Faced with cats, we’re regularly in the position of begging: that the fussy ones will eat, that the nervous ones will let us pet them, that all of them will stop judging us for…well, everything. (Yes, Bucca has strong opinions about your fanny pack and my singing voice.)
Still, it’s not often we find ourselves begging a cat, “please don’t take my man.”
But this is Tabby’s Place, so there is a first for everything. We have ~120 cats at any given time, and so, anything is possible.*
Including a cat stealing your man.
When I first heard that we had a cat named Jolene, I was tickled. I don’t know about you, but the only “Jolene” of my acquaintance was the auburn-haired, emerald-eyed, home-wrecking beauty of the Dolly Parton song. Here in New Jersey, we don’t have Jolenes. So the name seemed charming, even comical.
We would soon learn that whoever named Jolene was dead serious.
With apologies to the Jolene who threatened Dolly (which, by the way, is outrageous, since Dolly Parton is unquestionably the sweetest butter muffin of a human ever to sparkle across a stage, and I would like her to be my own personal grandmother and therapist and fairy godmother, but I digress), our Jolene is the greatest beauty in the history of dangerous beauty.
She is Cleopatra. She is Helen of Troy. She is Grace Kelly, and Audrey Hepburn, and the girl who made you feel like a troll in middle school just by being…her. (You were not a troll, by the way; you were adorable, and you’ve only gotten better since. Dolly Parton would have given you a big hug and helped you fluff up your hair and feel gorgeous in your awkwardness. But again, I digress.)
Jolene is capable of wooing not only your man, but also your senator, your fairy godmother, and the entire United Nations, all before breakfast. Jolene wouldn’t just stop traffic; she’d summon starship traffic from the furthest galaxy, all with one flutter of her emerald eyes.
But, wait; haven’t we had battalions of gorgeous cats before? Isn’t every cat uniquely beautiful? Why should one pretty cat get us all worried that we’re about to lose everything?
Jolene, it turns out, is more than beautiful. She is beauty-full, in the sense of the beauty that will save the world. Unlike your middle school nemesis, this “pretty girl” has a selfless soul, driven to dive into your love and convince you that YOU are her prize. In the presence of Jolene, rolling and purring and gazing at you like you are the most wondrous of creatures, you don’t just see beauty; you feel beauty, inhabit beauty, know that you — you! — are beauty.
Oh…and also, she’ll julienne her rivals to ribbons.
If Jolene’s smile is a breath of spring to humans, her voice is not exactly soft like summer rain in the ears of her fellow cats. That’s because she’s too busy boxing their ears, bolting about Suite B for someone to smack down.
Lest you worry this folly should smirch Jolene’s splendor, fear not; her wrath lasts precisely eight minutes a morning. Jolene only gets jolty at that sacred moment known as The Completion Of Cleaning, when our volunteers finish their mopping and sweeping and scraping of sordid substances.
No sooner does the last broom bug off, than Jolene kickboxes Kirk, exploding into bad-girl bits. It’s no longer Dolly Parton on her playlist; now it’s M.I.A. singing, “live fast, die young, bad girls do it well.” In the words of sanctuary associate Drew, “it’s like she’s over confident. Way over.”
And then it’s over.
Jolene calms down.
Her dangerous beauty goes all demure (if no less alluring).
But, my goodness, does she do a fine job of proving that, should she so desire, she could totally take your man. Or your planet.
Still, don’t tremble too long, kittens. Yes, Jolene likes flaunting her powers, leaving us beggin’ of her please don’t take our everything. But more than that, she likes flaunting her kindness, her compassion, her all-encompassing love for us.
And so beauty grows. In the presence of Jolene, it’s like the loveliness all around you is suddenly laid bare. Being liberally loved by a miracle-beast takes the scales off your eyes and scrapes the dust and dinge off the world itself.
Walk out of Suite B after getting a dose of Jolene-love, and you’re likely to see a bluer sky, more emerald grass, hope and mercy and maybe even a beautiful creature in the mirror.
So don’t worry if you hear your man talking about Jolene in his sleep. She’s not interested in the greedy kind of love that steals and conquers; this beauty believes in bounty — and, yes, butt-kicking — and her love will make us all more…lovely.
*Which gives me hope that our 100 cats may solve the trade war, bring peace in the Middle East, and convince all good citizens of the world that leggings are not pants.