PBS has spent almost my entire life reminding us that some television productions and movies are of superior quality to others.
Alistair Cooke welcomed us to watch Masterpiece Theater for 21 years, so we could join him in enjoying some of these fine films and series.
For several years now, Laura Linney has been welcoming us to enjoy Masterpiece, and the shows we are invited to watch include mysteries, dramas, and love stories, and at least one series that had a bit of all of those things (I can not be the only one among us who watched every single episode of Downton Abbey, including the movie, on Masterpiece – especially since I never watched a single episode alone).
Museums, too, remind us that there are works of art, and then there are masterpieces. All art is meant to be enjoyed, or at least puzzled over, but masterpieces rise above. Masterpieces inspire. Masterpieces are somehow more, even when it is difficult to explain or understand the hows and the whys of it. Those artists who produced the most, in quality and/or in quantity, of those adulated and adored artworks are known as The Masters. The works of The Masters rise above all others. The works of The Masters represent the best of what humans can create in oil, water colors, and ink.
There are other masters in other fields from music to writing to fly fishing (Yes, fly fishing. It takes skill, and it is a beauty to behold a master performing this dance with rod, reel, and line). The Great American Novel, arguably, may have already been written by a master, or it will be written by a master yet to come. It is, or will be, a grand masterpiece indeed.
(Don’t get me started on the misnamed barbecue sauce that claims to be a masterpiece, but which is, in fact, an insult to the pit masters that grace wide swaths of the US.)
It is yet another kind of masterpiece that is the center of my attention almost every Friday (not to mention so many other days). It is the key focus of staff and some rotation of the collective volunteers (getting close to the 200 mark!) every single day.
Of course, this particular masterpiece is Tabby’s Place: A Cat Sanctuary.
Why does a cat sanctuary deserve to be ranked as a masterpiece and counted above all others? Let me count the ways.
Okay, I won’t count (my ability to count is questionable at best anyway), but I’ll share a few thoughts.
First, there’s the 4-star Charity Navigator rating, which is totally rad.
Second: global reach. Through the newsletter, social media, and blog, we’ve inundated our readers with news and updates and stories of the cats. Readers from the U.S. and abroad have found themselves ushered in with regal fanfare to join the Tabby’s Place family.
Third: THE PEOPLE!!! I’m yelling because the people of Tabby’s Place are ASTOUNDING!! The ability of the staff to flex and twist and adapt and adjust to the incomers is legion, and the volunteers rise to every cat’s need. So much time, energy, love, hard work, caring, and more than a little silliness are the heartbeat of this magnificent structure that is so much more than the building and land would make it seem. I could gush some more, but I’ll spare you.
All of this fails to capture even half of what makes Tabby’s Place a masterpiece. There are many, many things, but most of all, above it all, through it all, and the reason for it all, there are the cats.
Each of the cats at Tabby’s Place is a sashaying, purring masterpiece of feline proportions. They prance and strut and show off their stuff because, being cats, they know they are masterpieces.
Diapered parapalegic? Masterpiece.
Tummy troubles? Masterpiece.
Behavioral issues? Masterpiece.
There are tabbies and torties and longhairs and shorthairs and talkers and hiders and attention seekers. Each and every one is a perfect example of feline purrfection. Each and every one deserves and expects our adoration and adulation. Moreover, they have inspired our own masterful Jae to create the masterpieces accompanying this blog.
At our favorite masterpiece, Tabby’s Place, the cats all get exactly what they deserve. They are adept at displaying their feline wiles, and we all get to bask in the light of their mastery.