The Lion in the Living Room by Abigail Tucker

I live with three cats. Or perhaps it’s that I provide housing and food for three cats and also manage to have a life on the side – it’s hard to say with cats.

Since the newest one just climbed, claws out, up my back over my shoulder only to come to rest on my lap and arm and is now impeding my typing, it seems safe to point out that while I love my cats, I’m not always sure why I love my cats. 

The woman who wrote this book also loves cats but wasn’t really sure why, as whole, we love cats either. She researched the conundrum from ancient Egypt to the Internet with forays into parasitology and ecology and still isn’t quite sure.

Would I recommend it? Yes! Because even if you don’t like cats (possibly particularly if you don’t like cats) you want to know how they were used in medieval torture, the ecological devastation they have wrought around the world and how they affect our health.

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Which Sarah?

I’m not the kind of person who is willing to let my kids name animals without my help. If that was the case we’d have a goose named Fluffy, a cat named Sparkle Kitty and a rooster named Roosty.

Actually we do have a rooster named Roosty and he has been a most excellent rooster for many years. Many years, as in almost five years, which in case you are wondering is a lot of years to be using a ridiculous name for a barnyard animal that you call by name far more often than you ever suspected you would.

And this is why I now have veto power when it comes to pet names. Veto power that has prevented the new kitten from being named Sparkle Kitty or Lestia or Falasha or Sarah.

Now Sarah might sound like a fine name compared to the others but that’s because you’ve not heard the follow up question asked in my household every time anyone utters the name Sarah. And it’s not something easy like “Which Sarah?” Oh no, it’s, “Sarah your friend or Sarah Jonas’s mom or Sarah Wren’s mom or Sarah the cat?”

The kitten came to us with the name Sarah but it only took about twelve hours for the name Sarah Cat to be vetoed by the mom who was losing her sanity trying to differentiate between all the Sarahs in her children’s lives.

Sadly, Baroness Sarah McCutiePie Von Stuffington of Sunshine Manor didn’t really work out as her new name because the kids just called her Sarah for short… “Wait… do you mean Sarah your friend or Sarah Jonas’s mom or Sarah Wren’s mom or Sarah the cat?”

After much debate and a brilliant intervention by Sarah (Sarah my friend, not Sarah Jonas’s mom or Sarah Wren’s mom or Sarah the cat) the new kitten has been named Simone.Simone

Otherwise known as:

-“The kitten… umm …what’s her name again?

– “Sarah”

-“Not Sarah… Oh! Simone!”

– “No Sarah!”

-“No! It’s Simone now.”

-“But she was responding to Sarah!” (She is a cat, she wasn’t responding.)

-“Well Sarah, I mean Simone (insert cute kitten activity here) it was so cute!!!.”

-“Sarah the cat or Sarah mom’s friend or Sarah Jonas’s mom or Sarah Wren’s mom?”

It’s going to happen though. The power of the veto is going to hold and the cat is not going to be called Sarah. And my children are going to learn to use context to answer their questions because I don’t care what my fourth grade teacher said, there are all sorts of stupid questions a person can ask. Already in our family of five at least two people call the kitten Simone at all times and can determine which Sarah is being referred to using nothing but the context of conversation at least 90% of the time. The other, shorter, three are getting there – kind of.

But please, please, for the love of Pete, if your name is Simone, though I’m sure you are a fantastic person, don’t introduce yourself to my children!

 

Black and White Sunday: New Kitty

Never have a conversation about how you aren’t going to go looking for a kitten but if a kitten showed up in need of a home, it would be a good time to add a cat to the family… unless you really mean it.

Meet our new kitten, and Jane’s early birthday present, whose name has ranged from a very confusing “Sarah” to an equally confusing “Baroness Sarah McCutiePie Von Stuffington of Sunshine Manor”.Sarah Cat

 

Be careful what you say, the universe responds to kitten requests in a very timely fashion.