Guest post: The littlest “cats”

Guest post: The littlest “cats”

Editor’s note: If ever you chose the right day to land gently upon our blog, this is it.

I am giddy and grateful to introduce you to Allison, although that is an impossible task. She is a Tabby’s Place Board member. She has a heart so golden, it can be seen from deep space. Our timid cats nominate this patient angel for the Nobel Peace Prize every year. She is one of my favorite people in the whole entire world.

And this year, Allison has been the mighty love-force in a totally unexpected, totally Tabby’s Place adventure.

Prepare to meet our littlest calico “cats.” XO, AT

“What is white, orange, and black?  That’s right!  A calico cat!

Most calicos are female, and they are often described as being sweet, loyal, smart, sassy, and independent.  We’ve have had many wonderful calico kitties at Tabby’s Place over the years.  There was beautiful and sweet Lynette, who modeled her new summer dresses for us on the lounge lunch table.  There was demur Audrey, who fell in love with Sky and now lives with him in their forever home.  One of our current adoptable calicos is Lost.  She has a beautiful colorful coat, is very affectionate and loves to talk to people.

What else is white, orange, and black?  Yes!  Monarch butterflies!

As the saying goes, if you plant it, they will come…and they did!  With the expansion of Quinn’s Corner this year, we had new flower beds to fill. In keeping with our love of animals and nature, we planted Milkweed outside of Gator’s solarium, and in other beds.

Throughout summer I kept checking the plants for Monarch caterpillars. In late August I saw 3!  They found us!  I was so happy.  And what smart Monarchs they were!  They laid their eggs on the Milkweed outside the solarium, rather than the other flower beds.  Why?  Because it was protected from the elements, and the solarium trellis walls provided a hanging structure close to the plants for the caterpillars to hang from while in their chrysalises!

Some caterpillars were so smart that they decided to go inside the solarium and hang their chrysalises under the shelves!  Don’t you know they said thank you to us for installing those for them!  After all, they are ‘cat’ shelves, and these ‘cats’ loved them!

We had to get creative to help our new ‘cats,’ because two of the four milkweed plants were covered in caterpillars, and there wasn’t enough food for them.  Many went home with me to finish their journey, and others remained on the plants.  We had to move 19 chrysalises out of Gator’s solarium, because we realized the butterflies would not be able to fit through the trellis holes without injuring their new wings…and Gator wanted his solarium back!

In about a week, we went from 3 caterpillars to over 80!  I’m pleased to share the majority of our caterpillars made it into their chrysalises and successfully emerged as beautiful Monarch butterflies.  In fact, I believe close to 75 safely arrived and flew away.

There’s something magical about witnessing the transformation of a caterpillar into a chrysalis and then into a beautiful butterfly.

It’s not unlike the magic of Tabby’s Place, where we help cats in hopeless situations.

No matter their age, ailment, or temperament, we graciously accept them into our loving care, where they can safely transform.

Tabby’s Place is in fact, their chrysalis.

When they are ready, and with some Divine help, they emerge from their loving chrysalis that has protected and cared for them, and they fly away into the arms of a loving adopter or across the rainbow bridge to be with our family of Tabby’s Place kitties that watch over and wait for us.  We witness magic every day at Tabby’s Place.

Ronald Reagan once said, ‘Wherever a beautiful soul has been, there is a trail of beautiful memories.’  What beautiful memories we have of our Monarch butterflies this year.  May they safely find their home in Mexico for winter and continue their journey in Spring.”

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