When a Tabby’s Place cat finds her forever home, her name goes up in a heart on the whiteboard at the front of our Community Room. Now, seeing Marshmallow‘s heart was no surprise, and seeing paraplegic Bagheera’s heart was probably the ultimate, be-still-my-heart stunner. Emma probably falls somewhere in between those extremes…maybe a tad closer to the Bagheera end of the spectrum.
It’s not that Emma has serious Special Needs – in fact, she isn’t a Special Needs cat at all, nor is she particularly old (just about 9 or so). As you can see, she’s not lacking in stellar looks, either; Emma’s fluffy mane and Maine Coon-esque beauty have always attracted admirers.
No, the shock and awe over Emma’s adoption has everything to do with…um…her personality.
Don’t get me wrong – we love Emma at Tabby’s Place and always have. (OK, by “we” I mean the staff and volunteers…the cats are another story.) In fact, for a recent birthday, we even put a large bow on Emma as the surprise birthday gift for the staff member who’d always had a soft spot for her.
But there is a reason Emma was at Tabby’s Place for a good three years. This glamour girl is rather unpredictable, and more than a tad, well, crazy. Almost always the first to greet visitors, she’d happily rub new friends’ legs with gusto, gleefully accepting attention and pets…until she suddenly decided it was time to bite and growl. And what a growl! Let’s just say we weren’t kidding when we listed Emma as “not recommended for a home with small children.”
And so, Emma’s sojourn at Tabby’s Place stretched across years, as would-be adopters passed her up for less persnickety felines. Emma bounced from suite to suite, always quite disgruntled with her feline roomies, until she finally found a tenuous peace in Suite C. (Interestingly, since her adoption, our behaviorist has noted that there’s been a bit of chaos in Suite C – it seems Emma had effectively kept the suite bully, Tiny, in check. But Tiny’s story deserves a post of its own.) Jonathan would often say that he felt badly for Emma. I, too, saw her as the perennial square peg, never quite at home in her world.
So it is with great delight that I announce Emma’s happy adoption this past Saturday. Emma’s new mom is a seasoned pet parent, whose only other fur-baby is a dog (a species Emma actually likes much more than cats). We’ve just done Emma’s “three-day call” (we follow up with each kitty three days, three weeks and three months after adoption day), and she is flourishing – and very cherished.
It’s a tremendous encouragement to know that there are folks out there willing to love cats – sweet cats, kooky cats, persnickety cats – just the way they are. It’s a deep delight to see someone celebrating a cat like Emma for all her quirks.
One of the many things our cats keep reminding me is that, if you just be what you are and “let your freak flag fly” long enough, eventually you’ll find and be found by the ones who love you just the way you are.
We’ll always love you, Emma.