We all have dirty laundry…literally. Many of us would very much prefer never to be responsible for doing household laundry. It is a chore and a half, and it is never ending.
However, upon crossing one very particular threshold, typical preferences have a way of withering into wisps and blowing away completely. The most onerous, too often odorous, chores are gladly, even cheerfully, undertaken. The reason is simple: love for the Tabby’s Place cats.
Besides, they don’t have opposable thumbs, which, according to the cats, makes it impossible to do any chores at all (We humans know better than to ask any cats to do any chores at all. At least they’re always home at dinner time.) But, even within hallowed halls, there is a place where the chore of all chores must be managed minutely to keep molehills from blooming into mountains.
Come with me. I’ll show you.
Walk through the sliding glass door to enter the kitchen.
Now, walk toward the island, past the whiteboard on the wall.
Step forward past the kitchen shelves.
You have entered…the laundry zone.
Rod Serling may or may not have been greatly amused and/or insulted by this petite homage to his classic television show). He could never have predicted the conversation that led to one volunteer at an amazing cat sanctuary shouting, “The Laundry Zone!” with unreasonable giddiness and glee (I can neither confirm nor deny the identity of said volunteer except to say it was me, and here we are.). And, never, not even in brilliant Mr. Serling’s most sterling imaginings, could he have ever begun to comprehend the joy shared by multitudes (We of Tabby’s Place most definitely constitute multitudes. I have spoken.) over a few machines, chrome-topped islands, and some shelving.
I’m not sure if I digress or not, but I shall lean firmly on the rudder to get this ship back on course with a reminder of a Tabby’s Place prime directive: Keep the laundry going. Caring for lots of cats makes for lots of laundry to be done. In the new laundry room – with more space, more machines, and improved ergonomics – it’s much easier to keep up with the task. Volunteers, including some who never want to do laundry in their own homes, are happy to sort, wash, fold, and shelve cozies, blankets, beds, and more. Why? Ipso Catso.
Because cats are at the core of all things Tabby’s Place, and so many of them have unique challenges, like Nina and Mika with their very special brains and like Valerie with her excess of affection for a lobster dubbed Larry (with delicacy, avoiding mention of her need for diapers;
POOPS! OOPS!), cleanliness is of the highest importance. Teams of volunteers and staff empty suites, offices – any and all spaces housing cats – of used towels and bedding every single day. While they mop and wipe and whip everything back into shape, other volunteers scrub, sanitize, dry, and organize dishes and litter pans in the kitchen while yet more volunteers turn textile mountains of mayhem into clean, orderly stacks for the next day.
From a far enough vantage, it must look like a hyperactive ant hill or a buzzing beehive. Close in, it is a strange and magical place where chores become a pleasure because of the shared purpose in filling the great need to keep Tabby’s Place clean. The residents require it, our noses appreciate it (visitors often comment on the lack of certain…aromas), and we are all happy to do the chores that we may shy away from in our homes.
Okay, so maybe The Twilight Zone isn’t the best comparison for a cat sanctuary. But, believe me, it’s difficult to find a fitting benchmark from the vantage of one of the most amazing places on Earth.
For good measure and for the uninitiated, check out the introduction to early episodes of Rod Serling’s brain child.