The world is, wants to, and/or will be open again.
OK, that does not constitute a deep question. The answer is obviously “no,” more specifically “no, mercy no, heavens to Boom no, for the love of Cherry Zero NO.”
Leaving aside for the moment the hugenormous issues around whether it’s wise/safe/stellar for the world to reopen partially/wholly/all hurdy-gurdy-hullaballooly in your area/my area/the entire area south of the Arctic Circle (which is having its own problems anyway), can we agree that the whole “return to normal” is a little rattling?
(Note that I am not using the expression “the new normal.” Am not, will not, shall not, cannot. This blog is a “new normal”-free zone, equally opposed to “we’re all in this together” and “in these unusual times.” QED.)
But rattled though we are, can we also agree that brave things are happening?
Volunteers — in small, carefully called-upon, meticulously scheduled numbers — are returning to Tabby’s Place. They are cleaning and scooping and scraping, loving and cuddling (not each other, not yet, we’re not quite that re-opened). They are wearing masks even if they loathe them. They are staying safe and staying 6′ apart and swashbuckling open new hours of time for our weary on-site staff to do more for more cats.
Our staff — our stalwart, sturdy on-site staff — is soldiering on, stronger and more bonded and beautiful than ever before. They, the sanctuary associates and non-Angela managers and assorted exceptional humans, have been doing the work of 200 volunteers for three months. Now they have the blessing of only having to do the work of approximately 190 volunteers. It’s a little difference that means a lot.
The cats — the most valiant creatures among us, death-defying and glee-dealing and at their braggadocious best — are accommodating everyone in this ever-turning kaleidoscope. They pirouetted into the Land of Few People; they will mambo back to the Land of A Few More. A lucky few have downright done the tarantella right out our door, being handed by Masked Staffer to Masked Adopter at the end of a successful video-driven adoption. Yep, really: this is a little pilot program we’ve been experimenting with, and it seems you can meet and love and choose a cat (and be chosen) by Skype quite nicely. More details soon.
Meantime, let the record show that Tabby’s Place is proceeding — plodding, perhaps, but with panache — with exceptional caution (exquisite, I would say, but then, I tend to be a connoisseur of caution where global pandemics are concerned). We want to see/hug/adopt cats to you — all of you YES ALL OF YOU ALL ALL ALL — but, frankly, it’s going to be a little while yet.
So, no: if you were planning on it, I’m sorry to say we will not be open to the public in time for the Feast of St. Phocas the Gardener.
First, we’re doing the boring heroics of getting our whole team on board with Keep Everyone Alive tactics: proper mask usage, social distancing, temperature checks et al. It’s not the stuff of a Fast and Furious movie (although if they keep making them, they may need to consult us for plot ideas — Cotton could provide several), but it’s the stern, stellar stuff of survival.
And it’s the stuff that will keep us strong on the way to the new, true, future form of “open” that awaits us all.
I’m too much of a weenie to claim I’ll meet it with open arms. But we’ll meet it together, on tenterhooks and tightropes, and someday, we’ll all be together again.
Until then, keep your hearts open and your fires burning, kittens. Onward.