It’s a cryin shame.
Tabby’s Place has never had cats with any of the following names: The Colonel, The Captain, The Commissioner or The Admiral.
But there’s hope. The sanctuary’s classiness quotient spiked 7,000% with the arrival of Barley.
You’d be forgiven if “classy” was not the first word that sprang to mind when Barley first arrived at Tabby’s Place. I believe I heard the term “hot mess” being bandied about, and that would be accurate minus the “hot” part. Barley was a snottalicious ooze-beast. An infinitely lovable one…but a snottalicious ooze-beast nonetheless.
Ooze from his eyes. Ooze from his nose. Ooze from his mouth. Ooze and spooge and gloopy green snot from every facial orifice.
Despite being snottalicious, Barley was anything but snotty. The big-headed boy was pure sweetness – which, quite honestly, made no sense.
Really, now, would you or I be pure sweetness under the following circumstances:
- Ditched in a locked carrier in an abandoned barn;
- Sick as a scurvy dog;*
- Bearing a mouthful of teeth so painful you could scarcely eat baby food;
- Whisked to a weird place where people poked you and prodded you and some daft blogger described you as a snottalicious ooze-beast?
We’ll never know what led up to Barley’s abandonment in that barn, so we can only trace back from what we see. Somewhere in the story, Barley lost his tail, which would have been a magnificent plume to match his long silver shaggitude. That loss is mitigated by the fact that a tailless Barley is an irresistibly cute Barley. Add that to the fact that his big, giant head doesn’t match his petite, little-old-man physique, and…well, you’ll be a swoonalicious love-beast within instants of meeting him.
Even if Barley weren’t so scandalously cute (snot and all), you’d swoon in spite of yourself. The tailless old soldier is just that smooshy. Hug him. Hold him. Dress him in a sailor suit. (No, no, don’t do that. Cats dressed as people = cruel and unusual. But he would let you do it anyway, if he thought it would make you happy.) Pet him. Sing to him badly. Take him to a Black Keys concert. Even take him to a Kenny G concert. It doesn’t matter to Barley: he’s just a delighted dude to be with you, and it is, generally speaking, allllllll gooooooood.
Yes, Barley channels a bit of Mr. Grey‘s timeless cool.
If Barley also looks vaguely familiar, you see what we saw: there’s no escaping the fact that he looks an awful lot like our forever-loved Harley. That’s how our new old boy got his name, and it’s an honor he carries proudly.
Things are looking up for Barley this Mardi Gras, too. Roommate Betsy (more on her in a future post) has decided that he’s the one that she wants. Tabby’s Place humans can’t keep our hands off of him. And things are getting less snottalicious in sinus city: in addition to having far fewer teeth and a world less pain, Barley’s on an aircraft carrier full of medications, which are keeping him comfy…and handsomer than ever.
Perhaps it’s because of all he’s been through himself, but Barley is a quintessential Tabby’s Place cat in a key way: he’ll give you grace for all your own gook.
Maybe you use more paper towels than required to get the job done. Barley pardons your un-green behavior.
Maybe you prefer Vanilla Ice to Vivaldi. Barley admires your knowing what you like.
Maybe your idea of excitement is discovering that the works of GK Chesterton are in the public domain and you can read them for free.** Barley says that geeks are hot, and you’re on fire.
In other words, Barley has all the grace and good-heartedness to be a world leader. If Tabby’s Place should have its own Parliament, I do believe we’ve got our PM.
In the meantime, Barley just wants to love you and to enjoy the post-ooze life. Hear, hear, for the Barliamentarian.
*With all apologies to scurvy dogs, whatever they are. But they sound sick. Please, get someone to take a look at that scurvy, OK?
**And they are, and you can. Try to control yourselves.