This fall, we had a kitten named “Everything.”
I’m inclined to think that’s the best name we’ve ever given, and not just because it explains his siblings, “Cinnamon Raisin” and “Garlic.”
When we hang up our boots for the day, don’t we actually believe that every cat, every kitten, every weathered creature we serve is, in fact, everything?
On the days in which we give “everything” and the days in which we think we gave nothing, aren’t we striving and stretching and spending ourselves on nothing less than Everything?
It’s a vast, howling world, and we are but tiny kittens, you and me. No matter how much we poof up our hair, finger-in-the-socket style, we are so very small, and the needs and aches and agonies around us are so very large and loud.
The “something” that we can do can’t touch everyone.
But in a way that transcends our almond-sized kitten brains, it somehow connects to Everything.
This year — this maddening, inscrutable, relentless year, with its thefts and its gasps and its bursts of unkillable light — has whittled us down to the main things.
The fine high pleasure of telling another beggar where to find bread (if not quality bagels) in the midst of a pandemic.
And in you — I am speaking directly to you here, kittens, note the eye contact through the verbiage — I see everything that gives me every hope for whatever the next year may bring.
The weeks and months have taken and taken and taken; you have not let them take you down or out of this immortal combat for kindness.
The economy and the plague have snatched and bitten and stolen so much; even as you’ve lost, you’ve given, feisty wild beasties that you are.
You’ve donated to a sanctuary for cats from hopeless situations.
You’ve spat in the face of your own hopeless situations.
You’ve been the angels standing by, trembly arms and shivery wings forming a shelter over creatures even smaller and scareder than you and me.
You have left me dumbfounded and singing all at once.
So this Thanksgiving, however you may be spending its strangeness, take at least a moment to feast on the Everything that thrives at your touch.
You — yes you, little you, disheveled you (rest assured you are surely more sheveled than I am) — are healing the world, embracing the Everything.
In your littleness.
In your rebellious goodness.
Don’t you dare discount your contribution to Everything’s recovery from darkness.
Every act of love.
Every rebellious mercy.
Every step into the light.
You are Everything to us at Tabby’s Place.
Happy Thanksgiving, kittens.