I confess befuddlement before the cult of celebrity.
I have never been one to dream of catching a wispy glimpse of someone known to many someones. This is as true of famous humans* as it is of famous cats.
I had occasion to muse on this recently when I was given the opportunity to meet a certain famous cat. The only catch: I’d need to leave Tabby’s Place, and the grand non-metropolis of Ringoes, and the creatures I know and love and dare to be known and loved by.
There is, of course, nothing wrong with fawning over famous cats, or the phenomenon of feline fame itself. More power to all the BUBs and Grumpies and Colonel Meows and their ilk. (I say this in full confidence that such luminaries will use their power only for good and never for evil.) I think they’re as cute as the next googly-eyed goofus.
But the other night, while wearing my ugly pants and curled up with my tea and my own two felines, I wondered: wouldn’t it be somehow absurd to leave the cats I know and love for the chance to stroke a cat I don’t and won’t know? Is not the entire point of loving a cat — or a human — being in relationship with him?
Verily, the celebrity cats come by their intergalactic fame honestly. There will never be a creature cuter than Lil BUB.** I’d most assuredly dissolve into a puddle of sparkly pink goo in her presence, too.
But, to be honest, I’d rather spend time with the cats I know deeply: the cat who purrs in my ear when I pray, the cat who recognizes my blood glucose levels, the cat who sings back as long as I keep singing, the cat whose stripes have been wet with my tears and whose jelly belly has shaken with my laughter.
We’ve done life together. And cuteness is colossal, but life is everything.
Which brings me to my point, and I do have one. Among the greatest treasures the cats bear is the gift of introducing us to strange and wonderful humans. I never could have guessed, when I first tumbled into the Tabby’s Place story, that I would meet my best friends here, or that something about the cats and the chaos and the holy perfect imperfection would make this the safest place in the world to know and be known.
But real, live, non-famous cats will do that to you.
So this Valentine’s Day, we — feline and human, crooked-tailed all — would like to welcome you into our world. You are hereby invited to an Open House on Saturday, February 14th, from 12:00 – 5:00 pm. Bring your friends. Bring your husband. Bring my future husband. Bring your beautiful heart. We’ll be celebrating the grand opening of our expanded medical facility, and giving tours, and generally merry-making all over the place. (Need directions? Click here, kittens.)
Do this waltz of life with us. You’re the only celebrities we really want to meet.***
*With few but notable exceptions: Pope Francis, Jimmy Fallon, Marcus Mumford, and, for a certain span of tender years, the entire cast of “Salute Your Shorts.”
**Possible exceptions: Rose Rosenberg, Jimmy Fallon.
***Except for Dobro, who is jonesing to meet Helen Mirren.