Musical cats, verse #1: The shy room, except when it isn’t

Musical cats, verse #1: The shy room, except when it isn’t

Plug in your earphones, compadres.

It’s time to dance to the music…al cats.

Tensor would like to confirm that he is not shy. He cannot confirm or deny whether he has been riding on Willie Nelson’s bus.

As you know, Tabby’s Place recently launched our most ambitious impressive certifiably insane relocation of felines since the dawn of felis catus. The Community Room became the Cat Gymnasium; the Adoption Rooms became the Daft Staff’s Offices; and all other kinds of rooms became All Other Other Kinds Of Rooms.

Truth be told, we’re all still on our way to getting totally tuned in. There’s static. There’s snow. Just when we think we get a clear signal, indie rock mysteriously fuzzes out into angry talk radio, which is to say Max attempts to murder everyone in the Community Room.

But fear not; we are on our way. And some of our sturdy cats are finding their way faster than the non-felines.

Turn your ear to the tuneful sounds of Suite C. Formerly the Weight Management suite, this second-biggest spot in the sanctuary has been re-purposed as The Shy Room. Here our anxious angels and nervous nellies would have a safe, quiet haven, surrounded by cats who “got” them and humans who had been trained in the fine art of Not Freaking Cats Out. This would be a calm room, a healing room, a room for loving and whispering “freak thou not out.” It was an outstanding idea. It was a prudent idea. It was an idea whose time had come.

Don’t let those eyes deceive you. Tagalog and Torus are no longer super-duper shy.

It was an idea for which the cats didn’t have time.

Tensor that Tensor — was the first to declare, “ain’t nobody got time for that.” Tensor did not want to be “socialized.” Tensor did not want his magazines* delivered to The Shy Room, Ringoes, NJ, 08551.

Tensor was done with being shy.

As Tensor goes, so go the T-cats, so Torus, Tagalog, Tesseract and Tex — since adopted, so unshy was he — quickly shed their suitedness to The Shy Room (OK, mostly).

If Tensor and his tag team were finished with “shy,” their new neighbors never sampled it in the first place. Sure, we sincerely thought Candace and Merriweather were a little apprehensive when they first arrived, but that’s just because we’re stupid.

Tensor must have told Merriweather that she’d been shunted into The Shy Room, because she hasn’t stopped singing her protest since. Walk into The Shy Room and you’ll be serenaded by the contra-melody to our misguided moves of Musical Cats. “AAAOOOWW! MOWWWW! I’M EVERY WOMAN! EXCEPT THE SHY ONE!” quoth the Merriweather.

“It’s not that I’m not shy. I’m simply willing to suffer for my performance art.”

Merri’s traveling companion Candace is a little quieter, but no less starkly unshy. Weighing in at approximately 40,000 pounds, Candace will lumber towards you with love and loads of belly-luggage bursting at the seams. What she will not do is hide from you, hiss at you, or in any way behave like a cat who belongs in The Shy Room. And then there are Jingles and Coal, who are so confounded by the prospect of being thought “shy” that it’s all they can do not to prove us wrong by running for President and Third Ward Alderman.**

Now, in fairness to the dunderheads we are, there is, in fact, a powdered-sugar sprinkling of shy cats in The Shy Room. Merriweather can still be a tinch of shy, a tinch of the time. Tarzan is not swinging from any vines, not when he can hunker in the solarium tube and wink at us with his one worried eye. Antimony and Sparkly…ok, totally shy to the power of pie.

But still. For the most part? The Shy Room…isn’t.

Shy, no. Purdy smile, yes.

And that’s a testament to the truest music of love.

Good work, cats and volunteers. Later this week, we’ll trip on down the hall to the Kitten Room that, well, also isn’t.

*In case you’re wondering, Tensor reads Sojourners and Cooking Heavy. Also The Economist, but he borrows Torus’ subscription.

**Not that they wouldn’t have my votes.

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