We’re in the stubborn, righteous business of good news around here.
Fortunately, we have abundant help from cats and their writerly women and men.
I have been
nagging haranguing charmingly beseeching volunteer Susan T. to write the post you’re about to read. You’ll soon find that it was worth the wait.
As if it weren’t grand enough that she and her equally-exceptional husband, volunteer Charlie T., adopted Tabby’s Place’s Sage, they perfected their family by adding tiny Sable, nee Salem. (Well…as you’ll read, “perfect” is in the eye of the beholder.)
First, though, allow me to gush about this particular pair of humans. The combined force of nature that is Susan-and-Charlie could easily outshine and overpower all the bad news in this blustery, bewildering year.
They are so much sunshine to the square inch.
They are stubborn, sturdy joy and honest, earnest love.
They are the kind of friends who stick by you and hug you and laugh with you even when you’re at your worst and weirdest.
Are you just starting your death-metal career at age 92? Susan and Charlie will come to your concerts. Have you developed a fondness for frozen sauerkraut? Susan and Charlie won’t judge you (although Susan may try to lure you back to culinary sanity with her scandalously spectacular cooking). Do you need a hug, or a laugh, or an instant dose of restored faith in humanity?
Just hang out with Susan and Charlie.
Susan pours her Friday mornings into oft-maddening, inherently endless administrative work at Tabby’s Place. She labors and laughs and lights up the entire Community Room. Meanwhile, Charlie whirls through the building scraping litter boxes and cleaning with all his might, his smile twinkling all the while. Until the tragically recent past, Charlie spent his Friday middays dozing in the lobby with a lapful of Morgan. I’m not sure who adored these reveries more. We all mourned Morgan, but Charlie and Susan had his photo enlarged to a glorious canvas, which hangs in their home.
But before I embarrass these two epitomes of humanity any further, I’d better hand things over to Susan ‘n Charlie, for the tale of Sage ‘n Sable:
“I’ve noticed that a lot of volunteers at Tabby’s Place post about their wonderful Tabby’s Place alumnae/i. Here is the story of our Wonderful, Amazing Adoptees: Sage and Sable.
“We adopted Sage, The Beautiful One, three years ago. She was considered a Special Needs cat because of her allergy issues. Sage’s fur tends to thin out on her back without regular medication, and she is continually stuffy and snotty.
“We understood that Sage had been ‘on hold’ twice, but that the adopters had backed out when they learned about her issues. Well, we happened to see her on the Tabby’s Place website, and we fell in love. She is magnificent. When we met her, we fell in love all over again. Not only is she gorgeous, but she is sweet and loving and adores people.
“Sage is very much in love with our male cat, Bandit, who is unimpressed. But it turns out Sage has lots of love to give.
“When we adopted Sable, The Wild One, as a kitten two years ago, Sage took over mothering her. Sage grooms and plays with Sable (until Sable gets tired of being chased and mauled), but never harms her.
“We’d initially taken Sable in as ‘just a foster.’ Back then, Sable only weighed about a pound. She was a funny-looking black kitten with spiky fur, who was scared to death of us and constantly backed up when anyone came near her. We knew Sable was deaf and has vestibular issues.
“We were afraid that, between all her issues and the fact that she was black, it would be hard to find a forever home for Sable. In fact, when we began fostering her right out of quarantine, no one even knew if she could walk properly. So, of course, we became foster failures and adopted her.
“From day one, Sable took over the house. No longer afraid of anything, she adapted well to the other cats (well, so we thought — more about that later). Sable ate the windowsills, ruined the furniture, and bit the shade cords in half. We still loved her; she is irresistible. And she certainly can walk; she’s the fastest cat we’ve ever seen. One minute she’s underfoot, the next she’s on the other side of the house.
“Sable’s speed may serve her well, but it’s another matter for her feline siblings.
“We thought everything was fine until the day we came home and found one of the other cats, Spooky, cowering under the bed with blood all over the bedroom. Sable had attacked poor Spooky (who is scared of everything) and bitten her more than twenty times on her rear end. Spooky has since recovered fully.
“Since then, we’ve put up a gate in the hallway. Spooky mostly lives in our master suite, where she seems quite content. Sable, on the other hand, knows that that area is off-limits to her, and she doesn’t try to breach the barrier. After all, she has the run of the rest of the house.
“Now that she is two, Sable has calmed down quite a bit. She loves to be out in the (fenced) garden, but only at night, and she plays like it’s her job. She is infinitely sweet with us, loves to be brushed and is very social.
“We adore them both.”
Funny, Susan ‘n Charlie; we Tabby’s Place humans so often say the same words about you.