Naming your cat is like naming your children

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Choosing the right name for your cat is like choosing the right name for your child! The only difference is the cat won’t have to learn how to spell his name!

In truth, naming your cat can be a fun and rewarding experience. And, you really cannot get it “wrong”, because once the decision for a name has been made and applied, before too long you will realize there could be no other name for your cat than the one you came up with.

For reasons we do not understand, we somehow intuitively know when the right name pops into our heads. Could it be the cat is telepathically giving us ideas? Hmmmmm……

I cannot help but recall an incident that happened to me when our latest kitten came to us; and how the name we settled on seemed to fit so perfectly; and how no other name would now sound at all appropriate.

Mattie (nee: Matthew) came to us by way of a long, strange tale that just seemed to fit so perfectly into some hopes we had for another kitten or cat to replace one we had that had passed on several months earlier. You see, we try to keep at least two cats so they have companionship, and Minky (the one left behind) was beginning to show signs that she wanted a friend; another cat to spend time with and to play with.

At the same time, we were actively discussing how great it would be if another kitten simply “came to us”, rather than us going to the Humane Society to try choosing one out of dozens of poor, innocent, lovable kittens. That experience just sounded too difficult, as we expected we would have to take all of them home with us for lack of ability to say “no”.

So, when I brought Mattie home from work one day, my wife was certainly puzzled, to say the least.

Mattie had become trapped in a chain-link fence where I worked, and I had the honor and privilege of rescuing him. We had to cut the wire fence material because his head was stuck in one of the diamond-shaped holes in the fence and my cautious attempts to extract him without cutting the wire looked like it could have injured him.

After rescuing him I put him in my van in the parking lot while I went inside to tell my boss I had to leave for the day to tend to my tired, hungry and possibly dehydrated and injured kitten. She agreed wholeheartedly, and I took Mattie home.

When Mattie saw Minky he wanted to get to know her right away, but Minky was a bit bashful and stand-offish at first. She did not seem to want him too close just yet.

After feeding Mattie, we called the vet for advice. They told us to bring him in right away, which we did. It was actually at the vet’s office where we learned Mattie was a boy kitty (and, of course we had not named him yet either). The vet told us to leave him for an hour so they could clean him up and check him out.

When we returned, we were handed a clean, fluffy kitten who still looked frightened and tired, but looked so much better than he had looked earlier. We were told he was dehydrated and nearly starving, but otherwise in pretty good condition.

We took Mattie home, and I whipped up a quick framed screen to place in front of our bathroom door so Mattie (we still had not named him, by the way!) could be apart from Minky for a few days; one of the vet’s suggestions.

We slowly allowed Mattie to roam the house so he could get accustomed, and so Minky could start to get comfortable with him being part of our family. Mattie loved to sleep in our bathrobe pockets or on our lap or chest, and when he would lie there, he would let out a deep sigh as he settled in for a nap; that sigh of comfort, security, peace and contentment from deep within him; that sigh of gratitude for accepting him into our family.

As we began to think about an appropriate name for this new-found bundle of love and joy, my wife suggested “Matthew”, which means “gift from God”. I immediately agreed, so Matthew it was and Matthew it is (well, actually we have endearingly nicknamed him “Mattie”, of course!).

And now…we know that no other name would have been appropriate. He surely was and is a gift from God. Where else could such a lovable, gentle, devoted creature come from but from the source of true Love itself?

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