I try to name cats. Really, I do. When a friend gave us two stray kittens found on Craigslist last year, I named them Atticus Finch and Boo Radley. Atticus died a few weeks later, and Boo Radley never stuck, and we ended up calling him Gray Cat.
Then in May, we got this beautiful Maine Coon, and I tried to name her Emmy Lou. That name didn’t take at all. Everyone we know couldn’t seem to pronounce it (Emmy Lou Harris?! Come on!). Jon just calls her Puss or Giant Motherfucker, and I’ve taken to calling her Big Kitty.
Then there was Jane, the saddest little kitten I’ve ever seen. I almost ran over her on the way out of town last July. I thought she was a squirrel at first, then a little dog, and when I stopped the car in the middle of the street and picked her up in my hands, she was a little bag of bones barely alive. Her eyes and nose were so clogged with pus that I honestly thought her a hawk had nearly pecked her to death and what I was seeing was the following infection.
I drove up to the vets office and they pumped her up with antibiotics and instructions for care. The vet seemed so resigned that she didn’t even charge me. No one, including me, thought she’d pull through the night. As I left the office, I promised the vet that if the kitten lived, I’d name her after vet: Jane.
Well, Jane made it.
Her name, unfortunately, did not.
Now we just call her Itty Bitty. She’s about a quarter of the size of Giant Motherfucker but they get along grandly. Big Kitty/Giant Motherfucker has taught Itty Bitty how to hunt, which is disgusting. Yesterday, Itty Bitty brought a dead bird in through the cat door and proceeded to slaughter it on the sheepskin rug in the bedroom. I guess you’d call that a happy cat.
They wake us up every morning around 4 a.m., thundering around the house, wrestling, hunting, playing, yowling. A part of me is just so grateful that Itty Bitty is alive that I don’t really mind.
And they’re just so damn cute together.