Part of knowing someone — human, feline, or giant iridescent squid — is knowing what makes him angry.
In the case of a certain Tabby’s Place Founder & Executive Director, one guaranteed angry-maker is Three’s Company.
At the merest mention of that seventies spectacle, Jonathan turns Hulk-like.
He grows 40 times in size. He becomes a giant green ragemonster. He stomps automobiles. He roars, “I HATE THAT EXPLETIVE EXPLETIVE EXPLETIVE! WHOEVER CAME UP WITH THAT EXPLETIVE WAS AN EXPLETIVE! JONATHAN SMASH!”
So, in the interest in saving Ringoes, I shall not reference that shameful sitcom again in this post. Let the record show, however, that I was sorely tempted.
And what could prompt a turn to the most cringeworthy corners of Nick at Nite? Why, nothing less than a triple adoption.
Not a one-two punch.
Not a BOGO deal.
Not even the Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen of felinity.*
Because three is, in fact, a magic number.
Three is the number of Tabby’s Place cats currently en route to their forever home.
Three is holiness, happiness, and health for heart and soul.
The power trio in question takes three to new triumphs. Are you ready, kittens? We’re in the business of ambrosia.
Leading our troika is the only cat in Tabby’s Place history named for a bishop of Milan.**
Ambrose was one of those faux ferals, a free-roaming cat of questionable past and certain sweetness. How had this lush, long-haired boy ended up so sweet and so stranded? Where other cats in his colony acted full-on feral — hissing and swearing at us like sailors before and after we TNR’d them — Ambrose took his cues from a certain 4th-century saint.
When the original Ambrose and his congregation were besieged by soldiers, the bishop had this to say: “My only arms are my tears.” He led the congregation in hymns — the first record in history of communal singing in church. Song and prayer soared over the walls, and soon the attacking soldiers were singing, too.
A worthy heir to the name, our Ambrose was a peacemaker and a sweet songster from his first days with us. He was frightened, yes, especially as we poked and prodded and ferried him to Dr. Fantastic for fearsome ear issues.
But never, no never, did he war with us.
Even an ear-cancer diagnosis couldn’t crush Ambrose. Those persistent ear infections turned out to be a polyp, which turned out to be merely the front lines of a malignant tumor. We (by which I mean “Dr. C, but I get to say ‘we’ and feel important”) removed it, and it’s extremely unlikely to grow back or ever cause a hint of a problem. But it could…and that “could” would scare off most adopters.
But not these adopters.
Once again, an embattled Ambrose won by force of love.
Anyone willing to take a risk on Ambrose was obviously an AwesomeAdopter. But these great souls were about to take the word “awesome” and blow it up with the mother of all bicycle pumps.
No, they did not want one cat. No, they did not want two cats. No, they did not even want three ultra-adoptable, easy cats.
They wanted Ambrose…and Dina…and Bello.
Dina, you’ll recall, has played a long game of touch-me-not with our species. She was on the edge of adolescence when we scooped her up in an early TNR project, so we were optimistic that she’d trust us and snuggle into smooshy sweetness in no time.
We were, as humans often are, fools.
For 3+ years, Dina’s spent most of her time eyeballing us from the top of the Suite B ramp. Never without a suitor or three at her side, she’s the siren whose song no cat can resist. From Georgie to Cory to Rangpurr, they’ve all been besotted by our tortie.
So, of course, have we. She’s just seen fit not to requite our affections.
For once, the siren of Suite B heard music that made her own heart go wobbly. No sooner had the ExtraordinaryAdopters entered her realm than Dina softened, sweetened, gave and took love — and not by the teaspoon this time.
Dina and Ambrose would have made a fitting pair. We’d be far, far over the moon if this were where the story ends.
But three is a magic number.
Down the hall, all David Schwimmery and doofus-like was a big, bumbling, blissful black-and-white cat. We know him as Bello, but the ExtraordinaryAdopters immediately knew the old boy as theirs. And so, after losing everything and starting over at the ripe old age of 12, Bello found his improbable, irrepressible dream.
You could say that this concoction of cats is nothing short of ambrosial. In Greek mythology, ambrosia — literally translated “of the immortals” — was the food of the gods, sometimes delivered by doves, sometimes exhaled from the earth itself.
We have it on good authority that God is love, that love makes us alive, and that love outlives life itself. If love will win in the end — and it will, kittens, it will — then these adopters have found the only ambrosia worth its name.***
Adopting one cat — perhaps a “perfect” year-old calico — would be safe. Adopting a pair of kittens would be mild.
But that’s not the food for these adopters. They’re betting it all on three less-adoptable cats with more-complicated stories. It will take time to untie all the knots and settle into forever. That’s okay. “Love” and “forever” go well together.
Come and knock on that door.
*Who would, obviously, be Valencia and Gorgonzola.
**We did, of course, have the Bishop of Hippo.
***With all apologies to the weird gelatinous stuff found at every church potluck.
Magnificent Bello photo by Mark.