Feeding the Cat
Upon moving into the house, one of the first purchases my wife made for our new home was a foam-green plastic food and water bowl for our new-to-us cat. Not being one who is comfortable being glared at by a cat that doesn’t care if I live or die, I wasn’t about to spend a lot of money on it. I was also determined not to get it too spoiled. I failed at that last part, but I’ll come to that later. On my next trip to Wal-Mart I purchased the cheapest dry cat food I could find. It’s called “Special Kitty” and costs about four dollars for a five pound bag. It must be good, because it claims not only to be “gourmet,” but the package also says it comes in “fun shapes.”
Really? Fun shapes? You mean this cat ate yesterday’s food without a complaint, but today when it walks onto the porch it’s going to pause, take one look at this new food and think to itself, “This is going to be a GREAT meal! Look at all the fun shapes!” Who at the Special Kitty factory thought to themselves, I bet if we print “fun shapes” on the package it will sell more?
On that first day we moved into the house, and before we even had a chance to have our own lunch, Barbara made sure the cat had food and water. And sure enough, not caring who put the food out, the cat appeared on the front porch to eat its food. It didn’t seem too impressed with the fun shapes.
Naming the Cat
Now that we were the unwitting but acquiescent owners of an unfriendly, feral feline, our first order of business – besides feeding it the fun shapes – was to determine its gender and give it a name. Regarding the gender, this cat wasn’t in too much in a hurry for us know one way or another. It never stayed around the house very long after eating and didn’t seem too interested in satisfying our curiosity on the subject. However, one day it decided to lounge upon the porch in such a fashion that when it stretched out, it afforded us an unquestionable view of his maleness. Question number one answered.
Now that we had this vital piece of information, we could now move onto giving this cat a name. Since we were new homeowners, simply calling it “The Cat” seemed too impersonal. As a name, “The Cat” worked if you were renting a home and petting an unknown neighbor’s cat, but since we were now homeowners it seemed only right to give this cat a proper name. Not that the cat cared, but at least Barbara and I knew who we were talking about.
At first, we didn’t really know what to call it. One day Barbara, in a fit of very weird humor, said we should name the cat “Will,” as in “Will Feral.” Cute. But I’ve never been a fan of the actor whose name we were about to destroy, so I vetoed that. Finally we simply settled on Gato, which is Spanish for “cat.” And Gato it is. Continue Reading