The world is shivering.
The world is confused.
But the world, in all its whacked-out, wobbly, willy-nilly weakness, is also trying to hug us really tight.
Exhibit A: Yale’s most popular course in the history of Yale is now being offered free, to you and me, online. The subject? Happiness. (Specifically, Psychology and the Good Life, a deep-dive into positive psychology and its applications.)
Exhibit B: The children of all ages drawing vast cathedrals of chalk in all of our neighborhoods, telling us to keep going and keep loving and other messages coded in complex drawings of houses and frogs and hearts.
This is not the time to puff up like a bullfrog and tell you that I, Angela Hartley, campaigned loud and long and lamentably for many years to have a litter of kittens named for filled-dough pouches. (I have already told you. I do not tire of telling you. But not today.)
That’s because our very grown-up, very glorious dough-pouch brigade is here, and more precisely, they are here for us.
We have already explored the splendors of one Dumpling Rosenberg, not that such splendors could ever be fully fathomed by the human species. Dumpling is dynamic; Dumpling is the size of Denver; Dumpling is devoid of all sharp angles and edges; Dumpling is undaunted by anything or anyone that exists.
Dumpling does not have time for quivering over quarantine, or any of the belly-aching that besets our species but not hers. Dumpling is too busy dumping love in all directions (by which I mean exclusively on humans, because non-Dumpling cats are kind of gross), and doing surprisingly dainty deeds, and offering her own most popular course free to you and me: Not Giving A Flying Frittata 101.
While you and I and this wibbling world of ours have ups and downs and days of wretchedness and roses, Dumpling simply thrives. She puffs up like a bullfrog just to tell you she exists. She takes ownership of perches and towers and towering thoughts like “Dumpling for President/Empress/Planetary Overbeast.”
Dumpling is here for us, heaving her confidence in our direction. I’ll take a dump truck full of that, please.
What they lack in Dumplingly confidence, Ms. D’s fellow dough pouch personnel make up in marvelosity.
Consider the wonders of one Wonton. Yes, it’s true; if you look at his adopt-me page, you’ll see that his qualities include the following:
- Personality: Timid
- How I feel about children: Not comfortable
- How I feel about tweens: Not comfortable
- How I feel about adolescents: Is anyone comfortable?
- How I feel about adults: Not comfortable
- How I feel about the elderly: Very fondly, but…not comfortable
- Favorite band: N*SYNC
Clearly Wonton has “issues.”
But wrapped up in that pensive tabby pouch is something far more interesting than extreme introversion. Wonton may have issues with our species and music appreciation, but what issues forth from him — beautifully, blazingly, like a roaring river of soy saucy goodness — is love for cats.
All cats. Any cats. Every cat who ever dreamed of friendship.
Wonton is the one cat who can make you feel like Miss Feline America even if everyone else says your feet are ugly and you smell like vegan cheese. Wonton will hug and hold and heap himself upon you even if your nickname in the suite is Unhuggable Ulysses. Wonton will make your world a nest of safety even when the world outside spins like a top. His love will never let you down. He will give you an A+, with stickers to boot, in his most popular class: Solidarity 101.
Wonton will take care of you. (If you are feline. Or Lance Bass.)
And then there’s Pierogi.
The world was just about to take the swan-dive into Lake Pandemic when Pierogi was adopted, so we never got to celebrate his happiness properly on this blog. But make no mistake: this was the perfect pouch of purrs, a tuxedo so triumphantly sweet, his time with us was sure to be short. As expected, Pierogi was pinched up in no time.
But he left us grinning, grace-soaked, with swaths of black-and-white fur all over us. Pierogi’s most popular course? How To Fully Furrify Dark AND Light Clothing 101.
Of course, Dumpling, Wonton and Pierogi are only the cats named for dough-pouches. The pouches of hope and wonder are legion, at Tabby’s Place and beyond. The world will strew them at your feet and in your orbit day after day, even in these strangest of days.
It’s up to you, and me, and all the brave and trembling beasts among us, to pick them up.