We are not the power.
Love is the power.
But oh, our light-force! when we turn our faces in its direction.
It might seem funny to talk about considering ourselves “too” powerful at Tabby’s Place.
With the exceptions of every single cat who has ever lived under our roof, we tend to be a humble bunch, ragged in our self-assessments, entirely aware what a bumpy bunch of banana-muffins we are.
“Cats from hopeless situations” are a kind of jelly-bean trail for humans who have looked in the mirror, acknowledged, “this egg is a little cracked,” and gone on to paint the world a thousand beautiful colors anyway.
We’re not the ego brigade around here. We’re not blinded by pride.
We don’t think we’re the smartest or the prettiest or the sweetest-smelling.
We don’t get caught in the quicksand of considering ourselves colossal.
Most of us could benefit from listening Lizzo or reading the Beatitudes to remember that we’re not total dunderheads. (On the other hand, cats do prefer excessively humble humans, and they’ve found us.)
But there’s one area where we stumble like the blind rescuing the blind.
We think our love is invincible.
You see it, right? Tabby’s Place is the world’s garden for forgotten rosebuds. We are the lighthouse that leads home paper boats.
We are the open arms for the prodigal kittens, the inscrutable and the incurable and the insufferable and the indelicate.
We are the pasture for the loneliest, home to lambs so long forgotten, they’ve turned into feral goats with fetid coats.
We seek the lost. We won’t rest until a soul like Prescott feels her worth. She shivered like a bunny in the briers until the sun dawned, and the mercy-machete made a way where there was no way.
We heal the broken. We vault our venerable vet team into miracle country, plucking pain like thorns from Walker‘s past. We clobber the crisis, kiss the crumpled king, and decree that life is his soulmate, fat with wholeness and holy mischief.
We re-home the refugees. We treasure Pickles, feral-born and sore afraid, whether she bites or hides or crawls from fear’s jar.
We stretch like vines over land and sea, planting the Tabby’s Place flag on three continents to call our children home. From the streets and the sorrows they come, Beirut’s Eartha and Ringoes’s Gator and all the hope-hungry migrants in between.
We zero in on the one and onlies, the hungry, the fading, the fierce, the fearful. We remind them that they are the billions, the beloved, the brilliant, the beautiful, worthy of sacrifice and celebration and sweetness.
We sing to each other.
There are days when staff and volunteers and donors and readers and come together in a kind of hallelujah choir, when every hour feels like resurrection.
We vibe with each other. We validate each other. We taste and see that love is real, even on this earth. We go from strength to strength.
We think we do it all on our own strength.
And then Rose dies.
Or Cookie Monster spits on our sweetness.
Or Reese does not get better, but worse.
We wound each other.
We weird each other out.
Our efforts end in tears.
Our power goes out, and everything is so very dark.
We think we are the sun, and we see what bad news that bodes for the world. We can’t keep up invincible light. We can’t conquer the splintering dark. We can’t save every lamb. We can’t even save ourselves.
We don’t have to. We just have to be the moon.
The moon, our sister, does not know stress. She goes from glory-ball to shy sliver and back — with a guiltless blackout in between — and we all dance under her light.
But she is not the light. She is the face that lets herself be lit.
And so are we.
Tabby’s Place is the biggest ball of love I will ever hold. That’s a testament to you: readers, coworkers, volunteers, donors, and cats — oh, moonchildren with tails, especially you. But even Tabby’s Place needs to be held.
We need the sum total of kindness from every corner of the world.
We need the good people doing grace-full things on every continent, the ones we’ll love and the ones whose names we’ll never know.
We need the saints and angels and strangers of a thousand tales.
We need the crazed courage to commit impossible acts of love, the bunny-hop humility to hold our power loosely, and the woodsy wisdom to be lit by the sun.
We need lunar power.
Somehow, it will give our own efforts back to ourselves, and they will be enough.
Enough to adore the ones who need us.
Enough to accept the endings we wouldn’t choose.
Enough to rise another day, with healing in our baskets.
There is a Love that keeps the lights on at Tabby’s Place, and we can neither mess it up, nor scare it away, nor bungle up its good, good plans.
Happy Passover and Easter, moonchildren.