Democracy dies in darkness, so they say.
But slinky brown tabbies thrive in darkness. For a time.
Jimmy was found as a kitten in the Washington Post newsroom. You’d think that prowling the halls walked by Woodward and Bernstein would give the tiny tabby a passion for following truth wherever it leads.
And you’d be right.
Reliable sources say that our cub reporter was picked up by a kind newsperson of some sort. Jimmy followed that lead into a loving home for the next twelve years. Thousands of headlines passed by; three presidential administrations came and went; Washington itself convulsed in conversions and convolutions and near-revolutions.
Jimmy observed all, kept his own inner yellow legal pad of notes, learned who to trust and how to tell the truly true truth.
But news broke over our striped editor all too suddenly one winter. Like too many local papers, Jimmy’s family was forced to close up shop. In a position to re-home all of their cats, they began a round of investigative journalism that led to no less than Tabby’s Place.
Through a happy series of circumstances, the little striped editor was transferred to New Jersey.
It was immediately evident that Jimmy would be a truth-seeker and a truth-teller. He typed a few lines of sweetness into his intake exam, but made sure to wrap it in paragraphs of a tougher truth: “I am 10,000 pages of afraid. I will not trust easily. It’s my nature to question and wonder and worry.”
In his early days at the new newsroom, Jimmy took comfort in paper. He might have preferred the DC News & Analysis pages, but a ShopRite bag would do. As you can see, Jimmy’s eyes told the total truth about his heart: 10,000 pages of afraid.
But when a story yearns to be told, it won’t take “afraid” for an answer. Our feisty, fabulous volunteers were committed to a sweeter, softer story for Jimmy. And so, through the hisses and swipes and unflattering articles about their fashion sense and decorum, they persisted.
They “worked with” Jimmy.
They loved him.
They cooed at him, sang him songs, touched him when they dared.
And, day by day, the sleeping truth awoke.
First it was just Jimmy’s trusted sources who saw the story take shape. “Jimmy is becoming a sweetheart!” they’d say, on the record, too. But if you weren’t one of Jimmy’s People, you’d have to take it on faith. Even upon moving to the circus that is Suite A, Jimmy continued to cower in dark, safe places in the face of uncertain visitors, which is to say most of us.
Still, the deep-thinking tabby couldn’t abandon his search for the stories that endure. And underneath 10,000 pages of afraid, the true story was that Jimmy was falling in love with his freaky, fabulous friends of human persuasions.
Out of the darkness, into the suite he stepped, more and more each day. He let us touch him; he did not perish. There was much backspacing to do to erase the fearful tales of old, and fast-flying typing to tell the truth.
Love was lovely.
Trust was merited.
Goodness triumphed over fear.
Jimmy was no doubt justified in his initial anxieties. It’s a long way from DC to NJ, and a great leap to trust the wack pack that is Team Tabby’s Place. But Jimmy is all the more justified in today’s true true trust.
Democracy dies in darkness? OK.
Love lavishes light, truth, and warmth for the worriers and wonderers.
Fear not, kittens; the story is true.