Happy New Year, Team TNR!
No, I haven’t lost my mind (although the argument could be made that it was never mine to lose).
If you’ve ever exulted in the aroma of new pencils, you know where I’m coming from. September is a second January, all golden with new beginnings. My inner elementary schooler has never grown up, and I rejoice at the “restart” of each new autumn.
Then again, cats don’t consult calendars. As far as they’re concerned, New Year’s Day begins the hour you become a Tabby’s Place cat. What brighter beginning than becoming loved?
This month, your love landed like a maple leaf on a boy as sweet as syrup. It was an ordinary day in one of our TNR colonies when two bright eyes studied our caregivers. Would these food-bearing folks be kind? What sort of story had the little white cat stumbled into?
Was something wonderful about to begin?
The “new kid in class” was Oliver, an honors student with a major in snuggles. From the hour we met him, Oliver had his 4.0 in “friendly.” But how did he find his way into our feral colony?
This is one of the unsung essentials of TNR work: being alert to new arrivals. When we encounter a cat who’s as hungry for hugs as he is for salmon, we immediately wonder if he’s been lost or abandoned.
Sure enough, adorable Oliver was already neutered…and microchipped.
Oliver’s chip told a head-scratching story. He belonged to someone in Philadelphia…over an hour’s drive from Tabby’s Place. He is not quite old enough to have his learner’s permit. Had he been hitchhiking our way since New Year’s?
We’ll never know, but we’ll never forget the jubilant faces of a heartsick Philly family.
That’s right: Oliver’s folks had been searching for him, never giving up hope that he was still alive!
It seems Oliver had taken himself on an unauthorized field trip while his family was away. They scoured their neighborhood to no avail, brokenhearted but determined.
When the microchip company called to say that their baby was safe in a rural little ragamuffin town called Ringoes, New Jersey…well, it was better than New Year’s, Valentine’s Day, and all the birthdays that ever sparkled.
There are so many lessons here. TNR is a saving mercy to “friendly” cats as much as ferals. Microchips save lives, even for cats who never go outside.
And most importantly, love is always in session, making things new.
Thanks to you, dear sponsors, one star student will spend September in the arms he adores. We can only imagine that the other cats in our colony are still talking: “Who was that guy? Did he transfer to another school already? Wasn’t he handsome?”
In every new season, know that we’re talking about you at Tabby’s Place: “Aren’t they stunning? Don’t we have the most generous supporters on Earth? Aren’t we blessed beyond measure to have them in our lives?”
Yes, yes, yes!
Happy, happy New Year!
With love and gratitude,
your correspondent, Angela
PS: One last thing…I’d like to formally invite you to the Grand Opening of Quinn’s Corner on Saturday 10/7! From 12-4pm, we’ll be celebrating Tabby’s Place’s expansion for FeLV+ cats, and we’d sure love to have you with us. We’ll have tours, speeches, activities for all ages, and of course visits with our sensational cats! We’ll be emailing you further details soon, but please mark your calendars for this fabulous moment in feline history.