Remember the Seniors: Harriet begins

Remember the Seniors: Harriet begins

We assume every good tale has a beginning, a middle, and an end.

But if we are lucky enough to come to the ends of ourselves, we may learn a new story.

Cats have natural antibodies against cynicism. They do not become jaded. No matter how they tilt their heads, they cannot see the world as “old hat.”

No matter how many years they accumulate, they cannot become “old cats.”

Harriet knows she is playing “expert mode” in the game of life. She wears her wisdom like a feather boa. She has no desire to return to kittenhood.

She would laugh all afternoon if she heard that some prefer kittens to dames of sixteen years. Harriet has twelve doctorates. Harriet has more knowledge in one tabby stripe than the collective population of New Jersey.

Harriet’s cloudy eyes see a new world every morning.

Harriet has never seen this particular morning before, nor has it seen her. Harriet is not sure which of them is luckier.

There is a volunteer whose fingers feel like laughter in her fur. There is a woman who sings in terrible broken French, but she means well. (Some say she is the Development Director.) There are teenagers, and retirees, and cats of all colors, commissioned to draw Harriet endless new pictures of love.

There is Jonathan. His business card says “Founder and Executive Director of Tabby’s Place,” but his vocation is Harriet’s Executive Assistant. He adores her. She adores him and his adoration. She is not sure which of them is more adorable.

There is Marcia, Harriet’s feline roommate. Marcia could be Harriet’s great-great-great-great-granddaughter. Young Marcia turns decrepit when Harriet commands Marcia to turn decrepit. I am not making this up. Harriet only has to lumber out of her cubby in full arthritic splendor, and growl with unbridled geriatric glamor, and Marcia will crumble into cowardice. Harriet is beginning to have too much fun with this.

Harriet is blessed to remember that she is both a queen and a beginner.

Harriet is blessed to reign in a realm where the two-legged cats remember: dignity has no “best-by” date.

Harriet is clothed in strength and dignity.

Let the multitudes cartwheel for kittens. Harriet knows that kittens need homes.

Let the young and strong and healthy hoard the headlines and “happy endings.” Harriet knows the story starts anew every improbable morning.

Just let Harriet have sunrises the color of a little girl’s room, and turkey cookies shaped like stars.

Let her have laps as soft as meadows, and old friends who defy old knees to crouch on the floor beside her.

Let her laugh at her body and laugh with her body, the patched-up pelvis, and the hoodlum kidneys that growl.

Let her laugh with no fear of the future, because she lives among people who remember.

(That would be you.)

You remember that every day is a gift.

You remember that cats of many years have earned many kisses.

You remember that the venerable are valuable.

You remember that nobody knows where the beginning, the middle, and the end will fall, so we’d best keep beginning over and over.

And if you forget, Harriet will remind you.

But for now, Harriet hopes you’ll remember all the seniors.

People with golden hearts have given us the opportunity to help a lot of cats in their golden years. Specifically, we’ve been given $22,000 in matching funds.

Please help write new beginnings for old cats here.

And remember.

There is no “old hat,” only bodies in need of nurture.

There are no “old cats,” only bronze threads that keep the whole tapestry together.

They need insulin and subcutaneous fluids, but not as much as they need beginnings.

Let us begin.

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