Time stands still. Time flies. Where did the time go? This is taking forever.
Time is far more relative than even Einstein ever imagined.
There are days when the sun is shining, the birds are singing, and the breeze is so perfectly cool and refreshing or brisk and quickening that we wish we could stop time. Those days pass far too quickly. No matter how much we slow down and savor each breath, we feel time slipping through our grasp. We clench our fingers tightly to hold onto every passing moment, to no avail.
Other days plod on endlessly. No matter how we try to pick up our feet and speed things along, the ground seems made of molasses, and the air becomes a dense cloud of cement. We try to get things moving, but time keeps its own pace.
With so many varying aspects, what is time anyway?
At least part of the scientific community defines time (way oversimplified!) as a measure of change. However, it is the Doctor Who definition of time that captures how we so often experience time: “it’s more like a big ball of wibbly wobbly timey wimey stuff.”
“Wibbly wobbly timey wimey stuff.”
Time being all “wibbly wobbly” is why it seems so astonishing that we have already celebrated the 18th anniversary of Tabby’s Place (in October 2021).
For the same reason, it feels like Tabby’s Place has always existed.
That same wobbly bit is also why it feels like construction on Quinn’s Corner just started yesterday, even though it is rapidly nearing completion.
And then there’s the time-stoppingly precious Perseus. As befits the youngest inhabitant of the Executive Suite, Perseus understands no more about these wibbles of time than we do. Let’s face it, young cats are more interested in gravitational effects on objects (how things fall off desks, tables, counters, etc. when swatted with sufficient force) than in time. Perseus himself has not yet demonstrated much personal interest in the study of gravity (at least not in front of yours truly), but time definitely affects him whether or not he is aware of it.
Some time ago, as a kitten, Perseus was dropped from the heavens into the haven that is Tabby’s Place (actual facts fail to capture the mythical proportions of this event) and adopted into what was believed to be his forever home. Quite recently, Perseus was cat-erang-ed back into a familiar, warm embrace where, currently, he is tasked with performing executive duties befitting a demi-god.
Though his labors fall short of Herculean efforts, this tiny tuxedo has a mighty vocal flair. Senior Executive Honey insists we, “Make him shut his puny yap!,” even as she tolerates (in her very unique, barely tolerant way) his rubs and graceless bumps.
Even Honey seems aware that any time spent with Perseus is to be cherished.
The sweet youngling has kidney and heart problems that will likely impact how much time we have with him. This does nothing to dampen his enjoyment of every bit of attention, each gobble of fish mush, all of the toys, and, to her dismay, annoyance, and ultimate acceptance, Honey’s companionship. This perfectly imperfect refuge is the ideal place for a kitty whose time among us is likely to be far more limited than any such golden creature as Perseus deserves. Each moment will be savored. All the things will be done to ensure each precious second is treasured.
The humans at Tabby’s Place, especially the medical staff, are good at treasuring, because we know all too well that each day is not made up entirely of sunshine and roses. To a person, we are there for all of the cats all of the time no matter how much time we have with them.
Some stay at Tabby’s Place for a long time and have enough time for everyone to get to know them and spend time with them. Some arrive at Tabby’s Place in such extremely difficult circumstances that their flames burn bright and fast like fireballs and leave us gasping and raw in their wake.
In either case, the people of Tabby’s Place ultimately know when the harshest decision is the gentlest, best treatment. The time always comes when it is needful to stop doing more and simply give in to loving kindness. This is never a decision made by one person. The decision is never easy, no matter how necessary, no matter how compassionate.
For Perseus, the time for this decision will probably come sooner than anyone would ever want. It will certainly come sooner than this mighty mouse of a cat deserves. Even so, this fun-sized Tabby’s Place cat with his outsized medical issues and gigantic gift of gab has a life that the Perseus of myth would envy. The petite tuxedo in the Executive Suite requires no Pegasus to help him to soar through his days. He has no need to slay a gorgon to prove his power or his worth.
In a modest office inside an amazing cat sanctuary, this little cat is daily granted the graces of love, care, and kindness. These are all bestowed upon him time and again by everyone who meets him. And, so, for the time being, for whatever amount of time we are graced with to revel in his presence, magnificent little Perseus will keep on having the time of his life.