Editrix’s note: If you’ve visited our home page recently, you’ve seen a certain Psi taking a certain flight of fancy. Yours is the chance to make Psi fly higher by loving on our Special Needs cats. If you’ve already done so, thank you from the bottom of my happy little heart.
Meantime, in honor of the Linda Fund, today’s post belongs to 2014 Linda Fund poster girl Psi and ubervolunteer Carrie. Take it away, ladies.
There is a new cat at Tabby’s Place.
This isn’t really news – it’s a regular occurrence – but this sort of cat has only come around a handful of times in the shelter’s history: she is a paraplegic.
The wee baby Psi isn’t quite a baby anymore; she’s about 1 year old. I call her ‘wee’ because she is tiny, like a perfectly scaled miniature, a feathery three pounds at most.
The wee baby Psi hid at first, taking little delight in the newness of the lobby. She hid, and was hardly more than a pair of striking yellow eyes that seemed to glow from within. These owly eyes peered out from a plush kitty cube, daring anyone to bring a finger too close.
Very recently, while working a volunteer shift, I was approached with a request that was a little odd. (It should be noted, being approached with odd requests is actually normal, though they typically involve cleaning up poo in some way or another.) A staffer asked me if I would walk around with Psi.
That’s it – just walk around with her.
First, however, she needed a quick bath. I got my first true glimpse of what a tiny loudmouth this little lady is as I was asked to assist. As soon as the diaper came off and it was time to get cleaned up for ‘bedtime’, Psi began to let her disdain be known in a voice that carried the high notes of a kitty’s yell with the deep boom of a kitty growl. From start to finish, Psi shouted: I DO NOT WANT YOU WASHING MY BUM. STOP IT. THIS IS DEGRADING AND I’LL HAVE YOU KNOW THAT MY ATTORNEYS WILL HEAR ABOUT IT.
This little wriggling panther was more than done with us at this point. She was not happy about being washed and equally unhappy about being patted dry.
So now, at the peak of her disdain for what Psi clearly saw as mere shenanigans instead of the needful, the staffer says to me, “Okay, you can walk around with her now.”
I should know better by now than to doubt. A lesson frequently learned and re-learned at Tabby’s Place is to shed doubt.
Freed from her towel and grumpily sitting in her crate, Psi sat and grumped. Her eyes flashed grump, her posture posed grump. She radiated grump. She grumbled at me as I approached, dumbly holding a blue fleece blanket, and tried to scooch away as I leaned in for the grab.
Silly, silly doubt.
The blanket enveloped Psi and nearly swallowed her up. Swaddled completely, I tugged an edge away so that those luminous eyes could see mine. She grumped just one more time… then relaxed.
I began to walk laps around the lobby chairs, which are set up in a circle. I walked laps for a half-hour, with the wee baby Psi swaddled in her blue blanket. She stretched her front legs out so that the tiny black paws poked out of the blanket’s folds. She sighed as she relaxed, and the light of her eyes flickered as her eyelids began to droop.
In the hug of the blanket, she was just two outstretched paws and half-lidded eyes. Her soft, fine fur blended with shadow. Eventually, I sat, cradling Psi to my chest. For a few moments (at least, until the last staffers told me it was time to go so they could lock up – woe) she slept, looking more like the wee baby I took her to be than the raging grump who did not want a heiny bath.
I don’t know how else to describe this feeling than the simplest and easiest thing that comes to mind: love. Life dealt this beautiful little girl a hard hand to hold, but Psi holds that hand like she’s all aces.
Verily and indeed. Carrie, thank you for taking on missions from the sublime to the ridiculous for the sake of such as Psi. And Tabby’s Place fam at large, thank you for making it possible for us to care for cats of extraordinary needs. Click here to see a cartoonified version of Psi — and to be part of this year’s Linda Fund. Between now and 6/22, your gift for the cats will be matched by awesome benefactors. Go ‘head, please join Psi’s pack of aces.