What happens when you name a cat? And once you make it official — on the vet’s office paperwork — do you continue to use that name?
This guy here sauntered into our lives about four years ago from parts unknown, making himself at home on our front porch and insisting that everyone who came through the door stop to pet him on our way in or out. We really couldn’t take in another pet. We already had two cats, a rat and a hedgehog. So sorry, bud. No room at this inn.
Before long, my husband was bringing food outside for our new squatter. Then of course, there was a storm and we felt bad for that stray, so we let him in just this once. Next thing we’re getting him de-wormed and vaccinated. Then the spouse started calling the cat by a name — Puff Daddy, because of the way the fur on his face puffs out to the sides sometimes. It was all over with after that. Naming him made him one of the family.
Now the orange goof sleeps on our bed, and we call him all sorts of variations on Puff Daddy, but seldom use his official moniker. Puffies. Puffaroo. Puffaroo Bonzai. Puffington Host. Sir Puffington of Orange. Puffburger. Goofball. Galoot. It doesn’t matter what name we use, he knows when we’re talking about him and always responds the same way. He headbutts one of us until we pet him.