Sometimes there is news so momentous…happenings so humongous…events so earth-shaking…
…only a summer blockbuster can properly tell the tale.
Today’s post concerns a colossus of the cat, about to begin the biggest bonanza of his life. Accordingly, we have Spielberg, Cameron and Bigelow on the phone (plus Tim Burton, just in case we wanna get weird).
But until the cameras start rolling, Tara‘s terrific talk will tell the tale. Buckle up, kittens, it’s the biggest brand of breaking news…
A month ago, I was talking to Karina, the Director of Volunteers at Tabby’s Place, about my favorite fella Simba. I was saying how I think all the time about how worried I’ll be if he ever gets adopted: will these humans understand him? Will they know that he drools when he’s happy? That he loves being petted, but hates being touched right above his tail? That he loves to show his belly, but hates to be touched while he’s stretched out looking majestic? Will they appreciate the way he tells you all about his day in loud howls that turn into pouty little meows when he doesn’t get his way? Will they understand that he’s a biter, but only because he gets scared, and that he really just wants to love and be loved and feel safe?
Karina said the words that made it all click into place: “Tara, I don’t think anyone will adopt him but you.”
My heart sank.
Simba is a true treasure of a cat, but he’s not for everyone. He’s prone to fits of grumpiness; he’s pretty demanding; and he takes a long time to build trust. Oh; and sometimes those chompers really get you. But beneath all of that lies a heart so big and full of love that his fur can barely contain it. And, if I’m lucky enough to be the one he’s chosen to show that side…well, my choice was clear.
I told myself, for the two years I’ve been working with Simba, that I couldn’t take him home. Simba doesn’t like other cats, and I am already mom to two Tabby’s Place alumnae (Peggy and Dottie, super-duper-bonded siblings who came home at 6 weeks old). I figured it would be too hard to integrate them, that Simba might not get along with my girls, that their idyllic life might be disrupted.
But Simba picked me.
On my very first day, he hopped in my lap and grumped at me, as though he knew I would understand. And he’s come such a long way since that day. He still can be prickly, but the cat who I used to only be able to touch on the head now loves brushings and all-over pets and happily drools and sheds all over me every time I visit.
I can’t let him down.
So this afternoon, Simba comes home!
My husband Dan is a pro at managing multi-cat households, thank goodness, and was not at all phased by receiving his very first Simba bite on his last visit. We’ve set up our guest room to be Simba’s private lair during what will be a very gradual and careful introduction process. (I’ve been doing weeks of research, and we’re working on scent exchanges and installing baby gates and pheromone diffusers and, and, and…)
We’re very excited and just a little nervous; who knows if this will work? But Simba will share a much larger space with his new roommates, so we’re hopeful that even if they aren’t all BFFs right away, there is at least enough space for everyone to not feel crowded.
Maybe this was a foregone conclusion from the day he hopped in my lap in Suite B.
Maybe I just didn’t know it yet and was just waiting for the thing that would make it all click into place.
Maybe Simba’s howls were trying to tell me all along.
But now it’s a reality, and I hope to give my lion king the Hakuna Matata for which he’s searched for so long.