We have a long spectrum of cat personalities at Tabby’s Place.
Many mosey along that scale in their time here, trending friendly-ward over months or years.
But rare is the cat who catapults from I Will Eat Your Face to Mr. Rogers Is My Hero in three weeks.
Perhaps we should have known from his name that Smokehouse was curing something special inside his worried soul. Although he was squarely situated on the I Will Eat Your Face extreme when he arrived, there was a certain moony mist in his eyes that spoke a better story.
OK, I am completely making stuff up. There was exactly zero indication that Smokehouse would ever cease to hate us. With a purple passion.
But indication isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. There are incomparable cats who can make great leaps. And, fortunately for Smokehouse, there are luminous human beings who can see what dreams may come.
Given his livid loathing of our species, we were all dumbfounded and giddy when Smokehouse was adopted. A great gob of giddiness came from meeting Smokehouse’s new dad. A family friend of one of our longest-time volunteers, this young man — let’s call him Papa Smoke — had a serenity about him, sure that Smokehouse was meant to be his soul-friend. He would be devoted to the frightened grey cat no matter what that friendship looked like. If Smokehouse shuddered under beds forever, so be it; he would be loved, exactly for himself.
Surely that’s why a sweeter incense rose so soon.
In the presence of such love, it’s best to let my words be few, and let Papa Smoke and Smokehouse do the talking in words and pictures and dreams made real.
Smokehouse’s Papa adopted him on Sunday, February 25th. The story spindled forth from there…
Wednesday, February 28th:
“I’m happy to say that Smokehouse is doing quite well in his new home.
It wasn’t an easy journey, but he’s been getting exponentially more comfortable and confident since his trip on Sunday. He quickly found his hiding spot and camped out there for a while. I gave him his space, but checked in, and although he flinched at first, he was more than happy to get his head scratched.
“For 24 hours, he did not come out of hiding, eat, or use his litter box, and he had two inappropriate eliminations on the bed and couch. During his second day, I laid on the bathroom floor with him for about 6 hours, during which time his confidence grew, he ate some food, and he did not stop purring.
“I did my best to continue talking to him, petting him, and inspiring confidence. I am happy to report that he is using his litter box and is extremely brave at night time — sniffing around, exploring, and keeping guard next to my bed. His eating is regular with the program I was given, he’s drinking plenty of water, and he’s awfully cuddly.
“Thank you for helping Smokehouse to adopt me, and for providing me with my best friend. Attached are some pictures that I hope help to confirm his happiness. I look forward to continually updating you with his progress.”
Thursday, March 1st:
“He’s just getting better every single day. Last night, he was out of hiding and watching me from the loft, and I even woke up to the sound of him playing with some of the toys I got for him. He’s the biggest sweetheart I’ve ever met, and I have a feeling he’ll be a couch cat in no time.”
Saturday, March 10th:
“Smokehouse is really starting to come along. He has found his favorite spot next to a chair (or under, if there’s guests or it’s nap time) on the lofted area above the living room, where he watches TV with me and checks things out from above. Every time I visited him at Tabby’s Place, Smokehouse was on an elevated platform in the room, so it seems like he’s the bird’s eye observer.
“All things considered, he’s a total lover! Previously, he would roam the house when it was my bedtime. He’s been exploring an hour earlier every night, to where he’s basically by my side from when I get home from work until I go to bed. Yesterday, he finally made it onto the couch with me for a little while!
Sunday, March 18th:
“As you can probably tell from the attached pictures, he’s pretty much comfortable and at home now. He greets me every morning, and when I get home from work, with his very delicate and squeak-like meow (mostly because that’s his meal time!).
“He rarely hides anymore. He responds to his name and sits with me to watch TV. He especially likes to observe when I eat, just in case I drop some food, even swiping a piece of chicken from me once!
“His favorite toys we play with are crinkle toys and cat springs, but that’s only when he isn’t busy napping near me. I imagine the next hurdle I will have is getting him to his first vet appointment.
“Anyways, thanks again for everything, and for making this adoption process great. I imagine anyone who knew Smokehouse and sees these pictures will have a hard time believing it’s the same cat who was there just 3 weeks ago!”
Hard to believe.
Impossible not to rejoice.
Where there’s Smoke, there’s the warm fire of tenacious forever love.
Long may you delight in the glow, Papa Smoke and Smokehouse. We’re incandescently amazed.