Four days should be long enough to name a little kitten, shouldn’t it? After waiting patiently for the girls to shift toward a decision, I set an arbitrary deadline of nine o’clock last night, just to try to move the process along. The time limit came and went, through heated discussions, hurt feelings, and a few shortlisted white-bread names that nobody was really ecstatic about. Even threatening to name him “Spitvalve” if they couldn’t settle on anything before then didn’t seem to light a fire under anybody.
I don’t know why, but it seems that it’s important to pick the right name for the little ball of fluff. Something that shows some creativity, some character, something the kitten can grow into a cat with and still be dignified. My daughters spent a little while discussing how a name is something that molds the animal. If it’s a good name, it will be a good pet. Personally, I think the name ends up fitting as they get older not because they grow into it or live up to it, but rather because we spend all this time picking something that will fit the personality or looks that we can perceive already. The name doesn’t make the cat: the cat makes the name. This pet belongs to them, though, not me. Therefore it is their job to successfully name it, by whatever means necessary.
Everyone submitted some names for the list, then we all got to initial three of them. Any names without initials beside got tossed on the first round. On the second round, we only got two votes. On the third, we each got one. Of course, by this time only the ordinary names had survived. Anything with any character or personality had been vetoed by one or the other of them. Compromise only gets so far before it becomes either defeat or victory for someone. As long as only two of the three girls agree on any given name, there are winners and losers.
After waiting all evening for the white smoke to come up the Vatican chimney, I conceded defeat and sent the youngest to bed without a clear consensus. We may have to start with fresh suggestions and see where we are tonight after another day of wrangling.
I’m getting tired of referring to him as “kitty” – Spitvalve is starting to sound quite good.