sleep.”D’Art is guilty of following us to the washroom and trying to hang out in there with us. Silly boy. Although we’ve dubbed him the ‘bathroom botherer,’ he is still as sweet as ever, and rolls over like dog any time you come over to pet him.”
What’s that, you say? You want more, you say?
Yea, I say:
Finally, I present you with one cat whose last name remained “Rosenberg” even after leaving our hallowed halls. Lance, that long-haired man-diva, joined Jonathan’s home several years ago. As you can see below, he’s never looked back. (He’s also never worried about modesty. If you’ve got it, flaunt the living hell out of it.)
Chins up, kittens. Goodness is all around.* Life wins.
*And if you needed extra proof, remember that Sharknado 2 is on television tonight, and a new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie is coming out soon. All you do is win.