No, it’s not the latest Disney pop star: it’s tiny Jade.
With some cats, you can develop certain routines. Jade and I have a favorite one with Tabby’s Place visitors. Invariably, when folks walk into the Happy Place that is Adoption Room #3, their gazes float to Jade. “Oh! She’s so tiny.”
That’s when Jade and I exchange knowing glances and start our routine. “You know,” I offer casually, “she’s actually eleven years old.”
The reaction is universal and so satisfying: “Eleven?! But she’s such a little peanut. I thought she might be a kitten!”
Take that, Botox: Jade’s found the real fountain of youth, and it has nothing to do with what’s on the magazine covers (not even Cat Fancy). The brown tabby with the big-as-Jupiter eyes has her own kind of cuteness, and I think she loves throwing people off with her size as much as I love…well, as much as I love her. So do visitors, once they’ve known her for 0.017 seconds. And so, even, does her roomie Lilly, a people-lover who has never had much patience for her own species, but who tolerates the tiny tabby’s head-butts and even her grooming.
It wasn’t always this way.
When Jade first came to Tabby’s Place, we knew she was tiny, we knew she was adorable, and we knew that we loved her…but it was far from clear that she would ever love like tolerate us.
What a difference a few months make.
Along the way, Jade’s shown herself quite the little comedienne. With her human-fleeing days behind her, Jade needed a new source of excitement, so she opted for the “freaking the humans out” route. In no time at all, she’d succeeded masterfully, worrying every one of us with a wobbly walk that was not quite Bronx-level “inebriated,” but also not…normal. A flurry of worried vet consultations later, and it was determined that Jade had an old spinal injury of the nothing-to-worry-about variety. All this means is that our little quirk-bundle moves in her own way.
As if that weren’t immediately obvious!
There’s one other routine that Jade insists on performing for every visitor. My fragile ego is less keen on this one, but far be it from me to begrudge a cat her quirks.
Inevitably, immediately after I introduce Jade to a visitor and say something like, “oh, she’s such a sweetheart,” Jade will draw back from my outstretched hand in horror, as though she’s never seen me before in her life, or as though I’m shoving a giant flaming scorpion in her face. (I promise I’m not.) In one disdaining movement, she makes a complete liar out of me.
And whatever planet she’s from, I am grateful that Jade came here to stay with us. Here’s hoping that her voyage to a forever home isn’t light-years away.