From orange and green to blue and red, superheroes’ outfits come in pretty much all of the colors.
Some are extravagantly garish, like Booster Gold’s flamboyant unitard, designed to be attention grabbing. Some are muted or dark, enabling wearers, like Black Widow, to hide in shadows (all the better to ninja with!). None are as perfectly fitted nor as perfectly fitting as the shades of fur that enrobe the cats of Tabby’s Place.
Being the truest of heroes, the sanctuary’s residents go about their days pretending to be mild mannered (well, some are not so very that) in order to lull us into believing they are mere cats (note the difference from meerkats, although they are pretty cool too). Notice that I did not include “reporters” following “mild mannered”. Cats are notoriously poor reporters, known to declaim starvation and need for more attention no matter how lavishly or recently food and affections have been bestowed upon them. [(Grecca, are you paying attention?)
In response to their hollerings and hopings for endless fish mush and pâtés de mouse (will all due apologies to the France and to chefs everywhere), the staff and volunteers fall over themselves to tempt and fill tummies. In the act of serving, of taking care of each cat individually, per each cat’s needs and wants, we are saved. We become something better, something grander because we act together, because we tend to those who would otherwise be lost.
But, make no mistake, we are absolutely not the heroes of this story.
Our heroes include the likes of Mighty Mika, who spreads massive smiles in a single bound and so effectively she has already blasted off to her forever home. Another hero, one who is in it for the long haul, is SuperSteven who leaps into love by quietly asking for pets and snuggles and by being floofy and cute and just the nicest little marmalade man…ahem. Pardon me.
Not to be outdone by their fellows, Antin is extravagantly cloaked in black and white and speeding into our affections alongside Bonifacia, whose grey and white cloaking and small size belie her magnificence and enormity. For the sake of time and space, we’ll limit this list to these aforementioned heroes rather than elucidating on each and every one of the 100+ fur-clad super beings that make Tabby’s Place their home.
There is a dynamic duo that have a not-at-all-secret hideout within Quinn’s Corner. You’ve heard the tales. You know their names. You might not be aware of their secret identities because those are, well, secret. These two cats that have doubled-down on heroics are Ponce de Leon and Durin. They are double positive: FIV and FeLV. They are double delightful. They are more refreshing than Wrigley’s Doublemint gum. They have more BAM and POW than Batman and Robin (or Emeril Lagasse). Every visitor to their suite is treated to a double dose of gentility and hospitality. Within their domain, everyone who enters is royalty. Everyone leaves twofold better off than they were before walking through the door.
This duo evidences how, in providing a sanctuary of last and lasting hope, Tabby’s Place has become a saving grace for the people who have answered the call. There may be no gritty commissioner, and the call may not be a literal light that shines into the darkness, but there is grit and light that turn a building into more than a shelter and a cat sanctuary into a haven for all who enter. The hard work would be its own reward. Yet, the cats bestow honors freely. They endear themselves to us and us to each other.
The resulting safety net of endearment and cherishment is what saves us daily and enables us to help them more wholly. In teaching us how to read their subtle cues, they awaken our alertness to the silences of those of our own species. As we learn how to understand specific calls in cat-onese and to identify the differences between ear twitches and tail flicks, we learn the subtleties of the humans around us too. Learning from our feline heroes enables us to be more attentive to each other and ourselves. Being saved in this way is not a single feat of strength or power. The legacy is not one of becoming overawed and star-struck.
The legacy of the heroics performed at Tabby’s Place is a magnificent set of paw prints that encircle the globe. These paw prints form ley lines that connect shelters and sheltering hearts. These ley lines create a vast chain of energy and enlightenment that at once envelope and free us. By following in the steps of our furred heroes, we create ley lines and conga lines of our own. By rising to meet their needs, we become better able to answer different kinds of calls for help, even from within. By working and dancing together, by tending and caretaking together, in no time, by making the time to save cats from desperate situations, we are well on our way to saving the world.