You never know what you might find at a place called The Golden Nugget.
But a certain golden Mullet can assure you: you will find more than you expect.
Being fully cat, Mullet is free of much of the dust that accumulates on human surfaces: expectations, resignation, Cheeto powder, etc.
(He is willing to experiment with the latter in the name of science.)
Being fully alive, Mullet is free to roam all the rooms of his life with curiosity. If this is part of the standard-issue cat uniform, issued alongside whiskers, tails, and irony, Mullet takes it to great heights. A five-curiosity general, he leads Suite E in the fight for finds.
This has served him well in the vast curiosity shop called Tabby’s Place.
At ten, Mullet is neither a shiny bauble nor an antique. You will not find ten of him stacked end to end at TJ Maxx for $14.99; you will not find him collecting dust on a roll-top desk. You will find him finding out what he can find. And if you’re very, very fortunate, you will find yourself found by him.
Like all the Cheeto eaters and gallant generals who have ever lived, Mullet was born into a barn that is bigger inside than out. You know the kind I mean: drive up, and you’ll see a reasonably-sized red building, perhaps with a quaint sign reading ANTIQUES, or LE JUNQUE BARN, or even THE GOLDEN NUGGET.
But step inside, and your head and expectations will explode.
The barn — if that’s what this extraterrestrial oddity is — will unfold like a map into dozens of rooms, each daffier than the next. Someone is selling Shiny-Brite ornaments that have been neither shiny nor brite since the pre-Cambrian era. Someone is selling cat figurines numbering in the thousands. Someone is selling mullet wigs. Someone is selling ceramic sea lions the size of Subarus.
You don’t want any of this stuff. But you find yourself drawn through the dust clouds, room after room, like a general who smells victory, like a teenager who tackles a bad haircut by cutting it shorter and shorter, like a cat who has no idea what he wants but knows that he deserves it.
Like a golden Mullet.
Upon arrival at Tabby’s Place, Mullet was appropriately astonished by the oddities on offer. Each fresh face was a new room. Shaggy was the Christmas corner, welcoming Mullet into a maze of 1950s Santa Clauses and cuddly cheer. Olivia was the doily woman, keeper of quilts and quackery. Nemo was the Army-Navy stand, eager to reenact various wars.
And then there were rooms with human faces.
Some sold blankets or biscuits. Some seemed to be selling songs, if that was the proper word for those garbled warbles. Hugs were a popular item, available in all sizes, often buy-one-get-eight-free. (They must have made a lot of those.) Every last booth offered empathetic blinks, ranging from mid-century modern to Gen-Z fresh. A cat could find anything he wanted. A cat could get lost in all these rooms. A cat could get found.
There were nuggets of nurture on every surface, doors that just kept opening. Mullet had never seen anything like it.
What Mullet had seen was dust. When we first met him, he’d been cast off like a frog figurine. But it was clear this cat had been kissed. The shiny bright standout in a feral colony, he was too friendly to live another day outside the hall of hugs. He was too golden to shine alone. He was too much of a treasure not to be treasured.
He had no expectations.
He had no hint of resignation.
And so he was dusted off, a clean slate for wonder, fit to find what he never knew he was always looking for.
Mullet, all open heart, had room for all the rooms at Tabby’s Place. Cat love. Human love. The sacrament of squeeze-tuna. Fleece and jingle balls and glorious cardboard in various configurations. Not a nugget was too odd or too ordinary to adore.
Once he started, Mullet couldn’t stop collecting curiosities. So it goes: spurn nothing, and you get everything. Stay wide-eyed, and you’ll always have wide open spaces. Buy every bliss, and you’ll always be rich.
So don’t blame him if his desk is a little cluttered. (So was FDR‘s.) McGregor‘s inkwell of affection is there, cozied up to Porkroll‘s crocheted coaster. The vet room’s We Torture You Because We Love You mug has pride of place, and no dust dims the Billy Ray Cyrus figurine (mulleteers gotta stick together).
The more Mullet finds delightful, the more he finds.
The bolder we love, the bigger our barn.
What finds will we find today?