There are certain things we speak before saying things better left unspoken.
“Don’t take this the wrong way, but your cooking tastes like excrement.”
“No offense, but I find you loathsome.”
Or try this one on for size:
“Not that there’s anything wrong with that, but Tabby’s Place only has really sick cats.”
There are a few unfit facets of this statement.
- It’s not true. Only about 30% of our cats are Special Needs characters.
- Said statement is usually uttered in the context of, “…so you’d best look elsewhere to adopt.” More on that in a moment.
- Who you callin’ “really sick”?
Even the most cataclysmically chronic cats — think Morgan, or Psi — are generally a far cry from “really sick.”* If you doubt that, Morgan will be very happy to do aerials right over a 5′ tall baby gate to convince you otherwise.
Be that as it may, we recognize that Special Needs cats are not for every adopter. We cast no judgment on that count. Every cat, kitten and three-toed sloth needs love, including the “super-adoptable.” If we all adopted one-legged, eyeless diabetics with no kidneys, well, that would only make kittens the “new unadoptables.” (Which would be a rad name for a band. But I digress.)
So we celebrate every adoption and every adopter. Still, there’s something especially triumphant — in the let’s-all-yell-HUZZAH sense — about certain matches.
Unlike the weenies cited at the start of this post, many adopters speak words as sweet as honey from the comb. Among the sweetest in recent memory was the following:
But I’m getting ahead of myself.
Longtime Felis Catus readers know Edward well. He is the emperor who wobbles. He is the kicker of many feline heinies. He is the screaming saxophone in a sea of oboes.
He is the longest-time resident of Suite FIV at Tabby’s Place.
Unbowed by cerebellar hypopolasia, FIV, or 10,000 versions of the question, “oh my gosh, what’s wrong with that one?”, Edward has outlasted legions of roommates. (As he understands it, he has vanquished them.) FIV+ cats in general are adopted at a slower clip than their non-infected kin. FIV+ cats who walk like blindfolded drunken dinosaurs are adopted…well, not so much. In fact, Edward’s wild gait was exactly the evidence many weenies observers observed before noting, “you guys have really sick cats.”
Never mind that Edward wasn’t really sick. Never mind that his wobble was harmless. He was admittedly not for everyone. We were happy to be for Edward. There’s nothing we wouldn’t do for this bossy, loving boy. If need be we’d have gladly called in the Army and the Navy.
It turns out all we needed was the Marines.
And that brings me to those honeycomb words.
Over the past month, a young Marine has visited Tabby’s Place several times. The care with which he contemplated our cats made him an AwesomeAdopter already. The seriousness with which he considered “less-adoptable” angels made him a hero. He considered — and spent hours with — Philippa. And Chrissy. And Juju. And…
“I’m pretty sure I’ve decided,” the Marine announced with a smile on his 6th or 7th visit.
“Who’s the lucky cat?” I knew the answer would be good.
I just had no idea how good.
“Edward.” His smile widened. “And Juju.”
That’s about the point when a certain noodlehead we’ll call Flangela proceeded to initiate a dance party in the lobby.
You got it, amici — Edward and Juju have been adopted. The emperor has left the building. He’s found the human who will be there for him, Semper Fidelis, wobbles and all.
There’s everything, everything, everything right with this.
*That is, “really sick” in the sense of “fixin’ to diiiiiiie.” Of course, if you mean “really sick” in the sense of “my homeboy was laying down some really sick beats on his Casio keyboard,” all of our cats are REALLY sick.
Photo credits from de top: Heather, Jess B x2, AT, Jess B.