Tickle me not

Tickle me not

110325-elmo-1There’s no fail-safe formula for finding a cat’s sweet spot at Tabby’s Place.

Trial and error are often in order, and the game of “musical cats” goes on until everyone’s happy. At least, everyone feline.

Elmo was decidedly un-tickled by his early accomodations at Tabby’s Place. In 1,001 ways, he made it clear that Suite B was not the place for a feline of his stature. From his silver fur to his serious sensibilities, Elmo has gravitas. He is the Masterpiece Theatre of the feline world, and he couldn’t abide staying in the kind of suite where everykitty thinks Ernest Goes to Camp is high art. In a sea of “I’m with stupid” tees and Hawaiian shirts, Elmo was a tweed jacket with leather patches. If Suite B was full of Jimmy Buffetts and Pee-Wee Hermans (Maggie and Steve, for starters), Elmo was an out-of-place Socrates.

110905-elmo-by-jbh-2Then again, Elmo’s circumstances could give anyone a case of The Seriousness. Many moons ago, a much younger Elmo was adopted from Tabby’s Place. By all accounts he was happy, with a family who understood from the start that Elmo had an occasional tendency to bite, hard. For them, it was a small price to pay for loving Elmo. But “forever” fell through when the family learned it was about to grow. A new baby wouldn’t welcome Elmo’s not-so-gentle nibbles, and Elmo’s adopters couldn’t stand to take that chance. With tears and apologies, they drove him all the way back to Tabby’s Place from his home with them in Florida. So it was that our serious, now-senior boy left the Sunshine State for Suite B.

Maybe it was the neighbors, or maybe it was the transition, but something about Suite B left Elmo in a perpetual snit. Not that there’s anything wrong with a righteous cat-snit (just ask Cecille) – but when Elmo’s health joined the protest, something had to change.

Any health-snit is bad, but the worst may be medical mayhem without a clear cause. Twice Elmo’s symptoms warranted a race to the emergency vet…and twice, there was no easy diagnosis. He was old. He was in (very) early renal disease. He was looking “unthrifty” (to use Dr. C’s excellent bucket term for any cat looking punk). He was…sad.

So, after some antibiotics, fluids and such, a game of musical cats was in order. In Elmo’s case, we leapt directly to the “nuclear option,” the setting we choose for cats in the deepest funk: Elmo was moving to the lobby.

245It’s no exaggeration to say that our sober-minded senior has been transformed by the move. Maybe he likes the all-day fussing and mooshing and extra tins of wet food we give him. Maybe he’s keen on hardwood floors. Maybe, in the company of such luminaries as Ike and Gingko, Elmo has finally found colleagues who can keep up with his ruminations on Schleiermacher’s theology and the third law of thermodynamics.

Hm. Yeah. And maybe I am, in fact, the Queen of Spain.

Whatever the reason, we’re thrilled that this round of musical cats has brought song and spirit back into Elmo’s golden eyes. Our serious old boy isn’t finished yet – not by a long shot. And, if you should find yourself in need of the feline equivalent of your favorite professor, come to Elmo’s office hours in the Tabby’s Place lobby.

Just, please, for your own sake – and his – don’t tickle him. 😉

6 thoughts on “Tickle me not

  1. Oh poor Elmo!!!! He’s such a sweet cat! I had no idea of his background story. I’m glad I always make a point of visiting with him 🙂 No matter what, I’m glad he’s happy living in the lobby 🙂

  2. Must admit, it makes me sad when kitties get returned, but I’m glad cool boys like Elmo have an always-welcome-back home with Tabby’s Place. I’ll be looking for him in the lobby when I next stop by, smooshes and all. 🙂

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