We can’t control it. Cats can’t control it.
“Control” is a comedic concept at times like these.
The typhoon tickles itself, bursting into laughter.
The tidal wave breaks the news, and it is more wonderful than our plans.
Poncey and Andy get adopted together, and we’re surprised to find ourselves surprised.
We think we have things well in hand. We are, after all, Tabby’s Place, the sanctuary for cats from hopeless situations. We plan our intakes and our adoptions with our heads and our hearts on full blast. We outline the script in meticulous gel-ink bullet points.
We will save the day. We will save the cats. We will save our square inch of the world by the force of feisty love.
Feisty love will fall over laughing, slaphappy at the sight of our solemnity.
We take our work so seriously, we forget that love gets the first laugh and the final draft. We jump up and down for impossible adoptions, only to jump back into thinking we know the score.
We knew it was exceptional when dowager Audrey and ethereal Sky were adopted together. We rejoiced and rollicked and got all rootin’-tootin’ silly. And then we got back to business, forgetting that “exceptional” is love’s prerogative on “ordinary” days.
All the ordinary days. Of which, in the end, there are none.
We would have told you that everything is possible, that middle-aged FeLV+ fellas are as adoptable as uninfected kittens. We would have called foul on anyone who called Poncey or Derby “difficult to adopt.”
And then we got called out by our own astonishment.
It happened again, an adoption that electrified us. It happened again, a power surge that made us remember the power bigger than ourselves.
Ponce of the Plentiful Toes was plucked like a peony. All of August’s angels conspired, and a midsummer night’s dream woke us up again.
Poncey, FIV+ and FeLV+.
Poncey, riddled with retrovirus, long past his balmy youth. Adopted. Adored. Accepted altogether.
Poncey, starting pitcher, promoted to the Major League.
Poncey, caught by kindness.
You and me, caught off guard by grace.
It would have been enough to engulf us in awe if Poncey was adopted. But Poncey of the Plentiful Toes was adopted with Andy of the Fewer Feet. The three-legged newcomer was scarcely here before he went there, the land of waking dreams.
Poncey and Andy, together.
Poncey and Andy, double-positive.
Poncey and Andy, turning math and plans into abstract art.
We say we aren’t surprised. We say every cat has every chance at adoption. But to hear the gasps and giggles around Tabby’s Place, you’d think this was our first miracle.
Astonishment can barely stay aboard its raft. Love’s rapids are laughing too fast.
Maybe every miracle is the first miracle.
Maybe we are newborn every day, even if we have excess toes or chin hairs or bad decisions under our belt.
Maybe we are riddled with questions but promised something better than answers.
Maybe our plans are essential, but the power is never ours, and the power never goes out.
Heat lightning splits the sky, but stories keep surging. Derby gets adopted, FeLV and energy-drink exuberance and all. Prescott powers the lobby by the sheer force of forgiveness, multiplied by self-esteem.
Tortellini rolls in like the last noodle in the pot, shy and speckled and “stricken.” She will learn that her dual diseases have a history of happy endings here. She will learn that her new companion Durin is love’s ambassador, gentleness on silent feet. She will learn that she has been hired to teach. We will learn all over again, together.
We have outrageous expectations at Tabby’s Place. Just try to launch a presidential campaign on these: every living being deserves unconditional embrace. We were born to break that news and break fear’s chain. Love is stronger than death. No one is hopeless.
We believe it all. We are outrageous, audacious. But then Poncey and Andy get adopted, and we catch ourselves astonished, and we realize we are more modest than we realize.
We are still learning to dream big enough.
We write the love letters, but not the script.
We are saved as much as we save, all ragged children of feisty love.
We can’t imagine what love will do next. We will help it along with all our might. We will fall off the raft into the whitewater miracles again.
Might you join us?
Special thanks to Poncey and Andy’s amazing new Mom for permitting us to use these photos…and, most of all, for being the miracle they dreamed of.