Monday, October 27, 2008
The naming of cats...
"The Naming of Cats is a difficult matter, It isn't just one of your holiday games;
You may think at first I'm as mad as a hatter
When I tell you, a cat must have Three different names.
First of all, there's the name that the family uses daily,
Such as Peter, Augustus, Alonzo or James, Such as Victor or Jonathon, George or Bill Bailey-
All of them sensible everyday names.
There are fancier names if you think they sound sweeter,
Some for the gentlemen, some for the Dames:
Such as Plato,Admetus,Electra,Demeter -
But all of them sensible everyday names.
But I tell you, a cat needs a name that's particular,
A name that's peculiar, and more dignified..." TS Eliot
Well, since you all sympathized with me just a few posts ago on our loss of our friend and cat of 18 years, Possum, you are now going to think I am quite pet-fickle. A new cat seems to have adopted us, much sooner than we would have gone looking for one. It showed up the day after the Palin rally; a lovely sleek little thing that has obviously been well cared for. It has a collar and a tag with a phone number on it from the other side of the mountains, so I'm not sure how it got here... perhaps in a car of someone who came to the rally? I have called the number a billion times, and left a million messages, with no response. In the meantime, I watched this sweet little thing living on crickets in the garden, and the nights getting colder and colder, so of course I brought it in, fed it, and the last two nights, have let her sleep inside (before that, I had left a blanket in the porch glider, which she used.) Anyway, she (and I use that term based on instinct, not knowledge) seems to now think of this as her home, so today I will go to PetSmart to replace all the kitty stuff we just got rid of.
We don't know if we have a he or a she here. We're not very good at telling. With Possum, my physician husband and then-aspiring-veterinarian son were sure he was a she, until we took him to the vet. One look in Possum's face convinced the vet that we had a Tom cat, and further inspection confirmed it. That's one of the reasons I think this is a she; the head is smaller and more delicate than Possum's was. We'll find out for sure when we get in to the vet next week.
In the meantime, we need to think of something other than "kitty, kitty" (which she does respond to) to call her/him/it. Our pets have usually had literary names. Our first dog was Aslan, from the Narnia books. Our next dog, Taylor, was an exception, as he was named after the folks we bought our cabin from, and also from his habit of 'tailing' us around. Wooster is named (appropriately) after Bertie Wooster, the silly bachelor in PG Wodehouse's books. And Possum was from TS Eliot's work. So who is this? I have thought of several possibilities, but none seem to fit properly yet. Our first thought was "Fleetwood" after a former neighbor lady who had a special relationship with Possum; or "Dashwood" (from Jane Austen's Sense and Sensibility); or "Bertie", to go with Wooster (tho' so far they mostly just tolerate each other); or how about "Lurcat" after french tapestry artist Jean Lurcat (pronounced "Lure-saw")? I'm leaning toward that name, but it seems a bit uppity for this particular cat, who is not too proud to eat crickets, which may or may not be a French delicacy, but I am doubting that they are. Any other name suggestions?