Les joyeux

Les joyeux

I will not geek out over Bastille Day. I will not geek out over Bastille Day. Je ne vais pas…


Nous avons des chatons nommes JAVERT, MARIUS, FANTINE, et GAVROCHE!


In your multitudes
Scarce to be counted
Filling the darkness
With order and light!
– Javert

OK. Jonathan, Emmanuel Macron, and all 100 Tabby’s Place cats will collectively repudiate me if I do not begin with this disclaimer: the new kittens’ names are the least interesting things about them.

Javert has ears capable of advanced echolocation.

Gavroche moves so fast, we believe he is capable of bilocation.

Fantine has a nose as pink as a strawberry macaron.

Marius…oh, Marius.

They are Tabby’s Place kittens, petit choux of instant cherishment. They were found without a croque monsieur in the world, too weak to dream of fromage.

But mercy is an off-road circle of Brie, and les misérables chatons were about to become les joyeux.

Four frail kittens, uninteresting to the world of burnt hearts, were about to become the French toast of our town, a four-cat City of Light right in rural New Jersey. This would have been the case even if my eminent colleague Rey did not name them for Les Misérables characters, but…

…and yet with you, my world has started.
– Marius


I have dutifully nominated Rey for the Nobel Prize, the Pulitzer Prize, and a lifetime supply of crepes.

Longtime readers of this blog will recall (somewhat wearily) my lifelong obsession with Les Misérables, a passion matched only by my long-suffering boss’s loathing for Les Misérables. Jonathan detests my favorite musical. Jonathan abhors my favorite musical.

Jonathan, ten years ago, expressly forbade me from naming cats for characters from my favorite musical.

The Eiffel Tower of his decree only wavered when my beloved Webster passed away. In lieu of flowers, Jonathan permitted me to name three — precisely three — Tabby’s Place cats as I wished.

This is how we got the legendary Jean Valjean, Cosette, and Eponine.

Take your place
Take your chance
Vive la France!
– Gavroche

But there are so many other names worthy of the world’s worthiest species.

And now, on the hinge of Bastille Day, on Jonathan’s day off, Rey has done it. Sacre bleu. Bienvenue, Fantine, Javert, Marius, et Gavroche.

If you are wondering why Jonathan has not yet fired both Rey and me, the answer is simple: the kittens need caregivers and a fundraiser, so he’s stuck with rebel baguettes like us.

Also, he has a heart full of love.

And that brings me to the most interesting thing about les chatons francaises. They are loved.

The hour of their arrival, they entered a river wider than the Seine. Sickly and scared, nameless and unknown, four American kittens were cherished simply because they were born. The coeur of Tabby’s Place surges like a Broadway overture for a soul in need.

This is no castle on a cloud.

Nothing will kill the dream they dreamed.

I dreamed a dream AND IT CAME TRUE!
– Fantine (who happens to be meatier and healthier than all her freres)

We have brought them home.

And if you donated to our Cherish the Kittens Fund drive this year? You brought them home. (Merci beaucoup, beaucoup, beaucoup.)

“Home” does not always unfurl as we would dream. I wish I could tell you that we have no empty chairs at empty tables. But mere days into his song, our precious Marius left this earth.

The frailest of the little family, she was nestled in the love of our devoted Drew. If anyone could have saved our tiny treasure, it would have been this ange on earth. But as we are reminded too often, kittens are fragile beyond our powers of saving. All we can do is love with music and fierceness for the time we’re given.

In my life, there are so many questions and answers that somehow seem wrong. But the Tabby’s Place family is the “oui” that sets them all right.

At the end of the day, the most interesting thing about any of us is this: we are loved.

Bienvenue a la maison, les joyeux.

PS: Oui, it’s pretty much guaranteed that Jonathan is going to fire me now. Look down, look down, and show some mercy on your Development Director.

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