When your face matches your feelings, you’re quite a coherent creature.
Polly‘s matching mug and musings will serve her well on her World Pollification Tour.
You could say that Polly is a flame-point Siamese, but that wouldn’t quite be right. She has all the colors of such a cat, but they’re mixed and mingled and mushed about in a way that is 100% Polly.
The thing about a flame-point Siamese is that the flame-y bits are generally concentrated in, well, points: the nose, the ears, the glamorous tail. But in Polly’s case, we’ve got flames flaring out in all directions. Pol’s whole face is a bonfire of brightness, orange swirls slip-n-sliding down her nose and up around both bright blue eyes.
Polly’s face, far from to-the-point, is perplexed, impressionistic, a whirl of wonder and weirdness.
Polly’s personality matches.
When a Siamese sets up shop at Tabby’s Place, the first question is always, why? Like Persians and Norwegian Forest Cats and other fancy-pants breeds, Siamese are seen here very, very rarely. When they do come our way, there’s usually “something wrong” with them: inappropriate elimination, Special Needs, or some other factor that caused someone to say farewell. Sad but true, the “beautiful cats” are discarded less frequently than their “plain” counterparts, as if any cat is “plain,” as if any creature is discardable.
And what is Polly’s great fault line?
So the story goes. Adopted from elsewhere as a kitten, Polly was a bad biter who just got bigger. We’re told she was a terror with her human, but loved the household’s other cats and dogs. She kept a separate peace with her fellow four-leggeds, but it wasn’t enough to win the war. Polly whirled her way, wide-eyed and worried, into Tabby’s Place.
Yet again, I’m struck by how blessed I am to be at the place where we specialize in the “something wrongs,” the discards, the not-quite-rights of the feline world. Over and over and over again, we glimpse the open secret that the misfits are the miracles, yearning to blow us all away with their brilliance and beauty.
Such was entirely the case with one bonfire-faced biter.
With her perpetually perplexed gaze, Polly has surprised us with her sweetness. She is not vicious; she is not malicious. (Let the record show that she is, in fact, both lovely and delicious.) We thought we’d find her problems concentrated on one point — excessive violence to our species — but the problem has dissolved into one completely charming, complicated cat.
It would be easy if our problems were distilled down to our noses and ears and tails. We could isolate them, explain our issues, understand things even if we couldn’t solve them. But flames flash out everywhere, brushfires and bonfires and dumpster fires all over our days and years and, sometimes, even our faces.
We are more wonderful and terrible than we think.
And, if we’re blessed to find ourselves in a place like Polly’s, we are loved with a safety that can’t be scared away.
Polly’s progress at Tabby’s Place won’t be simple or to-the-point. Our behaviorist plans to “test” Pol by placing her in a room with no other cats, to see if her biting has been broken by having so many buddies around. We’re insisting that Polly go to a home with other non-humanoids, and we’re proceeding cautiously with our complex charmer.
But every time I look into those blue eyes, secret-keepers that hold the whole ocean, I remember we’re all more than our worst years. Change is possible. Perplexity can be promising.
And the world needs one flame-faced Siamese’s World Pollification Tour.