Monday, November 18, 2013

Name Calling

The next morning, when I woke, I went straight to the cat room. I passed Ray sleeping on his futon. Although he was curled in his usual little ball, his eyebrows followed my movement as I went by. I entered the cat room catiously and closed the door behind me expecting a big dog to appear behind me at any moment.
Harvey was sitting alertly upright on the second tier of the cat tree. His eyes were bright and whip-smart reminding me of my bright-boy, Hugo. The little calico darted from her spot inside the tree to dive under the bed. Neither Gregg nor I had been able to get a good look at her since bringing her home.
At the panicked departure of his sister, Harvey looked at me uncertainly and made a move as if to jump and run. I talked to him calmly but moved swiftly to pick him up and give him a pet. Harvey relaxed and started purring. I stroked him a bit, put him back on the tree platform, then got down on my hands and knees to look under the bed. Our little unnamed kitty was back in her inaccessible spot.
Only slightly discouraged, I played with Harvey instead, knowing that I was being closely watched.
There was a whine at the door.
I left Harvey to his toys, and just like the previous evening, opened the door, crouched down, blocked the entrance with my knees and put my arms around Ray's neck. And just like the previous evening, Ray stayed still, ears deployed in ultra Dumbo mode, nose twitching furiously, breathing in the new smells.
I let Ray get a lungful before closing him out of the room again, then picked up the empty cat dishes to take them downstairs for a wash. Harvey was one hungry little guy. The previous evening, we had watched him clean his plate before tucking into his adopted sister's dish of food.
Gregg was already downstairs when I carried the dishes down.
"We need to name the girl-cat," were the first words out of my mouth.
"Good morning," said Gregg with a smile, "There's no hurry."
"Yes there is," I replied, "I need something to call her."
Throughout the day, Gregg and I threw out name suggestions. Our old way of choosing cat-names, flipping through the white pages of the telephone book and randomly stabbing a finger on a name until we found one that fit the cat and that we could agree on, had gone the way of dinosaur. There were no white pages to stab. Also, we were having a bit of difficulty naming a cat we couldn't see except as a blur as it dove under the bed. We knew we wanted a name that had a different vowel ending than Ray or Harvey because that is what animals hear when their names are called, so we had somewhat limited our choices. We also had distinctly different likes. Gregg liked early 20th century names suitable for an older cat. That had worked well when we had adopted an ancient cat (previous to Moonie and Hugo) that we had named Maevis, but it was difficult for me to picture a youngster with Gregg's choices of Muriel or Drusila. Gregg was having equal difficulty picturing a cat with the "unconventional" Jean choices of Zula or Luna.
As the day progressed, Gregg and I popped into and out of the cat room, checking on our fluffy new children. More specifically, we checked on Harvey. Girl-cat remained aloof but interested. By mid morning she wasn't at the far end of under-the-bed, she was in the middle watching my interactions with Harvey, and at noon when I cautiously opened the door to see if I could snap a quick photo of the little guy, I found the two of them cosily curled in the tree together. Thrilled I ran to tell Gregg that our kitties seemed to be getting along famously.
By 5:00, I'd had enough. I found a website of random girl/pet names and chose ten. I told Gregg to do the same. We compared notes. Not only did nothing match, nothing was even close. 
"Well," said Gregg, "There is one name on your list that I had considered putting on mine."
"What was it?" I asked, hoping it was Zula.
"Juno," he replied
"That's it then," I said only very slightly disappointed, "She's Juno. Juno, Harvey, and Ray. I think it works."
Satisfied, I went to the cat room to tell our new girl. Surprisingly the fluffy blur didn't seem to care.

Juno and Harvey


  1. OH! HOW! CUTE! I love little pink noses. You now have 2. Welcome little Harvey and Juno. You 2 are so lucky, and you haven't even met big brother Ray yet.
    "Shelter Rescue" is the best breed. Congratulations on your new additions.
    Oh, does your wonderful dog sitter sit cats too??

    1. I will email Bryan today just to make sure. And I agree, rescue is the best breed!

  2. A very wise person once told me that home is where you hang your hat and home is where you bring your cats. Welcome home, Juno and Harvey!

    1. I love it when people quote me. You make a cameo in the next blog. Be ready for it.

  3. They are precious! Juno looks a little smug.

    1. She does, doesn't she. Like she knows something we don't. I wonder what I'm in for...

    2. She's smiling in that whole, "Yes, I'm a cat and you have NO idea what you're in for," sort of way. I love her already.

  4. I so wish I wasn't allergic to cats :( And yes rescues are the best
    welcome to the 'hood kitties!!