…there is hope.
There may not be a clear story as to how you got where you got, or what happened on the way to getting there. One of your rescuers surmised that you’d been dropped like a walnut by some bird of prey (eagle? hawk? pterydactyl?). How else, she wondered, could you have ended up all alone, sibling-less and hamster-small, in the middle of the iceberg that was a frozen NJ field?
But no one saw that fearsome bird, or your descent from the sky, so it’s only a guess. That’s all we have about your history.
And there may not be any explanation for where your mami and siblings might have gone. Did they watch in horror as you were scooped up in fierce talons, offering themselves in your place? (Stoppit, Angela, this is the world of feral cats, not a telenovela.) Or did you, in the foolish courage and courageous foolishness of a hamster-small kitten, just venture out too far one day and find yourself alone on the iceberg?
And, while we’re asking questions, why do we suddenly have great floes of ice in New Jersey? What is up with that?
When you came to us, I hesitated to even take your picture. You barely looked alive, and the life in you was sighing for relief and hope and love. Your little eyes were so gummed-up with gunk that you dared not squint them open. That gunk was just about the only fluid on you, though; you were more wizened and shriveled than any raisin (or even Larry King). Denise and Danielle’s loving hands worked quickly to fill you with fluids, wrap you in warmth, cram you with hope even before you could see it.
Virginia, today we want to focus on what, in the immortal words of Oprah, we know for sure. Whatever your little friends and fiends and pterydactyls may have told you on your way to Tabby’s Place, we are here to affirm that, yes, Virginia, there is a living hope. Even your mami – wherever she may be – would agree that, if it’s printed in Felis Catus, it must be true. (Except for the stuff we make up.)
There is a living hope that love has tougher talons and stronger cords than any red-eyed bird of prey. There is a Love that knows no limits, and inspires the best in even broken human beans. (And, Virginia, face it: that’s the only kind you’ll find.)
And, for you, there is every hope now of life to the full.
I’ve longed to see you growing this past week, but love requires that you be kept safe and quiet and away from peeking eyes and sneezing cats. You’re Casa Denise right now, like Steve and Tabbouli and so many kittens before you, being hand-nurtured until you’re strong enough for Tabby’s Place living. How Denise does it, I cannot fathom. It humbles me. She shuns sleep to attend to your cries, clean your goopy eyes, bathe your bottom. She’s as human as me or Wilford Brimley, but she does these superhuman things out of a love that is literally otherworldly. I hear you’re a royal terror for getting your much-needed fluids now, and I love it. If you can scream and kick like a cheerleader from the underworld, you must be feeling (vastly) better. That gives me huge hope, as does Denise, as do you.
Those of us who can’t do anything for you physically may feel a little lot useless in your life. On an almost daily basis, I’m blessed to field phone calls from cat-adorers who demur when I thank them for their donations, saying – invariably – “oh, but I’m not doing anything. I wish I could do what you guys do. You are really doing what matters.”
I know that feeling; I get it in my gut every time I watch and flutter around like a worried (and, let’s face it, in-the-way and irritating) butterfly as Danielle and Denise and Dr. C do the real life-saving work. But, Virginia, you remind me that there’s hope even for those of us who “can’t do anything.” We can’t do the physical labors of love and sleepless self-sacrifice, but we can still love you in a way that counts. We can pray without ceasing. We can support you in whatever way we are uniquely, personally, individually called to do. And so we will, with all the tenacity of ten pterydactyls. It’s not everything, but it’s our something.
So sleep well, little one, until you are strong and sturdy and sneezeless enough to come back to Tabby’s Place full-time. You are loved beyond your wildest dreams. There is hope. And also a Santa Claus. His name just might happen to rhyme with Ronathan.