“Don’t panic!” Words on the cover of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams.
“Don’t panic! Adjust!” Concise, prosaic words from my high school gym teacher that have stuck with me these very many years since that thankfully brief period.
“Panic can give way to new power. We just need to hold the reins and steer its flames where fire is needed.” True, amazing, poetic, helpful words from our very own AH, shared at just the right moment, shining light, as always, where light is most needed.
I had never thought of panic this way. It was always a problem, a barrier, something to get through and over. Now, our cherished, magical director of developing our ideas about cats and charity has turned panic into a dragon.
I LOVE DRAGONS!!
I AM A DRAGON!! Ginormous, blue, and sparkly.
“Where fire is needed!” YES!!! THAT!!
Fire is necessary for making room in forests for new seedlings to take root and flourish. Fire is needed for cooking, to make nutrients more accessible. Fire gives us warmth and light and hope and toasty toes (especially during one harsh New England storm that took out the power for an entire blissful week).
These days, panic has found ways to creep in around the edges and too often slam full force into the chest. Sometimes, the source of panic has actually been good — testing boundaries, going into scary, new territory, daring to dare, daring to dream, to try, to do, to push.
Speaking for I-don’t-know-whom-else, but certainly for myself, I had some major league panic going on in regards to Tabby’s Place back in mid-March 2020. It started slowly, with little notes about some changes in procedure.
Then the hand sanitizer spread around the different rooms where I had always thought there was plenty before.
Then the emails. Then the printed copies. The plans, the protocols that “might” need to be implemented. Then the protocols were implemented. Then the concern, the caring, the worry, the PANIC.
THE CATS!! WHAT ABOUT THE CATS!!
Dear friends, we all know how much effort and care was taken to take care of the cat-izens of Tabby’s Place. We all know that, while the cats appreciate our fussing over them, they were blissfully unaware and unpanicked by what was going on to ensure their continued well-being. They suffered no shortnesses of breath (wheezers notwithstanding). There were (one deeply hopes) no crushing feelings in their chests, no closing in and tightness, no feeling trapped.
Through it all, as with all things Tabby’s, the cats, the community, the Place has come through like the refreshed forest after the fire: ready, nourished, growing. We are stronger and better than before. The cats are many, and cared for, and exceptionally well-fed.
Looking back on what The Great Pandemic of 2020 hath wrought upon Tabby’s Place, I know that I, for one, will never worry so much about panicking again. It’s my dragon, and I’ll steer it to all of the best places.
Personally, I’ll be steering myself to Tabby’s Place, so I can be one of the cadre of strollers, steering those kitties wherever they lead us.
Pictured from top to bottom, and beseeching you to permanently pause the panic: Everest, Lemon, Mr. Thief, Pepita, Luna, Stanley