Outer space is vast. Spaces are vastly important. Every being in existence needs a space in which to live, to breathe, to move, to thrive. Every being needs space to rejuvenate, to rest, to relish, to call home. The challenge lies in the sheer numbers of beings of so many species that need to find ways to share limited space. After all, the world is only just so big. Each continent is smaller yet. Each nation, state, city, borough, hamlet, hill, village, and road is even smaller still.
We humans build special spaces within these ever smaller spaces. We name these spaces buildings, and they include skyscrapers, houses, schools, hospitals, and many more things, not least of which include shelters…and sanctuaries.
At Tabby’s Place: A Cat Sanctuary, Suite E is a fairly small space, as spaces go, especially compared to the Quinn’s Corner addition. At times, there have been certain challenges to the comfortable existence of the cohabitating felines in the suite.
For example, one grey and white tuxedo named Hashbrown (a feral on the very brink of flipping his switch more fully to “YES! LOVE ME!! PET ME!!”) has not always been gracious to his fellow felines. Thusly, and ever at the ready to find the right balance of residents in any given space at Tabby’s Place, the powers-that-be saw fit to leave Hashbrown and most of the Suite E residents in situ and to find more fitting spaces for Mullet and Yuki.
When the opportunity arose for relocation, Mullet was moved into Suite A. It’s a small, cozy space that fits fewer felines than Suite E. Mullet’s introduction into Suite A was met with grace, with the possible exception of Cookie Monster (she’s mostly cookie, but also slightly monster). Grace, acceptance, and tolerance were more or less the rule with Moo Moo, Ash, and Pepita. Then there was Malora.
Full on enthusiasm is a more precise description of how Malora welcomed Mullet into the space that is her home. For his part, Mullet took a little time to figure out what to make of the new-to-him space, to find space for himself among his new suite-ies, and to become comfortable in this space. As it happens, Malora made a convincing argument for why Mullet should consider Suite A and the space immediately by her side to be his home. Mullet is very much agreeable with this arrangement. And, we who get to visit Suite A are loving the love that has sprung up so gracefully in the very small space at the top of the ramp to the solarium.
Being too contented at the top of a ramp to a solarium, Yuki was recently moved into the Community Room. It is a decently sized space that is fairly open and frequently occupied by humans along with a relatively calm community of cats. The humans are the key for Yuki. She is a formal feral whose flipped switch landed on sweet yet shy. This beautiful brown tabby is eminently adoptable, but Suite E offered too many spaces out of reach and visibility to humans. Once again, those-who-know-best decided to afford Yuki and us the opportunity to come together in a space where we could take our time getting to know each other better. The great hope is that shyness will melt away allowing sweetness to shine throughout the place and help Yuki find a space to call a forever home of her very own.
While Mullet, Yuki, and the rest of the residents at Tabby’s Place demonstrate the particulars of grace in their special spaces, we humans also have our moments of grace.
True story time.
First story: There is a woman, whom I met recently, who so frequently finds 4-leaf clovers that she laminates them to distribute to strangers who cross her path, so they can have a little bit of extra luck.
Second story: There was a man overheard at a bar, who picked up his friend’s tab, forgotten due to family tragedy and distractedness. The action included instructions to never mention it again, most certainly not to the aching-hearted friend.
We are all similarly capable of sharing of ourselves and giving each other room to be who we are. We have the grace to accept each other’s foibles and follies. We can, should, and often do give each other the necessary space to stretch beyond our limits and to grow into new spaces. It is a testament to the grace of coming from a place where we are comfortable and confident in ourselves that we are then able to grant such grace to those around us.
At Tabby’s Place, Grace is one marvelous person among a tremendous team of stupendous staff members (many more superlative adjectives apply, but blog space is limited). Grace is also what every individual at Tabby’s Place grants to each other and each cat within its sheltering fold. It is a truly special space that reflects the best of the world around us, just as it exemplifies the best in us all. Being connected to this place, especially at this time, and being able to bring the best of ourselves to this exceptional space, we can reflect back on it with graciousness and grace and gratitude. Like Mullet and Yuki, together we will continue to make this small, yet inexplicably enormous, space a home.