You remembered

You remembered

The world grew up and grew serious.

The world jammed the picture book on the shelf and forgot the story.

But you remember.

When the world was a child, the world sat cross-legged on the floor, or spooned with the cat.

If the storybook had no pictures, the world drew them in its mind. The world was small, so the road from mind to heart was short. Mind and heart invited each other over for dinner. Mind and heart knew each other’s pets’ names.

But then, the world grew long legs and got off the floor. The world adopted tasks and titles. They did not want to be scratched under the chin, only scratched off the list.

There was no time left for stories.

There was no time for creamsicles, those dreamy little luxuries that last a matter of moments. There was no time for creamsicle cats, dreamy little kittens who grow up and become inconveniences.

There was certainly no time for stories where old cats are the best cats, and creamsicle grandpas are legends and heroes.

The world was wrong.

There is always time for legends and heroes.

You remember.

You remember the day Wario was born, although you were not there. You have thumbed through the storybook until the pages turned soft. Your heart and your mind colored in the picture of a kitten, a feral marshmallow streaked with marmalade. You loved him, not because he was a kitten, but simply because he was.

You remember the years when Wario grew strong, although you were not there. You were present in the paragraphs, following along with your finger as the feral cat found food where he could. You stayed small enough to cry for him.

You stayed small enough to expect he would be saved.

You remember the day Wario came to Tabby’s Place, and you were here. You may have been in your own chair in Ohio or Oslo. You may have been on an oil rig in the Arctic, or singing in a Gospel choir in Kinshasa.

But everyone who remembers is written into the Tabby’s Place story in ink.

Everyone who loves is always here.

You remember how Wario earned his name, and you giggle. He looked like another marshmallow, named Mario, but there was a bit more marinara in his “itza me.”

Wario came, Wario got neutered, and Wario ran triumphant back into the forest, under the watchful eyes of wizards called “colony caregivers.” You read Wario’s permanent certificate: Tabby’s Place Cat Forever.

You remember the day Wario came back to Tabby’s Place, because you were still here.

The world was not here. The world was climbing the podium of tasks and titles. The world has forgotten how to read the storybook called “Old Cat,” if ever it knew.

You remember.

You remember Wario weary and worried, too sick for the forest, too angry for our embrace.

You stayed small enough to pet his picture on the page. You stayed small enough to rise ten feet tall when he needed you. The world is not young enough to be brave. But you remember.

You remember Wario as gold and glorious as ever, no less precious for the creases of time.

You remember the words spoken four thousand times and counting: “once a Tabby’s Place cat, always a Tabby’s Place cat.”

You were here with us, remembering Wario into the band he never left. You sang him lullabies, even when he hissed. You stayed small enough to know he would heal. You loved him, no matter what happened.

Wario declares peace in his phenomenal forever foster home with Karina. (The bowl of chicken is just a bonus.)

Wario remembered that being loved is the best thing that can happen.

Wario rested his crusty bones in the solarium and remembered the sound of his own heart singing.

Wario opened a new storybook, although he was very old.

Wario walked out of one last carrier, and today he finds himself in a Forever Foster paradise with the shining, selfless Karina.

It’s all because Wario opened his eyes and saw you, seeing him.

You remember the seniors, and they are not forgotten.

The world should be so lucky.

1 thought on “You remembered

  1. I loved doing Healing Touch work with Wario when he was in residence at TP, and love continuing that now that he is with his angel on earth – Karina. We should all hope to have a Karina in our orbits when we’re looking at the downside of that hill. You are so loved, Wario….

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