I do not know if pop stars claim to write their own songs.
I do know, with serene confidence, that they do not write their own songs. If they tell you otherwise, they speak with forked tongue.
Only one of the feline persuasion could spin rhymes this confident.
Specifically, only a cat in Suite A at Tabby’s Place: a Cat Sanctuary would be so bold as to say the following about himself:
- I’m smoother than a fresh jar of Skippy.
- Gotta kiss myself, I’m so pretty!
- All I do is win, win, win, no matter what.
And one for throwback Thursday:
- I’m too sexy for my hat. Too sexy for my hat. What you think about that?
Well, what do you think about that?
The lads of incontinent land, however? That’s a different kind of funk altogether. #egomania #megalomania #mania-o-mania-OH-MANIA.
Lately, the supreme confidence of Suite A has caused a supreme lack of confidence among lower creatures, by which I mean the Tabby’s Place staff. Let me explain.
Due to limited space and our inability (so far) to break the time-space continuum, there was not room for all of our cat suites to have picture windows onto the lobby. Something had to give, and Suite A gave. This winter, we finally gave back: as part of our hospital expansion, Tabby’s Place gave the Suite A cats their very own window to the world.
And, by “the world,” I mean “the side hallway.”
This means the cats get to see humanity immediately as it enters Tabby’s Place, all pink cheeked and snively-nosed and unaware it’s being watched by 26 eyes.
We may forget the cats are watching us, but they’re never oblivious to being on stage. To the contrary, they love it.
Ms. Claudette will heave herself about in a liturgy of self-love, all pantaloons and puffery. Then she’ll glance back at her audience. Why, yes, I do wake up this way.
Pepita will peer out, all bashful at first, then pure coquette. Am I a pretty girl? pretty quickly turns into I’m so fly, oh my, it’s a little bit scary.
But it’s the boys who take performance art to an art form. And they do so using our venerable Founder and Executive Director as their prop.
Once or twice a week, the captain of this ship braves evening rounds at Tabby’s Place. This is that magical time of night when cats get punchy and humans get punched. Those brave folks whose jobs involve medicating cats skulk through the building, doing their
dastardly life-saving deeds. The cats do their best to fight the power.
And the one dotty human whose job is to write…well, she watches and scribbles it down for posterity.
On multiple occasions, I’ve happened to pass by that side-hallway window just as our chief — let’s call him Ronathan, to protect the innocent — is doing what must be done in Suite A. At the risk of my livelihood, let me plant a portrait in the garden of your mind.
Clad in camouflage scrubs, Ronathan enters the room, medication bag under one arm, binder listing his victims in the other. But even before he unzips his bag of potions, it’s over. He’s been seen. His plot is foiled. And, unfortunately for Ronathan, the cats are aware that they have an audience for making sport of the man who saved their lives.
It is on.
Boom, six pounds and 600,000 mg caffeine, becomes all eyes and mental illness. He is airborne. He is alight. He is everything but willing to be taken alive.
He is also scheduled to receive several medications.
By the time Ronathan has wrangled the grey maniac, the other cats have collectively raised their hackles and begun to heckle. Someone yells out, You so human, yo’ momma don’t have a tail!
Victory is unlikely. Dignity is down to zero. But Ronathan has miles to go before he sleeps. He is beginning to sweat. I hear an unprintable word escape his mouth.
It’s time to express Pepita’s bladder. Pepita’s bladder is made of granite.
But that’s the least of Ronathan’s problems, because Sam has chosen this moment to annihilate Dawg. Dawg is the doe-eyed Andy Griffith of Suite A. Dawg, especially at a time like this, is Ronathan’s friend. Friends don’t let friends get annihilated, so Ronathan steps in.
There is blood (Ronathan’s). There is screaming (Ronathan’s and Dawg’s and Sam’s, and also Adam‘s, just for fun). You so human, yo’ meow sounds like “hello!”
Ronathan throws his binder at the floor. Rivers of sweat flood his face.
But there’s no time to quit. It’s time to medicate Adam.
The cats know they’ve got the human, now, and their trash talking would make Jay-Z blush. You so human, your whiskers are called a BEARD!
Ronathan approaches Adam carefully, quietly. He is doing right.
Adam does not care. Adam does not want to be right. Adam wants to explode projectile diarrhea. Having done so, Adam vaults onto the back of Ronathan’s neck, and pulls Ronathan’s lanyard taut around his neck, Godfather-style. Ronathan is now wondering, as he wipes off the excrement and chokes for air, Are they actually trying to kill me?
Boom flies again. Sam starts to scream for no particular reason.
About that time, I hear so many expletives that I get embarrassed. Embarrassed for my ears. Embarrassed for Ronathan. Embarrassed for humanity.
But just before I slink on by the window, Ronathan turns and sees me. His weary gaze meets mine. If he has any consolation, it’s in the silent request he makes to me through the glass. At least, his eyes plead, no one will ever witness this but you and me. You’d never post it on the blog.
It’s been nice working here, kittens.
But one last observation. We started this study by noting the cats’ “super egos.” But I daresay there’s also the subterranean superego involved.
In Freud’s schema, the superego is the “good guy” in our psychological structure. If the id is Adam (I want what I want and I WANT IT RIGHT NOW!!!) and the ego is Pepita (I want what I want…but I want it in the way that will be best for me long-term), the superego is Ronathan: “I want what is right. I want what is just. I want what is good and noble, even if it is hard. Even if I have to sit on that damn id.”
Ultimately, for all the blood, sweat and swearing, Ronathan does succeed. Like it or not, the cats will have their needs met. Every one will get his medication. Every one will live to fight and frolic another day.
Every one will be loved, even with the love they’re too loopy to see as such.
To Ronathan and all our brave Tabby’s Place superegos, I say bravo, and thank you, and you are flawless. And also, FYI, I keep neon band-aids at my desk.
Photo credits from de top: Boom and Sam by Mark; Boom by AT; Adam by Mark; Boom by AT; Adam and Shy (now in Suite C) by Mark; Sam and Boom by Jess B.