Some days the Tabby’s Place lobby feels like an outtake from a Tim Burton movie, or maybe a circus. Or the Island of Misfit Toys. Make that all of the above.
This has never been truer than since wild, wondrous Gabriella came to town.
As we learned yesterday, Gab’s fellow lobby cat Ike is smarter (and more mooshable) than the average candidate. So it’s only fitting that he should make an especially savvy choice of running mate.
Some politicians seek a running mate with foreign policy experience, or gravitas, or deep pockets, or at least a really cool hat. Not Ike (although Gabriella has all of those things…except the pockets and the hat, and the gravitas). No, in choosing his partner in crime justess and goodness, Ike sought one trait and one trait only.
So it’s altogether fitting that he should choose Gabriella. Nine months old and full of vim and vinegar, this is a lady without limits – or much in the way of a cerebellum. Like Ike, Gabriella’s got CH, cerebellar hypoplasia. Unlike Ike, Gab has an extremely severe case. CH can vary; Ike’s cerebellum may be the size of a pecan, while Gab’s is probably more like a sesame seed. (Yes, I just made that up. But you get the point.) While Ike can get to the litter box and do something vaguely along the lines of walking, Gabriella can’t do either.
And she could not care less if you paid her in anchovies.
A certain Tabby’s Place Founder and Executive Director, who shall remain anonymous except for the fact that his name may or may not rhyme with Ronathan, has often referred to CH as “the cute disease.” Ronathan has a point, and Gab puts the exclamation point on it. CH isn’t at all life-threatening (well, unless the afflicted cat attempts to fly a plane solo or walk a tightrope or compete on Wipeout – all of which Gabriella has asked to do). It doesn’t cause a cat any pain, nor cut her years short. Since cats develop CH in the womb (typically when their mums have been exposed to distemper), these weeble-wobbles don’t know any different than their flippity-floppity existence. The main symptoms are varying degrees of “clumsiness” – but I use that word loosely. These guys may look uncoordinated, but we know they’re masterminding us all into their thrall. This “clumsiness” is just about the cutest, wackiest thing you’ve ever seen.
Along with their unique way of moving through life, CH cats – from Edward to Bronx to Molly to Ike to Gabriella – are typically graced with a fearless, funky, “bring life on” kind of attitude. Picture Jackie Chan meets Chuck Norris meets Pee-Wee Herman meets Queen Latifah. Then shrink that wonder-wacky creature down to about five pounds, cover it in white-and-brown fur, and make it so cute your brain is about to explode. Yield: 1 Gabriella.
As you can see, Ike has made a very wise choice in hitching his wagon to Gab’s star. Then again, he is taking a little bit of a chance. Gabriella is a wild and crazy girl – to an extent that would put Dan Akroyd and Steve Martin to shame. A cat with this level of glee is liable to “go rogue” and say crazy things to reporters every day of the week: “Yes, I do mean to raise cheezburger taxes. And, yes, that means the humans are gonna get nothing and like it. Your problem?”
But here’s the good news: when you’re as cute and as sweet as Gabriella, you can get away with just about anything.
I can see it now: Gabby’s Place: a Gabriella Sanctuary.