It may have occurred to you at some point in time: Hot dang, I am in control!
Maybe all the bills were freshly paid. You’d just brokered peace in the Middle East. Or perhaps you’d just purchased a 56-roll Family Pak of toilet paper.*
But all it takes is a cat to remind you: you are so very not in control. Fortunately, that is so very much a good thing.
Case in point: the triumphal return of Mario Rosenberg** to the lobby.
Mario has been in ringworm quarantine for a long time — since sometime between the discovery of fire and the invention of squeeze cheese. We’ve all grown older and sadder in his absence, pining for his rattly meow the way the waves pine for the moon.
At last, this week, we got our wish. Vile fungus defeated, Mario was cleared from quarantine and returned to his realm in the lobby.
The humans among us proceeded to lose all semblance of control.
Now, you might be under the illusion that the staff of Tabby’s Place is a dignified, debonair slice of humanity. You might believe that we are tactful and masterful and making the grade, full of propriety and decorum and control of our domain. Such a league of gentlewomen and men this world has never seen.
I regret to inform you that you are thinking of some other group of people. That’s a lie: I am proud to inform you that you are thinking of some other group of people. We are a bunch of…well, noodleheads.
Any illusions we might have maintained about our own dignity melted like so much mozzarella cheese in the instant of Mario’s return. A switch was suddenly flipped, and we were all incapable of speaking in anything other than an exceedingly bad Eye-talian accent.
“ITZA YOU! MAAHDIO!”
“Heeza my pye-zani!”
And perhaps the most commonly uttered phrase that day, for reasons I don’t presume to understand: “Thatza spicy meataball!”
Mario just blinked at us, his serene golden eyes like a big pizza pie, loving us through our lunacy. He was glad to be back, glad to bring joy to the maniacs around him, glad to be finished with those lyme-sulfur dips.
And glad to be in control.
It never ceases to amaze me how the cats command our words and hearts so effortlessly. A graceful return, a well-timed “silent meow,” and we are so much putty — or mozzarella, as the case may be — in their paws. Mario scarcely needed to do anything to liquefy us. Simply by brandishing his essential fabulosity, a little old orange-and-white cat damned our defenses and reduced us to childlike coos and utter foolishness.
Here’s to the “foolishness” we so sorely need, and the cats who help us to lose clammy control.
*Don’t tell me that isn’t satisfying in a deep, “NOW MY WORLD MAKES SENSE! I AM THE MASTA!” kind of way.