Gnarled marvels

Gnarled marvels

Who knew? A “hoodoo” is a real thing.

Marvin knew: hoodoo is a real thing.

“Hoodoo.” It sounds like hocus pocus, balderdash, folderol or baloney. It tastes nothing like baloney. It looks like treachery. It smells like the misuse of magic. It gets a worse rap than the baloney with the evil embedded olives.

Marvin knows better.

Marvin is not only a kitten of mind-bending cuteness, but also a scholar of physics and metaphysics. He has come by his academic interests honestly. When you ordered pretzel rods but received tiny twists, you can initiate an Amazon return. But when you ordered ordinary legs but received gnarled vines, you must expedite the process of becoming marvelous.

Some would glimpse Marvin’s mysterious legs and mutter, “hoodoo.” What sort of world produces kittens curled like commas, little legs as bent as paper clips? Do innocents have unseen enemies? Is nonsense stronger than fun?

He won’t admit it — he is too busy extracting jingle balls from a kitten-sized foosball table, and I am very pleased to confirm that I am not making this up — but Marvin has been exploring these mysteries since before his ears opened.

Am I misshapen?

Why do other kittens have overcooked linguini legs?

Can I forgive a species that inserts olives in perfectly good baloney?

Am I okay? Am I still okay? Am I going to get to stay okay?

And at the end of all his studies, Marvin is ready to publish his dissertation. As his academic advisor, it is my pleasure to announce the title.

“Yay!” by Marvin Rosenberg.

Having played with more pliable kittens, outrun one hundred percent of humans, and found his way to a foosball table at Tabby’s Place, Marvin can release his findings with the confidence of thirty kittens.

Yes, I am a mutant. Just like everyone else.

Other kittens have other oddities. Did you know some of these turnipheads actually enjoy rolling in green olive juice?

I can forgive absolutely everyone as many times as necessary. In other words: I win.

I am okay! I am still okay! I am increasing in okay by the day!

In conclusion: a life half-gnarled is a life fully gnarly, thanks to a whole lot of hoodoo.

Right, the hoodoo.

For this, Marvin had to walk me from the Metaphysics Department to the Physics Department, with a lengthy stop by Geology to see Professor Flick. A hoodoo, as it happens, is a tall, slim spire of rock, lovingly sculpted by erosion. People call them “fairy chimneys.” People who are excessively awesome call them demoiselles coiffées (ladies with hairdos). People travel the world to marvel at them.

The spire is soft and docile. The “roof” is stiff, erosion-resistant. (The ladies have apparently invested in Aqua-Net.)

The hoodoos have grown strongest where they are walloped and weathered.

The hoodoos are gnarled and marvelous.

And the twistiest kitten in our zoo has only begun his illustrious career.

They say every human ends up with the face that they deserve. Think of Jimmy Buffett’s smile lines; think of Clint Eastwood’s I Am Rather Terrifying lines.

Maybe Marvin’s legs are curves awarded early. Maybe love descends into all the gnarls and bends.

“Maybe”? What am I saying? Clearly I need a few more classes with Provost Marvin Rosenberg.

PS: Dr. Marvin has abandoned his tenure-track position at Tabby’s Place for a forever home…with fellow marvel Oasis. Every bend in his path has led exactly where he belonged, and the best is yet to come.

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