Yes, yes, yes, I know. With the exception of Christopher Smart and, all right, A.S.J. Tessimond, you know a writer's fucked when they start on about their cats. (Dostoyevsky's The Adventures of the Pretty Pusskin Tibbles is not a patch on his earlier novels; Hemingway started work on Why My Cat Can Kick Your Cat's Ass just two weeks before he shot himself.) But you know what? When newspapers and publishers go out of business and the world is ruled by free online content, this kind of thing is your future, so get used to it and shut your blasted yap.
Anyway my cat died a while back so this is like a memorial, and if you object you are nasty and God will kill everyone you've ever cared about, I would imagine. And please no-one condole, it was ages ago, and there are people eating each other in Wrexham. While it lived, it lived large, and when I say large, I mean big-boned. It ate, slept, sunbathed, never moved quickly save the time it pounced on an eff-off big mole, and it didn't give a damn about any living creature but itself and, on a good day, me. And (here we come to the sodding point) it had more names, I think, than any other cat but God's.
Below is a list I just found of pet names I called my cat. They popped out in the heat of the moment while messing round with her, and some of them would stick for a time and in turn generate their own spin-offs. I made the list some time ago and suspect it is only a partial one and that many more idiotic examples escaped my memory. In the case of the longer and more inappropriate ones you must picture me saying this in a cooing singsong as I tickled her neck or poked her tum, or actually I think I would rather you didn't.
Her official name was Grizabella Pudding. I was not the one who named her that. When I christen cats properly they have functional, no-nonsense names when they have names at all. I have a small cat now called Kitty and in my youth had a matched pair called Boy Cat and Girl Cat, and a feral one that hung round the garden called Outside Cat. However, when I get down on the floor with them for a spot of pinch-and-claw it's a different matter.
There seems to be a human impulse to arse around with the names of those who make you happy, but the field of foolishness that cats generate makes this go to absurd extremes. Even Bernard Shaw and General Patton probably spent a lot of off-duty moments crawling round on the carpet playing with a cat and going 'Oh kitty-witty-witty-witty-woo-woo' in a strange voice. (I tend to do accents with cats, at the moment an odd pseudo-Irish one such as Orson Welles adopted in The Lady From Shanghai.)
Anyway here is the list.
Names derived from 'Grizabella Pudding' which I called my cat:
Grisly Gangland Slaying
Count of Monte Gristo
Whiskers McGruder, Queen of the Wild Frontier
Gruesome Train Wreck
Bella! Bella! Bella!
Pudrington Stanley FC
Puddy Tickletum, oo Little Puddy Tickletum
Names I suspect the cat had for me:
8 Dec 07