A Guest Post. By My Cat.

The following opinions are those of my cat, Thunder, and do not necessarily represent the views of this blog, its staff, or any of its affiliates:

It was a typical Friday afternoon — I’d spent most of the day passed out on the couch, reeking of catnip and tuna — when she walked into my life. Tessa, they called her: an orange ball of fluff with a face straight out of a Fancy Feast commercial and a purr that could wake the dead. She knew how to work a room, oozing the kind of wide-eyed innocence that reduces otherwise intelligent people into mush, wrapping them around her little finger instantly despite the fact that, technically, she has no fingers.

The human and I have the standard arrangement: she provides me with room, board, and a lap to sit on; I provide her with the pleasure of my company and the occasional hairball. But leading up to that day, she’d been acting strangely — there’d been mysterious phone calls and furtive glances, and that morning, she’d set up an extra litter box in the spare bathroom and food and water dishes in the den. Tessa was no spur-of-the-moment visitor; she’d been expected.

It’s been a week since she arrived. When she saw that I wasn’t taken in by her sweet innocent little kitty act, she told me a long, rambling sob story about being found under a trailer when she was three months old, then spending the next four months in a foster home, being put on display in a pet store every Sunday afternoon and passed over like a novelty ashtray at a hospital gift shop.

“Listen, princess,” I told her, “we’ve all got problems. You’re seven months old. Old enough to take care of yourself. Just stay out of my way.” So she hides. And when the human finds her, she purrs. And then it starts. The human tries to coax her out. “Tessa,” she says. “Tessa Tessa. Tessa Tessa Tessa Tessa. Tessa Tessa. Tessa. Tessa Tessa Tessa Tessa Tessa. Tessa. Tessa Tessa. Tessa.” It’s like a flea gnawing at that spot you can’t reach at the back of your neck. “Tessa. Tessa Tessa Tessa Tessa. Tessa Tessa.” There’s only one way to make it stop. Desperate times call for desperate measures: we’re going to have to change her name.

While I don’t agree with everything that Thunder says here, he does have a point: Tessa probably isn’t the best possible name for this cat. She’s very good at hiding, but she doesn’t mind being picked up and carried out of her hiding place. She’s been getting braver and braver; when she’s not hiding, she purrs all the time and basically acts like a kitten, playing and/or lap-sitting. So please, help me think of a better name!

36 comments on “A Guest Post. By My Cat.

  1. Hmmm. Lightning? Dew? Bobbi Jo Pumpernickel? Sorry…I normally name my pets based on personality – except for the two I have now, who were named based on circumstance.

    • Laura says:

      I try to name my cats on personality, or at least on behavior. I was secretly hoping for a cat who ran really fast so I could call her Lightning, but that doesn’t really seem to fit this one. So far her primary characteristics are purring all the time, being really good at finding hiding places, and then not being at all disturbed if I find one of those hiding places and pick her up.

  2. Elyse says:

    We had a problem when we had a dog named Charlie and a dinner guest named Charlie at the same time. When my husband reprimanded the dog, the guest was put out. Oh well, we didn’t like him anyway …

  3. Laura says:

    At least you didn’t reprimand the dinner guest and upset the dog unnecessarily.

  4. Laura says:

    I just noticed that the version of this post that went out as email didn’t include the embedded video. If you missed it, you can see 37 seconds of kitties at http://youtu.be/Oauo5Q1Va5I/.

  5. It takes us ages to name our pets – one cat was just “Kitty” for 6 months. Think we’re going to need some good photos of “Tessa” for inspiration – can’t see too much of her face in the video.

    How did Thunder react towards her when you first brought her home?

  6. Holly Folly says:

    Don’t ask me, I have one cat named Emoticon and another named Wheeps. I think I should be banned from picking out cat names.

  7. Speaker7 says:

    My first recommendation would be SpeakerCat because I’m a narcissist. How ’bout Rumbles for the purring? Or Donald Trump since his orangish hair looks like a puked up cat hairball?
    Please feel free to ignore all my suggestions.

  8. Speaker7 says:

    Just so you know I’m saying Donald Trump’s hair looks like a puked up hairball. Tessa’s fur is lovely.

    • Laura says:

      I’m glad you clarified. I was about to ban you from the site forever. (Also, Rumbles has potential. It seems a little masculine for this kitty, but now I’m considering calling her Rumbelina).

      • Theresa says:

        Since Rumbles and Thunder sound so similar, I like Rumbelina. I read in Wikipedia that “the name of the Germanic god Thor comes from the Old Norse word for thunder.” So obviously, you should name her Thor.

        • Theresa says:

          Sorry, that was confusing. Please apologize to Thor for me.

          • Laura says:

            Am I supposed to apologize to the god or to the cat? I’m so confused. Also, the previous reply was supposed to go to the previous comment. Like I said, I’m confused.

        • Laura says:

          I can’t call her Thor — Thor is a boy’s name, and she’s a very feminine cat (which is a weird thing for me to say, because I’ve always thought that, if they’re spayed/neutered while they’re young, there’s not much difference between male and female cats).

  9. Theresa says:

    Thunder must red a lot of Elmore Leonard!

  10. Holly says:

    Splodge is a great name for a scaredy cat and just sound funnier the more you say it too!

    • Laura says:

      Splodge does sound pretty funny. And I have this tendency to add or subtract syllables when I’m talking to a cat, so I could see saying something like “Splodgity Splodgity Splodge. Who’s my Splodgy-cat?”.

      Wow. I can’t believe I just admitted that in public.

  11. It’s kind of like Kitty Twister…
    ‘Right front paw… magenta…
    hmm… she’s got some moves… Princess Prima Caterina?
    :)

  12. Theresa says:

    So I wanted to make a serious contribution, and thought I might gain some inspiration from googling “feminine cat names.” I was directed to a site that stated/asked: “Most effective Feminine Cat Names – Got a Woman Cat to Title?” I liked their suggestion of naming your Woman Cat “Abby,” accompanied by the definition “superior and discrete.” She is discrete, right?

    • Laura says:

      Thanks! She does tend to disappear when she doesn’t want to interact (she’ll settle in the closet or behind a curtain, where most cats would hang out on a couch or chair), but when she does want attention, she’s really in your face, climbing up on you or sitting on your lap.

  13. Awwww…what a cutie patootie. Please call her Patootie.

  14. joehoover says:

    I know a cat named Splodge, it’s full name is Sargent Splodge. Actually I don’t know it all all, it lives in another country and my friend told me about it.

    She looks like a Molly.

    • Laura says:

      She does kind of look like a Molly, but there’s no way I’m going to call her that — my old cat’s name was Holly.

  15. […] couple weeks ago, I asked for cat name ideas and got some really good suggestions. In the end, though, I decided to base my new kitten’s […]

  16. denise;) says:

    Congrats on the new kitty! She’s pretty and the name you went with is great!

  17. cristina says:

    i’m late to the party and see you’ve already chosen a name, so I won’t bother. But just had to say that I’m so impressed with how well-spoken Thunder is! And I LOVE that kitty toy (it *might* actually be something that Massi likes. and he doesn’t like “official” cat toys).

  18. Dana says:

    I haven’t read your next post yet, so NO SPOILERS!! I’ve always loved the name Ginger (for a pet or a person), but it seems a little obvious for a ginger tabby. Maybe her middle name can give homage to the orange cat we had growing up, “Cheddar”? ;)

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