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!