Faithful cats, on the other hand, have been wearing ash grey in and out of (liturgical) season. Never mind that felines don’t do repentance.
Gus sports the timeliest smudge: a bleb of grey on a white canvas. Granted, our good-timey guy has more of a Mardi Gras personality, but he’s still well outfitted for Ash Wednesday.
Ashes go quite nicely with stripes, too. Exhibit A: Sadie. Our twitchiest kitten is so silvery, she almost seems to sparkle. (Calm down, Twilight fans.) Then again, that twinkling may have something to do with the twitching. I don’t just mean that Sadie’s nervous, though she’s that too. No, our littlest ashlet actually twitches and tics and twerks her tiny face, as though she had a case of feline Tourette’s syndrome (or was in a perpetual state of sniffing bad vegan cheese). We’re working with a veterinary neurologist to get to the bottom of this – fortunately, in the meantime, our sparkly, twitchy teenager is as happy as she is quirky. And utterly unrepentant.
An ash-hued hunk who does have some repenting to do is Nuttin. It’s been donkey’s years since Nut’s latest surgery to remove a cancerous legion – so why the heck has he been sporting an e-collar (e for “eeeeerritating”) all this time? Our old battle ax, it seems, just can’t stop licking and licking and licking his scar. That’s an excellent way to promote perpetual open-soredom, so the collar stays until the sore heals…or Nuttin repents. Please don’t hold your breath for that.
Then there are the cats who may have been forced into sackcloth and ashes despite their innocence. Yes, they waz framed. Exhibit B: Lucky. The boisterous boy came to us with a bad rep as a cat-bashing bruiser…but he’s been a Big Giant Lamb (and a bit of a Big Giant Dork) since moving into Suite B. Well…he did bite the shoulder of a certain human, who shall remain anonymous except to say her name may or may not rhyme with Zenise. But Zenise may or may not be the Senior Veterinary Technician, in which case she does Very Mean Things to cats, so…she may have had it coming. At any rate, Lucky will be sporting ashy grey (if not the sackcloth) forever, but we know the truth about his innocence now.
Finally, there are the ashycats who have broken our hearts by whispering “ashes to ashes, dust to dust” on their way out of our lives. I think of sweet Tails, many moons ago; our debonair Mr. Grey, in whose honor super-volunteer PD just installed a brick on the Memorial Walkway Today; or Whiskey, a darling new face who we scarcely had the chance to cherish before he left us this winter. Our world is poorer for the loss of these grey guys. Too soon and too wrenching were their passings.
Yet “remember thou art dust, and to dust thou shalt return” is not the final word. Ash Wednesday is just the beginning, not the climax, of Lent…and I’m staking all my hopes on the resurrection yet to come.
For us. For grey cats gone ahead. For all those loved and lost. Forever.
Even if cats don’t do repentance. 😉
PS: Every one of these photos was taken by PeWhAM (People Who Aren’t Me). Thanks to TP staffer Jane for the thumbnail of Gus, and uber-volunteer Jessica for all the rest. Not enough ashy action? OK, here are some more cats.