Thursday, September 25, 2008

The Arrival of Hurricane Quentin

At the surrender at the Battle of Yorktown, the band played "The World Turned Upside Down." That has been my theme this week with the arrival of a new kitten. Sunday morning, I was going to breakfast and met a woman who was taking a walk and found a kitten following her. The little one was, well, just too cute to say no. 15 years of catless existence ended Sunday night, when I got home from a local history event in Ivanpah, Kansas (more on that in a later post).

How can such a little thing transform a life so completely so fast? Old items (collected golf balls, promotional foam items, and empty film cannisters) that I didn't know what to do with now become cat toys. I am getting used to doing things one-handed, since the other one is usually holding a cat toy on a string. Let's just say grading is a challenge since moving pens are now VERY interesting items. I have made the transition: when I am out of the house, I no longer worry just about whether the kitten is okay. I now also worry about whether the apartment and its contents are okay.

I also found naming a challenge. Cats have, it seems, multiple names. Several nicknames are event specific such as "Velcro." Officially, he has a title: Lord Ivanpaw (after the little community I visited the day I got him). Then there are the actual names I have gone through. Just when I thought I had THE name, it didn't seem to fit the next day. Some are great cat names, like Hiram, Macintosh, or Murdock, but they just weren't HIS name. I had to come up with something for the vet records and selected "Winston," which I felt was close but not quite right. That evening, though, "Winston" morphed into "Quentin." Quentin has become his name and this is the name that has stuck and feels right. Hey, if it was good enough for Teddy Roosevelt's son, it's good enough for a ten-week old kitten. It even adapts nicely to the old Roman naming system: Felis Pretinus Quintus (the cat, of the Price family, called Quentin). Of course, for the next several months, he'll probably assume his name is "No!" or "Stop!"
Regardless, the road worrier has a new fellow traveler, who, in time, I suspect will be making his own observations on Kansas life.