How do you catch a comet with a fairy-tale white tail?
How do you shoehorn poetry into prose?
How do you do justice to a giant of glamour and grace?
You don’t. You simply behold, breathtaken and besotted. And in the case of Faye, you hold your beloved even when she’s slipped your arms.
There is no way I can do justice to the phenomenon that was Faye Rosenberg. A vast white cumulus cloud with eyes like Venus, Faye was one of the great ones.
They are all, of course, the great ones.
But even in the pantheon of Tabby’s Place titans, Faye stood apart — or, more accurately, shimmered.
If you should bring a visitor into the Suite B solarium, you’d invariably, satisfyingly hear it: the Faye Gasp. “Oh, my,” smitten stranger would sigh, staggering into the wall as though struck by lightning. “Who is that?”
“Faye,” you’d say, but you may as well have answered “Millard Fillmore” or “your Uncle Hezekiah” or “the axis on which the entire world twirls,” because by then your guest would be gone, gobsmacked, gorging their eyes on her beauty, and their fingers in her fanciful fur, and their spirit in her sweetness, seasoned with sass and salt. It didn’t matter if your visitor was a second-grader or the Secretary of State: the reaction was universal.
Faye’s powers were astronomical…and ageless.
Faye’s beauty made mincemeat of hearts from the day she arrived in 2015 through her final days. The ragged shagginess of extreme old age could no more dim her glamour than cancer could quell her confidence, which reached new heights on a daily basis. When you are Faye, you know you are Queen; you know you are Wisdom; you know you are Lovableness Itself.
But Faye’s allure ultimately had little to do with her (physical) loveliness.
The cat with the chaos of cottony hair was also the cat with the compassion of a thousand grandmothers. Faye’s surface charisma might catch your eye, but her bottomless kindness would keep your heart, and bring you peace, and make you feel safe as you buried your face or your problems in that fanciful fur. She was equal parts empress and empath, luck dragon and lovemonster, bombshell and best friend.
When it came to other cats, Faye suffered no fools (as such noodleheads as Elliot can attest). But when it came to humans, Faye knew only friends. She adored her correspondent, Beth. (We all adore Beth.) She adored her sponsors. It was Faye’s way to adore, and to make you feel adorable.
Basking in the rays of Faye, we all believed, for at least a moment, that the world was friendly, and the clouds were smiling, and we just might be Lovableness Itself, too.
Lovableness, of course, can never die. So you can’t blame us — noodleheads that we are — for believing that Faye would simply live forever. Faye did nothing to dispel this dream.
Cancer came; Faye flicked her tail. Eye and ear issues irritated; Faye was too busy to be too agitated. (By this, I mean that Faye was too busy saving her agitation for proper causes of indignation, primarily the noodleheads’ horrid annual insistence upon grooming her cloud-chaos down to a “lion cut.”) Cancer growled around the perimeter; Faye simply sent forth her knights.
Until last night.
Faye’s final illness came quickly, colonic cancer with abdominal fluid. We fought to keep her comfortable as long as we could, our valiant vet team and selfless staff turning themselves into pure poetry to sweeten Faye’s final days.
But soon, she spurned food as though it were a fiend; she shuddered from the snuggles that had been her specialty; she wore weariness like a cloak.
Love shows its face most fiercely at the extremes, and love demanded nothing less than the choice we wanted least of all. Surrounded by squires and sweethearts, Faye gently left this earth, the white comet slipping our arms.
But not our embrace.
And today, the celestial cat passes her torch to us. So many of us, together.
Faye was loved by good people on no fewer than five continents. Far beyond Tabby’s Place’s blue door, sponsors and swooners and smitten souls were strengthened by her light. The beautiful cat brought hope effortlessly. She brought us together. She brought us far above the clouds.
We can bring her with us, forever. And we can bring her beauty to every living creature who needs to remember their own lovableness. From beyond the veil, our queen still reigns, and she’s counting on us to send Faye-rays into every realm.
I don’t want to let her down.
Queen Faye, treasure of Tabby’s Place, purring poem, comet of uncommon kindness, I will miss you as long as I live. My words can’t do even a gram of justice to you. But our lives will carry your white flame forward. We are forever changed. You are forever loved.
Until we meet again…blaze bright, most beautiful one.