It is important, before you read any further, that you know a true fact. Brace yourselves. OK, here goes.
It isn’t very pretty what a town without pity can do.
But, kittens, as terrifying as that town may be, there’s a land unlovelier by far.
That would be the town without Piddy.
T’wasn’t long ago that our noble nest of Ringoes, NJ was that very town. We’d never met — nay, never even heard of — a cat named Piddy.
Unbeknownst to us, a nearby town was home to this troublingly-named calico. With Piddy in their precinct, they were rich beyond imagining.
But, somehow, the treasure in their midst went unrecognized, and Piddy’s life was about to turn…well, pitiful. [Throw rotten vegetables at Angela here.]
The perils piled on quickly, as perils are wont to do: Piddy’s person perished. Piddy’s person’s people preferred to pass on Piddy. Piddy was personless, placeless, perilously poised between peace and perishing.
But it is very, very pretty what a little glint of pity can do.
Through a sparkling series of circumstances, someone pled Piddy’s case, and somehow Piddy ended up in the Place that is Tabby’s.
Ergo, Piddy is safe and loved and ours. Ergo, Ringoes, NJ, is no longer a town without Piddy.
A roaring blaze of love is ready to warm all Piddy’s shivering sorrows. Now it’s just a matter of helping Piddy to catch a spark.
As you can imagine, Piddy isn’t quite so sure her pitiful days are past. When you’ve watched your world crumble in slow motion, it’s hard to believe there’s not another shoe waiting to drop. From the day she was named “Piddy” to the day her late person’s family said “we want no part of you,” Piddy’s faced more muck than most. The girl can’t be blamed for doubting all the joy we’re so eager to offer her now.
So for the time being, Piddy continues to act as though she’s still trapped in a town without pity. She cowers under the cabinet in our inaptly-named Special Needs Suite, trembling her terrified pink nose at hands that want to love her. This isn’t unusual for cats who come to us directly from a home: after having something wonderful stripped away, why trust again? Ever?
Isn’t it safer — sadder, but safer — to build your walls to the sky, impervious to peril or pity?
Psychologists call this sort of thing “learned helplessness.” Experience rejection enough times, and you can start to live into it, surrendering even the feeblest attempts at victory…even when victory is in sight.
It’s OK. It’s all OK. We’ve got all the time in the world to melt down Piddy’s walls with patience. That blaze is sure to smelt them into love, and trust, and a second start for a stellar cat.
It is something much richer than pity, what a love for Piddy can do.