Happy Newvember, Team TNR!
Yes, October’s bright blaze is over, and we’re hurtling towards the hinge of the year. But even tired old November, with its brown-sugar-crisp leaves, has something new for us.
This is that time of year when we have to keep kindling each other’s fireplaces, isn’t it? It’s so easy to carp about the cold; it’s so much richer to delight in the cozy.
And “the cozy” is what Tabby’s Place is all about.
When you and I last met over pumpkin pie and purrs last month, Tabby’s Place had just welcomed a feast of felines. Muffin and Chicken Nugget came to us by way of a feral colony at a soon-to-be-shuttered women’s prison. Before you could say “now that‘s a quirky cornucopia,” the duo was joined by the equally scrumptious Habanero and Poblano.
But while Muffin was a mushmonster (I believe this is the formal term used by zoologists and other persons smarter than myself for “a cat of infinite affection”) and Chicken Nugget was a gentle gentleman, the last two arrivals were…well, spicy.
Not to worry. Tabby’s Place has yet to pick a peck of purring peppers we don’t adore, and these saucy sisters would be no exception.
Thanks to you, there was never any question that we would be there for this feasty feral-born foursome. We take the promise “once a Tabby’s Place cat, always a Tabby’s Place cat” seriously, and this vow extends to every cat in our TNR colonies. In most cases, that means we’ll be there for them if they’re hungry, injured, or in need of dental attention, always vigilant to their well-being.
But in some cases, it means they’ll come under our roof and into our arms. Which brings me back to the feasty beasts of fall 2022.
Since last month, Muffin has made the most of her new digs, delving into love like a toddler left unsupervised with the Thanksgiving pies. She’s knee-deep in devotion, and we’re every bit as smitten with her. We’re currently treating her for an upper respiratory infection — something that could have caused serious suffering outside, but is merely a minor inconvenience under our roof. Meanwhile, she’s treating us to streusel-sweet tenderness every day. Swooning? Why, yes, yes we are.
Then there’s Marvelous Mr. Nugget, who couldn’t fully appreciate the humor of living at Tabby’s Place at the same time as a resident named Chicken Salad (quite a poultry profusion to be living among a staff of mostly vegetarians!).
He can, however, fully appreciate his snuggly new world, where he’s becoming a connoisseur of cozy as he slowly warms up to us. Not quite as nuzzly as his sister-cousin (surely they’re related; it’s anyone’s guess how), Chicken Nugget is no less cherished.
He is, however, much less sickly than he was on arrival, as medication has made mincemeat of his upper respiratory infection. As of this writing, he’s settling into our FIV+ Suite, soon to be besotted with cat-loving cats like Doby, Audrey, and Tanner. Oh! what delicious devotion is his, from at least two species. (I can’t speak for the sparrows who snicker at our cats from just beyond the solariums.)
Like Chicken Nugget, Habanero is FIV+. Unlike her elder brother (cousin? uncle? half-step-grandfather?), Habby — we’re on nickname terms, she and I — hasn’t quite made peace with her place under our roof. But fear not: we’re in the business of deep-frying fear until all that’s left is luscious peace. The Habster has moved into my office, of all places, where my (bad) singing and (well-meaning) nicknames join our entire staff’s efforts to help her settle into the coziest life she’s ever known.
Whether or not she can fully appreciate it, it’s a very good thing little Habby is here, as she came with untreated hyperthyroidism, a nasty upper respiratory infection, and painful teeth. All shall be healed, now that our precious pepper has found her people (even if she might have some “saucy” nicknames for us right now).
Down the hall in our Director of Operations’ office, a friendlier pepper is popping out of peril. A sweet older lady, Poblano doesn’t want problemos with anybody — just a warm, soft place to dream of baking blueberry muffins for her grandchildren, or the feline equivalent. We’re still trying to determine if she’s visually impaired, as she initially seemed. Cats are exquisitely good at navigating the world even with no vision at all, so it can be difficult to establish how much they see. But either way, we see only sweetness in Poblano’s future…and, day by day, she’s seeing just how much we love her.
And if all of that still leaves you hungry for hope, fret not. November has one more ember, glowing warm and bright.
His name…is Taylor Ham.
Don’t blame us. (Especially not if you live in a part of New Jersey where the same item is known exclusively as Pork Roll. If you think political parties are divided, you ain’t seen North and South Jerseyites debating this meat product.) We call them as we see them, and when we first laid eyes on T.H., he was in a trap with…Taylor ham.
He, too, has a painful mouth, a raging upper respiratory infection (which they were apparently handing out like stale Halloween candy at the prison), and FIV. He, too, has a whole new world of cozy to conquer.
He, too, is here, and loved, and safe, all because of you.
Now that’s a Thanksgiving pre-feast if ever there was one.
Beloved sponsors, as you and your loveys light your candles and give your thanks this month, I hope you’ll hear a happy horde of no-longer-hungry cats singing your praises. It’s only thanks to you that life is a bowl of cranberry sauce for cats who once suffered. Loneliness is off the menu forever, and healing love has the final word at this feast.
Thank you from the depths of my heart!
Love, your correspondent,