Friday, May 31, 2013

Meet Nameless

We recently adopted a kitten.  Even though it came, via craigslist, from someone's home, I claim it as a "rescue" cat because you should have seen the home .... and the people inside.  Yikes.  How can anyone live like that??  Come on, people!  Open a window!  Vacuum!  Turn off your video games and find the cleanser.  And the disinfectant.  And the air freshener.

They were also selling puppies, which were shut in a back room.  I asked what kind of puppies.

"Pits" he drawled.  


Anyway, it's six weeks old and after nearly a week, it rules the house.  I live with two alpha-males who turn into complete goobers when this little two-and-a-half-pound fur-ball climbs onto their lap and begins to purr.  And I'm no more than a heap of mush either.  Kittens do that to perfectly rational people.

So here's the problem.  We cannot settle on a name.  And it's getting ridiculous.  I actually have an impressive record for naming pets.  In addition to our own, I claim credit for coming up with the winning name for several pets of various friends over the years. 

I reluctantly admit I even think up pet names for non-existent pets.  But all my favorite cat names were female, and this one is a boy.  

I really like Roscoe, after a garter snake that lived in my uncle's woodpile when I was a kid.  I also like Malcolm, Ira, Keifer, Murray, Walter, and a dozen others that I can't recall, which all got luke-warm reviews by those whose opinions I value.  The two alpha-males in my house both got excited when one suggested Doc Holiday.  As for me, having never seen the movie, "Tombstone" wherein that character was portrayed as "the coolest guy EVER" ..... I'm just not feeling it.  Hence I have been on every cat-naming website there is.  

Favorite Daughter, who also obsesses on names, texted suggestions to me every ten minutes the first day.  Wally, Kip, Sheldon, Stewart, Darwin, and her favorite, Reggie.  Our granddaughter immediately named it Cranky, sight unseen.  

We finally landed on Calvin Coolidge, named for a fiscally responsible president who gets little credit for actually cutting government spending while he was in office.  It seemed like a worthy tribute since any cat in this house must be a Republican, or at least a Libertarian.  But after a day, it just felt weird calling him Calvin.  Then how about Hobbes?  Nah.  

Following the political theme, we considered Fillibuster or Pundit.  Hmmmm.  Or The Gipper.  

Jack Bauer was kicked about for a while, but only figuratively .... because no one actually messes with JB.  We also hit a chord with Crazy Eddie Muldoon, from our favorite Patrick McManus books.  But I'm just not sure about calling it Eddie.  The we tried on Mr. Bean.  No, no, and no.

On my morning run of course I was still thinking about it.  Maybe Al-CATraz, because of his gray-ish and black stripes and he has been sentenced to life inside our house.  Then I ventured into Biblical names and came up with Nimrod (which actually means 'mighty hunter') and Malachi.  Then during my shower, Hodge seemed logical ..... for which I have no explanation.  

And there we are.  Every name sounds good until I use it to address the actual cat and then it just sounds silly.  Maybe he will just be Cat.  Or ... (heavens, no) ... Kitty ..... which, frankly, is what he is called 90% of the time.  

I am open for suggestions.   Please don't bother with the all-too-common cat names like Max, Tiger, Lucky, Simba, Buddy, Felix, Oscar, etc. ......  And anything even remotely akin to Fluffy or Puff Ball is totally banned.

Update:  I have made an executive decision.  His name is ..... Beamer .... and even though one has occupied our garage for years, he probably will never ride in it.

There.  Done!

Or ......

UPDATE!  It's nine months later and he is a fat, 13+ lb. lovable nuisance named Jack.  As in Jack the Ripper, Jumping Jack, and Jack in the (litter) box.  And even at this point, I'm still tempted to change the name to something more interesting.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013


It's a phenomenon with which I don't quite know what to do.

As I said earlier, I blithely signed on to another team for a relay this summer.  My strategy is to not forecast too far into the future, my physical capabilities for any upcoming event.  Because who knows?  I can still grind out some decent miles so that's not really my concern.  It mostly boils down to vanity, pride, and ego.  

I looked over our team roster this morning.  We have, from youngest up, one teenager, a sprinkling of twenty-somethings (including my son), some thirty-somethings, mostly forty-somethings, and me.  I am nine years older than the next oldest.  This problem has become more pronounced in the last couple of years.  I used to routinely run with friends who were within a few years of my age, so my question is ..... where'd everyone go??

Why am I flagging out here all alone in my age group?  If I carried my years like super model Christie Brinkley does, who is actually ten months older than me ...... then okay.  I mean, who cares how old she is .... she looks amazing.

I wonder, however, when she runs, IF she runs, if everything jiggles.  If she wears longer shorts to cover some of said jiggling.  If she wears sunglasses for more reasons than sun glare.  If she shies away from tank tops regardless of the temperature.  Probably not.  

I read, just this morning, that Barbara Eden, of the old "I Dream of Jeannie" sitcom, (google it if you are too young to know) can still fit into her genie outfit at age 78.  Not that anyone WANTS her to be wearing it at her age, but just that it fits.  She surely looked amazing at my age too .... a few decades ago.  And at that point, she probably didn't jiggle when she ran ..... IF she ran.  

So it's another year of being the oldest one out there.  All pride, vanity, and ego are tossed aside as I jiggle and schlep my way down the road.  Then after we cross the finish line, I will again consider retirement and some vigorous recovery of my image.   Maybe I'll purchase some red hats, wear flouncy purple dresses and big jewelry, and sit in the shade with a tall glass of raspberry lemonade.  My hair can then remain in place, make-up perfect, nails done, and no sweat in sight.  And no more clown shoes, sports bras, and clunky GPS watches.

And no more runs to procrastinate each morning.  And no more obnoxious hills that jeer at me if I stop and walk.  And no more safety-net from getting fat .... it isn't working that well anyway ....   And no more deep satisfaction after I complete a seven-miler. And no more thrill of being on a team, cheering each other on, and strutting our medals afterwards.  

And then I'll be just a little bit sad.  But I can reunite with people my age.  Maybe Christie will want to hang out.  She probably looks great in purple.