In the Dessert Kids Yearbook, she’d be voted Most Likely To Hide Her Beautiful Face.
But, lo and behold, the sweetest and shiest Chester cat is making teensy, timid steps into the open. And aren’t we the fortunate ones? Dear friends, I present to you our stunning Cupcake.
Stunning, yes, although, as you can see, “stunned” is the only way to describe Cupcake when she realizes she’s been spotted. I snapped these photos through the glass window looking out from the Dessert Kids’ suite into the Lobby, suspecting she’d have vanished from sight by the time I made it to the suite door. (She was.)
But this is still astonishing progress for our gentle, gentle girl. As you’ll recall, in this quartet of best friends, Twinkie and Trifle are far and away the most confident, and are almost never found hiding now. In fact, they’ll race to the door to greet any human bean bearing a wand toy, and can be enticed dazzlingly close with the right treats. Even fearful Strudel is now a regular lounge-lizard, lazing away the afternoons out in the open on top of a couch (rather than under it, where he spent his first couple of weeks).
But sweet Cupcake has been the last truly subterranean (ok, sub-couch-anean) Dessert Kid, literally never emerging into the Land of the Visible during those terrifying hours when the lights in Tabby’s Place are on (and when those human beans are doing whatever dastardly deeds Cupcake thinks it is that we do).
It was just before dinner time when Sharon sighted Cupcake in the chair beneath the window and eagerly called me over to see. As you can see, Cupcake instantly froze (an ice-cream cupcake?), and soon bolted. But, for a shining few seconds, we made eye contact for the first time…and I want to believe that, somehow, she could see in my eyes all the love and hopes we all hold for her. As if my eyes could hold all those hopes.
Funny thing about Cupcake is, although she’s been the least-visible Dessert Kid, she’s always been the most pettable. For all their friendliness, Twinkie and Trifle still dash away from any petting hand, and Strudel is very fearful of any touching. But plunk down beside the couch, reach under and pet Cupcake while speaking to her soothingly, and you’ll soon feel a gentle, deeply wonderful purr from the sub-couch-anean world. That’s sweeter than any cake I’ve ever tasted.
So, for now, we’ll continue to love on Cupcake when and where she lets us. Yet I eagerly await the day when “Cupcake sightings” are a daily, delightful occurrence, and when she knows how safe and cherished she is at last.
PS: Not to worry; I haven’t forgotten about the Dessert Kids’ non-dessert roomie, Marischka. She’s still rooming with them, still terrified…and now joined by a sixth darling scaredy-cat, Cypress. More on those two next time.