But the fact is, sometimes they aren’t.
I wish I didn’t have to write posts like this one, and that every adoption “stuck” forever and ever amen. But, as long as we human beans are human, we’re going to be – well, infuriatingly human. And, from time to time, fellow imperfect humans are going to make a cat match that’s not meant to be.
Take Steve. I’ll admit, I’ve dragged my heels on updating his story here. As you’ll recall, the warm-hearted Mr. Adopter Jr. opened his home to both Steve and Mahalia, smitten with the darling duo. But in spite of Mr. AJ’s love and best efforts, half of this adoption wasn’t meant to be. Little Steve may have left his hiding-in-the-couch days behind him, but along the way he picked up a frustrating new habit…”inappropriate elimination.”
Despite being just a kitten, Steve had become what we at Tabby’s Place affectionately call an “inappropriator.” Peeing on the blankets. Peeing on the bed. Peeing on the floor. Peeing behind the door. Peeing next to his own food bowl. And peeing, peeing, peeing, with no medical reason to be found.
And so a heavy-hearted Mr. AJ brought Steve back a couple of days after the adoption, saddened and sorry but sure this was more than he had bargained for. I understand; we all did. It takes the patience of Job – or at least a house of tile with drains built into the floor – to not mind inappropriate elimination.
I do believe there’s a home out there for Steve. Job-like patience exists in unexpected places, and Steve is too much of a heart-stealer not to find his own uber-patient mama/papa/family. In the meantime, we’ve got our work cut out for us in trying to get him groovin’ on his litter box (instead of every other surface in sight).
But Steve’s actually not the one to provoke this post.
No, that would be the funky tuxedo…who turned out to be a “rental” instead of a keeper.
In Spike‘s case, it was his shyness that squashed the adoption. After two days of Spike’s hiding, his adopter decided Spike must be unhappy. Unable to take it any longer, she whisked him back to Tabby’s Place…where he’s now, again, atiptoe looking for his home.
As an eminently imperfect human bean myself, I do my darndest not to judge fellow beans, or to think the worst of their choices. I’ve made more flubs and fouls than I’d care to remember, and I’ve surely done wrong by both human beans and felines along the way. I want with all my heart not to do that, but as long as I walk this earth, I’m going to keep tripping. So we all will – including adopters. It’s not my job to judge anybody else. (Not to say that I don’t slip and catch myself doing just that from time to time…but, then, there’s that dratted human bean imperfection thing again.)
While my heart is sad for Spike, I believe that, when it’s meant to be, it will stick, and nothing can unstick it. I believe that sometimes adopters make silly, hasty choices, and sometimes they make hard-but-right choices out of love, and sometimes it’s hard to tell the difference.
But, most of all, I believe that every one of the Tabby’s Place cats - the lifers, the returnees, and the ones who find great forever homes – is buoyed up on a wave of love that lasts all life long. The more we can forgive and accept and love each other through our blunders and victories, the better we can love the cats just the way they are.
No doubt about it: being loved just the way we are makes us better human beans. So I’ll keep doing my best, step by stumbling step, to have a heart wide open to every cat and every person who enters their orbit. Tabby’s Place is an outpost of love in this world, and, imperfect or not, we’re all in this together. I’m so glad, so humbled and so glad, that you Felis Catus folk are in it with us.