|The heart with a mind of its own.(Be present.)||The mind with a heart of its own.(It's past.)||The dream that is your waking life.(Go there now.)|
So, here's the lowdown on my pets:
Groucho: Once upon a time, there was a tiny gray kitten who was once for sale in a petstore that my friend Leslie used to work in. Then some competetors decided that it would increase their business if Leslie's petstore burned down, so they piled some old pallets up against the backdoor and set fire to them. The petstore burned down and the firemen managed to save several animals, including the tiny gray kitten who they took back to the station and named "Smokey." Leslie was asked to help find a home for Smokey and obligingly, she asked everyone at the restaurant where we were waitresses. My cat, Anjenou, had been hit by a car about a year before Leslie asked me if I wanted a kitten. I took the gray kitten, but wanted to change his name. I couldn't think of anything right away, so my mother, happy at her new grandkitten, took to calling him "Sin nombre" ("Without a name" in Spanish) until I finally settled on Groucho because the kitten had these strange little kitteny eyebrows that reminded me of my favorite comedian.
Binky: Binky, our tabby, came to me via an old boss of mine whose cat up and produced a litter of five-toe'd kittens. Binky's name was going to be "Velcro" originally, because those extra toes really made a difference when she was doing things like climbing the curtains or jumping on your back for a ride. Instead, she had this habit of peeking out around things at people and "binking" at them (yes, I know the word is blinking, but she didn't blink, she binked, so we called her Binky).
Alberdine: Alberdine was one of a litter of kittens from the pairing of Groucho and Binky. M. watched him being born, a tiny flame red kitten, and knew he had to keep him. The other five kittens were place in homes elsewhere, but we kept the little red one and M., for some unknown reason, named him Alberdine.
Pia: Pia came next. We almost called her "Sweetie" because she was such a sweetheart of a kitten. She smiles, wags her fluffy grey tail, is very loving to people, but cannot get along with the other cats. Consequently, she is generally an outdoor cat, coming inside to be pet, for a dose of catnip, and canned food. She walked up to us on the street and was so charming that M. and I had to keep her, though one night while we were walking around the neighborhood, we found a sign taped to a pole describing her (named as "Satchmo"). I concinced M. that pets ran away from home for a reason, just as kids did, so instead of sending her back to a questionable home, we just kept her. (We're bad people, I know, but I really do believe that idea. I mean, just think about it.)
Doppleganger: Doppleganger--or Doppie, as he's become to me--just showed up on our doorstep one day, and I almost let him in because he looked exactly like Groucho. I'm serious. Exactly. So, we kept him and named him Doppleganger.
Little Red: Little Red was the mother--though we didn't know it at the time--of a tiny red kitten we caught lurking in our back yard and found a home for after several days. (Yes, we had already named him Dilly, and were about half a decision away from keeping him.) She showed up at our back door to eat from a bowl of food that we had put out to feet an old black cat that a neighbor of ours had abandoned and who wouldn't let anyone besides our little niece get near him. She had obviously had kittens, but we didn't see them for several more weeks. She lives in our backyard and is the sweetest little thing you could imagine. She won't let me get near her, but M. pets her all the time. She and Alberdine also have a strange, we're-both-red-cats thing going.
Miss Peepers and Gus: These are Little Red's kittens, also outdoor cats. Miss Peepers looks a lot like Binky, and has similar qualities, and in a way was named similarly to Binky (She peeps at you instead of binking). Gus was named Little Little Red for a while before this became cumbersome, then we changed it to Gus after a little girl who we once heard addressing a friend of her father's: "Hello, Gus!"
Tata and Keke: These are our goldfish. Tata was named after the TATA box (genetics), and Keke was supposed to be KDEL after the localization signal that sends nascent proteins to the ER, but Keke was easier to say and sort of went along with Tata. They are very fat little goldfish even though they only eat twice a day.
Still to come: Percy our tortoise and the snails.