The naming of cats is a difficult matter.
Hello, all. I am going to try to write this concisely and focus on names, but am in immense grief and it's difficult. In mid-August, I took my beloved, precious, absolutely health and supremely happy 8-year-old cat Grendel to vet for a routine teeth cleaning. She did not recover normally from the anesthesthesia and died a week later from complications. I am devastated. This is especially hard to bear as my father died only a few months ago. Just when I had found my bearing again this happened am I am in ground zero again. And also totally not ready to get another cat.... except that my heartbroken little girl is absolutely desperate for a new kitten NOW. I am not in a state to make good decisions, and she is just too young. I am now absurdly fixated on not one but THREE cats (1 kitten, 2 adults) and am not sure what to do here. I'm a happily single American mom who lives in Southeast Asia, and I've always said that I need to stick to 1 kid + 1 cat because that's what I can manage in an airport! So this focus on three cats - I don't have the heart to choose one. I know the sensible thing to do is let my six-year-old daughter pick out a kitten and name it, and/or unilaterally choose the adult cat that I know would be a total ragdoll (and again, let her name it), but my own emotions are running high. I am a bit hung up on the name, in part because I have always been supremely smug that Grendel has the perfect cat name: it's the monster in Beowulf, and by coincidence is remarkably similar to the word for "mouse" in the country we live in. So it's freaking hilarious on all levels. I am also hung up on cat looks, but that's a tangent for this Forum. I will say that my daughter wants a calico just like Grendel, and I absolutely cannot bear that. The new cat must look different. And I want a perfectly cleverly brilliant cat name, as opposed to kid cat names (a la Bubbles).
Like many of the regulars here, I have a medley of imaginary pets in my head, all with names: different names for different kinds of cats, that sort of thing. For example, someday I will have a ginger cat named Fergus, but that name doesn't work on cats who are not orange because Fergus is a Scottish name and there are lots of redheads in Scotland that evokes ginger cats. (None of my three cat candidates is orange.) My friends are telling me that if it's important to me, I can manipulate and/or bribe my daughter on choosing cat, cat name, etc and that I need to take care of myself here. They also vote for sensible choice rather than "let kid pick out kitten" scenario. I have to pat myself on back for managing my father's death phenomenally well in regards to HER, and now with this cat situation I am so angry and want to be selfish. I seem to be taking it harder than her, but partly that's because she is so freaking excited about getting a kitten.
On this Forum, there is a lot of discusson about about navigating name decisions with spouses, and often in-laws. How about with a kid? For the record, here are my cat candidates:
1. Lovely adult tortoiseshell who lives at a nearby Buddhist monastery. Monks and nuns feed the pagoda cats their leftovers. We go every weekend to "feed the poor cats" and have a longstanding special relationship with this tortoiseshell, and yesterday I asked around if anyone would mind if I took this one home and they gave me the go-ahead. I want to name her Wookie, but can concede to child's insistence that her name is Shelly, because tortoiseshell. This is name of my university roommate and lifelong partner-in- crime, so that's a bit hilarious. I had been very strongly thinking about bringing her home even before Grendel got sick, actually, and as Grendel's medical crisis progressed over the week all I could think about was that it was the tortoishell's time to come live with us. My daughter and I have been special friends with this cat for over a year.
2. Homely, one-eyed tuxedo cat at an animal rescue place I know. He is an intensely snuggly pansy and would probably be like Grendel who shockingly let my daughter dress up in clothes and carry around the house like a ragdoll. I have seriously never heard of a more child-friendly cat than Grendel, and my daughter probably has unrealistic expectations of what cats let her do. My longstanding name for a tuxedo cat is Mr. Darcy. This is the "sensible choice" cat as most like Grendel in terms of personality.
3. At the clinic where Grendel died, there is a little white kitten with a bit of yellow and black splotches. It's a rescue and available for adoption. Because it has all three calico colors, this may hit my daughter's fixation on a calico kitten, but because essentially a white cat it looks enough different that I can tolerate. I am wildly focused on a white cat named Hanuman, from the ancient Indian epic (variants are all over Asia including here). Hanuman is the white king of the monkeys, a massive hero, while also comical trickster figure and therefore wildly popular with children. The name fixation is because my father was an Asian Studies professor and taught university courses on the Ramayana stories. So now all my sadness about my father is turning into this hangup that this kitten must be named Hanuman. My daughter hates that name, but I think she'd let me do it if I told her it's Grandpa's cat name and took her horseback riding. ;)
Oh oh oh why can't kid wait until I pull myself together....
Mon, 08/27/2018 - 3:39am