I’m here to tell you that your tardiness is no problem.
It’s OK to miss the tidal wave of a trend. It’s OK to take your time. It’s OK to be late to the party, as long as you party with us whenever you get here.
Take it from resident party people Lucy Blue, and Hobo, and Spaghetti, and me.
But first, take it from my sainted Grandpa.
When it came to television, my Grandpa was gleefully notorious for climbing onto bandwagons that had been parked for at least 20 years (10 if he was feeling risky). In the 1980s and 90s, he was really digging those provocative new shows All in the Family and M*A*S*H*.* When he left us in 2009, he was just getting in on a wonderful little secret called Seinfeld.
He waited patiently to for things to settle into the culture and the canon and his own good time.
He was a wise, wonderful man. (The actual best, in fact.)
Like my Grandpa, cats are (a) spectacular and (b) in no hurry. They will delight in the delay, enjoy the shamelessly-uncool, make haste or make like molasses depending on their mood.
And like my Grandpa, they are always right on time for exactly what they need.
Hobo gazes out at this world through the very eyes of age. By some counts, he “should” have been at Tabby’s Place long ago, as he is every inch “A Tabby’s Place Cat” (Special Needs: check; extreme old age: check; irresistible, irrepressible, inimitable decrepitude: check). At the very least, he could have had the sense and style to join us at the same time as his (literal, actual, genetic) brother Simon.
Hobo came late.
Hobo didn’t get that memo.
Hobo, in all his haggard glory, is here to party.
As you can see, Hobo has no regrets about taking his time to take his place under our Tabbular sunshine. We’re just thrilled he’s here.
Likewise one Spaghetti Rosenberg, a black cat with a big heart and a burning desire to love you, yes you, whoever you are, even if you just stumbled upon Friends and Gordon Lightfoot. Spaghetti was a street cat for longer than he “should” have been, given his galumphing good-naturedness and sweet spirit. But Spaghetti noodled around out there for exactly the right amount of time, if you were to ask Spaghetti.
Who among us would question Spaghetti?
And then there’s Lucy Blue.
Lucy “never just Lucy” Blue is one of the most glorious and victorious cats ever to grace our halls. (You realize this is saying a lot. You also realize the title of “most glorious and victorious cat in Tabby’s Place history” is currently a 3,300-way tie.) Colossally calico, all eyes and intensity, Lucy Blue is arthritic, enormous, saddled with a history of inappropriate elimination, and the freshest thing out of Philadelphia since a certain prince.
We’ve waited a long time for our (Lucy) Blue period.
Fortunately, she was right on time…her own time.
Dear kittens, as you read this, it’s quite possible you’re feeling a little old and worn. In this Strange Season that seems to stretch into infinity, you can barely make out the ships at sea, wondering and worrying if perhaps you’ve missed yours.
The cats, my Grandpa and I are here to tell you that everything is OK.
“The right time” will take all the time it takes. You’re not getting left behind. You’re getting where you’re going, and when you get there, either it will all make sense, or it will be so peacefully right that “sense” won’t matter.
So enjoy the interim. Sink into the arms of the shadowy stretches. Trust that the world will welcome you, day by year by inscrutable eon.
Just promise you’ll keep partying with us, and muddling, and making the merriest we can of the days we’re given.
Now I’m going to go rock out to some Liz Phair and Tori Amos and enjoy my own inimitable decrepitude.**
*And, thanks to him, so was I. My actual first crush: Alan Alda.
**That said, it has come to my attention that I am the same age as Beyonce, ergo I will never be old. Your age-twin may be Harry Styles or Tina Turner or Betty White or Hobo Rosenberg, but rest assured that you, too, will never be too old to party, my people.