The girl with no name

The girl with no name

She was the girl with no name.

When no one can call you, anyone can devour you.

Stunned Sunny in the hour of her arrival

Perhaps her mother called her something, once. There is a secret feline language down the generations, yowled when ferals roll in the grass, whispered when newborns nurse milk and mercy.

The kitten had a beginning and a belonging. Handcrafted of streusel colors and shameless need, she was new and unafraid. Her name was Safe. It was enough.

But terror thunders without permission, and the nest was torn. The kitten was ripped from the tapestry, her threads a loose tumbleweed. She became the girl with no name.

When no one can call you, everyone can lie to you. The cinnamon kitten blew through a neighborhood far too large and salty. Sewer drains cooed promises of safety. Foxholes hissed subtle lullabies. The middle of the street made the strongest case: come out in the open, and you will be seen again.

The girl with no name stood as lonely as a crumb. Here I am!

The driver did not see her. The car did not say her name.

Dawn breaks a shattered past into a mosaic of mirth

When no one can call you, one is enough to save you. Cars and sewers may not believe in miracles, but nameless kittens have a claim on the angels. The girl with no name had only just been struck when wonder struck.

When you are enfolded in this sanctuary, your name may be Flavian or Bruce or Mavis or Jen. But your name has become Tabby’s Place Person. Your name is Lover. Your name is Namer of the Nameless.

A Tabby’s Place Person “just happened” upon the scene, and what happened next gives life its name.

The girl with no name became a Tabby’s Place cat.

One forgotten crumb became hope’s birthday cake.

One tiny tumbleweed became the earth’s axis.

One nameless kitten became the meaning of our lives, the fire in our bellies, the moon that pulls the tides.

“Yes, hello. Someone informed me that my calling is full-sized joy?”

Once again, it happened. “No” left the language. “Hopeless” crumbled into loose letters. “Yes” claimed the kitten.

“Maybe” would have made more sense. The girl with no name had no reasonable claim on survival, with fluid on her chest and anemia roaring like a wolverine. She could not walk on her own, and she could not name herself.

None of us can. But anyone named Lover can name someone else.

We called her Sunny, and we called the sun and the moon and specialty hospital to their feet. The shattered stray was chosen and claimed and unconditionally named.

When someone has named you, everything changes. Your secret is out; you are precious beyond all wealth and all the walruses on a thousand shores.

Sunny — say her name, sing it, soften it like caramel — was someone who was everyone’s everything. This is the Tabby’s Place way, our only claim to “fame.” This is our promise to every girl and boy: a new name, ferocious love, and medical care that does not count the cost.

This is the legacy of another girl with no name, the silver pinch of soot who became Linda.

“My name is Sunny, and I am reporting for the duty of delight.”

Legs ablaze with burns, Linda smoldered towards death in 2011. Strange fire conspired to leave her forgotten.

Love laughed.

When someone has named you, you are as famous as grace. The injured “nobody” became the face of a movement, the inspiration for love’s revolution. Linda recovered. All the Lovers rejoiced. Linda lives on still, her name headlining the annual hopefest that I’m hoping you will support again.

The Linda Fund Matching Challenge is the name for this outrageous annual gamble. We wager you will love the nameless, squeezing your eyes shut and imagining the Lindas and Sunnies and shivering strangers we have never met. They will come crying and trembling, thickets of need. They will call upon us to be the first to call them by their names.

They will need us to cast away the calculator.

They will need us to love as though they share our names.

They will need us to name ourselves Lover all over again.

Today, you can run down the road to greet them while they are still on their way. Head them off at the pass. Love now, so we can answer their call in the hour of need.

Name them yours.

And feel Sunny on your shoulders, a sprite with a fizzy future of tenderness and good trouble.

Feel Linda, love’s ambassador on long, strong legs.

Feel precious Prescott.

Feel your own heart alive, awake, named: Lover.

Please name this day “Yes!”

Leave a Reply