When we named the new red kitten we didn’t realize the importance of cat names. In ignorance, we named him after his most frequently displayed behavior. We named him “Lil’ Rascal.”
Later, when for a variety of reasons it seemed most sensible and kindest to give him to my son and his family who had just moved to a new town, we were stuck with trying to pawn off a cat whose name did not bode well. At that point he underwent a name change, to “Sweetie.”
My youngest daughter was assured she could see Sweetie (aka Lil’ Rascal) whenever she visited her brother Tim’s family in the nearby town. (One of a pair of their kitties had been struck by a car and they had promised my granddaughter that it would be replaced when they moved.)
It was several days after we waved goodbye to Tim and a howling Sweetie that I received the terse message: Sweetie had disappeared, and despite phone calls and telephone pole postings, he had not been found. Tim just wanted to alert me that our red cat may be history.
Caution suggested that I postpone informing my youngest about Sweetie’s missing status. As it turned out, it was a wise choice.
Beth, my daughter-in-law, had gone in one direction to search for Sweetie, and my son and granddaughter had headed the other way. In Beth’s path lived a woman who worked as a veterinarian. After listening to Beth’s story, she promised to consult with a friend who was a cat communicator and get back to Beth.
The next day the phone rang and Beth was advised that Sweetie was alive, and under a nearby deck. He liked the new house but was offended that he hadn’t been told of the move in advance. In order for Sweetie to return, Beth and Tim should concentrate very hard on sending Sweetie an apology for not having prepared him for the move. Tim refused to do so, but agreed that Beth could use his name.
Subsequently Beth–a full profess0r with a Ph.D.–sent thought waves overflowing with apologies from both her and Tim, inviting him to please return to his new home.
Beth’s parents had not seen the new house, and were relaxing on the deck after a tour as Beth described the ordeal with the missing Sweetie. She was in the midst of describing his disappearance when Beth’s father interrupted her. “Is it that cat there?” Beth turned to see Sweetie seated in the corner, nonchalantly licking himself over his shoulder.
A couple of days later, during rushed preprations at dinner time, Sweetie began complaining vociferously about something, and Beth set him outside. Within an hour there was a knock on the door.
Both the vet and her husband stood beaming with pleasure and goodwill. The vet, who was holding Sweetie, proudly announced, “We found your cat!”
After that, Sweetie was kept inside for several days, made friends with the resident house cat, and found peace and eminence from atop the family room’s very high mantel.
c. Nan Mykel