Wednesday, July 2, 2008

What's in a name?

Nathan sent me an email earlier today asking about the story behind Orphelia's name. He sent it privately because since he is such a nice guy, he was concerned that I might have misspelled my own cat's name. Not only is that proof of Nathan's stand up ways, but his keen insight.

I sent him back a really long email (I was/am catching up from being in Denver the last 3 days), and he suggested it was worthy of a blog post. Apparently I am not capable of getting my days aligned with Cat Blogging Friday. I'll do better in the future.

How Orphy Got Her Name

This is Orphelia aka Orphy. Brain the size of a walnut, but the most dog-like cat I've ever lived with. Comes when you call, plays fetch, goes for walks with you. Weird stuff.

With a name like mine, I try REALLY HARD to get things right. Every time I swap the i and e in Janiece I wither a little inside.

Why yes, there is a story...
A friend (the woman I married) was a foster house for the local cat rescue group (these days she's also a licensed Vet Tech, but not back then). She took in a pregnant teenage mom, and raised the kittens, and placed them in homes. So, I've known our cats since they were in utero.

My friend lived in a little cabin, up on pilings with a crawl space underneath. The short haired black kitten crawled under the cabin and wouldn't come out. Momma Cat would go down there and nurse it, but it took almost a week to finally catch the kitten and get it back up to the living area. this point we still thought the short haired black kitten was a boy and we named it Orpheus, because it had a journey to the underworld, and returned. About a month later, it was determined that Orphy was a girl cat, NOT a boy cat. I didn't want to call her Eurydice, so I morphed it into Ophelia/Orphelia. She's the cat that is fascinated by running water and John has to avoid peeing on. She tries to join you in the shower too.

She's good cat, though a little stupid. She's the X-sports cat. If an odd spot can be climbed to, jumped to, wiggled into, she's there. Hence the picture of John geared up climbing the tree on my sidebar. There is a series where he's getting her out of the tree because she chased a squirrel up it and then wasn't sure about coming down. Stupid cat. But a sweet cat. She's next to me right now as I update and edit the original email I sent to Nathan. She's 14 this year, and still a mighty slayer of voles and bunnies. Go Orphy!

And yes, that picture is of her in a camp chair in the driveway, lounging on her catnip mat.


Janiece Murphy said...

I like black kitties.

Anonymous said...

She's good cat, though a little stupid.

"Don't call me stoopid!"
(Kevin Kline in A Fish Called Wanda.)

Meanwhile, Agatha the cat genius is still finding old rubber bands, when she's not being an escape artist. (After she squirmed thru one bathroom's vent and tried to come out in the other bathroom, I decided it was time, after 7 years of procrastination, to finally screw the vent's cover back in.)

Anne C. said...

What a sweetheart. In general, I think my cats are more dog-like, and then they do something uniquely cattish.

Jeri said...

And I think my dogs are somewhat cat-like when they're being unusually smart. ;)

Maybe there's some ideal hybrid kitty-dog animal out there, waiting to be created, that is loyal but yet independent, agile but still fetches.

Orphelia is a pretty kitty.

Cat Whitney said...

Aww . . .I try very hard not to think about leaving Finchy these days. I wonder if those kiwikitties will have accents. Perhaps I can foster some there, too.


vince said...

My cats don't have particularly cool names - Cinnamon, Kitty, and Fuzzball. But then again, I didn't name them.

Cinnamon's the largest - not too bright and has a foot-and-shoe fetish, but very sweet and the one who will gently but firmly push the other two out of the way when he wants something, even if they got it first. Kitty is was a feral cat, hard muscled and a lot wild, and the alpha cat. Fuzz is cute, but a whiner and to quote my daughter "a girly-man." All three were rescues.

Random Michelle K said...

I wondered about the name--that actually makes it far more awesome!

I'm terrible at giving names.

Which makes it extra good I don't have children.

"This is 'Boy' and this is 'Girl.'"

Nathan said...

I still think its hysterical that I thought you might have mis-spelled your own cats name.