I would most definitely eat antipasto twice just because she is so nice: Angelina. And, the way she swoons for her dry food, Angelina would certainly be content with a regular gig at the pizzeria.
But for now, our zaftig love-bug remains, inexplicably, in Suite A.
OK, in one sense, it’s anything but “inexplicable” that Angie should be in Suite A. This is, after all, the Weight Management Suite, and Angelina is…well, abundant. I’m sorry, I just can’t bring myself to call her fat. To know Angelina is to know a sweetheart who is quite confident in her beauty, and even at 17 pounds, she is every bit the stunner. Nevertheless, the Weight Management Suite is the healthiest place at Tabby’s Place for Angie to be.
But what boggles the mind is why Angie is still at Tabby’s Place at all.
Our exuberant girl first came to us way back in August 2008, with her brood of babies in tow all the way from a high-kill Brooklyn shelter. As soon as we unfolded the cardboard carrier containing Angie and her family, we knew something was not as it seemed. There was Angelina, blithely nursing her trio of kittens. There were her first two kittens, each about two inches long and three weeks old. And there was kitten #3…about six inches long and six weeks old.
Either we had a medical marvel on our hands, or the biggest kitten, Carter, had come from another litter and been “adopted” by Angelina. And so the sweetest silver tabby mama in history was named for a certain celebrity adopter.
A dismal bout of ringworm struck Angie and her babies almost immediately upon arrival, and so the whole quartet spent their early weeks at Tabby’s Place quarantined in Ringworm Isolation. The kittens grew, as kittens do, and, even through dips in stinky lime sulfur, Angelina remained as serene and sweet as ever. (I’ll never forget Kelly’s stunned description of Angelina: When dipped in that stinky stuff, Angie would sigh peacefully, sinking into the dip as though it were a lavender bubble bath at the end of a hard day.)
And so, post-ringworm, it was anything but a surprise when Angelina and her kittens were swiftly scooped up into loving homes. My only regret was that I hadn’t gotten to spend more time with Angie, to whom I’d been attached since the moment I met her.
Alas, I was to get my wish for more time – much more time – with this Mama of the Year.
A few months after her adoption, Angelina was returned. We were all heartbroken for our lovey girl, but Angie seemed as blithe and easy-breezy as ever, happy to be smooshed and loved by her new old friends at Tabby’s Place. Fully expecting that she’d be adopted quickly again, I made the most of her return, snuggling Angie in Suite B as often as possible.
But along the way, a funny thing happened – or, rather, didn’t happen.
Angie didn’t get adopted.
Always the bridesmaid, never the bride, Angelina has now been the “second choice” of too many adopters to remember. Each time she’s been in the running for a new forever home, my heart has soared with hope for her, mixed with selfish sorrow at losing her again. Each time, she’s been the “first runner-up.”
And, each time, she’s responded to the almost-adoption by living life with more gusto than before.
Maybe a little too much gusto. That’s where her 17-pound heft, and recent move into the Weight Management Suite, come in.
I honestly can’t imagine why Angelina is still here. You couldn’t dream of a sweeter, gentler soul, and there’s no denying she’s as beautiful as she is snuggly. (As for those few would-be adopters who have disparagingly commented on Angie’s weight, not to worry – I have defended our girl’s loveliness fiercely. Politely, but fiercely. :))
I have to believe, like other cats whose wait has been long, Angie has an Especially Awesome Home that’s meant to fill her future. Something sweet lies ahead for Angelina.
In the meantime, our girl is blessed with the ability to see and savor the sweetness in each day. Angie’s as happy as a big, silver lark out in the Weight Management Suite’s Solarium, and she has no sense that she’s ever been passed over for another kitty. That’s one of the things I love most about cats: they seem blissfully free of our sad little tendency to compare ourselves with others and to hammer ourselves over real or perceived faults.
Not that there are any faults in our Angelina. And, when the right forever home comes along, they will see her for the diamond she is. Maybe they’ll even share a taste of pizza. 🙂
PS: In a future post, we’ll catch up with Angelina’s two birth babies, Mahalia and Tori, who were also recently returned to Tabby’s Place.