It’s all well and good for riverside clothes washers to use a scrubbing board to get the soap in, the dirt out, then the soap out of the wash. Afterward, though, the water-soaked items need to be wrung out enough to dry on a line or on a rack.
(At Tabby’s Place, we know how important it is to ensure cleaned laundry is thoroughly dry in order to keep ringworm in its place – far, far, far, far, far AWAY!) Where washboards are in use, wringers are the first tools of choice.
Wringers. They do exactly what they sound like they do. Wringers are used wring out as much water as possible, leaving limp, damp, clean laundry behind. Washed out, wrung out. We’ve all been through the wringer (There’s a reason why the concept has become cliché.) Unfortunately, it is too true of too many of the cats at Tabby’s Place – many of them have been through the wringer (some more than once). The thing is, well, cats are cats, so…
At first glance, Bisque actually looks like he has been through the wringer. He has quite the history. Up and down the proverbial washboard he went: being moved into a shelter, getting relocated him from one shelter to another, receiving medical care for his eyes, being shuffled into suite B, getting uncrated after the proscribed time, and, at last, being set loose to make his mark (Not literal!) on the suite.
Now, Bisque does his rounds of the suite just as it suits him, part time observer, part time greeter. Provide plenty of pets, and no other ingredients are needed. Bisque has even followed a certain fearful feline befriender [a participant in the Befriending Fearful Felines (BFF) program] around just to initiate (demand!) some befriending himself. It’s doubtful that any one of human is uniquely special in this particular form of introduction, although Bisque insists every single person is ten thousand percent special to him, each in a uniquely unique and especially special way. Clearly, Bisque is not a candidate for the BFF program.
New playmate anyone? We’ve got one who doesn’t understand what it is to have “been through the wringer,” despite most definitely having gone through the wash.
The wash and the wringer, though, are not exactly the same for everyone who goes through them. For instance, Daiquiri may seem to have had a somewhat more delicate soak and and relatively gentle wringing out. Despite what brought her to Tabby’s Place, if you’re human, you’ll find Daiquiri more delightful and far sweeter than her namesake cocktail. Her fur is perfectly mottled and mixed up in the most excellent tortie fashion. Her eyes fill with love and welcome at the least touch. [Daiquiri asked me to let you know that treats and fish mush always make excellent tokens of affection. Thank you! Yes, please. More, please.]
Although what Daiquiri experience may seem less harsh than what Bisque has been through, that in no way means that Daiquiri hasn’t been through the wringer. Daiquiri knows that each individual’s wringer is as personalized as the individual. What counts as harsh, what makes a wringer, depends on context and condition. Her circumstances changed and nobody explained it to her satisfaction. She was cast into Tabby’s Place, relocated into suite B, and left to figure out how to find room for herself among unwanted companions, i.e. all of the cats.
Daiquiri might just feel wrung out and hung out to dry. But, if you’re a human, she’ll never let it show. What she will do is drown you in her beautiful gaze. What she will do is soak up every bit of love doted on her. What she will do is be the quintessential Daiquiri – cuddly, charming, and completely prepared to receive all the adoration.
Different cats. Different wringers.
The same can be said of us all. But, after the scrubbing is done and the rough washboard is stowed out of site, and the wringer itself seems like ancient history, the wash dries out, fluffs up, and comes out clean in the end.
At Tabby’s Place, the ideal, clean ending is adoption. In the broader world, there is a great deal of variation as to what makes for a clean ending. Whatever the washboard any one of us may be scrubbed over, no matter the size, shape, or brand of wringer we are run through, we can trust the example the cats set and greet the outcome with grace and dignity. And when all the wringing is over and all the stuff is refluffed, it is never wrong to enjoy a great big bowl of creamy bisque or a classic daiquiri.