Monday, 18 April 2011
A new member of the family
Stuff and Nonsense by Amy Cockram is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 2.0 UK: England & Wales License.
No, I'm not having a baby. I'm having a cat.
We have collected a cat from the Cats' Protection League, but at the moment she is upstairs and still nervously hiding in her cat carrier. All we can see at the moment is a black face, white chin and bright, scared eyes.
She has come with a name that we don't especially like, so we are trying to think of ideas. Mark had the idea that we should give her a literary name, and we spent part of yesterday trawling the internet for ideas.
An obvious choice would be a name from T.S.Eliot's "Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats," but I would rather pick something less predictable.
Apparently there is a cat in "Bleak House" (I don't remember this) called Lady Jane. But that doesn't seem a very interesting cat name and from what I gather she wasn't a very nice cat.
I like Tennessee Williams, and I found a site that mentioned that he had a cat called Topaz. Although a site I found said that "country crooner" Tennessee Williams called his cat Topaz. So now I am not sure if there was a singer also called that, or if I just found the site of a mad person (I've just found that Hank Williams was called The Tennessee Plowboy, so maybe they confused the two). I knew that Tennessee Williams had dogs, but I didn't realise that he had a cat, so I think that this might be wrong. Topaz is out.
She has come very close to being called Agatha, as we picked her up this afternoon after going to Agatha Christie's holiday home, Greenway, this morning (quite likely a post to follow on this). She does look a bit like an Agatha. Mark had also thought about a P.G. Wodehouse name, and (Aunt) Agatha would have covered this as well.
I had a few suggestions from friends on Facebook. Dewey (as in the dewey decimal system and Dewey the library cat, which I haven't read), Magrat, Hoover, Heathcliff, McCawber, Bookworm, Kindle. Some of which seemed a bit too male for a girl cat - but thank you for all the suggestions.
I think I am going to stick to an old favourite - Pyewacket, from John Van Druten's play "Bell, Book and Candle" (a play I love and, now that I come to think about it, should probably have been on my 40 books list). The female protagonist in Van Druten's play is a witch, Gillian, and Pyewacket is her familiar who she uses to cast spells. I considered Pyewacket as a surname - Agatha Pyewacket - but that might be a bit too far.
So Pyewacket it is.
But if we have this trouble choosing a name for a cat, I dread to think what we will be like if we have kids...