Some things come in waves.
The ocean. Europop. Black-and-white cats.
Tabby’s Place rescues cats from shelters all around the country (make that world). So we aren’t getting them from a single family tree that doesn’t fork.
Tabby’s Place doesn’t believe in hair dye for cats. (Although if Sluggo keeps persisting about wanting a peacock-blue mohawk, we may relent.) So we aren’t responsible for this color trend.
Tabby’s Place doesn’t even listen to Pantone’s “color of the year” pronouncements. Besides, this year’s favored hue was something called Tangerine Tango, and that was Tabby’s Place’s color of the year way back in 2009. More on that in a moment, but for now: Pfffft, Pantone.
So why, pray tell and prithee thee, do we regularly receive an influx of cats of a certain color?
It’s as though we have an invisible sign glowing above Tabby’s Place, visible only to feline eyes: This summer at Tabby’s: No Tabbies Need Apply. Orange is Out. Can’t Do Calico. Black and White Cats Only.
Perish the absurd, offensive thought.
Still, someone somewhere has gotten the message that we’re especially in need of black, white, and black-and-white cats.
The siege started with the prison pack. The outbound inmates from our TNR adventure at the Edna Mahan Correctional Facility for Women were strikingly uniform. With a couple of notable exceptions (here’s lookin at you, Dillinger), they were all tuxedoed: Lizzie, Kylie, Emilia, Lloyd…
I guess that’s classier than a bright-orange jumpsuit.
But we’d only just begun. In sailed Sassafras and Squidward, Naomi and Layla, Eek and BooBoo.
Then, fresh from Georgia came cats who looked like they’d fallen off a sweet southern chess set. Tiny Connie packed in personality what she lacked in size, and she’s already flown the coop. Mama Midnight took good care of her grown (tabby) son Clyde, and since his adoption has come into her own in Suite B. Back in the bowels of quarantine are cats I’ve yet to meet, with names like Harry and Pisces, and coats in every shade of black and white. (Which would be…um, two. Two shades. Yeah.)
Now even the kittens are in on the action. Little Brian sticks out like a sore thumb-colored creature in the nursery, where JJ, Helix, Blossom and Thorn compose the black-and-white majority. What’s a pale-orange kitten to do? (I’ll tell you: he’s to romp and rampage and sit on people’s feet and purr and loll. Works for Brian. Whatever gets you through the night, buddy.)
It’s an anomaly.
We’re not quite ready to call in Mulder and Scully to investigate just yet, though. (Although our friends at the National Enquirer may have some theories.) We’ll ride the tide until it turns – and it will. We’ve seen these color crazes before.
In the summer of 2009, creamsicle cats were all we attracted. It got to the point where orange-and-white was our default assumption, and getting a tabby was like getting a Munchkin Sphynx with pierced ears named Oedipus. (Note to anyone who might own a cat matching this description: you are a sick, sad individual. And please bring him here. ;-))
Normally, when we get a new kitten, being an assembly of mature and sober-minded individuals, our first official intake activity is to take 400,000 cell phone photos and send them to any and all staff members not on the premises. But in the summer of 2009, even Jonathan got to the point of just sending text messages: ”New kitten today. Name = Gumbo.” I wrote back, “Orange and white?” “Yep.”
That was the time of the Tangerine Tango, the epoch of Gumbo and Cadence and Marmite and Biscuit and Cashew and Nellie and Jimmy.
Now we’re in black-and-whitesville. And next? Brown tabby? Dilute/pastel tortie? Hulk-green? (Oh my stars, Sluggo could have his soulmate: “Sluggo smash!”)
Who can tell? Not me. Not Pantone. But I’m past the point of being surprisable.
One thing’s clear: if our next color wave is Pantone’s 2010 color of the year, Turquoise, the National Enquirer will be back.
And Sluggo will get his mohawk after all.
PS: Yes, of course I am exaggerating the black and white influx. We have plenty of cats of all colors. Except turquoise. But just you wait.