Fire up those neurons, because I’m about to say something profound:
Everyone is different.
Some people, when asked about their day, stare at you blankly and state that they did stuff. If you press them, they may add that they also did things. But some people, when asked about their day, like to tell you all the details. (“I went to Subway for lunch — you know, the one on Route 31, not the one on Route 202 — at 1:13 pm and got a 6″ sandwich. It looked like it may have only been 5 3/4″. It was on wheat bread, because I don’t like white. Sometimes I like Italian. I had lettuce with some spinach. I like spinach better than lettuce, but not the spinach at Subway so much, because it’s not a bright enough green. When I was a kid, I was afraid of Mr. Yuk because he’s green.”)
Some cats like to play with wand toys. But some cats like to vanquish wand toys such that they shall never rise again. (You know the type: you fling toy, cat catches toy, cat will not let go NO HE WILL NOT NOT EVEN IF HE HAS TO HANG ON WITH HIS LAST BREATH. Game over. Cat win.)
Some creatures are bold and some are pastel. Some tornado around you until you’re caught in the vortex of their excitement (hellloooooo, Sinatra), and others keep their emotions on the down-low.
Everyone is different. But some ones can be the same one, and yet different in different settings.
Special settings. Crazy settings. Wild settings. Settings like Adoption Room #3.
If ever a diamond found its perfect, soul-satisfying setting, it was Philippa in our “little old ladies’ suite.” Philippa was content and quiet back when she did stuff and things in Suite A. But it’s a whole new sparkle in the new setting. These days, in the immortal words of Dr. Seuss, “today you are you, that is truer than true. There is no one alive that is Youer than You.”
The Philippa of Suite A kept to corners, letting her space-shuttle-shaped nose poke out only for those things that were reeeeeeeeally worth her while (e.g. Fancy Feast, truth, justice etc.). Often ensconced in Dobro‘s entourage, she wasn’t exactly unpettable, and she didn’t have a mean bone in her wiggly black-and-white body. But “friendly” would be a stretch, and “squishable like Charmin”…well, that was only a dream for forlorn Philippa-watchers.
But a short trip down the hallway to Adoption Room #3 later, and Philippa was…well, Youer than You (or Herrer than Her. Or some similar. This is why I don’t write children’s books).
She rolls. She invites belly-mooshing. She slobbers with the gleeful affection of a cat in love with life. Adoption Room #3 makes her feel like a natural woman.
She’s the same. And different. It is a woman’s prerogative to change her mind, and Philippa has done so decisively. In these happy golden years, it’s sparkle time and friendly time. (Not to be confused with Hammer Time, yet similar.)
This is not the first time Adoption Room #3 has catalyzed such a transformation. Witness Posey. In Suite B, our kittenish old tabby was a snarly, unpredictable little bundle of angst. You never knew just which Posey you’d pick upon entering, but it was rarely one friendlier than a Venus flytrap. But in Adoption Room #3, everything’s been coming up roses since the day she arrived. With pint-sized elation, Posey will love on you until you are reduced to slobbering love-festery yourself.
I could go on. Sylvia once literally impaled multiple staff members’ fingernails with her teeth. In Adoption Room #3, she literally gallops (in a roly-poly way) over for affection. Alumni Jade and Mia were once trembly, terrified little tabbies. In Adoption Room #3, they fast-tracked themselves to adoption with effusive mooshiness. And just last night, when I went in to bid the girls buona sera, I was almost blown away by the loud, elderly stereo-purrs emanating at me from every direction. Adoption Room #3 is the locus of love.
What is it about this corner room, with its bay window and its curio cabinet chock-full of little-old-lady approved statues and tchotchkes? Is it the coziness? The sunlight? The particular curve of the earth and song of the stars over this inch of real estate? What has caused our old, once sub-friendly girls to shine on like crazy diamonds here?
Whatever it is, they’ve found love — or, more accurately, they’ve realized that love had long since found them. There are few things more satisfying than witnessing the long awakening of a soul. All at once or over years, the realization dawns that there’s never been a moment when they haven’t been safe. This unloseable love and unsinkable peace are theirs for the long haul. Once they have it, they can’t lose it — and, one by one, they’re taking it to the streets as they beat the elderly-cat odds to get adopted.
It’s your turn, Philippa.
Note apropos of nothing: Guillermo also has a nose shaped like the space shuttle. It would be irresponsible of me not to share this with you: