I wish I could tell you why people get mean when they’re really just scared.
I wish I could tell you why they don’t write more songs about the smell of thunderstorms.
I wish I could tell you why I don’t “get” avocado; no, not even in the form of guac; yes, I have tried repeatedly over decades, mea maxima culpa.
I wish I could tell you why Edith resides in the recycling bin.
But I am a mere mortal, and not even a cat, and so my telling abilities are tiny and brittle.
I can tell you, however, that there are certain certainties on which we can rest our heads every night. You and I will always have a few pieces of other people’s Tupperware in our cabinets, and Edith will always see herself as the piece of cake sent home after the party.
You know the cake of which I speak.
This is the cake you complimented, the cake you went on about for just a whisker too long, the cake that commanded someone else’s hours and shopping list, the cake that is now foisted upon you for the post-party feasting.
Suddenly, your hands are full of yet another unbidden plastic rectangle, containing a cake you really honestly just kinda liked. Is one not supposed to rhapsodize about home-baked goods? Must one always be burdened with a cloudy plastic box of foil-wrapped red velvet?
Yes, one must.
Edith, having ridden this globe around the sun no fewer than seventy thousand times (yes, that is 192 years), knows a thing or two about cake and compliments.
When she was a young wisp of a thing, Edith was not merely the toast of the town, but the cake of the city, the sweetest sight for the sorest eyes. She may have technically been an unowned, free-roaming cat, but Edith was perfectly conscious of being in her prime, and her life was one long sequence of frolicking through wildflowers, with hungry suitors in her train.
It’s all fun and games until someone takes a break from dessert to talk T-N-R, and so it was that Edith’s starlet days were put to bed. Eartipped and otherwise snipped, both Edith and her suitors returned to the feast a little different, a little less, um, hungry, yet still starry-eyed and sweeter than ganache.
But just as frosted confections are not the ideal choice for all eleven meals of the day, the free-roaming life, cut free from kind caregivers, is not going to win the British Bake-Off when it comes to Sweet Circumstances For Seniors. Just as Edith eased along from “ingenue” to “Righteous Conquering Crone,” the layer cake of her life went catastrophically crumbly. With her faithful caretaker gone, Edith faced the sort of staleness that no amount of buttercream can mend.
But we’re a bunch of batty bakers at Tabby’s Kitchen, and so there would be a second sweetening for our legend. Together with sisters in seniority Toulouse, Agnes, and Audrey, Edith was bound for the loopy lovin’ oven that is our sanctuary.
With her mascarpone heart, Edith took no time to shimmy into the sweetness and strangeness (which are indistinguishable around here). The Community Room would be her wildflower field, and with love and fresh zaniness, she would leap out of every cupcake moment.
She would also leap into the recycling bins every chance she got.
Which is to say, she’s quite ready to go home.
This scrumptious treat knows the sequence. The dinner’s over; coffee has been announced and acquired and drained to the bottom of the too-tiny cups that one uses for company. It’s time to foist triangles of cake on everyone who oohed and awed; it’s time to click on the Tupperware lids, and send those plastic squares off in all directions.
No Tupperware? A recycling bin will do. No lid? The better for Edith to slather you with sweetness.
Edith can’t tell you whether or not you need to return other people’s Tupperware (and she’s agnostic on avocado).
But she’s itching to assure you: it’s never too late to be the cake of the city.
Now will someone take her home, please?