This is the third in a week-long series of interview with less adoptable pets inspired by the BlogPaws Be the Change challenge. All the cats I am interviewing need a home.
If you are a longtime reader of my blog, you have probably already met Tashi. A young parapalegic boy cat, Tashi is a resident of Tabby’s Place, a wonderful sanctuary in Ringoes, NJ for cats who have been rescued from hopeless situations. Many of these cats are special needs, and Tabby’s Place even has an on-site hospital to help care for the cats who live there. As you might gather from our talk, Tashi pretty much rules over Tabby’s Place, but don’t be fooled by the way he revels in all the attention he gets — he is looking for a home!
Tashi, I hear you are the king of Tabby’s Place. Is this true?
Does a bear poop in the woods? Is the moon made out of green cheese? You bet it’s true! Forget that creepy Burger King (although I’d be happy to take a few cheezburgers off his hands) — I’m the one. But I’m a good king, Sparkle. I say head-bonks and gooshy food for everyone, even the human beans.
How long have you been there now? And about how old are you?
I’ve been here since November 2008, and I just crossed the line into two-year-old territory. My birthday is in July, and I do appreciate cake.
Salmon cakes are my favorite! Tell us a little about the feral colony where you came from. How young were you at the time? How did you survive long enough to be found?
Sparkle, it was total craziness. Nobody there knew who I was! Can you imagine? Some folks even think I may have been dumped in the feral colony by some unsavory characters, since I’ve never been a feral sort of fella. I survived by sheer cuteness until I was around four months old, but I was bound for glory from an early age. So I caught the attention of some good folks with Colony Cats and Cat Welfare of Ohio, and the next thing I knew, I was the king of Tabby’s Place.
What exactly is wrong with your back end? Is it something you were born with, or does the vet think something happened to you?
Only good things have happened to me — no accidents for this king. I was just born a little different from your average cat. The nerves in my back legs communicate with my spine, but not with my brain. So, I can move those back legs, but I can’t quite coordinate them. But it’s all good; my brain is full of other plans, anyway.
Are you still going through therapy, and if so, what type? Has it been helpful? How do you feel about it?
Sparkle, I could write you a book! Physical therapy and I have a love-hate relationship. The people who love me make me do PT, and I hate it. Well, not always. Spare me the hydrotherapy in that big tank, but I am pretty keen on off-roading in my mobility cart. Do you see any other Tabby’s Place cats getting to go outside — and I mean really, truly outside, not just in the solarium? I didn’t think so. But I get to ramble all over the front of the property and survey my realm. You know, there are butterflies out there!
You get to see butterflies up close? Cool! What are some of your other favorite activities?
Living! Being Tashi! Wrestling kittens, chasing the gnomes that no one else can see (they’re always on the ceiling, and they taunt me), sneaking into my roommate Franny’s food, boxing with Websterâ€¦my life is crazy-awesome. Emphasis on the crazy.
Tell us a little about your pal, Dave. How is he doing? And are you still friends?
Dave is the real deal — everyone should have a friend like him. Not only is he loyal and loving, he also usually has some wet food encrusted on his face for me to snack on. (I’m not technically allowed to have any chow other than my prescription diet, but I have my ways.) Dave was officially adopted by his foster mama, Kelly, earlier this month, so I haven’t seen him for awhile now. I miss my li’l bro, but, hey, you can’t turn down a forever home.
What about the other special needs kitties at Tabby’s Place? The last time I checked on the website, there were 27 listed. Dave aside, are you pals with some of the others?
Everyone is my pal, Sparkle; like I said, I’m a good king. Bellis is my sweetheart, although she’s been a little less interested in me since she was spayed. Hmm. Peachy’s a lot of fun, too — all I have to do is flick her on the tail, and she’ll scream like a little girl. Hee hee hee. Everyone should have a “big sister” like her. It’s always “Peachy, Peachy, Peachy,” so someoneâ€™s gotta put her in her place once in awhile.
What would it take to adopt you?
The Awesomest Person In The Whole Wide World. And I know you’re out there. I get around really well by moving my own way, so the paraplegia’s no big thing. Most folks are a little more freaked-out by the whole “incontinent” thing (especially when you throw in my tendency to have, um, explosive diarrhea), but I promise — once you know me, you won’t mind a little extra clean-up time. You’ll be laughing too hard to be grossed out. And most of the time, my prescription chow keeps things pretty solid. My future family will need to be willing to bring me for frequent vet visits, keep an eye on my asthma (which hasn’t been an issue in a long time) and three times a day, express my bladder (funny term, really, since I generally express myself just fine).
Explain the virtual adoption program.
Ah! Sparkle, it’s all that and FIVE BAGS OF CHIPS! Until The Awesomest Person In The Whole Wide World comes along, I have tons of families who are mine all mine. People all the way from England to Australia to right here in New Jersey are sponsoring me. They make donations to Tabby’s Place each month, and Tabby’s Place uses ’em to give me all the goodies I need (except the cheezburgers — still working on the cheezburgers). My sponsors — or “my people,” as I call them — get photos and updates on me every month, or more often if I’ve got something exciting going on. What am I saying? I always have something exciting going on. It’s not cheap to care for a king, so Tabby’s Place really needs my people, and loves every single one of ’em. So do I. And, technically, they can sponsor other cats, insteadâ€¦not that I can imagine why they would do that.
MOL, I know you really love your fellow Tabby’s Place pals! Do you have any other thoughts on special needs cats?
More than all the books on all the shelves in all the world could hold, Sparkle. But for now, I’ll just say that those of us who have been through the toughest stuff have the yummiest love to give. Can you just imagine how deeply you’d bond with a guy like me by giving me all the TLC I need? When I’m weak, that’s when I’m really strong. And awesome. That goes for all my Special Needs brothers and sisters out there, too — the human beans have a lot to learn from us. Love to you and your human and all the kittehs out there, Sparkle! XOXOXO