We don’t know where this is going.
As a result, we have A Nervous. Hold the Breakdown, but hold it where we can see it, because it may become necessary.
Now, maybe this doesn’t apply to you. Maybe you are that splendidly spontaneous sport, tingling with delight when you don’t know where you’re going, who will be there, what to expect, what to be in this moment.
You may have to hunt yak while everyone watches. You may have to discuss the New Jersey gubernatorial election. You may have to wear a poncho embroidered with the face of Dolly Parton.
And we’re just talking about Christmas dinner.
If you’re like most of us pitiful creatures, you do not deeply dig The Unexpected. And in this rare instance, cats can be pitiful, too.
No, don’t pity her (because she’ll bite you), but Cleo is feeling our fears this holiday season. Once adopted and adored, she’s since been returned to the never-ending “festive gathering” that is life in Suite A. Adam is trying to pull a quarter out from behind her ear. Boom is warning her of the dangers of socialism. Mary and Chewbacca are making out, which is making Cleo heave.
And everyone is pooping everywhere. (This is, after all, the Gastrointestinally Challenged Suite.)
Cleo, I’m afraid, is one very ticked ticked tabby.
It wasn’t always this way. Back in Quarantine, her first time around, Cleo was such a cuddle-buggy maven of mirth that she was adopted before ever hitting a suite. Sweeter than a stadium of sweet-potato pies, this green-eyed mush-monster was All Love, no additives. With her frosted fur and her Georgia-bred beauty, she was the obvious choice for Miss Everything.
So when Cleo was returned for aggression against the family’s other cats — that’s cats as in plural victims — we were more confused than your Uncle Henry when you try to explain Tofurky. Cleo? She of the oh my goodness you are sweet? She of the oh my stars I am slain by your sweetness? She of the OH OH OH SWEETNESS ABIDES AND ABOUNDS!?
We really don’t know where this — all of this — is going.
But this much is certain. Like the wiggly, worried introvert when coffee is served and the end is in sight, Cleo will find her relief from these never-ending holiday hijinks. She’s not a bad girl; she’s one of the best girls who ever lived, in fact. She’s just not built for this kind of never-ending circle of small talk. She has a bigger heart than all her nudgy neighbors combined; she just reserves it for close companions. (“Not you, Boom. NOT YOU. NOT NOW NOT EVER.”)
So if you find yourself Casa Tabby this winter, take some time to oh over our Cleo. Her wrath against cats should never be taken as seriously as the wreath of gold around her shoulders, or the warmth of the love with which she’ll bundle you up like a bubba.
Sweetness abides and abounds. Love will come for you, Cleo.