Sometime after Snowtober, we got funny about power at Tabby’s Place.
Not the kind that corrupts. Not the power of the people. Not even the power to change.
Just that simple, sacred power that keeps our light bulbs lit and our Pop Tarts toasty.
It’s been four years since Superstorm Sandy, but we have yet to get unfunny about power. Once you’ve been unable to flip a switch or — sweet mercy — take a shower for that long, you don’t forget. You don’t take electricity for granted.
You don’t stop twitching every time you hear thunder.
So this week, as wild savage storms slashed through New Jersey, we all got a little…funny. The sky turned black; the lightning popped like malicious paparazzi; the rain washed away ten thousand itsy bitsy spiders…
…and the power went out at Tabby’s Place.
Some of us screamed.
Some of us shrieked.
Some of us shouted “IT’S THE END OF THE WORLD!”
And some of us yawned. Those were, of course, the feline us.
With rare exceptions, Tabby’s Place cats don’t get particularly funny about storms. This may be a case of cats just having more brain than us peons, but I think there’s more to it. I think these cats — these hopeless-situation-surviving, desperate-circumstance-surmounting incomparables — have something to tell us about priorities and power.
I thought of this on the morning after the shrieky storm, while visiting Galadriel. Galadriel is a cat of considerable charm: a tiny torbie head, eyes that always smile, and a bigger-than-necessary body that’s more properly called “generous” than “fat.”
As for her personality, Galadriel is a continual gala celebration of all that is good and right. Not just her little amber eyes but her entire being beams with bliss, rubbing, nuzzling, smiling from somewhere deeper than life itself.
But Galadriel’s pre-Tabby’s Place life, ten or so years of it, wasn’t exactly festive. The aging grinner wandered alone, outdoors, apparently abandoned by some unsavory character at some juncture. If her story were a song, it would be written by Woody Guthrie, not Chance the Rapper.
So why is Galadriel’s jam more “Blessings” than “I Ain’t Got No Home In This World?”
Because this land is so very her land.
From where she’s been to where she is, Galadriel’s seen and suffered more than most can imagine. We weaker creatures whine and wail over the mass suffering of having to walk from our air-conditioned offices to our air-conditioned cars. Galadriel’s aging, tired toes trudged the blazing concrete for a decade. We beat our breasts when our Instagram posts don’t get enough likes. Galadriel wasn’t on anyone’s friend list for ten years.
We have everything, and we worry about power.
Galadriel just lives electrically.
When you remember the road that got you here, you don’t resent the present. Here and now isn’t perfect — the lights go out, the Pop-Tarts stay cold — but here and now isn’t there and then, and you know in your soul that you’ll never really lose your power. You can’t; not now.
Electricity comes and goes. (But, God, please let it stay. Please. You know our weakness.) Power is Galadriel’s, yours, mine, to retain or surrender.
You got the power, people. Shine on.
Photo credits from de top: Rob and Mark and Rob. Rob and Mark, you may have noticed, are particularly awesome. Anyone else want to vote Rob and Mark 2016? Cat photos just might save the world.