Dear Supporters of Hobo,
I’ve known about Hobo for some time. From a distance. He was Simon’s housemate—before they both came to live at Tabby’s Place. And because I wrote for Simon every month, I was a bit curious about the unusually skinny gray-and-white kitty who hung out in the lobby. But I didn’t know Hobo all that well, I have to admit. For the wonderful sponsors of Simon, who is now bringing his joy to his forever family after being adopted, welcome to Hobo’s world!
I’d spot him in various places—under the big table in one of the cat beds, trying to catch a snooze, or propped up on top of one of the cages that another kitty had claimed as their private resting place. But his favorite place was on what appeared to be a colorful hammock that, perhaps, reminded him of a past life in the tropical islands.
When I tried to pet him, he’d give me that fishy-eyed look, as if he wanted to know—well, who are you and what do you want? You’re not trying to give me a pill, are you?
I loved his name. I wondered whether he was named Hobo for a specific reason? Did he remind his owner of a hobo?
When I had the chance to really look at him, I could see he wasn’t the most beautiful cat I’d ever seen. His tail was way too skinny. His fur was uneven and a bit matted in places. I had this strong compulsion to pick him up and give him a good combing—to try and make him more presentable. But then I had this crazy idea that maybe he was trying to live up to his “hobo” reputation—that he’d lived a kind of wild, adventurous life and his coat told the story. Yes, I decided, Hobo had been places and done some wondrous things. In point of fact, I later learned from the staff that Hobo doesn’t like to be groomed. So I felt I was beginning to uncover the mystery.
I began to make more discoveries. Hobo likes being petted. He just needs to know someone better, and since I was the newcomer on the block, so to speak, he was a bit wary. But even more than “pets,” he likes food. Treats—nice yummy treats—and dinner. He’s part of what is affectionately called the “dinner gang”—the cutest group of kitties who hangs out near the doors that lead to the laundry room, where it just so happens all the meals are prepared. Magically, they all seem to know when that dinner hour is. And yet, despite his passion for food, his weight can fluctuate suddenly so the staff has to monitor him closely. And not just for that reason.
I also discovered Hobo has a myriad of other health concerns. He receives oral meds twice a day for his hyperthyroidism and chronic herpes. He also gets subcutaneous fluids once each afternoon. And as crazy as it might sound, Hobo prefers the fluids to the pills. The staff tries to catch him off guard so they don’t have to chase him in order to give him his pills. He has bloodwork done every month, and he receives chemotherapy every two weeks.
So now I began to understand why the poor guy shied away from grooming. I mean enough is enough! We all have our good and bad days, but this poor guy, at this moment in time, has quite a bit on his plate. And yet, somehow, he manages to cheerfully mosey around the lobby, remain curious and affectionate, and participate in the small joys that life has to offer. Suddenly, he was becoming my inspiration for life!
Hobo is a lot like Stafford was, for those of you wonderful sponsors of Stafford who had to bid him on his way to kitty heaven. I welcome you to the Hobo fan club and am sure you will enjoy the stories of Hobo.
If you’re wondering why I’m describing Hobo as looking so “hobo-ish” and yet in some of these photos he looks like the most handsome and charming cat, well, stay tuned for next month when I reveal a little secret that I discovered about what can happen behind the scenes at Tabby’s Place.
Hobo and I thank you for your continued generosity to this wonderful shelter. Without your contributions, Hobo and so many kitties like him, would not have a warm and comfortable place to live.
Your ever grateful correspondent,