Never get old

Never get old

I know so little of love.

This may seem a funny thing to say from the hub of love that is Tabby’s Place.

But the more I learn of love, the more I see how much I have to learn.

Harvey and Shelley

We are lavished with irregularly scheduled astonishments at Tabby’s Place. Each is as enlivening as the first. Each rebuilds our world all over again. Each is a blissing. That is not a typo. What else may we call an unforeseen occurrence of delight?

After twenty years of blessings and blissings, we should not have been stunned when a wonderful man adopted both Harvey and Shelley.

It bodes well for us that we are still stunnable. It means that we are not yet old.

Shelley and Harvey came to the table with a cool collection of years. In the coziness of the Community Room, they took out their treasures. Kindred spirits in an instant, soon they were extracting each other’s fears and sorrows, one by one, until not one remained.

Harvey and Shelley are old enough to know about what does and does not remain. The bittersweet saying, “too soon old, too late wise,” does not apply to cats.

They know that health has no obligation to remain. Harvey has the kidneys of a centurion. He has drooped with Horner’s Syndrome, and one of his lungs collapsed in a body that nevertheless stands tall.

Shelley has seen only through a mist for many moons, although her sight is clearer than that of almost anyone I know.

They know that familiar faces cannot always remain. As co-chairs of the Committee for Cats Who Adore Cats, Harvey and Shelley have loved without calculation. They were surrogate grandparents to Oasis. Shelley found a sister in the late Consetta. Harvey reminisced with S’mores about egg creams and Matlock episodes and the days when a guy could get a whole salmon for $1.

And then there were the humans who were there, until they were not. Harvey and Shelley hold no grudges and waive rights to judgment.

This is how they found new, old, true love in each other. This is how they greet each day as though they never saw something so beautiful, which is, of course, accurate.

They know that despair need not remain. It will try to do so. You and I know that well. But it is evictable, even while you are waiting on the un-schedulable blessing. It is evictable, because blissing is always within reach, if not control.

Sight, plans, and youth may hobble away. Adoption, affirmation, and that particularly stinky sardine pate may or may not come.

Shelley and Patches

But there is a calico named Patches to welcome and comfort. There is a silvery thread tattooing the clouds. There are people who will kiss your forehead. There are good thoughts one inch under those kisses.

Shelley and Harvey know that, as long as life remains, love has the right to surprise them.

They know that, the older they grow, the bigger their capacity for love.

I hope they know, from the bliss of their forever home, that they will inspire me forever.

It is poignant that Harvey and Shelley had their homecoming on the weekend the icon Iris Apfel crossed the veil. Known as much for her joy as for her fashion, Iris found fame in her 80s, going on to grab life by the spectrum for two decades.

Most of all, she grabbed sullen generations by their slumped, taupe shoulders and insisted that we exult. Iris did not get old. Iris got alive.

That’s what love, and love of life, can do.

I have so much to learn. But with friends like Shelley, Harvey, and their AwesomeAdopter, there’s hope you and I may never get old.

1 thought on “Never get old

  1. Thank you for this charming blog about the generous spirit of cats and the wonderful adventure of life at Tabby’s Place – and the always possible awesome adoption! My wish for Harvey and Shelley is love – given and received – forever.

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