aryanhwy: (Default)
Anyone who has been owned by a cat knows the importance of cat names: They don't necessarily tell you their real name right away, and their names can change over the years. Some cats simply acquire more names (such as Esmurphelda Bertha Louise Lloyd Mauritz Wilson Friedemann) and some of them successfully replace their names, such as Speed Bump > Bumper > Nutsy Wacko > N'wah > Grace/Gracie/Graystone. When I picked out Slinky from the humane society, one of the clear indications that her previous owner hadn't really understood her was that she'd been given the name 'Smokey'. Um, no. Slinky was so obviously a Slinky from the day I brought her home, and was a Slinky until she died, though towards the end 'Grey Cat' was also an acceptable appellation.

When we were cat hunting in March, I knew whatever cats we came home with would likely not (yet) have their real names, especially if we got one from the shelter that blithely renamed the animals upon arrival, often with no chance to get to know them, and without much imagination. But I knew that this could pose an issue, in that Gwen needed something that she could give to those who asked her "and what are their names?"

I gave her the rights to name her cat (who, while stripey, was definitely not 'Stripey'), and her choice was Goldie (see more here about how this became Goldwine officially). My cat (who came as 'Tinkerbell', which while not wrong certainly wasn't right), and I solicited suggestions and played around with a variety of names until Nefertari seemed right.

What's been fascinating is watching Gwen take these starting points and morph them. She hasn't renamed or nicknamed anything else in this fashion, but somehow seems to understand that this works with cats. Goldie or Goldywine or Goldwine has become both 'Goldie-Poldie' (and then I sing to him 'Goldie-Poldie, pudding and pie, bit the girls and made them cry'), and recently 'Pickle' or 'Pickles'.

Nefertari quickly became Neffie or Neffers, or just plain Neff, but -- following the same rhyming pattern -- Gwen introduced Neffy-Beffy, which became Beffy-Weffy or just Beffs.

So we've gone from Goldwine to Pickles and Nefertari to Beffs, and both of these transitions have been utterly appropriate. Neffie is very beff. And if you ask me what 'beff' means as an adjective, I'll tell you it means Neffie. It's just a word that describes her perfectly.
aryanhwy: (Default)
Last night, Goldwine slept on my chest, Nefertari wedged herself along my side and Widget curled up between my legs.

I haven't slept so well in months.

Widget and Goldie
aryanhwy: (widget)
Which means, for all its positives, Durham hasn't really been home for the last six months, at least, not my home. Widget is so very much Joel's cat that even when he cuddles up with me or sits on my lap, I can tell I'm second best. It's been hard. I miss having a cat to cuddle with, and in particular, I miss having a cat to cuddle up with while Widget is sitting on Joel's lap.

But there was always one reason or another that we couldn't go out to the nearby shelters -- all good reasons, but they eventually all disappeared about two weeks ago and I gave Joel an ultimatum: I knew we had a bunch of other things we had to do that weekend, but I didn't care, we were going out and picking out our cats.

Yes, cats. Because I was selfish enough to want a cat that would be mine, but generous to know how important it was to me to grow up with a cat that was mine to know I wanted to get one for Gwen. Besides, three cats, three people, this seems eminently sane. And I figured we could get a bonded pair -- siblings, or a mother and child, or even just a pair that had lived together for a long time.

There are two shelters nearby, and one had advertised on their website a lovely pair, including one grey and white cat with a little grey nose. So we went there first, only to find the grey one had been spoken for the day before. But we looked around anyway, and in the cages for the cats that had been surrendered (voluntarily or not) that day was a sweet little male tabby, in the class black and brown tabby pattern that screams CAT to me (because that was what the first cat I grew up with was like). He had a pretty badly injured leg, so the lady took him out of the cage but then held him rather than passing him around. Despite the fact that he was clearly unhappy and in pain, he seemed very affectionate, rubbing up against her chin and always seeking out her hand for pettings.

The other shelter had quite a few more cats, including some youngish (~6 month) ones; we knew we didn't want kittens, but young cats are fun! But we wandered around and none of them really stuck out, until Joel drew me over to a quiet little female who was simply sitting in her box, a white and calico who had arrived a few weeks earlier due to the death of her owner. The lady opened the door to her cage and I stuck my hand in, and immediately she started rubbing against it, so soft, so sweet, and the next time our friend Thomas (who was our ride) looked over, he was like "yup, that's your cat." (He should know. He came merely as our chauffeur, and ended up leaving with a deposit on Figaro, an excellent little black fellow who has proved to be very much his cat.) We left with earnest money down on her, and the next morning I called back the first shelter and said we wanted the stripey one.

There was various paperwork to do, a home visit, plus waiting for the stripey one to be neutered and have his legged checked out (puncture wound that went in one side and out the other; they think it was a dog), but last Monday (first day of Easter break), I went out to fetch him. Gwen was given full rights to his name, so she declared he was Goldie (after Goldie the Fish in Peppa Pig). I decided that since he will hopefully be her friend for the rest of his life, that a good formal name would be Goldwine (from OE wine, OG wini 'friend').

So, introducing Goldwine, who clearly knows what a good situation he's landed in:


We had our home visit from the other shelter Thursday night, and thus went out Saturday to fetch my kitty home. She is an adorable fluffy sweetheart who purrs and purrs and loves being petted, but has so far spent most of her time under the dresser, so I have one photo from when I first picked her out,, and one from a brief foray onto the bed:


Note her lovely heraldic nose, Per pale argent and Or. She's currently rejoicing in the temporary name of "Nucat" (her originally appellation of Tinkerbell is not right), but I'm sure we'll figure out her real name soon.

Suddenly, the house we're renting has become a home. It feels comfortably full.
aryanhwy: (Default)
I took these a few days ago, and since [ profile] odiernelion just told me I need to post more kitty pictures, here they are.

These are note-worthy in that Widget and Slinky were within touching distance of each other and Slinky was not growling (though you can tell that she's not pleased. Normally the shelf is her spot, so Widget is definitely the interloper there).

Widget and Slinky
Widget and Slinky


aryanhwy: (Default)

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