All in a day’s daze

All in a day’s daze

Raisin does not like Rosalind.”

“One of the kittens pooped in the sink.”

“I have found my vocation; my vocation is love.”

Rosalind’s pinwheels now spin in a forever home.

Three out of three of these statements were uttered by saints. One may be canonized, but the other two are lionized in the cathedral of chaos called Tabby’s Place.

We do not generally think of chaos as sacred. Then again, we do not generally think of chaos at all, much the way trout do not think about rivers and kittens do not think about anarchy. Chaos is our natural habitat. Chaos is too obvious to be observed.

Chaos is the courtyard of love.

Hibou sees your spinning and calls it love.

It may look more like a badminton court, with batty birdies goosing the limits of gravity. Spend five minutes in our kitten room, and you will stagger out with pinwheels in your eyes and your hair blown back as though you have been in a wind tunnel.

More likely, you will not stagger out. You will submit to the G-force of these gerbils, purring pretzel nuggets in flight. They will love you and fart at you and shimmy up your body like Philadelphia sports fans up a light pole. They will light you up in places you thought were doomed to dark. They will poop in the sink and blame each other.

Chaos is the cost of love.

It may look more like a jackpot, an out-of-control slot machine chucking coins at your cargo pants. Meander into Suite E, and you will be cast as the protagonist of a passion play. It is a rumpled romance, starring you in the crosshairs of unhinged affection. Shaggy and Juel and Hibou** will co-conspire to convince you that you are made of stars. Shaggy and Juel and Hibou will co-conspire to coax you into procuring tubs of cottage cheese, strictly in the interest of science (large or small curd: which is better proof of the divine?). Shaggy and Juel and Hibou will co-conspire to drag you out of your most comfortable despair, the one that fits so much better than the chaos of uncareful joy.

Chaos is the clothing of love.

It may look more like stripes and spots, the harlequin caftan of an Atari or the burnished butterscotch of a Steven. But make no mistake: fur and skin and whiskers and magnificent old-cat ear hair are as unstable as a supermassive hypergiant. This is the most fragile form of star, the price it pays for being so luminous.

Senior cats are the most frail form of saint, the price they pay for such a high concentration of love in such a small body. To braid our lives with theirs is to court chaos. The ones we love are not immortal. The feelings that make life worth living are not safe, no matter how tightly we think we button them up to our chins.

Chaos is the only road to love.

Steven knows: it is good to be here together, this Friday and every day.

It may look more like the garden, the green destination. Your eyes do not deceive you. Tabby’s Place is a living parable. Any place we get to run laps with Prescott, lose staring contests with Grecca, and hand over our hearts to Fergie‘s pinto-bean toes is a suburb of the place we seek.

But we are still on the road. The laundry must be done. The feline kidney cannot make it past twenty or so. The kittens will poop in the sink, and Raisin will rain unholy havoc on Rosalind,* and we will find ourselves discussing feline flatulence and ear mites at lunch.

Raisin’ expectations every day

The saints in blue jeans will keep disappointing us, and we will keep hurting them, and it will take seventy-seven quarts of forgiveness to break bread and fold towels together tomorrow.

Chaos will not be cured tomorrow.

But the cats will come running down the ramps to greet us, grace upon grace. These wry, wise gifts in whiskers will give us back to ourselves and each other. The long-tailed will insist we keep short accounts, and keep coming back.We will mop up after the kittens and each other and the world that is still on the road.

It is so very, very good to be on the road with you, Tabby’s Place family.

*No longer, for they have been happily, separately adopted. But kittens yet to come will kit around with each other as long as time perseveres. Persevering: it’s a kitten thing.

**Also now adopted. I cannot keep up with these cats. I do not intend to even try.

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