You know and I know that there is no such thing.
Except that there is, and it’s a glorious thing.
One of the hats I wear at Tabby’s Place is Update Updater. Each month, folks who sponsor our Special Needs cats get updates on said cats. Volunteers do the heavy lifting of writing most of the updates. They lavish their cats with affection on the regular, catching and releasing the tellable tales that unfold.
But, being Special Needs cats, sponsored cats also have medical news, on which the updaters need to be updated. Enter the Update Updater.
Circa the first of each month, I plant myself at my keyboard, towering stack o’ vet notes at my side, and put together a medical update for each of our sponsored cats (currently 33 and counting). Some of our residents, in their poverty of health, give me an embarrassment of riches when it comes to update material. The multi-diseased and much-beleaguered are all too easy to write about. I could go on for paragraphs about distended bladders and explosive diarrhea and intractable chin acne.*
But every month, without fail, I’m faced with the glowering challenge of…boring cats.
We’re talking the no-news, under-the-radar, healthy-as-kale kids. They make exactly one annual appearance in the vet notes, and it is as follows: “PE: WNL.” That is, “physical exam: within normal limits.”
Spine-tingling stuff, I tell ya.
These cats are the park bench next to the Tilt-a-Whirl. They’re the Cream of Wheat beside a bowl of ghost-pepper chili. They’re the Band of Bland, and they will not learn to play the drums.
Rumplestiltskin should have asked the princess to write for these cats instead of turning straw into gold. At least she started with straw. In this case, I’ve got…nothing.
It’s frustrating. But, more than that, it’s fabulous.
And today, in a young month that’s already old from too much news, I’d like to praise the Lord for the boring cats.
Here’s to Sammy. Her favorite 90’s jam is Hole Hearted, and her heart and body live in the hidey-hole of Adoption Room 1. Sammy is on the Special Needs roster because of a cardiac defect. Sammy is on zero medications and has zero medical news at any time, ever. Sammy’s PE is perpetually WNL. Sammy is a medically boring cat.
Here’s to Mona. Mona loves Dolly Parton, but don’t tell anyone, because Mona doesn’t tell anyone anything, at any time. Beneath quiet Mona’s coat of many colors is a soul as deep as the Mississippi and a medical status as stable as a stump. Mona is FIV+, but Mona’s health is A+. Mona is a medically boring cat.
Here’s to Mr. Grey Fluffy Pants. With a name like that, Mr. GFP should at least have some psychiatric news each month. But he does not. Other than name impairment and FIV, Mr. Grey Fluffy Pants is as hale as a Muscle Milk-swilling ox. Mr. GFP is a medically boring cat.
Here’s to Felix. Our rowdy old man’s conditions include kidney disease, inflammatory bowel disease, a history of bladder stones, old age and a raging addiction to sitting in the sink until he is wet to his marrow and smells like old cucumbers. (He needed to go to a specialist to get that last one properly diagnosed.) Our rowdy old man does not have any medical news or medical crises or medical matters at any time. Felix, inexplicably, is a medically boring cat.
We are under no illusions that our boring cats will bore forever. The “excitement” arrives, and news bursts through the boredom. As the great poet Jane Kenyon wrote, sometimes it all goes Otherwise. Even boring cats endure the eventual “interesting.”
And when they do, we’ll be here to tilt the whirls and cook the chili with them.
In the meantime, we bask in the blessings of boredom. Because, even for the (medically) boring, life is alight with stories and soul if we listen.
No; in the end, there are no boring creatures at all.
*Tolstoy, eat your heart out.