The world is weeping.
Our brothers and sisters are shuddering in subways, crawling across borders, bearing their children and their grandparents and their ragged animals on their backs.
Are we supposed to bask in jolly cat happenings at such a time as this?
Business as usual feels wrong, flint-hearted and blind. That’s especially the case when “business as usual” means merry adoption announcements, tantrums over ringworm, and mediocre jokes about vegan cheese.
Part of me wants to eject our regularly-scheduled Epilogues out the nearest window and all just lay in the solarium with the cats, weeping and wailing and flailing in the shallow grave of not knowing how to pray.
Part of me wants to apologize for paying attention to anything other than Ukraine, a world away but nearer than breath.
Part of me wants to collapse at the gate of my own heart, soaked in my own futility and gossamer guilt.
But the quiet part of me, with trembling song and empty hands, knows that’s not our calling in this awful moment.
I believe, in the quiet, that the candles we light right here — cat-centric, oft-absurd, microscopic on a global scale — somehow matter. Even now. Especially now.
I believe Love knows exactly what every terrified heart feels, from Kyiv to Kansas, and that we are more connected than we have the courage to dream of.
I believe that our works of mercy are somehow not meager or meaningless against the hemorrhaging of hope a continent away.
I believe that the love we lavish at Tabby’s Place — relentlessly, rebelliously, even recklessly — adds to the sum total of tenderness, against which every war is ultimately doomed.
I believe that tears are prayers.
I believe that our mundane, cross-off-the-must-do’s devotion to cats whose names no one outside Ringoes, NJ will ever remember is the way we add to the chorus of saints and angels and all the tender souls in heaven and earth.
I don’t know how this all works.
I don’t know how this all ends.
I do know that we need to keep going, in the very-real-Here where we’ve been placed, rather than the far-away-There where we have not, personally, been summoned.
And if there will ever be peace on earth, it will need gritty gardeners tending every square of land. Even here.
So we choose to give thanks for February, even as we give ourselves over to prayer, even as we refuse to give up or give ground to despair. Somehow, if we give the little we’ve got to the life we’ve been given, it will echo.
If months were planets, you would be poor Pluto, demoted to exoplanet status, yet beloved by oddballs everywhere.
When it came to Tabby’s Place triumphs, you punched above your weight, scrawny buck-toothed mouse of a month that you are.
For all its woe, February found favor at Tabby’s Place.
Ringworm was run out of the building like a smarmy vacuum salesman.
COVID numbers were ground down to a fine powder, meaning humans could once again share lunches, thereby increasing the total net volume of cheese in the room to pre-COVID levels. This is, of course, the primary metric observed by the CMBS (The Centers for Marjory, Baby, and Shifty).
Some large men in shining pants hurled a pointy-ended ball back and forth, interrupted by a gathering of artists who made Old Millennials feel young again, even if In Da Club came off a tad more like In Da Home For The Aged. Once again, the cats’ primary concern was the preponderance of cheese, and lo! it was vast, for “charcuterie trays” remain A Thing.
O! February, amid all the noise and nightmares, you done some good. You also done weird. So let’s get this thing done:
Arrived: Tootie, Eloise, Pimienta, Maverick, Condesa, Anthea, Catalina, Albus, Cola, Hagrid, Buffy, Alex, Orem, Willem, Ponce de Leon, Addie, Timber, Biscuits, Houston, Alfie, Rocky, Harold, Aspen Vail, Bear, Tahoe (the last three arriving inside Aspen)
Adopted: Joshua & Mousy (together YES TOGETHER YES I AM YELLING), Bookie, Malachite, Tater, Finola, Chewbacca (YES REALLY YES MORE YELLING LOUDER YELLING), Anthea
Returned: Drummer, Zelda
Banished to Ringworm Quarantine: Ponce de Leon, Mishush
Sprung from Ringworm Quarantine Like A Whiskered Slinky Bound For Glory: Olive, Rawlings
Promoted to the Community Room: Jeannie, Frankie
Promoted/Demoted/Slingshot into the Dubious Development Office: Cole, Obsidian
Promoted to Heaven: William, Timber, Raven, Alvin
Stuff We Learned: There is no “unadoptable.” We have said this like a mantra for eighteen years at Tabby’s Place. But sometimes, the knowledge you just knew you knew can be known more than you knew possible, you know? Post-Chewdoption, we know at the subatomic level.
So keep your hands to the plow, kittens. Tend your sacred ground, even when it’s small and weeded and feels worlds away from a world in pain. It isn’t.
Heal the whole from where you stand, trusting that your torch will overlap with numberless circles of light. What you do matters.
March will matter. Let’s make it merciful.
Pictured top to bottom: Frankie, Cole, Rawlings, Anthea, Olive, Jeannie, Hagrid, Alvin