As a general rule, the Tabby’s Place cats started from the bottom. Now they’re here.
Leading the race to the top these days is none other than our very own personal Sherpa.*
As seasoned, weathered readers of this blog will know, we’re no strangers to seasoned, weathered wanderers of feral highways and byways. Free-roaming, stray and otherwise scraggly cats straggle into our doors regularly. Sometimes they look like feline James Cagney, scarred and cauliflower-eared. Sometimes they’re blessedly unscathed.
But rarely are they Photoshop-perfect, living stuffed animals.
A certain member of our staff who shall remain anonymous, other than to note that he is our Founder and Executive Director and has a name rhyming with Ronathan, has often dreamed of a wild and free land. Ronathan’s own personal Brigadoon isn’t home to unicorns and pegasuses, however; it’s the province of a rambling band of feral Himalayans. “Wouldn’t that be cool?” quoth Ronathan. “Feral Himalayans, roving the streets in a pack!”
Himalayans are perhaps the most docile of all cats. If a Bengal tiger is Tabasco and a standard-issue tabby is Coca-Cola, a Himalayan is chamomile with 45 Ambiens dissolved in it. Tabbies are Lucky Charms; Himalayans are Cream of Wheat. Tabbies are Saturday Night Live; Himalayans are the Yule Log.
Unless you’re pouring Tabasco in your Cream of Wheat, you’re not likely to find that feral Himalayan posse this side of a very bad trip.
Or so we thought.
That’s until 4.3 pounds of calendar-perfect Himalayan glory showed up on the street. Meet Sherpa.
Originally rescued by our veterinarian, the eminent Dr. Collins, Sherpa is the first and only free-roaming Himalayan of our acquaintance.
It’s not really fair to call Sherps “feral.” Honestly, he appears every bit as perplexed about his situation as we are. With a face of perpetual disdain and facial hair of perpetual awesomeness, Sherpa seems to be the love child of Grumpy Cat and Wilford Brimley. (Perhaps that’s how he ended up outdoors; those two celebrities were trying to avoid scandal. TMZ, give us a call anytime.)
If Dobro is a good yardstick for feral, Sherpa is approximately as feral as Eeyore. If Dobro is Vladimir Putin, Sherpa is the Pre-K Student Council President. If Dobro is Kiss, Sherpa is Linda Ronstadt.
If Dobro is feral, Sherpa is a true, tender Himalayan.
He’s also a bit terrified at the moment, and we can’t blame him. Although Sherps has made massive progress since joining the Tabby’s Place family, he’s still underweight, and whatever threw him onto the streets has still thrown him for a bit of a loop.
That said, don’t tell Sherpa he’s a pushover. Dude’s got some street cred to maintain. He’s not gonna live with those yuppies in Suite B — Sherpa’s man enough to room with Max and Sammy. Flowing mane and robin’s-egg eyes to the contrary, this ain’t no namby-pamby pretty boy. OK, actually it is. But let him believe he’s born to be wild. He may be as feral as Big Bird, but little Sherpa thinks he’s fierce. He’s kind of like that guy you knew in 9th grade who was 87 pounds soaking wet and captain of the Mathletes, but always wore T-shirts that said NO FEAR. The lion is within.
And the swooning humans are all over. As his fearful days are ebbing, our far-from-feral fluffmonster is in search of his own forever Brigadoon.
Meantime, we’re letting Sherpa be our guide from the bottom to the top, one timid, hairy purr at a time.
*Be it known that our Sherpa wholeheartedly supports those other Sherpas’ current labor battle. Power to the people. No fear.
Photo credits: Awesome photo by Mark and His Camera of Neverending Magic. Subawesome photos by AT’s Phone of Epic Averageness.