Some names are awesome (exhibit A: D’Artagnan).
But some cat names are a little bit perplexing. Exhibit C: Rikki.
Our entire Georgia contingent - sixteen strong - caused a bit of gender confusion on their first day north of the Mason-Dixon Line. We had an Izzy, and everyone thought that had to be a boy, except for the other everyone who insisted an Izzy iz clearly a girl. (Isabel? Isidore? Izzy or izn’t he?) Izzy is a she.
Then there was Rikki, sometimes spelled Ricky or Ricki. (Elementary school visionaries believe in teaching “new math.” At Tabby’s Place, we believe in “new spelling.”) Was this a male Ricky (a la Mr. Martin or Mr. Ricardo or Mr. Don’t Lose That Number)? Or did we have another lady on our hands, along the lines of Ms. Lake?
Once again, our gender-garbling name belonged to a female feline.
Fortunately, cats are not human middle school students, so none of Rikki or Izzy’s suitemates are giving them a hard time over their names. It’s just us poor dunderheaded humans who sometimes struggle to keep things straight.
Although her name conjures up a whole spicy hash of possibilities, Rikki’s presence makes it immediately clear that she’s (a) all woman and (b) more than a mote amused by her friendly neighborhood dunderheads.
Much like her namesake Lake, Rikki’s a pro at keeping crowds under control. When she’s not interviewing Cats…And The Cats Who Love Them (featuring Beecher and Edamame), or offering makeovers to Empty-Nester Cat Moms (starring Gerber and Midnight), our little hostess is sprinting up and down the ramp to the solarium, flaunting her vaguely Abyssinian sparkles.
She doesn’t take herself quite seriously enough for an OWN network-style show, so there will be no earnest discussions of unveiling one’s sooooooooul here. But Rikki’s too much of a lady for themes like Fat Cats Who Pretend They Are Gerbils Wearing Onesies, so walk on by past Suite B if you’re looking for anything too Jerry Springer. (Walk on by…directly into Hospital. Tell-all tattler and Hospital mascot Harvest is happy to sing the secrets of every cat who’s ever spent a night back there.) And, she’ll leave it to fellow Georgia cat Wendy to erupt in Wendy Williams-style squeals. Whether our Wendy has a wardrobe of wigs has yet to be seen.)
Over in Suite C, big-eyed Izzy has questioning eyes. When she meets you, her default setting is 78% trust, 22% questions: Izzy kind? Izzy a good human bean? Izzy going to be nice to me? Izzy a fan of little brown tabbies? Izzy a fan of Jane Austen? Izzy maybe even my personal person? So far, Izzy’s gotten yeses to all her questions except that last one…but with her sweet spirit, I’m convinced it izn’t going to be a long wait for that final affirmative.
Meantime, these gentle girls aren’t letting us forget two things: (a) they are Southern Ladies with a capital L, and (b) life’s more fun when you make your name conform to your own unique soul. Next on the Rikki Rosenberg* Show: Unveiling Your Sooooooul…In This Fall’s Fashions.
*True fact: every cat at Tabby’s Place has the last name Rosenberg during his or her time with us. This generally only comes up when we use external or specialty veterinary services, and the docs need a full name for the chart. But, on occasion, our cats receive mail. Best cat mail ever: a glossy advertising brochure about new developments in diabetes care for a diabetic gentleman solemnly addressed as Mr. Fuzzycat Rosenberg. No, I am not making this up. Diabetic supply company, you are awesome.