Thursday, February 18, 2010

Name Game

I have a thing for nicknames.

I blame credit my father (aka Papa-San) for this gift, a man who bestowed names upon nearly every one of our family members. And while this was always done with love {always} it was rarely appreciated. Punkin (that was me), Ceasar (my brother), and Spook (the sis) got off easy, considering my mom got stuck with Poopie (I don't even want to know). There was also one for Sara -- Silly Sally -- that's still known to be heard around these parts from time to time. I'm sure lots of you had your own, too (Eloise, Lainzo, Riot and the Wizards, I'm looking at you).

Historically my nicknaming habit was pretty much limited to the male of the species*: my brother, my husband, my guy friends, there were monikers for all of them. Blue Coat Man**, Spark, Jaybird, Estuarte, Tony Bologna – you all know who you are.

Then Sara came along. Sara Bear, Sara B, Bear, Beetle Bug, Bug, B, Huggabunch (I know; I don’t know where that last one came from either); she answers to them all. This is not to say she always likes them, as I was informed one evening while putting her to bed that she is NOT a bug, Mama! But what are you going to do? I am a nicknamer; she is the nicknamed. And so it goes, and so it will be.

But the king of all nicknames, the one who leaves them all in the dust, who earns new titles on what seems like a daily, if not hourly basis?

That would be this little fella right , here:

This is Tigger. Now that I think about it, my mom (aka Mama-San or, less fortunately, "Poopie") actually gave Tigger his name. And because you really have to know the guy to appreciate the accuracy of his many aliases, a little history is in order.

Tigger was one of four kittens, along with their feral mother, that Rob and I rescued several years ago. Because Fancy Mama (aka Fanciful One/Fantastic, the Fan Dancer) was feral we – OK Rob – had one heck of a time trying to round up the lot of them, as Fancy was hiding near a steam vent and we couldn’t exactly see them. Did I mention it was the dead of winter? In an ice storm? Under some sticky juniper bushes at work? And that she was actively birthing the kittens at the time? Ah, yes – well it was and she was, and it was quite an evening for everyone involved.

But luckily for all of us we could hear them, because Tigger started mewing… and never stopped. Thanks to this Rob was able to find them, rescue them, and save them from what would have been certain death given the elements that night. Tigger’s proclivity for mewing was actually quite handy over the coming weeks, too, since I used it to lure Mama out from wherever she was hiding to make sure she was eating and using the litter box. That Tigger, he had quite the reliable meow!

In fact, he still does. Except over time it has evolved into more of a robust whine than a meow, a grouse that we find more humorous than helpful these days.

Despite this, or maybe because of it, Tigger is our much beloved, incessantly mocked, most relentlessly nicknamed pet. In fact, he will respond to any of the following:

  • Tigger
  • Tigs
  • Tiggy
  • Tiggly-Wigs
  • Wiggles
  • Mr. Wiggles
  • Wiggler
  • Red Wiggler (the Cadillac of Cats)**
  • Wiggly-Woo
  • McFly
  • Lookin’ at the world through McFly’s eyes
  • Señor Rojo
  • Little Ginger-cat
  • Gingy
  • Butterscotch Puddin’
  • O.K.
  • The Riddler****
  • Chardonnay
  • Merlot
  • Rosè
and my all-time personal favorite:
  • Charles, the Prince of Wails.

We couldn’t be happier that Fancy, Tigger, and his sisters -- Daisy (Daisy Doodle, may she rest in peace), Maisy (Moo/Moodle/Maisy McMoo, the Mayor of Mootown/Mooses/Mooses Malooney Bird/MooYou'reNotSoSmart), and George (Sweet Georgia Black/Ubergator/Ubes/Dangler) -- came into our lives. They joined Pete (Peetle-eetle-eet/Pete’s a Pie/Sweet Pete/The King of All He Surveys) and turned our house into a fur-infested home. We just wouldn't have it any other way.

Whining... it's Tigger's super-power. (Pete's is halitosis/search & rescue, Mama's is shedding, George's is hissing and Moo's is, well... Moo is a sturdy girl.) What? Your pets don't have super-powers? I don't believe it. Cause our kitty's powers have saved them from many a scrape, and it all began with Tigger's very powerful whine.

Oh – and did I mention I make up songs for everyone, too? No? Well, then… maybe next time.

* Though not entirely, as my niece D/Bo Deedley/Deedles would be quick to point out.
** This one is so old I’m not sure I can take credit for bestowing it, though I was an avid user to be sure.
*** You’ll understand this if you, like me, are a fan of
WKRP in Cincinnati.
**** By way of his ridiculously long tail, often curved into the shape of a question mark.

This post is dedicated to Aunt Pants, Spacy-Gracie-Rat Head, Sweet Georgia Black and Reginald*****, who have so graciously allowed our 22 collective feet to take up residence in their home for the last way-too-long. Never fear – the nicknaming won’t stop after we leave. I promise.

*****His actual, and only, name.


Ket said...

I was cracking up when I wrote this, but now that I've had some sleep I'm pretty sure it's funny only to me...

PapaGunn said...

Not at all, Hon! BTW, you forgot OK (Orange Kitty), Tigger's pre-name from when you were deluding yourself by saying that you were going to give all of the kittens to others instead of keeping them for yourself.

Anonymous said...

Amusingly, you're one of only two people I've ever allowed to call me by a shortened form of my first name - which then expanded into a lengthy nickname which appeared on my mail from Clowes Hall for several years!