Saturday, August 31, 2013

The Naming of Cats is a difficult matter...

For my final post of August, I'm pleased to present our new cat. We call her Ruby Tuesday. On Wednesday we call her Sophie. On Thursday, she's Rita. Friday, Rosie. Today we're trying out Peggy Sue. (Peggy for short, and actually we're re-trying it.) Obviously the issue is not quite settled. T.S. Eliot was right: Naming cats isn't as easy as you'd think.

Someone suggested we call her Coco, as in Chanel, since she's number 5. (Had to Google that one. Ha-ha. And yeah, I know--who needs five cats? Believe me, you are preaching to the choir!)

Peggy's obviously not feral, since she walked right up to Jeannie on the hillside behind McDonald's last week for some laying on of hands. A true feral wouldn't do that, not right away, and probably not ever. No, like Rocky and Gracie (our numbers 3 and 4), she was a "dump-ee" who was dropped off by some dunderhead. J had gone there to feed the regular residents, who were no-shows that day. When Peggy appeared, J thought it was Penny, the first feral she ever caught, but soon realized it was a newcomer. Peggy was starved for food and affection and got plenty of both. As J left the colony site to come home, Peggy followed her all the way down to our car. So J called Bob, one of her cat-catching comrades, who brought over a carrier. A short while later Peggy was in our garage, fussing about her new temporary accommodations.

At first J and M were going to name her Rainy (maybe spelled Raney), because just as Jeannie put her into the carrier to bring her home, the sky opened up. But soon that name struck them as overly gloomy. Next they thought about Emmylou, since her voice reminded them of Emmylou Harris's, if Emmylou Harris had laryngitis. Then Mike came up with Peggy Sue, which is the name of a song from the 1950s. It was written by a guy named Buddy Holly and was one of a number of big hits for his band, The Crickets. Buddy Holly is also remembered for his distinctive glasses, which looked a lot like mine:

My sister Jenny likes the name Peggy Sue, since it sort of rhymes with Gracie Lou, the extended name of our other girl cat, and also because she says my extended name could be Buddy Holly. Looking at the picture above, I tend to agree with her. (For more about famous humans named Buddy, click here.)

But other name possibilities kept flitting through M and J's heads, and it wasn't long before they were second-guessing themselves. In addition to Rainy (Raney), Emmylou, Peggy Sue, Ruby, Sophie, Rita, and Rosie, they've thought about Gigi, Gina, Annie, Pippi, Maggie, Dolly, Amy, Carmen, Janis (M says that would be a good match for our second cat, Arlo), Ivy, Jessie, Lydia, Lolita, Mimi, Zelda, Sasha, Fiona, Norah, Dinah, Dixie, Winnie, Minnie, Gabby, Carrie, Hannah, Loretta, Nellie Belle, Sadie, Patsy, Iris, Doris, Milly, Tilly, Ziva, Savannah (maybe Vanna for short), Stella, Willow, Sheila, and Olivia. Oh--they also mentioned Eartha Kitty, apparently inspired by another famous singer with a rather distinctive voice.

My other sister, Bonnie, says we ought to consider Elsie, too, because that was Grandma Grace's first name and it would be a good match for Gracie. (That's true. But unfortunately Gracie can't seem to stand Peggy and won't have anything to do with her, except for hissing and growling at her.) Do you have a favorite from this bunch--or can you think of another good name for Peggy? Or does Peggy Sue sound okay? Please let me know, as the name game is making me nervous. M says it's wearing him out, too. Just for the heck of it, I asked him if any names are off the table, and he said yes: Tabby Turdstockings.

J brought Peggy home a week ago yesterday, just before dark. The next morning she took her to the vet to see if she had a microchip that would identify her owner. Also J was concerned because she thought Peggy looked pregnant. The doctor said no, there was no chip, and that he didn't think she was pregnant, but that she had recently had kittens! This threw Jeannie for a loop, because if there were kittens wandering around on the hill behind McDonald's, they didn't need to be without their mama for three or four days. So she and Mike took Peggy back up to the hill and let her out, to see if she'd head for her kittens.

Peggy just stood there by the feeding station, winding around J's ankles. J fed her and then started walking around looking for kittens. And just like the day before, Peggy began following her, but she didn't act like she knew where any kittens might be. Mike had a camera with him and recorded the event:

Finally, once M and J were sure there were no kittens nearby, they put Peggy back into the carrier and brought her back to the kennel in our garage. On Monday J took her to the Pet Vet Cruiser, then it was back to the garage until Thursday. (By the way, the Pet Vet doc said Peggy had never been pregnant, but that she apparently showed signs of false pregnancy!) When M and J finally brought her into the house, they put her into a small kennel and introduced her to cats 1 through 4 one at a time. Here she is meeting Arlo.

Willis tiptoes cautiously past. Peggy looks pretty bored with the whole thing.

Once she had the run of the house, it didn't take Peggy long to find the chow hall.

 Relaxing with yours truly and showing off her bodacious owie:

Our friend Bonnie brought over a mysterious contraption that has something living in it. Here's a YouTube video of Peggy and Willis giving it a pretty good workout:


Anonymous said...

I still like Coco!

TG said...

O, My … “The name that no human research can discover--
But THE CAT … KNOWS, and will never confess.”…

I’m voting with Anonymous for “Coco” – sweet and fashionably fitting for your feminine little No. 5.

BTW, Buddy, M might be interested in A.L. Webber’s note posted in 1981 about how “Old Possum’s Book…” and T. S. Eliot’s wife’s contributions of some of his unpublished work inspired his smash hit, “Cats.”

Y'all have fun with your new baby!

Ally Boyd said...

She shall be called Destiny as she is destined to be a part of your family.

Compliments of Cousin Ally