The great philosopher Burt Bacharach once opined, “Only love can break a heart. Only love can mend it again.”
Clearly Webster has his heart turned to that station, because new love is healing his hurts day by day. Who could have guessed that, after ten years as a beloved “only cat,” Webster would find his heart’s answer in a fellow feline?
Who could have guessed that Webster’s “better half” would be a cat who had never loved cats?
Now, ever since Webster arrived at Tabby’s Place as a heartbroken shadow of a cat, we’ve been loving on our sensitive, bereaved tabby with all we’ve got. And, rest assured, that love has been doing what love does best. Day by day, Webster is opening his heart to the human beans so bent on adoring him. He loves to be pet and will stretch his back skyward in a happy “scratch-me!” pose when you begin giving him some love.
But, much as we love him (and vice versa), we human beans can’t take credit for Webster’s transformation from heartbroken to whole. No, the thanks for Webster’s healing falls squarely in the lap of the ultimate lap-cat…Cali.
Cali is the sort of cat who can make even the most avowed cat-abhorrer change his stripes. Even if you ignore her gleaming calico cuteness, there’s no missing Cali’s breathtaking personality. This girl is all about affection. As one of our volunteers once put it, Cali will only let you pet her for about 8 straight hours before turning around so you can pet the other side. With a purr that shakes New Jersey and a heart as big as Texas, Cali is most definitely a Tabby’s Place “all-star.”
In her four-plus years with us, Cali’s weathered some scary diagnoses. About three years ago, the veterinarians suspected she had lymphoma, and would not be long for this world. Cali was hearing nothing of it, and proceeded to keep living. The diagnosis was then downgraded to inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), but Cali wasn’t too keen on that idea, either. Today, she is a flourishing fourteen-year-old on just one minor medication.
As much as Cali’s heart bursts with love for human beans, she’s never been wild about fellow felines. Don’t get me wrong, she’s no wacky Natalie; Cali can “play nice” and coexist with her roomies just fine. But it’s clear that, if she suddenly became the sole member of her species on the planet, Cali wouldn’t shed any tears.
Well, not until now.
When I first heard that Cali and Webster were “in love,” I thought it must be a fluke. Surely Cali’s rubbing up against our mushy guy was just a coincidence as she was on her way to the food dish.
But, oh, my friends, this is no fluke. And, knowing the intensity with which these two love, this is no temporary fling. The wholeness that Cali and Webster have found in one another is bound to last long after Valentine’s Day. To behold their cozy rubbing, eating side-by-side and jacked-up happiness is to see something very real.
One of the great privileges of loving the cats is getting to see the bonds they build from one to another. As unexpected as it is beautiful, Cali and Webster’s bond is one-of-a-kind-wonderful. It’s another reminder that, whatever we (human bean or feline) have endured, we can heal as we carry each other and love our way through.
And that reminder may be Cali and Webster’s greatest gift of all.
PS: If you’re wondering why we don’t have a photo of Cali & Webster together, there’s a simple answer: because they are cats, and cats prefer to do cute things when a camera is not present.