We all have moments when we just aren’t sure who we are: Am I a kindergartner trapped in an adult’s body? Am I a ballerina trapped in a Development Director’s body? Should I be wandering the wide green hills of County Sligo right now?

But sometimes, we know exactly who we are. It’s the dunderheads around us that can’t get us right.

Such was the situation for one Sullivan Rosenberg.

Sullivan is a cat possessing complete confidence in her identity. She is the essence of catliness at its highest and finest pitch, a love gobbler with an elegant streak three Audrey Hepburns wide. She is grace and goofiness in equal, non-competing measure. She is, in the words of one accurate volunteer, “over-the-top lovable.” She is ladylike.

She is extremely ladylike.

“I enjoy being a girl.”

Sadly, Sullivan’s girlish charms were not enough to stop the smush-heads around her from listing her as follows:

Age: 5 years (estimated)
Color: Black
Sex: Male

Now, before you question our cat-part-checking prowess, one minor detail. The folks who shuffled Sullivan into our care told us that she was a he. Who were we to question the folks?

Lesson we should have learned from the X-Files: question everything.

Fortunately, Sullivan did not have to suffer our silliness too long.
OK, she did.
Almost three months.

But one history-changing, wrong-righting day, an adopter showed interest in the black cats of Suite B.

When you consider the black cats of Suite B, you are considering a collective of epic size. The black cats of Suite B could fill a football stadium. There are more black cats in Suite B than there are people in Europe. The black cats of Suite B are a large enough voting bloc to flip the House and Senate like pancakes. The black cats of Suite B collectively weigh more than all other living creatures on earth.

There are a lot of black cats in Suite B.

And so, when an adopter is interested in one of the black cats of Suite B, we must diligently check all of the black cats of Suite B to be sure of who’s who and who isn’t. A certain staff member, who shall remain anonymous except to note that her name rhymes with Fanielle, was the lucky one to have to check cats’ bits and pieces that day.

“I feel pretty. And also embarrassed for you guys.”

What she found would change everything…and unsully our silliness, at least for the moment.

There was one fewer male black cat than expected (Leo + Lucas + …?).
There was one bonus female black cat (CornPop + Katniss + Sushi + … who are you?).
Sullivan was all girl…and suddenly there was egg all over our faces.

As always when it comes to cats, all’s well that ends well, and Sullivan has graciously forgiven us. But, this has left one open debate on the floor of Tabby’s Place: what to do with our ladylike lady’s ambiguous name?

What do you think, kittens?

I will recuse myself here, as I have entirely too much of an opinion on the business of naming cats.

Some have suggested we just stick with Sullivan, since it’s gender-neutral and cute and has been in place for three months.
Some have suggested a sweet, short “Sully.” (Never mind the hero pilot of the same name, very much a man.)
Some, who are brilliant and wise and clearly in the right, have suggested Sullivanne, as in Sullivan + Anne-with-an-E. Any opportunity to hint at Anne of Green Gables is a good opportunity, and we’d be dang fools to pass it up.

But I will not sway the decision with my personal opinion.

Whatever you call her, Sullivan isn’t calling foul on her dunderheaded humans. She’s a bigger soul than that. And we know — no doubt about it — that her big, beautiful, ladylike soul will be sauntering forever homeward soon.

1 thought on “Sullivan…ne

  1. Dear Angela – thank you for telling us Sullivan’s tale. As you say, she is too wonderful a ladycat to be placing blame. She is complete. She knows who she is and just how wonderful she is. Sullivan would say – my past is a mess. She has decided to live in the present with no regrets, and her future – her future at Tabby’s Place and with Tabby’s Place support – has infinite possibilities. She is Sullivan!

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