Tabby’s Place is blessed in many ways.
But as of this afternoon, we are woefully short in a key commodity: cats whose names end with the seventh letter of the Greek alphabet.
What, I ask you, is the value of life without an η? (I know this is what you ask in your dark nights of the soul.)
We are deprived. We are dispossessed. We are utterly divested of cats whose names rhyme with eta (or potayta). Someone should start a non-profit organization to help people in such a sad situation as ours. It’s a tragedy – and a Greek tragedy, no less. Goodbye is hard enough – but in Greek, it’s αντίο, and that hurts more than a can of kalamata olives to the head.
First came the cheesiest αντίο of all: Feta. Little cheese puff, we hardly knew ye. No sooner had we fallen in love with Gorgonzola’s babies, than some eta-hungry adopter set her sights on our little Feta. I certainly can’t blame her; it’s hard to resist a two-pound bundle of tabby-and-white, wrapped up in whiskers and affection. It’s especially impossible to resist aforementioned bundle when she’s named after brined curd cheese traditionally made in Greece. As if it weren’t enough to take away our Feta, the Great Cheesedopter also had to adopt Bleu.
But we weren’t quite as bankrupt as…well, Greece. We still had 67% of our etas: little Velveeta and the elusive Beta.
Had. Past tense.
Leave it to cheese-called kittens to cave to peer pressure. Once Feta and Bleu had been adopted, the race was on to be the next cheese outta Dodge City Ringoes. Like processed cheese product sliding off a cracker, big-eared, fearless Velveeta oozed into the hearts of a family all her own. They love her – and that’s great. Just fabulous. Just stellar.
Just…stab me in the heart with some sharp cheddar, why dontcha.
At this point we were, like Greece itself, on serious austerity. Just one eta remained. But, surely there was no threat of Dobro’s sugar, Beta, getting scooped up in the near future. She’s as beautiful as the Venus de Milo, but if you attempt to touch her, you’ll wish you only had an angry squadron of Louvre guards attacking you. So our Greek goddess wasn’t going anywhere fast…right?
In a word: λανθασμένος. (Which translates to: “Angela, you are a short-sighted noodlehead.” Or maybe it means ”wrong.” My Greek is rusty.)
We should have known we were in for some delicious trouble when we saw Momelope waltz into Tabby’s Place. And that’s Mom-ell-o-pee like Penelope, not Mom-a-lope like antelope. Momelope had brought us terrific trouble once before, adopting the long-overlooked, toothless, infinitely scrumptious Penelope. Like Odysseus’ faithful and long-suffering Penelope, our Pen had waited long years for her beloved – and like Odysseus, Momelope had been every iota worth the wait.
But now, real tragedy (and not of the out-of-etas variety) had struck: shortly after a cancer diagnosis, sweet Penelope had passed away. She left behind a grieving Momelope, and a feline sibling, Routie. Much as Momelope missed her girl, her main concern was for Routie: he’d cherished his sister, and haunted their home like a hungry ghost ever since her passing.
So Momelope arrived with just one qualification: the cat of her future had to unequivocally adore cats. Future-cat’s feelings towards people were irrelevant – Routie and future-cat’s friendship was all that mattered. It was kind of an arranged marriage, minus the dowry and the awkward first conversation (“sooo…hang around here often?”).
Momelope had done her homework, too. A cruise through our adoptable cat pages had led her straight to our most cat-centric felines. Tops on her list? Our very last eta.
When I told Beta that she was being adopted, her eyes got as huge and saucer-shocked as if I’d informed her that Anthony Weiner wanted her personal e-mail address. Actually, that was the reaction from everyone I told, including Anthony Weiner. (When news this big breaks, we tell everyone - and I do mean everyone.) But it was true.
So true, in fact, that today our last eta flew the coop.
There is some good news amidst all these αντίοs:
* Three eta-cats have adoring homes.
* Three adoring homes have high-quality cats of extreme excellence.
* Dobro has not yet killed anyone for the indignity of losing his squeeze.
Come to think of it, maybe Dobro loved Beta so much that he wanted her to have a forever home more than he wanted to sit in the corner of the ramp and cast the stink-eye upon humans with her for the rest of their lives (romantic as that is). Or maybe he’s just planning his moves.
In all seriousness, we’re happy to go Greekless if it means losing our Hellenic loves to loving families. So to you and your families, Feta, Velveeta and Beta: Opa!