In this world of many creatures, we need us all.
The ones who think, and the ones who feel.
The ones who act, and the ones who contemplate.
The ones who remember The Safety Dance, and the ones who have never danced safely.
Even, and especially, the ones who do all dancing in safety orange.
Tabby’s Place is unashamed — nay, bursting with pride — that we are generally a feline nudist colony. With only the rarest exceptions, our cats prance in their birthday suits. No accessories are required for felinity this fabulous.
But hop through our hallways these days, and you’re liable to catch a glimpse of collars. Safety orange collars.
Take note, Anna Wintour; this is no localized fad. Neon necklaces have been seen from Suite B to Adoption Room #3. Best of all, this is functional fashion.
The function? Telling all style-watchers, “I WILL END YOU.”
Yes, kittens, you’ve guessed it; the collared cats wear their safety orange for the safety of the human race. Each fashion-cat has a long, stubborn history of Biting People Hard.
Each one has chomped copiously on friends and strangers alike.
Not one has a single regret.
Ergo the neckwear.
Now visitors have an immediate visual clue: something is different here. Before there’s blood, there’s a warning. And that’s precisely the point; each of these four cats can be so charming, so lovable, that they’re not apt to give offer any advance notice of attack. One minute, you’re stroking a blissed-out purrbler; the next, you’re a victim of the feline equivalent of thermonuclear war, staring mystified at your own wounds.
Still, let’s not be too hard on our collared quartet. In truth, the safety orange is for their safety, too. Each cat has a different reason for the aggression, ranging from over-stimulation (Archer) to Being Crazy As A Loon (Simba). But each of these cats also happens to be one of our most enchanting, irresistible individuals.
Archer is the guy who made fun of your music in seventh grade. One day you were listening to the Cranberries’ “Linger,” feeling all the feelings in thoughtful silence. Do you have to, do you have to, do you have to let it linger? Archer broke your reverie to say, “This song is about a fart.” You laughed so hard a Skittle went up your nose, and you were released from your self-indulgent melancholy in an instant.
He’s a good guy.
Cleo is the cat who, despite being the Most Beautiful by a long shot, makes it her mission to make you feel like the star. She’ll lavish you with wide-eyed attention, marveling at the very fact that you exist, growing your ego forty times in size by the time you leave the suite (possibly bleeding, but that’s details).
She’s a generous girl.
Sally is a conquering queen, Attila the Hun meets Joan of Arc meets Godzilla. As we all know, she’s merciless in battle. But when she gives her heart, she gives it completely, with a loyalty known only to the great. Her love for (human) roommate Karina is legendary. There’s no doubt this cat would give her life for the ones (OK, one, singular) she loves.
She’s a great soul.
And I hardly need tell you of Simba’s strong character, the courage that triumphs over the mysterious battles deep within. Simba is tormented by thoughts and impulses we can only imagine. Still, most days he chooses the high road of napping and eating and coexisting rather than committing random acts of genocide.
He’s a brave marvel.
Where would we be without the orange-collared? Far poorer, deprived of fierce friends who make us better and truer, more loving and able to laugh at ourselves.
Wear your safety orange proudly, my complicated comrades. And if the urge to bite should overcome you, take heart; we need us all.