Last weekend we visited friends in Paso Robles, and discovered their cat is named “Spike”. Now, that may be a cute name for a brawler with one chewed ear, but this was a sweet little girl feline. There seems to be no accounting for the names some people choose for their pets. Reading Corrie ten Boom’s story you will discover her cat was named “Mahershalalhashbaz”. This, of course, was taken from the Bible. It was the divinely prescribed name for one of Isaiah’s sons. It was prophetic of the rape of Judah by her enemies, and is roughly translated, “Hasten the spoil, rush on the prey.” How can one complain when God has chosen your name for you? I’ll just say I am happy not to be Isaiah’s son. Well we lacked the originality, but admired the cleverness of this name and so one of our cats was named Mahershalalhashbaz. His life, however, was considerably shorter than his name. Then there was Chedorlaomer, Jezebel (black, of course), Gabriel (see earlier blog) and Pernicious. Some of them became sail cats. You don’t know what a “sail cat” is? Often a cat will come to the end of its career under the wheels of a passing motorist. When it happens on a remote street and we do not know about it, then it becomes a sail cat. The carcass is flattened thoroughly by many drivers, and it dries out under the hot sun, and then one can peel it from the asphalt and sail it like a Frisbee. That is a sail cat.
When Blondie met her demise (under the wheels), she was tenderly carried, in my loving 9 year old hands, to a grave in our back yard. Gabriel just walked away. Jezebel was well on the way to becoming a sail cat, and I don’t even remember if she was given a decent burial.
When we stopped keeping cats for personal pleasure, we discovered we needed to have a cat as a pet for our dog, Talitha. She is worthy of a separate blog, so I will leave it at that. Suffice it to say that Talitha would mope around the house until we obtained another cat for her to play with.
I am a cat guy. I think they are terribly funny. They can also be very cuddly and companionable—if you get the right cat. I am amused at their air of superiority, and their attempt to display dignity. Bob Lee told me the story of his cat, “Mister” who enjoyed leaping onto the glass coffee table where he would settle on his magisterial perch. On the day the glass panel was broken and had not yet been replaced, Mister leaped for his usual perch only to fall through the table to the floor beneath. Bob said that the cat quickly regained his composure, licked himself a few strokes, and settled on the floor, saying with his body language, “That’s what I intended all along.”