I told my family that I'd decided to change my 15+-year-old cat Tigger's name. After all these years.
Because I never got to name her. (She was dumped as a kitten, before I knew her, on a residential construction site, and my future neighbor - who'd been feeding her - had already decided to call her Tigger. When we finally moved into the neighborhood, and I convinced my husband to let me bring Tigger inside forever, I was too worried about offending my neighbor to change it.)
But you guys, I've never liked the name Tigger - for my Tigger. It's the name of a bouncing cartoon tiger, for Pete's sake! With a big, bounding MALE voice! My Tigger, however (although striped, I'll admit that), is small - both in stature and voice, prissy and has never bounced over anything in her life!
She is just simply: not a Tigger.
But my family balked. They told me I was being "insensitive" for changing the old girl's - no, fragile feline flower's name, after fifteen years. And, "who was I to confuse the poor cat at this stage in her life, anyway?"
And I rebutted. I told them I'd picked a new name that wasn't that far away (phonetically) from the current one, and that since we rarely call her by her given name, anyway (preferring Wiggles, Nenga Nenga, Tinkles and Stripey Girl, to name a few), Tigger probably wouldn't even notice!
The new name - I was sure - would be a perfect, feminine moniker: everyone would love it, and Tigger (who - being a cat - has to depend on me to make these types of life-altering decisions for her) would be able to leave this life (in 10 or so years), having a GIRL'S name that she could be proud of!
That name, friends, was: Tessa.
And, as a means to prove my resolve in the matter, I went straight to Etsy, hunted down and ordered, a beautiful new, perfect, shiny, delicate, feminine, distinctly Tigger (except, not Tigger, but Tessa), custom ID tag.
|Fetch-A-Passion Tags: So beautiful, but expect at least 3 weeks to ship from Canada.|
Just look how lovely it is!
The problem? In the three weeks it took for the tag to arrive from Canada (Canada Post, friends, is a mite slow in getting things to the US), I got this...
|Betcha can't guess which one is Tessa.|
An itty bitty, mini-Tigger foster kitten from the Richmond SPCA!
And what do you think (even though her shelter name is Josephine) I immediately decided to call her?
Yes (you are SO smart), Tessa!
My family had exactly zero objections. Her name has been Tessa since September 15. The tag arrived about a week after she got here. And since you entertained the thought privately, YES, I fantasized about flunking my fostering duties, leaving Tigger's name as is, and giving my newly-adopted kitten, Tessa Jr., the brand new ID tag! ....One day, when she weighs enough to wear the shiny new purple collar I bought her in a fit of weakness, and not topple over with the weight of all that metal dangling from it.
But, I can't adopt Tessa. Do you know how many cats I already have? And, please? Did you see her?
She's perfect! She won't last a long minute in that shelter, before someone (else) becomes smitten and totes her home*!
So, here I am, with this sweet little Tessa tag. That arrived just a week too late. :(
I can't exactly pass it along to the shelter now, can I? It has my phone number on it, after all.
And, I wouldn't feel right putting it on Tigger, either. Not until the memories of (the much younger) Tessa have faded, anyway.
So, there have been crazier things listed on Ebay, right?
Anyone have any sage advice? I don't wanna put the pretty little tag away in a dark drawer. Plus, I still don't like the name Tigger for my Tigger. Would you change your pet's name? What to do? What to do?!
* Tessa is due to be returned to the Richmond SPCA on November 3, at which time (during the week) she'll be spayed, microchipped and placed for adoption.
|Jon Farleigh's first foster kitten kiss.|