Hope springs eternal when it comes to Helen the wonder-cat
I’ve always felt that with a little perseverance, intelligence and a hefty dose of excellent PR one could sell almost anything. So far, however, I have one case study on this principle that seems hell bent on discouraging my continued faith in its universality. Her name is Helen.
I’ve put the news out on the Dolittler wire. I lobbied hard to get The Miami Herald to include this deaf and blind, brain-addled kitten in their “12 Cats of Christmas” lineup (bless their cat loving souls). And I talk her up or parade her around my feline-friendly friends, family and clients every chance I get.
But no dice. Not yet, anyhow. Helen’s still living in hospital limbo.
Truth is, it’s not such a bad place for her. In fact, she seems downright content. If I were Helen I’d be bored out of my skull. She, however, seems well-adapted to gleaning entertainment out of every subtle change in her environment—mostly stainless steel vibrations from her cage and wafting aromas from the food service sector, I imagine, but it’s stimulus nonetheless.
And my God does this cat love to eat. She lights up a room with her bizarre version of rapt attention when a dining experience is imminent. Though she makes no meowls or purrs, she certainly knows how to trill when something gets her going. A hand nearby after a lengthy absence, a closely placed food bowl at mealtime, the scent of someone folding clean towels nearby—these are a few of her favorite things.
Make no mistake, though; these manifestations of joy are not readily apparent to the unimaginative interloper. One has to study Helen and spend time in her presence to understand what drives her. But then I guess it goes without saying that a deaf and blind animal would have some measure of subtlety about her.
Nonetheless, Helen is a wonderful, loving creature. I imagine her the number one therapy pet for a well-run nursing home. I see her living in a small home with an ageing couple or a dedicated catster. Much as I love to see her every day, I just don’t imagine her here her whole life.
Occasionally, I’ll try to play Devil’s advocate against my own best wishes for her, just to challenge the notion that so damaged a kitty can truly be happy. And so far I haven’t succeeded in disabusing myself of the blue sky daydreams I’ve created when it comes to her ideal life.
I only wish it was easier to find the right place for her. I’ve had nibbles, for sure, but no significant bites thus far—not once they see her, anyway (not that she looks funny or anything).
But she’s so perfect, I think. Maybe if I can just play the PR game a little smarter, a little more frequently…hmmm… Maybe this post will help, I think to myself. After all, I’ve got nothing but hope for this one.