It’s a shame that people-names can’t be as wild and woolly as the feline kind.
Just once I’d love to meet a human bean named Squidward. Give me a friendly neighborhood pharmacist named Hocus, or a mail carrier called Hootz. At least throw me a Eugene Buddle-Lubbers or Upton Lipton.
Fortunately, we have cats and their names to keep us content. And no cat was more wonderfully, weirdly, Squidwardly named than a certain cloudy-eyed senior.
His name may have originated on Nickelodeon, but the old boy with the funny face made “Squidward” his own. Coming to us with good-time guy Gary, Squidward was a sweet soul with every interest in humans (even the sort of daft-as-a-brush humans who would name a cat for a tentacled creature from the bottom of the sea).
But Squidward hadn’t always sailed smooth seas. As the story goes, his and Gary’s person passed away, and without so much as a “bon voyage,” the fellas were wards of the animal control officer.
Such stories seldom end well.
But our sailor still had a song in him, and through a series of events more magical than a pineapple under the sea, Squidward became the ward of Tabby’s Place. From there, he speedily joined our very own mental ward, Suite B.
Feisty, fiery Gary established from the start that he was a force to be reckoned with, even in his advanced age. Gary + LaFawnduh + Natalie = messier mashup than pureed calamari. Happily, the velvet-grey Gary was adopted by a young couple with big hearts for old cats.
But sweeter Squidward was content to sit back and let cats with younger ages, bigger personalities and less fabulous names steal the show.
Some may say he’s just a quiet cat, or perhaps his age is understandably daunting to most human beans. I say “bollocks.” (Actually I don’t say that often enough. But I digress.) Wise, watchful human beans like my homeboys Upton and Eugene would say Squidward was just biding his time.
A cat with a name like Squidward and a heart like a 40-ton pearl clearly had a plan. (”Moohoohoohoobwahahaha” optional.)
Still, human beans are often always slow to catch on. Given Squidward’s age and unconventional appearance, we settled into believing our sweet boy would be with us for a good long time. Surely we had many months, if not years, of smooshing Squidward.
Silly, daft humans.
They say “red sea by morning, sailors take warning” - but even a marinara-red ocean couldn’t have prepared us for this seafarer’s exit.
As nonchalant as you please, a friendly young woman came to Tabby’s Place and expressed interest in a full galley of young cats. Little did we know this adopter had a big bowl of her own words to eat.
After coming whisker-close to adopting Sophie, SquidMama announced something even more exciting than the sighting of a giant, iridescent squid in central NJ: she realized she had to take her own advice. For years, she’d solemnly urged friends and family to consider older cats, Special Needs cats, hidden gems with big needs and bigger gifts.
It was time to dig in to her own wisdom.
Squidward was her squeeze.
I suspect that even savvy SquidMama couldn’t have fathomed the depths of Squidward’s love. Once again we’re reminded that those cats who have been loved much, shown much grace, given big chances, are precisely the ones who will love you with all the love they can give. It’s a veritable ocean of devotion for everyone involved.
PS: If you do happen to see a giant iridescent squid in central NJ, please let me know. I would like to meet him and name him Eugene Buddle-Lubbers.