Happy October, community cat champs!
When it comes to this time of year, it seems there are two camps.
There are those who see autumn as an engoldening, freshly emboldened by the warm palette and soft sweaters and permission to pause. They breathe deeply, stretch their arms over their heads, and whisper, “cozy season has come.”
Then there are those who crinkle their noses, wrinkle their brows, and growl, “winter comes next. And everything smells like decay. Where’s my boogie board so I can book it out of NJ?”
Cats, of course, fall into the former camp.
Then again,cats have an uncanny way (maybe it’s cannier than we think) of uncorking the good in every season, every circumstance, every instant.
Maybe that’s why you and I like hanging out with them so much.
This month, we’re hanging out with three all-season sweethearts, courtesy of your kindness. If any cats know a thing or ten about the wages of winter, it’s this tattered trio.
You may recall that, for over a decade now, Tabby’s Place has assisted with TNR at a women’s correctional facility. Three thousand cats later, we’re still at it…but this chapter of our story is coming to an end. With the impending closure of the prison, the few remaining cats face a very lonely winter.
Or, rather, they would, without you and Tabby’s Place.
But this is an autumn of infinite love, and so they’ve come into our embrace. Meet Muffin, Chicken Nugget, and Habanero.
These snack-named survivors arrived on the eve of October, and it’s our delight to reassure them that the days ahead will be all treats, no tricks.
Muffin might have been better named “Candy Corn,” because she seems to be comprised of pure, undiluted sweetness. Even when our vet team was drawing blood for her initial intake exam, Muffin, well, made “muffins” with her happy paws, exulting in the embrace of warm arms. She’s almost as happy to be here as we are to have her. She’ll be even happier once we treat her painful dental disease.
Her good friend Chicken Nugget* is even more clearly in need of a happy meal. Estimated to be 15+ years old, this FIV+ grandpa apparently lived off the leftovers in the prison dumpster. But those days are long over, and Nugget is now nestled in the world’s warmest sweater for any cat: Tabby’s Place.
(I proposed this as our new tagline. Jonathan was less than impressed.)
It’s breathtaking, isn’t it, dear ones? Here are two cats who have seen the stark side of every season. But still, they bless this new day with their trust unfurled and their hearts wide open. Change is scary, but they packed their courage. And at Tabby’s Place, they’ll have all the time they need to unpack their suitcases and their sweetness.
Even if it takes some time…which, in the case of our third autumn arrival, it might.
While Muffin and Nugget are autumn-souls with pumpkin pie hearts, Habanero brings the last flash of summer heat…and lightning. Named for her “spicy” introduction, our striped pepper hasn’t popped open her heart to us just yet. That’s more than OK; we love her exactly as she is, and we’ll settle her into this new season as slowly as she needs.
And this, of course, is the Tabby’s Place way.
But only because of you.
Beloved sponsors, whatever autumn kindles in your heart, it’s my wish for you that you’ll find the patience — within and without — to embrace this October and let it embrace you. If three lonely cats from a correctional facility can find new life and new love, we can all count on a harvest of hope as the year grows old and gold.
Muffin, Chicken Nugget, Habanero and I wish you an exquisite October. Thank you for your shining generosity in all seasons!
Love, your correspondent,
*Not to be confused with his fellow Tabby’s Place resident Chicken Salad, nor former resident McNugget. We are a strange and hungry pack of mostly-vegans on this staff.