Geriatric throw-down

Geriatric throw-down

That title isn’t exactly accurate.

Geriatric throw-downs, plural, endless in plurality, would be more like it.

“I run for freedom. I run for justice. I run all cats out of this time and space continuum.”

It’s been a spicy summer at Tabby’s Place, in ways that have nothing to do with the galumphing hordes of kittens or the Loaded Taco Burrito. If it’s violence you’re after, it’s all about the elderly.

We can’t say we weren’t warned. The canary in the mine was one Juliana Rosenberg. Somewhere circa May, the deft, dainty old cat began what Jonathan dubbed the “Misery Marathon.” The very model of “spry,” 15-year-old Juliana would speed-strut, mall-walker style, around the Community Room. First it was an occasional sprint, occasioned by another cat’s dirty look or dirty existence.

But soon, this became a morning-by-morning event. Just as the daily staff-and-volunteer meeting hit its stride, Jules would start hers, picking up speed around the corners of the table and grunting like a starved Cookie Monster at the sight of other cats.

Note: there are approximately 15-20 cats in the Community Room at all times.

Along with speed, Juliana’s jibes and growls and caterwauls would walk up the scale as she ran, eyes fixed straight ahead, round and round and round again. There was never any physical violence, but the sounds from the old cat’s mouth — not to mention the obscene gestures implied in her wrathful run — were enough to make, well, Jonathan blush.


Fortunately, Juliana was adopted out of this miserable place, whisked off to a world where Cats Who Are Not Juliana do not exist on any plane. But the elderly anger was only heating up.

Across the sanctuary, in Bucca‘s office, insubordination was in style. Angelo — all eight hundred Beluga bits of him, all wobbly and wondrous — was practicing his slapping skills. Bucca, long considered a weenie, went for a Total Reputation Transformation and slapped back.

Zero pieces of actual fur flew. Zero points of contact transpired. Still, just to be safe, Louie ran into the file cabinet and trembled until the tremors were all over. Then everyone took a nap. (I can neither confirm nor deny that this included me.)

Not enough no-longer-nubile hullabaloo for you? Let’s finish our tour in Suite A.


Suite A has an angsty history. Ten years ago, it was the Bat-Guano-Crazy Container. We had the brilliant idea to sequester all of our “friendliness-challenged” cats in the same non-padded cell. They’d sharpen each other’s claws into shivs by night, slashing us (and each other) by day. I am scarcely exaggerating.

But over time, the difficult children were distributed (and, in many cases, loved into calmer conditions). Suite A became a weight-management suite, then a “normal” suite, and then, finally…

…the Gastro-Intestinally-Challenged Suite.

So it remains. But there are whiffs of the old Suite A (among other things).

At age eight, Adam isn’t exactly elderly — but he’s close. He isn’t exactly in the Top Ten Most Wanted among our attack-cats right now — but he safely clocks in around #12. Still, the existence of #1-#11 elsewhere in Tabby’s Place meant Adam’s suite was the best bet for one bad, bad boy.

“Me, mellower than many?!”


This decision was all the more difficult because of an older, bolder brawler in situ: Dingo. At ten-plus, Dingo could deal a mighty punch to neighbors younger and lither. Happily, though, His Dingleness was scooped by stellar volunteers into a forever-foster home, leaving Suite A a little sweeter, safer.

A little.

It boggled all of our tiny brains, but it was clear: with Rebel in Suite B and Sunny in Suite C, Suite A — Adam’s Suite A — was the least-surly station for cat-clobberer Hank.

We think.
And hope.
And continue waiting, with bated breath, to see.

Stay tuned, kittens; hot-headed, aging-bodied Hank and pin-headed, power-punched Adam have only lived together a very short time at this time, and it’s anyone’s guess where all of this goes.

Need I go on to the Lobby, where wild-eyebrowed Walter brawls with Boots; older-than-oceans Oil sings the song of a warlike (or at least LOUD) people; and Mimi, born in the Mesozoic Era, makes mincemeat of all chow competitors?

Never underestimate the elderly. You won’t do so twice.



1 thought on “Geriatric throw-down

  1. Some cats! Terrific. Radiant. Humble. What a charming story of a slice of life at Tabby’s Place. I love it. I love cats. I love Tabby’s Place! Thank you Angela – kiss them all for me.

Leave a Reply