The woman at the pet shelter said, “And you can change his name, you know.”
I said, “I’m sure we will.” Except five days later, we still haven’t.
But first let me back up a bit. Kiddo2, fully in love with the Erin Hunter “Warriors” series, has decided she wants to be a veterinarian, and she will start by volunteering at the shelter that helped us catch Cat Number Two. The shelter (wisely) won’t allow a ten-year-old to volunteer, but they suggested she cut out hearts and make decorations for Valentine’s Day. We took a trip over so my daughter could talk about what they needed.
And…we saw him. She saw him, rather. You can write the rest of the story.
They call him Cranberry, one of a litter of six orange kittens, the only one not adopted out right away. Cranberry developed tremors in his hind legs when he was about six weeks old, and after several vet visits and treatment attempts, he was diagnosed with cerebellar hypoplasia. This means his brain didn’t develop properly and therefore he can’t control all his movements properly.
Kiddo2 put together an information packet for her father, outlining what accommodations we’d need to make, what ramifications the cat’s condition would have both on himself and the other cats, and how she intended to meet his needs. She made a clear, cogent argument, and my Patient Husband agreed. We would adopt a special-needs kitten. Three days later, he was home.
Here’s where it gets interesting: since being here, the kitten’s tremor is gone. Sometimes his back end wanders off in a different direction than his front end, and sometimes when he’s really excited to pounce, his back end starts shaking. But he’s moved from the category of “disabled” into the category of “klutz.” He can jump on the beds. He can hide behind a sock in order to stalk the other cats (who, for the record, are not amused.)
The name they gave him at the shelter was Cranberry; the six kittens were found around Thanksgiving and all got silly Thanksgiving-themed names, like Pilgrim and Atlantic. For the past five days we’ve tried to name this kitten, but no one can agree. Personally, I like “Gabriel” (shot down) and “Sal” (shot down) and “Nugget” (shot down.) Kiddo2 wants Firestar or Fireheart or something Erin-Hunteresque. (I did suggest Hunter. Shot down.) We tried out Star Trek themed names (Kirk? Scotty? Shot down.) My Patient Husband likes Flame.
Right now the kitten’s name is “Hey, no!” as we try to pull him out of the spider plants or “Hey, no!” as we detach him from the wallpaper and “Hey, no!” when we remove him from stalking one of the other cats.
I’ll post some of our own photos tomorrow. In the meantime, if you have any name suggestions, fire away. We could use them.