The rains in Mozambique have been relentless.
The cyclones seem to have a crush on Madagascar.
But here in Ringoes, NJ, things are fine and dry.
I can tell you this because (a) I don’t have cable, but (b) I have a weird free Roku channel that provides the international weather, delivered with giddy, toothy-grinned exuberance by a wonderful man named Everton.
Everton loves his job. Everton loves the weather. Everton loves pointing at his map and smiling from the depths of his soul and sharing his knowledge and his utterly infectious joy. But Everton loves nothing more than getting to tell you that it’s going to be “fine and dry.”
When I first heard Everton say this on a near-nightly basis, I assumed it was a common British phrase. (Anglophiles and English friends, please help me out here.) But if you Google “fine and dry,” you will come up with ads for a fly-fishing business and tips for hair problems.
Clearly “fine and dry” is something more than a trite weather term.
Clearly “fine and dry” is something more like what we’re all striving for in this life.
Clearly “fine and dry” is the weather, forever, at the Place known as Tabby’s.
The cats of Tabby’s Place — no, not even the ones who stalk around the solarium in the middle of a monsoon — know nothing of rain. There are no cyclones here, no storms that can shake their inmost calm. It is well with their souls, even when it’s not entirely well with the world.
When you enter the arbor of Tabby’s Place, you’re swept beneath an umbrella that promises you will be both fine and dry from here on out — wherever “out” may take you, however near or far that departure may be.
It’s the promise of “fine and dry” that makes us a magnet for shuddering, soaked creatures from all over the literal world. (True story: Everton recently gave an extended report on the weather in Oman, causing me to shriek at my husband, “We’re getting cats from Oman! Soon! Oman! Everton! Cats!” More on these travelers when they arrive, of course.)
It’s the beacon of “fine and dry” that reminds us we can feel safe, and held, and cosmically cozy even when the world is weird and wet and whipping our fine, dry hair against our weepy faces.
“Fine and dry” is the future for eight Manhattanites this month, our latest batch of beloveds from New York City’s labyrinthine Animal Care and Control. The extraordinary octet, pictured here, is quite new, and quite uncertain of their new climate as of this writing. Some of them have never been fine and dry. None of them have ever been Tabby’s Placed before, and that’s a whirlwind of warmth and weirdness for which no one can be properly prepared.
“Fine and dry” is what we’re going for — with gusto, and gratitude, and a great glittering need for your most gigantic generosity — with Quinn’s Corner. If ever any cats needed Tabby’s Place weather, it’s FeLV+ fabulosities and neonatal kittens.
“Fine and dry” is a leap of faith and a gut-deep knowledge.
“Fine and dry” is the promise every cat deserves. We will keep it under all sorts of skies.
So pardon us if we’re grinning more gleefully than eleven Evertons. We just can’t wait until the cats yet to come will feel the forever weather.
Until then, we’ll just keep pointing at the map, smiling too big, and telling them it is possible to feel safe in this world.
While we’re at it, let’s keep reminding each other.
You’re held, kittens, and you’re in the palm of hands that will not let you spin off into cyclones of despair. Once you feel it and know it and believe it, you can be those hands and that fine, dry, dazzling sunshine for somebody else — feline or otherwise.
Let’s do it, again and again. Let’s scan the skies for infectious joy that gets everyone grinning in spite of themselves. Let’s keep telling ourselves and each other and the cats who need us that everything is, in fact, going to be OK.
It’s true, you know.
A wonderful weatherman told me.
(Pictured top to bottom: Cammy, Joshua, Grecca, Consetta, Bellamy, Lizzy, Bosco, Valentino, and…)