On beauty duty

On beauty duty

Everyone knows we only take cats from hopeless situations.

Everyone knows we only take cats who need us like the ocean needs the moon.

But you should also know: we only take beautiful cats.

Claire, one of the two most beautiful cats to arrive on one audacious day in Tabby’s Place history

This is not Tabby’s Place’s reputation, but it is a fact. We are an exclusive sanctuary for the beautiful. The only cats welcome here are those fitting the following descriptions: shimmering lyric, whiskered sonnet, and/or midsummer night’s dream.

We have yet to meet a cat not fitting these criteria.

I guess we’ve just been lucky that way.

Then again, we believe in beauty more than luck.

Beautiful is as beautiful does, and “beautiful” does not do justice to fair Claire. She is the calendar cat, straight from central casting to play our fairy queen. She is all eight hundred Disney princesses. She is the light that woke Shakespeare in the night. She is earth’s first dawn and sunset’s last playful pinks.

Claire’s resplendent sister Moo Moo

Claire is beautiful by a thousand standards, but she’s only concerned to count to one.


Should she ever be shorn of those Rapunzel locks, Claire would be no less a revelation. Should clouds gather in her green eyes, no fog should clog her splendor. The most beautiful cat at Tabby’s Place bears her title because she cares so deeply about everyone she meets.

Just as we festoon our nibbly cats with orange collars, perhaps we should affix a rosy warning to cats like Claire. Beware: bask in this beauty, and you risk losing your ability to think ill of yourself. Warning: keep company with this cherub, and you may become permanently infected with hope. Achtung, baby: sing songs with this belle, and you will never again have the luxury of forgetting your own song.

Claire’s hair flares sunlike because a shorter mane could not contain such grace.

Claire loves so freely, she frees the plain and pained from the lie of ugliness.

Claire, surprising 0.000% of poets and lovers, was adopted faster than you can read a haiku.

But beauty plays on a hundred stages, and a longer stay does not reflect lesser loveliness. Claire was not the only Most Beautiful Cat At Tabby’s Place to arrive that historic day. She shared the sash and crown with her sister, the equally exquisite, exoplanet-sized Moo Moo.

If Claire was the calendar cat, Moo Moo is the face of the eon. All watercolors and weight, eighteen pounds of poetry wrote itself across our lives like a tattoo, like a flower lei, like an enormous epiphany.

Adoption applications arrived by the armload for Claire, but Moo Moo made no protest. Beauty is no predictable Disney script, and the stunning life astonishes with each new stanza. Moo Moo would be ours a little longer than her sister, and all because some great poet saw fit to make our days lovely.

Jonathan, our Founder and Executive Director, approvingly describes certain cats as “dense as a neutron star.” This is the density that bespeaks brilliance, and Moo Moo is a bespoke creation of the star-thrower who makes no blunders.

Even the shnubbin on her majestic nose — this is the precise veterinary term — is a whisper from another world, a mark where the angels could not help but keep kissing their favorite patchwork cat. Cytology will tell you that it is a harmless cyst, but cytology knows far less than Shakespeare’s silliest fool.

Beautiful is as beautiful does

The shnubbin shimmers because it helps make up a Moo Moo.

The sweet secret is that one hundred cats fit inside the crown of Most Beautiful Cat At Tabby’s Place.

The Moo mood around here is festive, even puckish.

But everyone should know: Tabby’s Place is hazardous to your humility.

Hang around such beautiful beings, and they may convince you that you hung the moon.

Listen to their perfect poetry, and you may see Titania, Queen of the Fairies, in the mirror.

Love and be loved, and you will be helpless to prevent becoming beautiful. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

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