Every so often, we get to welcome a group of cats who are so much greater than the sum of their parts.
The Islip eight. The sweet Southern sixteen. And, now, the Big Apple babies.
There are a lot of homeless cats in New York City. Scratch that – there are more than a lot. In fact, it would be a victory if we could get the number of homeless cats down to just “a lot.”
The boroughs’ Animal Care & Control (AC&C) centers do their best to do right by the torrent of cats. But, with limited resources and a seemingly endless stream of felines, there are only so many they can place in adoptive homes. The rest…well, we know what happens to the rest.
But not all the rest.
When the stars are aligned and AC&C moves to the top of our Tabby’s Place waiting list, a massive win-win situation ensues.
And that brings us to the latest group of greatness to hit Tabby’s Place.
Tell me, how in the universe does a cat like Videl become homeless in the first place? With a mouth that doesn’t stop, a swirl of Impressionist-style splotches, and a drive to rub and smoosh her face against everyone she meets, Videl is irresistible. How could even the most hardened ailurophobe not fold in the face of such a magnificent creature? I don’t know how Videl came to almost share her name with that of a hairstylist, but I know she’s not long for this world – the Tabby’s Place world, that is. And, to ensure her swift adoption, she’s redoubling her efforts to get every human bean’s attention. Stroll past Suite B, and Videl will entertain you by doing kitty Pilates in the solarium tube and squeaking at the same time.
Since Videl is the first out of the Big Apple bunch to clear Quarantine (and since she’s 57 varieties of awesome), you might expect that she’d be the first to be adopted.
But, apparently, that honor was reserved for royalty. A certain King has already snagged his forever home.
It was kismet when one of our longest-time volunteers came in with a short but unwavering list of “must-haves” for their new family member. The most important criterion? Extreme talkativeness. They’d just lost their beloved Tabby’s Place alum Dempsey, a talker in the third degree, and the house had become too quiet. J. needed another cat who wouldn’t run out of things to say.
Now, Videl is talkative. But King…well, he’s almost from another planet, he’s so un-shut-uppable. (Not that I’d ever want to shut him up; with a feline screamer of my own, I have a soft spot the size of Mongolia for vocal cats.) It only took a few moments with His Majesty before J. was laughing hysterically at his high energy and constant conversation. He will be filling her life with laughter, beginning in just 2-3 weeks.
Wait a second. I said King had a forever home already. What’s this 2-3 weeks business?
Alas, that brings us to the other common quality among our New York City cats…(dum-dum-DUM) ringworm.
Yes, poor King is currently being treated for the fungus among us. So is his timid, sweet traveling companion, Hydrox. Back in ringworm quarantine, King will keep talking even when Hydrox (and everyone within three counties) has finished the conversation. For his part, our cookie-colored boy is quieter but no less charming. In his own lower-volume way, the cat who was just barely saved from being our third “Oreo” will find his home. I’m sure of it.
I’m also quite sure I left my heart in Quarantine yesterday. It’s in the safe keeping of the remaining three city kids: Luke, Sam and Kim.
Sam surely enjoyed the ride from New York to Ringoes, making the time whirl by in conversation with Videl and King. Like those two love-bugs, snuggly Sam is a serious talker. It’s a feast for the eyes and ears to see this sable sweetie meow. This is no ordinary meow: Sam opens his mouth so widely and enthusiastically, he seems to have a flip-top head. I imagine this will come in handy if his adoptive family ever attempts to brush his teeth. And, have no doubt, an adoptive family will be forthcoming sooner than later for this charmer.
Then there’s Luke. There’s something comical about the boy with the biggest of all big round heads. This creamsicle-colored titan with the crumply ear came to us as…well, a macho macho man. Five years old and unneutered, Luke had a lot of tomcat testosterone coursing through his stout self…and a lot to say spray about it. Unneutered males have the natural inclination to claim their turf in a rather peetastic way, and Luke wasted no time declaring Quarantine his own. Until Luke’s neutering last week, the vapors emitting from the back hallway at Tabby’s Place were enough to knock a big man flat.
But, while many unneutered toms can be aggressive, Luke was a love-bunny from the start. It boggles the mind that this moosh of a cat could have been a stray for five years. I can’t say that those were “lean and hungry” years, because…well, nothing about Luke is lean. From now on, all Luke wants is to be loved and smooshed. I predict a very short stay at Tabby’s Place for our living-large lovie.
Finally, that brings us to the girl most likely to get ten thousand valentines even in April. Kim has razed all our defenses at Tabby’s Place. I think it’s safe to say that any and every one of us on the staff would love to adopt this black-and-white ball of love. Aside from being one of the cutest, sweetest felines In The History Of Time, Kim is a cat of uncommon courage.
Shortly after her arrival at Tabby’s Place, Kim worried us with a persistent limp and a habit of holding up her right paw. While she didn’t seem to be in pain, this isn’t normal, so we scheduled our snuggly girl for a leg X-ray. What we discovered boggles the mind: Kim has been living with a very old, very severe fracture for a very long time.
Denise, our vet tech, gave me the best description of Kim’s old injury: if any human bean sustained this kind of fracture, we would be “lying on the side of the road, moaning ‘oh no, oh no, oh no!'” But the cat of uncommon courage did no such thing. On the tough streets of the city, Kim just kept living. That inconquerable will to live led her to AC&C…and on to Tabby’s Place…and, I am certain, on to a home of her own, sooner than later.
In the meantime, we lucky human beans have a lot of loving to do with the Big Apple bunch. In fact, the staff has been instructed to spend time with this crew, since it can be lonely waiting to clear from Quarantine.
Tough job, but somebody’s got to do it. Pardon me, I’ve got some chatty cats to kiss. 🙂