What’s in a Name?

As I may have mentioned, there are a lot of stray cats that have taken up residency in our apartment complex.  Their lives are fairly cozy in this gated community where all dogs are leashed and the cars putter around at 10-15 miles per hour.  There are many people who leave out for them food and bowls of fresh water – (I am one of those people).

The boys have named a few of the regulars.  There is Gray Leopard, or Gray for short, who we have been trying to tame with no luck.  He is no longer the kitten he was when we first moved in, but more of an awkward pre-teen who shrugs his shoulders and sniffs “whateves” when we put out food and try to coax him in for a pet.  I was hoping to take him with us when we leave but we have caught him spraying his graffiti, as only male cats do, all over other people’s cars.  I do not want such happenings in my house.  I have had such a cat and do not wish to subject myself to that again.

There is Flash, a older black and white cat who, contrary to what you might be led to believe based on his name, moves at a slower pace that some of the other cats.

And then – one more.  She is small and scruffy.  Her long coat is unkempt and tangled.  Her coloring is a dirty white with smears of tan, gray, and orange.  Her eyes are small and deeply set in her triangular shaped face.  She has a tiny meow.  She has shown interest in wanting to come close to me but I am almost always surrounded by either our energetic black lab or two boisterous boys so she stays at a distance.  The boys have lovingly named her Dirty Napkin.  And I guess from their kid perspective she looks rather like a soiled, slightly crumpled dinner napkin.  Poor kitty.

It is an awful name but it is a name that has stuck.  And so we call her Dirty Napkin (and yes I feel some shame and strangeness about calling her this).  If – and this is a big if – I am able to woo her and convince her to make our family hers, we may have to consider a name change.

But for now it is Dirty Napkin.

About Shoes

I am an elementary school teacher, a former microbiologist, a mom to a herd of two boys, and a grilled cheese sandwich and beer connoisseur.
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6 Responses to What’s in a Name?

  1. Eli Pacheco says:

    Think of how many cats go through life with no name. When you have a ton of them all at once, they’re lucky to have names. Dirty Napkin reveals character. Or, at least, it builds it!

  2. John Coleman says:

    We once had a white cat that had already been named by a neighbor. He called her “Greasy Spot” because as a stray she hid from the rain under cars and emerged with an oil stain on her back. Then, my wife mistakenly employed “greasyspot” as her email handle. Okey doke. Peace and best, John

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