Update for the TNR Fund

Update for the TNR Fund

Despina, daughter of Neptune

Dearest Sponsors,


Ahem. I mean, happy May to you.

Forgive my frippery, but it is May, a month of mirth second to none. It is a month in which golden-hearts like you have equipped Tabby’s Place to cherish all the kittens who need us.

But it’s not just any May. This is May 2024, the first full month of our lives in which we get to love Verne and Sparky.

Now I am getting ahead of myself.

Despina’s sister Galatea

First things first: thank you! (And also: tra-LA!) You and the whole Tabby’s Place family gave so generously to our Cherish the Kittens Fund Drive, we reached the goal a month ahead of deadline.

Just imagine how many wee ones will thrive in the light of such mighty love!

I could dance for joy (but I will spare you, not to mention the cats, who have signed a petition asking me to refrain from what I call “dancing,” and they call “disturbing”).

As you’ll recall, our TNR work has recently included a bumper crop of pregnant and nursing cats. Even after 17 years at Tabby’s Place, I get weepy watching these selfless mothers every spring. Neptune, Jupiter, Saturn, Almond, Shelby, and Daphne have all devoted themselves to their newborns with such tenderness and tenacity, I want to be like them when I grow up.

But grown-ups get to become kittens again when they become Tabby’s Place cats. The most darling buds of May 2024 are full-sized.


Sparky believes himself to be fun-sized. He is not wrong. All legs and elbows, our gangly marmalade jester came from a local feral colony … and he came to party.

He is the guy who pulled your ponytail in second grade. He is the yellow smiley face on the station wagon bumper. He is the orange crayon, the kazoo at the orchestra, and all three Beastie Boys.

He is mischief and majesty.

He would not be here at all, if not for you.

Sparky happens to be infected with feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV), which you and I know is no threat to a long and healthy life. Elsewhere, those three letters could have spelled a very short story. But at Tabby’s Place, Sparky is writing a novel about hugs and hijinks. (He is writing it in neon marker, and decorating it with stickers.)

If Sparky is comedy, fellow community cat Verne is romance.

Darling Verne!

Perhaps this is not how the average person would describe her. But, dear sponsors, there is nothing average about you. You find the poetry in the prose, and the splendor in the ordinary. You know, to quote the French writer Colette, that “there are no ordinary cats.”

So, I presume you are already smitten with Verne before I speak a word. But, oh, there is so much to say.

Coming from the same colony as Vinnie, Verne may as well have been around the world in eighty days. She had painfully infected toenails on both front feet, but she’s not one to take out her pain on others.

Even the sweetest cat can be “zestful” for her intake exam, but Verne was a portrait of patience. Our vet team is taking care of her toes, and Verne is taking command of our hearts.

That little garlic-knot ear only makes her more beautiful, don’t you think?

What’s a girl to say but, “tra-LA?”

OK, about that tra-LA: on May 1st every year, my mother woke me up by playing “The Lusty Month of May” from the musical Camelot on my bedroom record player. Now, I am playing it for you.

May there never be another May in which you don’t find yourself saying, tra-LA!

Actually, that just might be a good philosophy for every day of every month.

If there’s anyone who deserves giddy garlands of tra-LAs, it’s you, sweet sponsors. You love our Sparkys, our Vernes, our outdoor ferals, and our incoming kittens. You love them before they could possibly “earn” it. You love them whether they doze in our laps or return to their colonies.

You love, because love is who you are.

Tabby’s Place loves you, and that goes double for me.

With gratitude and affection,
your correspondent,