Forever Loved: Habanero

Forever Loved: Habanero

Do you aspire to be spicy? Me, too.

Do we know what that word really means?

Habanero did.

Some might say that Habanero achieved full mastery of spiciness before we met her.

As one of the last cats galumphing the grounds of a women’s prison, the elder lady learned to survive. You do not reach AARP age outdoors without a certain measure of cayenne.

If we expected her to perk up our drowsy chowder, we were not disappointed. Habanero’s cabinet was crowded. There were sriracha shrieks and cinnamon snarls, paprika pouts and turmeric turbulence.

Tabby’s Place’s newest grandmother was not about to make anyone oatmeal cookies.

Some might say that this was precisely the evidence of spice. But Habanero had not even entered the kitchen.

When your recipe card is stained with fear, life is as tasteless as a turnip. True spice is reserved for the brave and savory.

Habanero was reserved, but not resigned.

Redemption would come in quarter-teaspoons.

We presented her with a personal kitchenette, a cozy cubby all her own. She broiled inside and fired ginger glares in all directions.

We talked to her. We promised to love her for all thyme. We sang Simon and Garfunkel songs.

Her gaze softened. She turned to Rihanna. “They won’t leave. They won’t stop loving me. They’re just a bunch of buttered noodles, aren’t they?”

Rihanna agreed. “Their hearts are soft as biscuits.”

Habanero began to ask questions. What might happen if she reduced the recipe by just a pinch of caution? How bad could it be to give us a dash of friendship?

Zagat review: it could be wonderful.

Now, Habanero had a dilemma. Would she keep ordering from the dessert tray of tenderness? She had a reputation to maintain. She examined her spice cabinet.

Everything was expired, except Courage.

The standard definition of “spicy” had a best-by date of Love.

Now, Habanero had no dilemma. She could not serve the old stuff to company in good conscience. She could not defy the one definition of “spicy” that stays forever fresh.

She ordered a belly rub. Make it a double. Season to taste. Taste the rainbow of ways the Tabby’s Place team loves you.

Achieve true spiciness.

Adding tablespoons, then tureens, of trust, Habanero ladled out a luscious life. Her solarium simmered with sweetness. She bubbled our way for treats.

She remembered that we loved her before she dared to lift the lid.

She will still remember the recipe when we’re all together again.

Habanero was gone, asleep beyond dreams, when our staff arrived Friday morning.

We do not know what happened, although a cardiac event seems likely. An X-ray showed only a full, satisfied belly. Our memories show a cat fully loved.

And fully spicy.

Some say that “spicy” means sharp and sarcastic, scratchy and short-tempered. But if you really wish to be spicy, take it from the peppery princess who knew best.

The winning recipe is an open heart.

Stay spicy, beloved girl. Keep the kitchen warm for us until we meet again.

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