I’m with T.S. Eliot on the topic of cat names: each feline deserves no less than three, and one of those can be known only to the cat himself. For day-to-day use, every cat needs a “sensible everyday name,” and, at Tabby’s Place, that generally means the name that she came with from her shelter of origin.
But sometimes, a cat comes to us tagged with a name that is, well, wrong – like “Grumpy,” or “Gray Cat,” or “#0972,” and something just must be done. And so it was with Sweet Pea.
Not that there’s anything wrong with the name Sweet Pea per se. I actually think it’s quite charming…for a lady cat. And so, in his first week with us, I – and several other staff and volunteers at Tabby’s Place – just assumed that Sweet Pea (who is sweet as can be) was a she.
Oh, dear. With a gender-misleading name like that, how – to quote Eliot again – “can he keep his tail perpendicular, or spread out his whiskers, or cherish his pride?”
Pondering this travesty, Denise and I sat on the floor, nuzzling Sweet Pea and his fellow recent arrivals, and tossed out name suggestions. None of them were pitch-perfect for this handsome, lovey boy. (T.S. Eliot wasn’t kidding when he solemnly noted, “The Naming of Cats is a difficult matter.”)
Then Jonathan hit the nail on the head, on his first try, no less: “How about Sweet Pete?”
Perfect. Now that’s a name that this cuddle-bug could live up to – and one that would make clear that he’s every bit a boy.
I am doubly delighted to report that this sweetest of Petes is now living up to his name in the best place of all: a forever home. This past weekend, a big-hearted family came to Tabby’s Place to adopt their first-ever feline. It became clear in a flash that this mom, dad and two little girls were meant to love Sweet Pete forever.
For Sweet Pete’s sake, that’s the news of a lifetime. New name, forever home – what more could a sweetie-pie like Pete need?