We’ve been mesmerized and gratified and starry-eyed.
We’ve been sermonized and sorely tried and over-simplified.
But it’s only in this still-young year that Tabby’s Place has been properly Simonized.
Simon can’t do everything for you. He can’t wax your car, or iron your underpants, or explain 5G.
But there’s precious little that Simon wouldn’t do for you. He would give you the last sip of his Dr. Pepper. He would haul back all your Kohl’s returns. He would let you play “Dance Monkey” on a continuous loop all afternoon.
He would trust you.
He would feel all the feelings, and he’d do it anyway.
It’s not that Simon is scared of love. It’s still further from the truth that he’s unfamiliar with it. Simon, all serious eyes and sun-spangled redness, is ripe with both age and belovedness. He has been cherished well, and long, and faithfully.
And so he is full of feelings.
He feels flustered with a sprinkle of overwhelm. The Tabby’s Place Lounge is his weird new world, busy with loud cats and eager people and so many bags of Veggie Straws.* He’s in a crate, currently, which eases the overwhelm, but still there are feelings. It’s a lot to take in for eyes that had long gazed on pastel routine.
Simon feels fine, especially in his physical person. Like his feline roommates and Nick Jonas and the Quaker Oats guy, Simon has diabetes. But like all those cool comrades, his sugar situation is well managed (no continuous glucose monitor or righteous ‘stache required in this case). We can’t take the sting out of Simon’s memories, and we can’t explain the Iowa caucuses to him, but we can fine-tune his diet and insulin to make him thrive. It feels good to feel good.
The old red man feels full. This has nothing to do with diabetic-safe wet food or Veggie Straws, and everything to do with his history. Even before arriving at Piazza di Tabby, Simon had lived several lifetimes worth of love. A good, good man cherished him; a strong, forever friendship was born; a long lullaby of a life was shared, diabetes and old age and all. Love so strong is bedrock that no big, bad wolves can shake.
Not even in a hurricane of loss.
Not even with the wailing winds of “goodbye.”
Simon’s serious eyes have seen sorrow and strangeness. They will see (far, far) more strangeness at Tabby’s Place. But, strange though we are, we’re set on continuing what Simon’s Dad started. We will love this good red man with all our mirth and might; we will sweeten his hours with soothing new routines; he will learn to rest easy in the rhythms of this life.
And yet we will be the lucky ones.
We will be thoroughly, irrevocably Simonized.
May we feel it all.
*We love our friggin’ Veggie Straws around here.