It was a Thanksgiving miracle worthy of the heartiest “Aarrr!”
We knew that Mrs. AwesomeAdopter lived up to her name when she expressed serious interest in Midnight. As sweet as licorice, with a bell-like meow to match, Midnight would seem, at first glance, to be eminently adoptable. But behind that chattery, sweet nature lay the landmine that sends most adopters running: inflammatory bowel disease. Although Midnight’s condition was well-controlled with a special diet and medication, there’s something dastardly about the words “inflammatory” and “bowel” that shipwrecks many the potential adoption.
So, it appeared that Midnight might be a Tabby’s Place lifer. And, we were more than happy to love him for all his days. Although you couldn’t blame soft-as-satin Midnight if he let his sad past make him mean, he did no such thing. Even though he’d known the heartbreak of being adopted into a loving home, then tearfully returned years later, Midnight was as people-loving as ever in his second sojourn at Tabby’s Place.
No matter how many times I see it happen, I am still dazzled each time I witness a pair of cats, previously unknown to one another, decide to become Best Friends Forever. There’s no magic formula here, and nothing we do can make it happen – it’s just a blessed blending of personalities that makes for an unbreakable bond. From the start, so it was with Midnight and our gentlest buccaneer, Pirate.
But back to Mrs. AwesomeAdopter. Just as Midnight and Pirate had clicked almost instantly, so something clicked in Mrs. A’s heart as soon as she read Midnight’s story online. Mrs. A was no stranger to the gold to be unearthed in caring for Special Needs cats. Having recently lost her own 19-year-old diabetic feline, she was eager to open her heart to another cat needing TLC and bearing special gifts.
And, Mrs. A’s interest in Midnight couldn’t have come at a better time. Our sable boy had been quite mellow in all his time at Tabby’s Place, especially in the company of sweet Pirate. But, just as two purry personalities can combine to form a more perfect union, so two cats can hit each other like…well, not so much “oil and water” as “kerosene and an open flame.”
So it was with Midnight and tiny, eyeless Bellis. And so it was that we saw the darker side of Midnight.
Not that you could accuse Midnight of any sort of bias against visually-impaired felines. As much as he obviously – and, sometimes, violently – abhorred Bellis, he remained devoted to Pirate. Although Pirate has one eye more than Bellis, his vision in that eye is quite limited. Yet our timid swashbuckler has launched past this limitation to a remarkable degree. When he first came to Tabby’s Place, Pirate was anxious about anyone touching his head, as he could hardly see your hand coming at him. We learned quickly to begin petting him at the base of his tail, working our way up to his face (by which time he’d be purring and head-butting like the best of ’em). As Pirate learned to trust and relish affection, Midnight was always by his side.
But whatever it was about Bellis (and, quite honestly, I can’t imagine what “it” was), it was working Midnight’s last nerve. From the time Bellis joined Midnight’s suite, our happy, mellow fellow was a different cat. His usual chirrups were replaced with grouchy “aaaooowwwwww”s in Bellis’ direction. In a bad-enough Bellis-induced mood, Midnight would even smack his BFF Pirate if he got in Midnight’s way.
So I dare say it was fortuitous timing for Mrs. AwesomeAdopter to waltz into Tabby’s Place, heart set on the cat with the bumpy past, the inflamed bowels and the heart of gold.
Little did she know that she’d find a second chest of gold at Midnight’s side. “I can’t leave without Pirate, too,” she realized aloud, smile overtaking her face.
And so it was.
Now every day is “Talk Like A Pirate Day” in the AwesomeAdopter household. And every day of Midnight & Pirate’s lives is all the sweeter for knowing that their friendship can truly last forever.