Monday, July 11, 2011

Beauty in Commonality

I never saw myself as the owner of a tabby cat.  Even when I wasn't so much of a cat person, I still admired the more striking coat patterns.  I had always fancied the luxury of a calico, a tuxedo, a pointed Siamese, or even a pure, jet black cat.  All felines are exquisite in my own sight, but some are just prettier than others.  My preference, and absolute soft spot is for calicoes and tortoiseshell.  I'm a sucker for the "cattitude" and beauty of these particular fur patterns on a kitty.

I recall once talking with a friend who had just picked out two kittens at the shelter.  Both were, as I thought back in the days when I was unenlightened, "plain ol' tabby cats."  I didn't say so, but wondered in the back of my mind why anyone would want a "plain ol' tabby cat" when so many more beautiful kitties were in need of homes.  Looking back, I can see the shallowness of my opinions.

Since then I have had the honor of being the guardian of three separate tabby cats.  The first one, Arista, was a grey marbled pattern.  She was very cute, but aloof and shy.  The second one, AJ, was a Maine Coon mix, brown striped tabby.  Such a handsome boy he was and he knew it, too.  Both of these beautiful babies went to good homes when our family decided to relocate across the country. 

Pixel is the current King of the house, a brown striped tabby.  His place of honor is in my lap every evening while I putter around on the computer or watch television.  On one recent afternoon, he was snoozing on my lap, his head gently resting on my belly (I love it when he does that) and a single sunbeam was shining through the otherwise closed blinds.  The glossiness of his coat really shone in the natural light, and as I ran my fingers through his fur I really got the opportunity to see just how beautiful (yes, beautiful!) he is.  Each hair, I noticed, was banded in color, three or four different hues ranging from black to white.  The tips, depending on where they were on his back, were black while the roots were more of a cream color.  I couldn't find a single hair on him that was just one shade.  All together, these individual hairs came together to make a truly magnificent creature. 

I have learned much since the days of believing that there were "plain ol' tabby cats."  While the tabby pattern is quite common, I've discovered that these kitties are a bit like snowflakes and fingerprints; no two are exactly the same.  They are each incredible pieces of art created by the One who truly knows beauty, wrapped around a unique personality and adored (and cherished!) by many.  Long live the tabby cat!