Recently, People magazine ran the cover headline, It’s all about Pippa! A certain cat had three choice words in response to this:
“About. Flippin’. Time.”
OK, she may have used a stronger term than “flippin’.” (Pippa does have a tendency to swear like the proverbial longshoreman.) Suffice to say she was pleased that the rest of the world is finally getting it. Suffice, also, to say that she knew this really wasn’t about that sister-of-a-princess across the pond – that other Pippa. Ancient Romans may have referred to that Pippa as Pippa the Lesser.
But Pippa the Greater missed a certain important detail (which is shocking, as Pippa the Greater generally knows all). She was about to lose the distinction of being the sole Pippa in Tabby’s Place history.
There’s a new P(hil)ippa in town.
Bumpkin that I am, I had never known that “Pippa” is often a pet name for Philippa, rather than a name unto itself. Fortunately, the cosmopolitan and urbane Danielle and Denise did know this. And so, when a little black-and-white princess arrived in need of a jolly old trendy name, the munchkin in question became…Philippa.
That’s Philippa as in Pippa – that other Pippa, that is. I haven’t felt the need to tell my Pippa about all this, and I think the odds of my feeling that need are right up there with the odds of a giant iridescent squid suddenly emerging from the Tabby’s Place sink.
Unlike sister-of-a-princess Pippa, little Philippa is not inclined to eat up the spotlight. She’s also not inclined to wear Alexander McQueen couture or to date that other prince. And, to be completely honest, Philippa is not yet inclined to let us moosh her.
But royalty takes its time.
We’re told that Philippa had not previously lived with other cats. In her first six or seven years of life, it was quite literally all about Philippa. So it was with some fear and trepidation that we ensconced her in the feline fray at Tabby’s Place.
We needn’t have worried; royalty is (in this case, anyway) full of grace. No fur flies for Philippa.
This is not to say that she’s hitting the pubs wet food with the regular yobs. Would Queen Elizabeth go bowling with Mr. Bean? Would William and Kate run through the park with Benny Hill? Would Fergie eat black-eyed peas with Monty Python? (Um…forget that last one.) No – and regal Philippa keeps a stately distance from the riffraff in her new suite. Elijah, Jambalaya and Scooter may match her majestic markings, but they’re not on Philippa’s level. I don’t mean that in a snooty way – I mean, literally, they’re not on her level…of cubbies.
While the vast majority of Suite A’s residents sack out on the very top ramp, Philippa’s made her place in the lowest corner cubby. Consider it her own private apartment, like the “personal residence” not included on tours of the White House or Vatican or Buckingham Palace.
Better yet, perhaps Philippa is Suite A’s anchoress. No, that doesn’t mean she keeps the suite from floating out on the open sea. In olden times, an anchoresses was a holy-minded lady who lived in a simple cell attached to the wall of a village church. Secluded from the hubbub of the world, by their own choosing, anchoresses remained in their cells at all times, spending time in communion with God and the angels and praying for the good of their community. They gained reputations for wisdom, and would occasionally offer guidance and counsel through the itty-bitty cell windows facing the world.
Is she a princess? A silent saint? A fount of wisdom just awaiting the right moment to splash into action? We don’t yet know; royalty does take its time.
But whatever she decides to be, the headline is clear: it is all about Philippa.
Just, please, don’t tell Pippa the Greater.