All cats have good heads.
All cats have kissable heads.
But only one cat has a noggin shaped like a diamond.
If he were a gem, he’d be perched on a Kardashian-sized engagement ring. If he were Yankee Stadium, his ears would mark second and third base.
Fortunately, Bartholomew is a very long, strong, orange feline, and his pointy head is the jewel of Adoption Room #2.
Failure to swoon is not a viable option in Bartholomew’s presence. With laser precision and quiet gallantry, our sparkler will cut your cynicism to dust.
This is true regardless of your usual level of swoonitude. We are honored to host a vast swath of humanity at Tabby’s Place in any given week. We get the heart-grabbing, squealy, jump-up-and-down little girls of all ages and genders. We get the guys with the aw-shucks grins who love the cats that wrestle them like ‘gators. And we get the mystery men and women who keep their hearts under their hats, showing little emotion even as kittens trapeze for them.
Bart gets every eye to glisten. No sooner do they see him shimmering towards them like a river of fire, than they go wobble-kneed. When the tiger turns his head up and shines his green globes at them, their world is his and his alone.
This applies to people who squeal for every cat. This applies to people who squeal selectively. And this applies to people who are constitutionally incapable of squealing (Clint Eastwood, for example). It’s true: once they enter the jewel box of Adoption Room #2, even grumpy guys whose mouths perpetually turn down at the corners will suddenly clutch their hearts and say things like “I DO DECLARE!”
And do they ever.
But good looks only garner first glances — it’s Bart’s center-of-the-earth gravity that draws folks in for the eon. All his orange angles shimmy up to you, hesitant at first, then hopeful, then daring to risk it all for a scratch on the five-billion-carat forehead.
Bart has learned that love is a risk. He bet high and lost once before. With the kind of trust shown only by kittens and Muppets and Will Ferrell, he gave all his love to his adoptive family. Together with new sis Tish, Bart lived two years with that crew. We don’t know exactly what those years were like. We don’t do that whole casting-stones thing.
We only know that Bart and Tish came back to us this year — or rather, we had to go get them back. Their adopters explained that Bart and Tish lived in the basement and were well nigh impossible to catch. Our brave team suited up like Ghostbusters, prepared with towels and carriers and kindness and Proton Packs. Tish, though timid, was catchable.
Bart took one look at our staff, yelped “I DO DECLARE!”, and…flew into the ceiling.
This is not a metaphor. Bart ascended into the ceiling, and vanished.
(And, yes, this has happened to us before.)
Bested for the moment, our staff set up a humane trap. It would be several nail-bitey days before Bart was bagged, but suffice to say our diamond was feeling rather rough by the time he made it back to Tabby’s Place. Trembling in his crate, Bart pulled that perfect head as deep into the forest as possible. Touch me not. Love me not…not if you’re going to hurt me.
Every creature has a choice with how to handle hurt. There are ways to protect yourself from ever letting “that” happen again. Stop daring. Stay away from the fire. Keep all your cards flat against your chest, no risk, no reward. The queen of hearts will never slice off your head again. The smooth-talking ace will never betray you.
But cold safety was not the choice for our king of diamonds. And so, slowly, Bart has loved again.
All artless and honest, he’ll stroll right up to any comers now, heart in his teeth. You can have this. You can hold this. I will risk this again, for you.
It’s just a matter of time before he reaps the reward.
As for Tish, Bart’s brave little bullet of a sister is chattering it up in Suite B, unafraid of loss or love or Angus. Neither she nor Bart seems to miss the other. Besides, Bart has all the company he can handle in “Macaloon,” the righteous, yelling babe of many pounds and opinions. Some wonder if Bart thinks Macaroon is Tish, but (a) cats are smarter than that, and (b) Tish is petite, while Macaroon is…well, all about that bass.*
So across the sanctuary and across the baseball diamond of Bartholomew’s brain, healing shimmers. There are many kisses yet ahead for this head.