Someone has done it again.
Someone has shone the Cat Sign — think Batman, more feline — into the sky, and we are helpless in its glow.
Bewildered and bothered, the Tabby’s Place staff has found ourself awash in cats. Tabby’s Place cats.
Old Tabby’s Place cats.
That’s right: alumni are returning to us from homes that turned out to be sub-forever.
Whether it’s something in the water or the curve of the earth, or just that starry sign that only cats can see, it’s been a week of woeful returns.
I do mean woeful: these are not surrenders of the “he doesn’t match my furniture” variety. (Yes, that was an actual reason an actual person once gave for surrendering her cat. Yes, my heart beat violently in my chest. Yes, I had to silently repeat love is patient love is patient loveispatientloveisPATIENT!!!! in my violent heart.)
Out of respect for the humans involved, I will but graze over the details here. Suffice to say that each family was assaulted by genuine grief, some of which approaches the level of Greek tragedy. In each case, it was quite honestly an extremely loving thing to return their cats to Tabby’s Place. Once a Tabby’s Place cat, always a Tabby’s Place cat. We are thankful that, amidst the slings and arrows of their own sorrows, each of these families saw the cat sign and restored their kitties to our safe haven.
Regardless of reason, these are trippy days for cats who don’t quite know where or whose they are.
Autumn-hued Kelly hadn’t seen the inside of Tabby’s Place in a matter of years. Her initial stay with us was so brief that we couldn’t blame her if she didn’t even remember Tabby’s Place at all. (“What did you say? Tubby’s Place? That sounds vaguely familiar…”) Her eyes huge as olives, she’s taking her time settling back in.
She came back to us with adoptive sibling Twilight. Since her own departure from Tabby’s Place, Twilight has morphed into an entire galaxy. Or, if this be a twilight, it’s the twilight that Iceland and northern Sweden know in winter: that is, 24 hours of twilight. At any rate, she left us the size of a tortilla chip, and has returned as the whole enchilada.
As Denise succinctly put it: Twilight could be Virginia‘s stunt double.
If she’s looking for an action-hero costar, she need search no further than the next Quarantine cage over. She’ll find our next returnee, Hermes. The following is Dr. C’s description, verbatim, of Hermes upon doing his re-intake exam today: “He’s gorgeous and in perfect body condition.”
Yes, lords and ladies, we have the Channing Tatum of cats.
Initially shy upon reentry, our little Olympian has vaulted back to the pinnacle of confidence. Although he’s out of kittenhood, our hunk is undoubtedly on the fast track back to adoption. When you share a name with both a Greek “god” and a high-end scarf designer, how can you lose?
“Losing” is also not part of the plan for our final boomerang cat. Tuxedo-clad Habib was part of Scheherezade‘s litter. He was adopted almost instantly, as kittens often are. But, 1,001 tales of woe later, he’s back at Tabby’s Place and full grown. As friendly as ever, Habib, too, seems sure to be adoption-bound.
Matter of fact, I hope he can re-ignite interest from an old friend. Back all those many moons ago, during Habib’s first stay at Tabby’s Place, our little tuxedo was the featured “cat of the week” in our local paper. Often this 15 minutes of fame lights an incendiary spark in central NJ, causing folks to jam our phone lines with questions about That Cat. So it was with Habib. He was already spoken for by the time I got the call from a nice man we’ll call Nice Man.
At this point, I should make clear that Habib’s name is pronounced Ha-beeb.
“Haah thayre,” said Nice Man, who was clearly not from NJ. (I suspect he calls soda “pop.”) “I’m cawlin’ about the cay-it in the pay-per. Hobbib’s ‘iz nay-um.”
At first I thought it was Jonathan pranking me. (In order to protect the innocent/my job, I can neither confirm nor deny that he has actually done such things.)
“Hobbib. Yeeea-up. Saw ‘im in the pay-per.”
Just when I was about to reach for Rosetta Stone: Mississippi Edition, it clicked. “Ha-beeb!”
Alas, I had to tell Nice Man that Hobbib had already been spoken for.
Nice Man: Be it known that if you’re still fixin’ to adopt, Hobbib hasn’t forgotten you. How could he, or I, or any cay-it in his right mind?
Never forgotten: so it is with every Tabby’s Place cat. We’ll be here every time the Cat Sign shines.
Photo credits from the top: Wired.com, I Have No Idea, I Have No Idea, I Have No Idea, and Denise.