May it never be forgotten. And “auld lang syne” and all that good stuff.
While we’re at it, let’s take a cup of kindness, too.
Whether you rang in the newborn year with “2011” glasses on your head and a tumbler of Tang, or kept your standing date with Anderson Cooper and CNN, I think we all have one heart-deep resolution in common this new year: love cats. Often, and deeply. Repeat.
Casa Tabby, 2011 is already teasing us with dreams. This new year is a competitive sort, and it’s already betting 2010 it can outdo the old year’s record for FIV+ cats adopted (eleven– never call 2011 unambitious). Yep, 2011 has swagger and sparkle already. Much more on that in the days to come.
But before we plunge whole-soul into the new year, I’d be remiss if I didn’t tip my fuzzy pink hat to the peaks and valleys of 2010. We’ve loved together this past year, Felis Catus family, and we’ve wept.
We’ve soared (while whooping cowabunga) on the high waves of super-adoptions: Luciano. Sonny. Charlotte. Tiny with Greta and Pause. Eloise. Monica & Chandler. Sarah. Caitlin. Little Dave. FIV+ mythbusters Fuzzy, and Jasper, and Michael, and Rosie, and Jose, and Princess Zara, and Prince Leopold, and Chopper, and Huckleberry, and then – on New Year’s Eve – Jimmy and Thomas together. Little love-bug Bellis the day before Thanksgiving.
We’ve had our hearts stamped into shards by the losses – each one an agony unto itself, simultaneously like and unlike all the ones before. Hillary, our elder statescat. The luminous, irreplaceable, irrepressible Pepper. (It still hurts to type her name among the loves lost…) Pirate’s devoted friend Midnight. Our elegant Pitzel. Sweet and oh-so-serious Larry. Gentle Ben. Darling Desi with the big owl eyes. Tony, who I miss every single day. Flyer, Tahini and Ripple, just days old. Angel-heart Esme. Lionhearted Milo (on New Year’s Eve – oh!).
Cherishing cats, we know the glory of love, then feel the sunshine sucked dry by death’s sting…only to have a head-bonk and a brush of whiskers pull us back like the sweetest of smelling salts.
Cats will do that to our hearts. Heaven knows they’ll do it again in this new year. But I don’t want to be part of any year – heck, any minute – in which we don’t choose the risk of loving. This is a journey we take with eyes wide open. Each cat we choose to love has an invisible sign over her ears: Warning: Do not adore me without knowing and swallowing the following. I will break your heart. My “goodbye” will knock the wind out of you and make you wonder if you should ever, ever love again. But you should – you must – if you are to have any sort of life at all. My love will change you, deepen you, grow your heart in ways you can’t imagine. I will love you asking nothing in return; I have no greater hope than that you will do the same for me. I am worth it. And, someday, you will see me – and all the loves who’ve owned and broken your heart before – again. Forever. So choose. The ache is so deep but so temporary – my love is forever.
In 2011’s sliver of “forever,” we’re going to meet and adore Tabby’s Place’s 1,000th cat and beyond. And where there’s love, we – feline and human – will thrive. I know there’s more than a little bit of love here. We are blessed beyond measure to have you – beautiful friends who “get it” – alongside us. So, 2011, bring it on.