In the mathematics of life, usually wonderful + wonderful = wonderfuller.
But then there are those defiant equations that refuse to cooperate.
Oreos: wonderful. Swedish Fish: wonderful.
Oreos with Swedish Fish filling: abomination.
Max: wonderful. Galadriel: wonderful.
Max and Galadriel in the same room: RELEASE THE KRAKEN.
If ever TLC should need a new reality show — say, perhaps, the educational tour de force that is Swamp People goes off the air — Tabby’s Place has just the material. Picture it with me: Tuesdays at 8, enter the world of Geriatric Smackdown: where the cats are old, the punches are cold, and you can only step into the octagon if you’re over eleven years of age.
Welcome to Adoption Room #1 in the Galadriel Era.
This fiesta of shame developed just when we were all pretty proud of Max. Our first-ever feline psychiatric case, Max had come a long way since the days of needing his own personal therapy cat. (A moment of silence for Mozart, please.) Living with Sammy, Paco and Sparkly, Max grew to accept cats. It was a revelation for a long, strong boy who was once applauded for simply letting them live.
Maybe Max had mellowed. Maybe he was bored with brawling. Maybe getting his first issue of AARP Magazine made him take stock of his life and his soul.
I jest, of course. Max had no such revelations.
And he only needed one gale-force Galadriel to un-mellow his mood.
Galadriel, as you know, is equal parts lovely and spectacular. Galadriel, as everyone who meets her quickly learns, is fully aware of her loveliness and spectacularity. And Galadriel, as other cats quickly learn, has limited patience with those who fail to
respect reverence her lovely, spectacular self.
One barely-reformed wrestlemaniac.
One elegantly elderly egomaniac.
One Geriatric Smackdown.
Lest I create an unruly image in your mind, rest assured; these ultimate fights were…well, penultimate at best. With a good foot of airspace between them, Max and Galadriel would squint and snarl and box at the air, as if slapping Swedish Fish-stuffed Oreos dangling on strings.
There was no blood, no screaming, and no apparent winner, except perhaps Paco, who methodically finished everyone’s wet food during the show.
Things were not terrible.
But things could have been wonderfuller…and now they are.
It wasn’t so much a gale as a glorious late-summer zephyr that brought Mr. O to Tabby’s Place. Eighty-eight years old and eighty-eight years grand, Mr. O was open to any cat we thought would be a good fit for him. It only needed to be right.
This was a man who had his Ph.D. in love done right.
He’d quietly, heroically cared for his late wife for over a decade. Just months after her passing, their cherished old cat breathed his last. Now, with only a canine companion left, Mr. O’s heart was running over…and he yearned for a kindred spirit to bask in his overflow.
So began the gala that has no signs of ending.
When Mr. O met Galadriel, his heart and his face got all grinny again.
When Galadriel met Mr. O, she completely forgot Max and madness and matters of turf.
When a love is this right, love will have its way.
Mr. O had to admit he had never heard the name Gala–Gand–what was that again? I had to admit that we are an incorrigible pack of nerds, and so had given this snuggly sweetheart a name from Lord of the Rings. (A stately, noble, entirely appropriate name, but nerdlicious no less.)
“Mr. O,” I assured him, all conspiratorial, “it is okay if you change her name.”
But Mr. O wanted no such assurances. “Oh, no,” he said. “That’s her name. As long as the dog likes it too, I’ll keep the name.”
We’ll forgive him for giving the dog a vote.
But is there any doubt in your mind that, having boxed Max, our gal is going to do just fine with a dog? Is there any crumb of a question that that Mr. O has oodles of oh-my-goodness joy in his future? Isn’t it all brimful of wonder?
And so, wonderful – (wonderful + new wonderful) = fullness of joy.
Max has his dominion back.
Galadriel has her own kingdom of joy.
And one man and his dog have opened the door to an ageless love.
Incidentally, this all came about on the eve of the International Day of Peace. Are there any coincidences, kittens? Blessed are the Mr. O’s, for they shall love their way to lasting peace.