You do not need to be victimized by your day.
Not if you are a mighty beast of valor.
The Bible talks about “mighty men of valor.” The venerable Lady Gaga sings, “When I’m on a mission, I rebuke my condition.”
Valerie says, “Yep.”
Let’s be real, kittens. Whatever condition our condition is in, there are days we all feel a little clobbered. Sometimes my Type 1 diabetes makes me cry or hide or swear like a longshoreman (do we say “longshorepeople” now? Do longshorepersons actually swear more than the average person? What do they actually do, actually?). Sometimes my insomnia makes me peculiar. Sometimes my own peculiarity makes me peculiar.
But sometimes — when Lady Gaga and all those mighty persons and Valerie Rosenberg are with me — I can make it all (diabetes, insomnia, existence) sing.
Valerie was sung forth into this world with a condition that would call her to daily rebuking, rebelling, and rejoicing in spite of the way the deck had been split. Like many of Tabby’s Place’s mighty cats of valor, Val is paraplegic, but with a twist — literally. Her back legs are one sourdough starter short of Snyder’s specials, all tangled and twisted up in themselves.
It would be enough to wrap a lesser creature up in herself.
But Valerie is so valiant, she has the bandwidth to bless.
Most of us make it at least a few blinking years into this life before we face Big Trauma. But the gauntlet was thrown down for Val before she was thrown into this world. Yet where you or I or our neighborhood longshoreperson might curl up like a tiny twist, all sighs and self-pity and self-self-self, Val has the volume to give.
And so she does, daily.
To see Valerie vaulting through our Lobby is to be hurled beyond Neptune’s moons. She is Life without apology, and she will follow every twisted, salted swirl wherever it leads. If you have even a mustard seed of courage rattling around your chest, she’ll take you where she’s going.
Suddenly, you’ll find yourself valiant.
I can’t presume to guess whether or not cats cuss and complain. (OK. Cats most definitely cuss and complain, but the topic is reliably fish mush and its cataclysmically delayed arrival.) After 3,300 cats and counting, I can’t say I’ve seen a feline feeling visibly sorry for herself.
But even if they do, this one doesn’t.
Funny thing about hanging out with a mighty Valerie of valor: she makes you want to be like her.
You don’t want to whinge under a blanket when Valerie is wielding her kindness.
You don’t want to tell the world that the world is wonked up when Valerie is embracing the very same world.
You don’t want to cry when Valerie is playing.
You want to give, and to crack your chest open to the sun that heals, and to take firm grasp of the choices that you have, even you, even now, especially now.
And the next thing you know, the world — the wonderful, terrible, traumatizing, too-much-with-us world — is playing with you, in the best possible way.
So feel it all, then find your valor, kittens. Sooner or later, it — and if you’re lucky, one very small, very salty grey tabby — will find you.