When is an apparent “no” the biggest “yes” in the universe?
When you can’t help but shake your head “OH YEAH!” to everything you see.
Nina is the kind of cat who sees it all. Her eyes are wider than the Pacific Ocean, and they take in everything, the sand and the salt and the splendor of an ordinary Thursday. She is not one to miss the details or the small delights that others overlook.
Are the rosebuds a smidge more open today? Nina sees.
Is the corn a little taller this morning? Nina sees.
Does Carley Rose have a certain fresh swagger in her step? Nina sees. (And thinks Carley Rose has been listening to a lot of Lizzo lately.)
Are there six more kibblets than usual in the bowl? Nina sees and tastes.
Nina is the cat to consult if you’re struggling to come up with entries for your gratitude journal. Infinitely observant, ceaselessly splendorous, she’s the cat who will remind you and me and the saddest soul in the universe that life is astonishing, amazing, ours for the glee-gobbling.
Nina is probably also the best cat to consult if you’re trying to figure out a David Lynch movie or a 50,000-piece puzzle or an existential crisis. She specializes in details, but it’s not quite right to say she’s “detail-oriented.” She is existence-oriented, unwilling to leave behind any shred of life.
Nina sees it all, and to all of it, Nina says “OH YEAH!”
So it’s more than a little ironic that Nina is the one cat at Tabby’s Place whose pretty little head is perpetually shaking side to side, a visual “no” if ever you saw one. Without any further context, you could look at Nina and think her endless message to life is “no no no no a thousand times no ALL THE NOES AS FAR AS IT GOES.”
That couldn’t be further than the truth.
But such is life, in its shaky silliness, when you have cerebellar hypoplasia.
Nina is our first “CH” cat in quite some time, though she joins a long line of eminent individuals. Like Gabriella, Edward, Twig, Halo, and many others before her, Nina was born with an underdeveloped cerebellum. Since the cerebellum is the brain’s center of operations for coordinating body movements, balance and posture, CH cats are prone to wobble and bobble and dance to their own herky-jerky music.
So Nina is not the cat to consult if you’re looking for a waltz partner. (That’s OK. No offense, but she prefers gypsy jazz anyway.) Or a neurosurgeon.
She’s got a wide-stepping, rickety walk, wavering and quavering all over the Community Room, eyes enormous and head shaking all the while. She rolls and plays and rolls and rolls like an electrified Twinkie, as happy to make her own magic as to marvel at yours.
She is, head-shake to the contrary, the living embodiment of OH YEAH!
She is living, luminous proof that you don’t need a full brain to live a full life.