The Elliot Challenge

The Elliot Challenge

You may think you’ve unwrapped all your holiday gifts.

You may think it’s all over but the cleanup.

May I direct your attention to the snow-white wondercat awaiting you under the tree.

Yes, kittens, the rumors are true: Elliot has left the building.

Rub your eyes. You read that right. This is not a drill.

Elliot, our Elliot, the one-and-only Elliot, has been adopted.

We waited for this day. We confidently expected this day. We wanted this day.

We did want this day, didn’t we?

You can’t blame me for having to remind myself of that, can you?

If there’s anything that turns us a smidge selfish at Tabby’s Place, it’s the adoption of an extraordinary cat. Of course, they are all extraordinary, and each one is someone’s favorite.

But Elliot was everyone’s favorite.

Maybe that’s because he made us all feel like his favorite…and he meant it.

In Elliot’s heart, the title of #1 Coolest Awesomest Prettiest Handsomest Funnest Sparkliest Friend can be shared infinitely. He just can’t help it. When he meets you, he loves you so much, he has to fling a gold medal around your neck, in the form of his own exuberant self.

Exuberant, ebullient, effervescent, Elliot is existence itself at its highest, happiest volume. White-hot with a fire in his belly and a heart warm enough to thaw Antarctica, he is aliveness at its liveliest.

Elliot knows life is not a drill. Elliot knows THIS is the day of days, and tomorrow gets to do it all over again. Elliot is elated, excited, infatuated with you and me and the mysterious, merciful life we get to share.

Elliot is a LOT of cat.

Elliot got a LOT of love. And yet, somehow, he always gave more.

Elliot’s mighty muchness was not just for his human best friends. Over and over again, we saw him blaze a trail for more timid types, befriending the bewildered until they learned how to shine their own lights. A pied piper with pinwheel-eyes, Suite B’s busiest boy made everyone feel a little more alive, a little more at home in the world, and a lot more loved.

To be honest, we wanted a lot more Elliot-time. And, given his gastrointestinal festivities, we assumed we would have it.

But as luck would have it — and something far greater than luck — Elliot had, in fact, chosen a BEST best friend. Of all his true-blue buddies, our winter-white cat had a favorite…and a plan.

At the time this photo was taken, Elliot and Bisque (pictured at right) couldn’t have imagined that they’d soon be “forever brothers” in the same adoptive home! (Don’t worry, Thurman — your day will come, too!)

There was a LOT to do. Elliot had to convince his BEST best friend that they belonged together, forever. This was not a drill. This was showtime. Somehow Elliot found a way to crank up his infinite zest, maximizing his muchness.

His BEST best friend never stood a chance.

And so it came to pass that one of our beloved volunteers, Larry S., found himself fully “Elliotted.” Unable to say no to the cat who is a living, breathing “YES!”, Larry opened his heart…and proceeded to break all of ours.

In the best possible way.

In a bountiful bonus, Elliot is going home to his old buddy Bisque, another snowy sweetheart who stole Larry and his wife’s hearts. These Suite B alums will carry on their happiest hijinks in a home called “forever.”

But don’t take it from me. Elliot’s new mom was kind enough to send this shimmering update and THESE PHOTOS (yes I am shouting with joy):

Right after Thanksgiving, and less than 2 months after adopting Bisque (now Gronk), Elliot joined our home, and we couldn’t be happier.  Elliot was very familiar with Larry because he played with him when he volunteered at Tabby’s Place. So, that was very helpful in his adjustment.

However, he is such a love bug and warmed up to me very quickly, too. Having him separated from the other three cats in the house for the first two weeks was important, and he was never bored, as we spent time playing with him and giving him a lap to sit on.

His favorite thing to do is chase the laser light across the floor.  He can go nonstop for 30 minutes, then lays down for a quick nap before doing it again.  He loves sleeping on his new cat stand, or a lap when its available.  

The first cat we introduced him to was Bisque/Gronk, as they were familiar with each other from Tabby’s Place. The re-introduction went very well, and Gronk likes to hang out with Elliot and take a nap with him. 

Elliot has been introduced to the other cats (White Paws and Sydney), and it went very well. 

Just the other day, Elliot was brought upstairs to see the rest of the house, and he loved it.  He explored the entire first floor and even ate a meal up in the kitchen with the other cats. He still likes the security of his own room downstairs and will retreat there when needing space.

Elliot had his first checkup with our vet, and everyone just fell in love with him.  I can see why he is so loved by so many people at Tabby’s Place.

We are so pleased to give Elliot his forever home and just love that he feels secure and happy with us.

It’s all so right for the cat who never felt sorry for the things he had “wrong.” So, he has some bathroom follies. So, he moves at a higher vibration than 98% of living beings. So, he overwhelms certain feline underachievers (who he never, ever, ever tired of encouraging).

So, he is also the kindest creature this side of Mr. Rogers.

So, he is also everyone’s “hype-man,” the living embodiment of the empowering music you listen to in the car on the way to an important meeting.

So, he is also the snowball-goofball who made our days perpetual springtimes.

So, he is also a song we’ll keep singing even though he’s left the building. Because that’s the thing about a friend like Elliot: even if he has to leave you, he leaves you changed, charmed, charged with a mission to make the world a little more magical, merciful, and mirthful.

I hope you’ll join me in taking up the Elliot Challenge. Having been loved SO loud and so large, we now get to “Elliot” everyone around us.

Can you imagine what this world would be like if everyone had the chance to be “Ellioted”?

Can you imagine any greater way to celebrate Elliot’s adoption than by making someone feel like your very favorite?

Can you remind me, when I walk into Suite B and miss the sweetest boy, that we’re really, genuinely happy that Elliot has been adopted?

Of course we are.

The best is yet to come for the brilliant little cat with the biggest heart under the sun.

And in case that isn’t enough joy, commotion, and Elliot-emotion for you…we shall close this celebration with a love letter to Elliot from his longtime sweetheart and scribe, Mary Anne. Ready the Kleenex, kittens:

My dear Elliot,

How happy I am to be writing this letter.  Your greatest wish has been granted…to be adopted by someone who loves you so much. 

I remember the first time I met you in the kitten room.  I was told I would recognize you immediately, since you were the biggest kitten at that time.  When I came into the room, all the little gremlins rushed to greet me.  I watched you act as ‘daddy’ to the little ones, teaching them how to “kitten” properly.

One day when I came to visit, I saw you in Suite B: no longer a kitten, but now a cat ready to meet new friends and explore a much bigger play area. You did not disappoint.  You explored every inch of Suite B and made all the staff and volunteers laugh. And you watched some of your playmates leave as they were adopted.  But you never gave up hope.

Each time I came to visit you, I would get my hands ‘washed,’ and lots of kitty kisses.  You would sit near me and let me give you a great back and ear rub.  Then you were off to the races to run around the suite and check out all the bowls. I know you love the wet food with gravy, so I am sure your new family will make sure you get plenty of that.

The last time I came to visit you, we spent a long time loving on each other in the solarium while your suite was deep cleaned.  I had a wonderful time just sitting with you and watching you watch the birds in Cherny’s Garden.

So, now it is time to say goodbye.  The tears are falling as I write this, not for sadness, but for joy that you are going to your forever home.  What a wonderful Christmas gift for you.

Enjoy your new life, and may God grant you many, many happy and healthy years.  I love you and I miss you…

Mary Anne

And so today, we explode with Elliot-sized gratitude: to Larry and Joan; to Gronk, White Paws, and Sydney; to Mary Anne; to all who have loved Elliot all the way to this day…

…and for the chance to “Elliot” the world ourselves. Let’s do this, kittens!

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