In ancient Israel, a person’s name carried great significance. Families bestowed names with meanings like “Yahweh is Salvation” or “God Strengthens.”
In modern-day Tabby’s Place, a cat’s name carries great significance. Staff members bestow names with meanings like “frosted confection” or “woodland rodent.”
Or “angry celebrity.”
Actually, we can’t take credit for Russell‘s full and original moniker. Like most of our adult cats, Russell came to us already-named. Unlike most of our cats, this very hairy tabby had both a first and last name: Russell Crowe.
Lest we think this title was given just for Russell’s swashbuckling good looks, the folks at his previous shelter told us the full story: he was named around the time the other Russell Crowe was in the news for his cranky outbursts and dust-ups with paparazzi, hotel employees and random individuals. (And by “dust-ups” I mean “unleashed wrathful violence.”) Based on their experience of the hairy tabby, the name seemed entirely appropriate.
Being a cockeyed optimist, I fully counted on Russell to prove his reputation wrong. Sure, he’d made a name for himself by making people bleed. Sure, actual people were actually afraid of him. But that was then, and this was Tabby’s Place. Russell was going to be a mooshy, squooshy love-muffin here.
Right. And Donald Trump is going to be on the cover of Humble Modesty Magazine. I’m the Queen of Spain. Also, I have a bridge I’d like to sell you.
The day Russell arrived at Tabby’s Place, there were some interesting sounds emanating from the vet office. I don’t mean Hawkeye, either – even though he and Russell came in together, it was the hairy bad-boy who made the stronger initial impression. And by “strong” I mean “blood-letting.”
Dr. C rarely minces words, and that day she was true to form: “He’s baaaaaaad.”
Funny, that’s exactly what the Manhattan hotel concierge said after another Russell beaned him with a cell phone.
The hairier Russell solidified his bad-boy rep during his quarantine days. Being in a cage can rattle the squooshiest cat, but short-tempered celebrities are especially disgusted with confinement. Picture a silverback gorilla, with rabies and the hairdo of Jon Bon Jovi c. 1985, confined to a gerbil cage.
You wouldn’t like him when he’s angry.
But when Russell cleared quarantine, he coiled a sweeter plot twist than Hollywood could script. Somewhere between that quarantine crate and Suite C, Russell went from Gladiator-with-rabies to a truly beautiful find. (Sorry. ;-)) I don’t know quite when it happened, or how, but this bad boy determined to leave the past behind, and show off a sweetness befitting his handsome looks.
He just might be the Cinderella Man…cat.
But we’re not done! (Oh boy…I think we just went from Russell Crowe to Billy Mays, God rest his soul.) Becoming America’s Ringoes’ sweetheart wasn’t enough for the former Hollywood bad boy. Tabby’s Place is just too small for a cat intent on becoming Master and Commander on the Far Side of the World of the Whole Wide World.
You guessed it. Russell Crowe has been adopted.
With his look-at-me locks, signature scream and epic ego (some things never change), our Cattiator isn’t a fit for every family. No Tom Hanks or Will Smith, Russell is content to be his own man – warts, outbursts and all.
And fortunately, there’s a forever audience for that.