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 thoughts on “A Guest Post. By My Cat.

    1. 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.

  1. 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 …

  2. 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?

    1. I don’t have any really good pictures of her; this is the best one I’ve taken so far: http://www.flickr.com/photos/laurasbadideas/8299261380/in/set-72157625919387997/.

      Thunder was very wary on Tessa’s first day. He spent a lot of time moving in slow motion and sniffing her from afar. Here’s a video of him checking her out (she’s in the pink, cave-like covered cat bed): http://youtu.be/mnj5cmNRW7M. He kept up this behavior for a loooong time.

        1. Or like the type of alert that I wanted to trigger when she picked such a good hiding place that I couldn’t find her for hours on Christmas day. (In case you’re not familiar with the term, an Amber Alert is a way of broadcasting information about a missing child).

  3. 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.

    1. 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).

      1. 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.

          1. 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.

        1. 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).

    1. 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.

  4. 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?

    1. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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).

  7. 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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