Friday, September 25, 2015

Cat Names

My Dear Son:

I always thought it was important for you to have an understanding and respect for creatures of all kinds, so from a very young age, you've shared lives with numerous critters, including dogs, cats, a horse, goldfish, guinea pigs, mice, hummingbirds, and a water turtle. When you were younger, the major idea was, if one was good, more was better.

Currently we have of course, three dogs and a very spoiled house cat. Until about two years ago, you consistently asked for another kitten or puppy, since all of our pets are approaching the eight to twelve-year mark. And, as we explained, let's take care of the ones we have, and if the time comes for a new pet, it will be an undeniable event.

And so, on Saturday, I would say that qualified as an amazing set of circumstances where timing defined the life or death of one of these little creatures. Both dad and I couldn't deny it. She was supposed to come home with us, no question.

When I set her on your bed, you looked over from your video games with a raised eyebrow, “Mom, really? What are we going to do with her?” Suddenly you were the adult, running through all the practical reasons we were too busy or challenged or otherwise unable to care for a kitten.

And of course, we all were concerned how your first cat would react, who you, then five, deftly and instantaneously named Pedal, later to be amended by Mom at the veterinarian's as Petal. And she reacted in predictable old-cat fashion: long looks of wide-eyed utter disgust at the little alien bouncing about the family room. So we began, among enjoying the kitten antics, introducing them slowly and safely to one another, hopeful that, within a few weeks, the two would find lasting companionship. And of course, we tried to make sure we gave Petal plenty of hugs and reassurance that she was still queen dame of the house.

Then came the naming. Dad wanted to name her something that had to do with the Olympics, considering the grand tumble we'd just observed. You had the idea to name her Leaf until I reminded you it was a girl. So then, you did what all teenagers would do and Googled best female cat names. And presto, we had over two-hundred fifty names. Then all we had to do was look up the meanings behind half those names. But it came down to Sukie, meaning lily, which after all, is a flower—and Olympia, to fit in with dad's wish that she be more firmly connected to her tumbling roots. And, of course, my dad reminded me to think about how that would sound as I yelled the name out the back door.

But Sukie, amazingly uninjured, healthy, and excited to be a part of our motley crew, was here to stay.

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