That Petit Prince was on to something.
In addition to being into foxes long before they were trendy, he knew: “what is most essential is invisible to the eye.”
Consider Peggy Sue our Little Princess.
Peg’s towering opus in life is a little thing called “survival.” This is a big deal for any homeless creature – but no tower from Babel to Eiffel scales the heights of Peggy’s accomplishment. Peg looked at the Chinese restaurant menu of challenges and said, “I’ll take one of each of these:”
- Living in a barn in a year of superstorms
- A stump in place of a back left leg
Although timid, Peg was quickly persuaded of love’s worthiness once she met a set of human arms. Moments after arrival, she was rubbing her round tabby head against our faces as though she expected a genie to pop out. Rolling and lolling in our arms, Peggy Sue whirled in a liturgy of love, enacting years’ worth of affection.
This wasn’t perplexing. This wasn’t mind-boggling. This was roll-over-your-mind-with-a-steamroller-and-then-boil-it-in-a-pot-of-Easy-Mac confounding.
How did this sad-eyed Special Needs feline survive the great and terrible outdoors? Much more, how did her sweetness survive? Hers had not been a sweetness-fostering history: Ditched outside. Only furnished with 87.5% of normal leggedness. And blind. Utterly, totally blind.
There’s a funny story buried amidst the begats in the Old Testament book of 2 Kings. The prophet Elisha and his faithful servant – let’s call him Smitty – are doing some recon for the king. The news is bad: there is a vast legion of bad dudes surrounding them. Understandably, Smitty shakes in his sandals. “Woe to us, for the bad dudes are many!” he cries (more or less).
But Elisha’s got Petit Prince/Peggy Sue vision. “Chillax, Smitty,” he soothes (more or less). “We’ve got more guys with us than all those bad dudes out there combined.”*
Smitty’s response at this point is something along the lines of, “Um….” There are no reinforcements in sight – just bad dudes as far as the eyes can see.
This is where Elisha reaches up. “God,” he prays, “please open Smitty’s eyes.”
God does. Smitty sees. All at once, the hills are alive – and teeming – with horses and chariots of fire. The good dudes have arrived. The battle is already won. Nobody dies – not even the bad dudes. Everyone eats and goes home and it’s all cool.
Sight changes everything.
I am completely and unshakably certain that Peggy Sue saw exactly what she needed to see to survive those days of “blindness” in the barn. Much more than that, she was seen – and held, and sustained. Whether she was fed by ravens or angels or good dudes beyond our gaze, Peggy made it for a reason.
Peggy’s faith has become sight, as she’ll never stumble in darkness or cold again. As of this writing, she’s slowly making her way at Tabby’s Place. You can’t blame her for being a little overwhelmed by Suite B’s own version of bad dude(tte)s – it takes some getting used to life amidst Jackie and Maggie. (And lo, verily there were giants in Suite B in those days, and they wert ginormous.)*
But you also can’t doubt that the dawn has come, and the essential is unveiled. Peggy is loved. She’s safe. She’s fixed her gaze on what is unseen – and she is never, ever, ever alone. Neither, when our eyes are open, are we.
Photo credits, from top: Peggy in Denise’s arms, moments after arrival at Tabby’s Place, by ubervolunteer Lori; Peg settling into Suite B by uberstaffer Karina; another shot of Peg’s arrival by ubervolunteer Lori. This same stellar Lori reminded me that Peggy arrived at Tabby’s Place on Valentine’s Day. “Coincidence” is a myth. Happy Easter, Hallelujah people.
*Thanks to those who pointed out that I Haz Teh Dumb and Peggy Sue is not, was not, and has not at any point been in Suite B. She’s in Adoption Room #1, with Max and Deanna. And I had a brain hiccup. Apologies. 🙂