You may be familiar with the league of extraordinary gentlemen.
If you’re extra-excellent, you might be a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows.
But you’ve gotta be a breed apart to make your home in the Tabby’s Place lobby.
Recently one of our donorfriends coined a phrase so deliciously perfect that it will go down in the annals of Tabby’s Place history: “This past Saturday we made our first trip to Tabby’s Place and were greeted by the lobby of exceptional cats.”
This designation, of course, will come as no surprise to those who have met the members of the guild. We could spend a lifetime singing the glories of the lobby of exceptional cats (heretofore referred to as TLOEC – and, yes, heretofore is a word that deserves lots more love).
Each member of TLOEC is a standalone standout. Matter of fact, that’s how most of them landed in the lobby in the first place. Let’s review:
Jenny: didn’t like the cats in Suite B, stopped eating, started moping…moved to TLOEC
Peachy: didn’t like the cats in Suite B, moved to Community Room, didn’t like the cats in the Community Room…ran into TLOEC and never looked back
Toya: didn’t like the cats in Suite B, didn’t like the cats in Suite C…moved to TLOEC
Elmo: didn’t like the cats in Suite B, started feigning “I’m fixin’ to diiiiiiiiiiiie” behavior in their presence…moved to TLOEC
Cookie: didn’t like the cats in Suite A, tugged the heart of a certain Founder/Executive Director whose name may or may not rhyme with Ronathan…moved to TLOEC
I could go on – and I haven’t even scratched the surface of Members of TLOEC Who Have Attempted To Annihilate All Other Members of TLOEC (I’m looking at you, Boots/Gingko/Gunther).
But a funny thing on the way from imperious odium (along the lines of “eeeew! cats!”) to Lobby exceptionalness.
TLOEC have learned to love EC.
I realize I’m putting my very life on the line to be telling you this. First rule of TLOEC: don’t talk about TLOEC. Second rule of TLOEC: do NOT tell humans that EC love EC.
But like an embedded journalist risking my neck for the truth, I must report on what I’ve seen: these cats do not hate cats.
They’re just exceptionally choosy.
An average morning in Ronathan’s office offers evidence. Side-by-side chairs will be host to two cats – pick two, any two – sitting like placid bookends, seemingly oblivious to the fact that they’re in exactly the same position, exactly 2″ away from each other.
As if cats are ever oblivious to anything. Pfft.
Exhibit B: strange days on the Lobby couches. I ask you, if TLOEC is made up of cats who hate cats, what do you make of this?
Yes, Toya is making that face because she just saw my shoes. Girrrrrrrrl, do you get your style cues from Vogue or MAD Magazine? Srsly.
But it goes to show: even the popular people – even the exceptional people – need to find their home in one another’s hearts. The exceptional cats might blaze around with a bravado that shouts, I don’t need anyone. I’m a self made cat. If you don’t like me, go bite yourself, hard, and on the posterior. I’m better than twenty of you anyway.
But behind the bluster, the whisper of the heart: Take me as I am. Love me in all my contradictions. See my exceptionalness.
Even my leaky heinie.
Even my fragile heart.
Even my crummy kidneys.
Even my MAD Magazine shoes.
Love me. I’m exceptional.
How good and pleasant it is when brothers (and sisters and unrelated felines) live together in unity.
How good…and how exceptional.
PS: If you think this salacious story is the stuff of the National Enquirer, you’re on the mark…almost. Tashi and Gabby are the literal stuff of the National Enquirer. But that’s another tale for another blog post…
Photo credits: Peachy, Elmo & Gingko – wonder-volunteer Heather C. Other ones – anonymous Tabby’s Place peon whose name may/may not rhyme with Flangela.