You may think that Ringoes, NJ was named for Ringo Starr and his clones.
You may think that Tabby’s Place has only tabby cats.
You may think the Special Needs Suite contains cats with Special Needs, and/or Special Needs Cats.
But I say unto you, dream a little bigger, darling.
There are many mysteries in this world of ours. How many giant iridescent squid are really at the bottom of the ocean? What truly happened in Ong’s Hat?
And why are the Tabby’s Place suites named as they are named?
If you walk into Tabby’s Place and face forward, our suites, from west to east, read as follows: Suite A, Suite C, Special Needs Suite, Suite FIV, Suite B.
In other words: huh?
Answer: some questions just don’t have answers.
But today, let’s shrink our inquiry to a single suite. There was a time when the Special Needs Suite contained Special Needs cats, traditionally defined. We’re talking diabetics, kidney-disease kids, and their prescription-diet comrades in arms.
There was also a time when men wore waistcoats to the grocery store. Times change.
Today, the Tabby’s Place Special Needs Suite is a whole ‘nother kind of special.
We’re talking neurotics, noodleheads, and garden-variety rock stars of the Luna variety.
If you’re looking for our (medical) Special Needs crew, cast your gaze far and wide: Carrot‘s in Suite B, the incontinent beasts are blasting Suite A, and diabetics span Suite C to the Lounge and beyond.
Matter of fact, the Special Needs Suite may be the only suite where the cats have no medical issues.
That’s not to say they lack ‘issues.’ Luna comes by her name honestly, and I don’t mean that she eats protein bars or moves the tides. Our lemon-eyed Luna-tic is just a few cycles short of howling at the moon, and no fingers or tails are safe from her teeth.
She’s special. And we love her madly amidst her madness.
Sneaky‘s name is unfortunate in that it is accurate, which accurately scares off potential adopters. No, she’s no deceiver — but she sneaks around the grates and gutters of our world, eely as she evades humanity. She’s come a long way, letting her picky picks of the human litter pet her. But there’s a long way yet to sneak towards snuggles.
She’s special. And we’re smitten with her amidst the sneaking.
Then there’s Sequoia, surrogate dad to flocks of fearful kittens. If Tabby’s Place were a carnival, Sequoia would be the large, hairy man manning Big Fat Daddy’s BBQ Bonanza, happy to nourish you but too bashful for conversation. Sequoia will let us love him, but only ever so slowly and sweetly.
He’s special. And our love is lasting enough to gooo sloooow.
If Sequoia is Big Fat Daddy, Sheldon (pictured in thumbnail) is the Invisible Man. Every inch of his Einsteinly orange mop shouts “GLORY!”, but every glint of his giant, anxious eyes whispers “DON’T KILL ME!” Once you get your hands on him, Sheldon’s a puddle of purring pleasure. But getting there is the journey of a thousand patient pitpats.
He’s special. And we’ll pitpat all the way to Poland and back if that’s what Sheldon needs.
We’re all special, kittens. This life together calls for patience, and healing, and grace. May we treat each other — feline and otherwise — with more tenderness than seems necessary.
It’s always necessary.
Photo credits from de top: Jess B x2, AT, Heather. MMMwah.