Guest post: on Felis Catus

Guest post: on Felis Catus

We all have those things that we carry with us daily. Some of them are physical, like cell phones, house keys, and lip balm (there is no such thing as too much lip balm).

Other things we carry are far lighter, because they aren’t things at all. They are ideas. Although they are lighter, ideas are hard to put down and walk away from.

Oscar impatiently awaits his next meal

Whatever you might call them — earwigs, earworms, pesky songs or thoughts that won’t get out of your head — they are both boon and bane to the human experience. Shaking troubling thoughts is as urgent and important as it is difficult. Shaking more upbeat thoughts might not have the same urgency, but getting past them to get to the business at hand can also prove challenging.

Case in point: Felis Catus, the Tabby’s Place blog.

Every day, I know that each Monday and Friday and occasionally on special occasions, our divine Development Director, patron saint of the furry angels, will be posting something magical and transporting.

I also know that, each Wednesday, some attempt of my own will appear. Balanced toward joy, coupled with a need to write about anything and everything, there is always that gentle pressure to CREATE, to AMUSE, to CONNECT. So, it is unsurprising that a daily earwig for me is a rotation of ideas about possible blogs, along with random words and phrases that seem peculiarly blog-like. After all, once Tabby’s Place gets into your head, it is very tough to get out (not that I know anyone who would ever make the attempt).

To illustrate, here are some notes I’ve taken, started to flesh out, and put aside as they were overwhelmed by other ideas and cat-antics and the everything that makes of the marvels of Tabby’s Place:

  • Mismanagement Daily: This was inspired by my own cat, who “is not management material.” (It’s a thing, I swear!). It applies to so many cats at Tabby’s Place, like Oscar, who just doesn’t have the patience necessary to bear such weighty responsibilities.

    If any cat has a good spiel for you, it’s Stefan
  • Capturing Lightning; Lightning in a Bottle; Electricity: As you may imagine, this is Elliot all over the place. He zigs, he zags, he wows, and he delivers the goods (creative inspiration) so readily that you read about him A LOT.

  • Grok and Feel Glockenspiel: Okay, this just got into my head one day, but it FEELS so Tabby’s Place, because a glockenspiel is a musical instrument, and the melodies and feelings and understanding to be heard and felt and known while spending time with the likes of Stefan, Faye, and Gator are monumental indeed.

  • The Cox Gets Tools: Everything in my life connects, directly or in dotted line, to the sanctuary above all sanctuaries. This one comes from a personal connection to a coxswain for the crew team at Princeton University who is, sadly, allergic to cats. Novice coxes earn the tools they need to keep their boats in good repair. At Tabby’s Place, our tools come in myriad forms. Most of them come in the form of knowledge, such as “Thurman is a great cat, but don’t disturb him when he’s sleeping,” and “Verde insists on helping hold binders in place for any and every writer who must take notes.” Yet, many of the tools at the sanctuary are physical and highly necessary, whether big or small, from the forks that are used to scoop food out of cans to the dish sanitizer that is the last step in ensuring all flatware and just about everything from cage tags to litter pans are ready at need.

  • Oh, Poop! Clean up in Suite A! (Also, in Suite B, Suite C, Suite Special Needs…who am I kidding…Clean up!!): I really wanted this to be a blog title. One day, there was litter-al poop that I discovered not in a litter box during an SN suite visit (neither the first nor last time). As I cleaned up after the kitten(s), the idea got stuck in my head. Why, on this particular occasion? Who knows. Poop happens. With so many creatures under one roof, and some with very special digestive situations, poop happens a very, very lot. But, a paragraph is enough on the subject. Except to say, poop is an end result. What goes in, must come out, but it has to go in first. That brings us to…

    The FeLV+ boys already know there’s a full staff to handle every clean up
  • Theobroma: One day, while sitting at my dining room table, this word just popped into my head, and it WOULD…NOT…LEAVE. I wasn’t even sure where I’d heard the term before, so I looked it up. In short, it is the food of the gods. For different cultures and at different times, the food of the gods ranges from cacao to ambrosia to manna and beyond. At Tabby’s Place, it is what the cats eat: kitty kibble, fish mush, and an endless, ever-changing stream of lickable, crunchy, filled, and soft cat treats. Feeders spend a lot of time finding exactly what a cat like Grecca or Bacon is willing to eat. This is no easy feat when preferences change daily. Nevertheless, the stalwart crew who deliver the goods must be admired for their perseverance and fortitude (not to mention their ability to juggle which cat gets what supplement mixed into whatever thing they will willingly eat).

These are exactly the kinds of random thoughts that make Felis Catus possible. What also makes it possible is the quiet time while sweeping, mopping, and taking care of necessary tasks that allow for some of the best ideas to blossom into something worth sharing.

Sometimes, though, it’s just a song. And this one is a staple of the soundtrack of many Fridays at Tabby’s Place, even though nobody can hear it but me and the cats I sing to.

1 thought on “Guest post: on Felis Catus

  1. Theobroma struck a chord. What will my cat eat (besides treats)? As we know lately cat food has been stifled by the supply train. I hesitate to buy unfamiliar new brands and flavors for m’boy, but I also don’t like to come home empty-handed. One thing, though. Many offerings have been turned down (or covered up), but he is not getting skinny. I need canned Theobroma.

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