I very nearly titled this post, “Cat knows not her time.”
On second thought, however, perhaps she does.
You will be pardoned if Posey, Adoption Room #3’s preternaturally youthful tabby, was not on your radar. She liked it that way.
Posey was one of those stealth favorites. She became dear to me slyly, the same way you might suddenly realize Matt Lauer is very important to you after his voice helps you greet the day each morning for a year. Somewhere along the line, without intention or fanfare, Posey made it onto my short list, slowly and strangely.
Slowly and strangely was Posey’s way of doing many things. The circumstances around her coming to Tabby’s Place were nothing short of strange. Posey’s human had taken his own life, and Posey’s extended family had no room at their Washington, D.C. inn for a preternaturally youthful tabby. Somehow, Posey’s uncle had a feeling that if he drove north to Tabby’s Place, we would take her.
Posey’s uncle had little in the way of narrative for us. His brother was gone. This was his cat. Her name…was Positivity.
I’ll let that slowly, strangely sink in.
We shortened this to Posey, because (a) it’s catlier and (b) there wasn’t much about which Posey was positive in her early days with us.
Posey was decisively negative when it came to Suite B. She hunkered down in a triangular cubby, peeking out like a grouchy disembodied head. Occasionally you could pet her. Frequently she would maim you. This was not even the fun sort of maiming engaged in by cats with Ultimate Fighting Championship aspirations (exhibit A: Jackie). Posey was simply afflicted with a superabundance of…negativity. She was so cute you couldn’t resist her; but she couldn’t stop herself from resisting happiness at every turn.
This sorry state of affairs didn’t last very long. When a space popped open in Adoption Room #3, everything changed, be it ever so slowly. And strangely.
Posey didn’t go from the swamps of sadness to glee club overnight. First there was pouting and posturing and peeing on the couch. But little things changed a lot. Some savant among us got the idea to put a litter box on the couch. (The Nobel committee would do well to consider this individual.) Posey was elated. With the urination station of her dreams secured, the awakening began apace.
Next came the discovery of sunshine. While Suite B had afforded access to the solarium, Posey would have had to exit that triangular fort to find it. In Adoption Room #3, sunshine found Posey, overtaking her tiny form until happiness was a foregone conclusion. Basking in bliss, she learned to roll over and over and over in its rays, warmed like never before.
Posey also benefited from talk radio. Because Adoption Room #3 is the abode of exclusively old (feline) women, some other savant got the idea that the girls might like the company of the radio. Because old women of all species enjoy their opinions, we tuned them in to the brassiest talk radio station in New Jersey. (This also happens to be the only station for which we get clear reception in Adoption Room #3. A mere coincidence, no doubt.)
The “new,” true Posey was so much more than pettable, offering her belly and rumbling with delight at the approach of love. Enjoying a second kittenhood, she’d leap from perch to perch, happy to humor amateur photographers taking shot after shot. Where other cats would timidly look away from the “big giant eye” that is the camera lens, Posey stared serenely on. I know I’ve got it. Shoot on, Annie Leibovitz. My audience is insatiable!
The transformation was complete. Posey had been kidnapped by joy, and she would never, ever leave its keeping.
Which brings me back to that business about not knowing her time. In keeping with my belief that cats have a certain immediate intuition of God, I think Posey may well have known she was heading back to her Creator.
The last time I saw Posey, I was bringing some lovely folks — lets be wildly creative and call them Lovely Man and Lovely Woman — on a tour of Tabby’s Place. Adoption Room #3 is always the grand finale of the tour, a reward for those who have made it thus far. Posey was in rare form, by which, of course, I mean that she was in perfectly ordinary, perfectly positive Posey form. She rolled. She stood up and stared them square in the eye, sussing out their souls. She delighted them. Lovely Man and Lovely Woman felt lovely to their marrow, and they laughed with happiness. “She,” said Lovely Woman, “is a joy.”
That is how I will remember Posey. Her passing was sock-you-in-the-gut swift, as renal failure took her body less than 48 hours after diagnosis. But her hard-won happiness was no flash in the pan. A joy as deep and wide as Posey’s is meant for more than this world. I believe she brought it with her. And I believe we’ll share it with her when we’re called home.
Posey, you left us too soon for our liking. But you left us better. Richer. And positively blessed.