Please don’t hate them because they’re beautiful.
Better yet, don’t hate them at all. They don’t really hate you.
But if you look up “gorgeous orange-and-white cats who aren’t so sure about you” in the Tabby’s Place almanac, you’ll find these two photos, side by side:
Lest we stay skin-deep, the similarities between these souls don’t go all the way through.
Claudette is a living, breathing feather boa, all glamour and glinty eyes, superiority and snooty splendor. Think Anna Wintour. Think Elizabeth Taylor. Think the girl who made you think you were dorky and dumpy c. 7th grade.
Sequoia, on the other hand, radiates deep thoughts. He wants to sign up for every single philosophy course. His Amazon wish list has titles like Heidegger’s Least Applicable Theories and The Ramifications of Kantian Thought for Lesser Foucaultian Metanarratives, Vol. XIV. If he had a band, they’d be called The Panopticon, and it would be composed of Sequoia all by himself, tapping bongos and chanting about epistemology.
But back on the surface, these squeamish sweethearts are both sussing out the situation at Tabby’s Place. To the nekkid eye, both Sequoia and Claudette are goldfish-colored, magnificent, and absofrickinlutely terrified.
Deeper down, they’re both entitled to their uncertainties.
Claudette came to us through what’s blandly known in the business as an “owner surrender.” By no fault of her own, Claudette was sprung from the only situation she’d ever known. After years with a bachelor, there was an engagement, and allergies, and an ouster…and then a certain feather boa was flung into a new, nebulous world.
Our fashionista hasn’t taken this lightly. When she peers down her noble nose at us, you can almost hear her thinking, Ringoes? Ringoes, New Jersey? As if.
But no one is too good for love (exhibit A: Peachy, who is too good for everything else), and the moments of surrender are increasing. The gaze glints up. The whiskers ease. The fearful feather boa softens into a nest of fluff, and we can get in a few good strokes. Claudette’s known love. Claudette still recognizes love. She is not broken beyond repair.
Sequoia’s path here was different, yet no less dramatic. He’d made it to adulthood outdoors, dodging both danger and devotion at every turn. Many deep thoughts roiled his still waters in the days outside. By the time he found his haven with us, his uncertainty drove roots down deep. But something in Sequoia told us that this was not a boy meant for the final letter of TNR. Shy and ponderous, his eyes flashed a sweetness that I think we saw even before Sequoia did. But that’s okay. Sometimes we all need someone to see our lovableness before we believe it even exists.
And it does exist.
It’s going to be a gradual thaw for these questioning creamsicles. But, by the grace of God, Sequoia and Claudette have all the time they need. They don’t hate us. They’re working on loving us. And every day, they lower their walls to the love that’s theirs for life.