Angela intrudes: I do not want to post Tara’s post. That’s not because it’s anything short of magnificent (as you’ll see: have tissues ready). It all too magnificently tells a tale I selfishly want to turn untrue: Tara is leaving Tabby’s Place, and the whole time zone, and our delighted day-to-day lives.
I am in denial. I am in a state of protest. I am thrilled for Tara and weepy for myself and all the selves at Tabby’s Place. – A.H.
This guest post will be a little different. I hope you’ll indulge me.
Over the past couple of years, I’ve told you all about Simba, and about my family once he joined it. And soon our family will be embarking on our greatest adventure yet: we’re moving to Colorado! (I’ve promised Angela that I will continue to update you on how Simba, Peggy, and Dottie enjoy our western travels.) And while we’re moving for a great reason (a new job) and I’m very excited, it’s bittersweet because I’ll be leaving Tabby’s Place and the the friends I’ve made there, human and feline alike.
So today, I’d like to tell you about my time at this special place.
A little over three years ago, our beloved cat senior Miracle passed away. She was my husband’s cat before we married, and I adored her as much as he did – and spoiled her even more than he did, which is really saying something. We thought it would be a while before we could welcome a new cat into our home, but in less than a week we missed the sound of purrs and meows. A friend of mine mentioned Tabby’s Place, and we came in to visit.
The day of our visit, with the guidance of founder and Executive Director Jonathan, we put two kittens on hold: Wawa and Kiosk, who would become Peggy and Dottie. And that same day, I applied to volunteer. I knew I had to be a part of this.
My first job at Tabby’s Place was not a glamorous one: I cleaned a solarium every other week. It took me some time to endear myself to the cats when it was my job to chase them inside, but with time and persistence, I managed to convince them I was a friend. And watching the cats parade through the tunnels back to a clean solarium was always a delight!
Eventually I took on other jobs and got to know the wonderful staff and several other just as wonderful volunteers. What makes Tabby’s Place truly, uniquely special is that every person is here to create the best life possible for these cats. This is a place that is filled with love and with laughter. Nobody here is content that a cat merely survive. Every cat here is a unique soul with her own quirks and needs and is honored accordingly. We laugh when Olive tells us off, we rejoice when Shea befriends a new scared FIV+ cat, we stand and hold Divya’s wet food because she hates it when her plate slides around on the desk. We celebrate for every cat who finds a forever home.
And even on the hardest days, when we lose a feline friend and our hearts are broken, we remember why we’re here. When a Tabby’s Place cat has to be let go, the staff gathers to send her across the Rainbow Bridge surrounded by love and comfort. It’s just one of the ways that Tabby’s Place is special. Every moment of these cats’ lives matters.
I wish I could express how in awe I am of the staff here. They work so hard every single day to treat a panorama of medical issues. They organize events, organize hordes of volunteers, and manage a million other little things that go into running a sanctuary for 100+ cats. Their job is almost never easy, but they do it with kindness and grace. I can’t say enough to tell you how wonderful the team here is – or how special Tabby’s Place is. My awe of that first visit is constantly renewed by the miracles of love I see performed here every day.
Over my three and a half years at Tabby’s Place, I’ve fallen in love with so many cats. I’ve had the privilege of seeing many get adopted and the heartbreak of losing others to illness. I’ve learned so much about cat behavior and cat health and how to be a better guardian to my own cats at home. I learned that, for some odd reason, shy cats don’t like me, but grumpy cats do, and I’ve taken that as a calling to befriend the most cantankerous of cats (and have the scars to show for it!). And I’ve met some of the most wonderful people I have been lucky to know. It’s hard to leave all of that behind – I’m grateful to have three Tabby’s Place cats who will always remind me of the home away from home I found here.
If you’re reading this and have never visited, I encourage you to do so. If you’ve ever thought about volunteering, please do so. Tabby’s Place can always use the help, but what you don’t know is that you will receive so much more than you give. I’m immeasurably grateful to have found Tabby’s Place, and while I intend to continue volunteering and working with cats, I don’t know that I will ever find a place quite like this again. I truly hope I will. The world needs more places like Tabby’s Place – for cats and people alike – and I’m glad to have had the opportunity to be a part of it.
Tara and family, you have a forever home in over 120 hearts at Tabby’s Place, and that goes double for me. You are cherished beyond all measure. May you be blessed beyond the wildest wonder in your new adventure, and may you always, always know how much you’ve changed our world. Forever.