What’s in a name?

As I said when I began this, the focus is on words (obviously) – writing them, reading them, playing with them.  I don’t intend to say much about my everyday doings.  Some of them however do relate to the creative process – naming a cat for instance.  On Monday I took delivery of a stray cat which had been fostered for a month but now needed a home of her own.  Relations between herself and the resident feline had not prospered. 

What to call her?  I thought ‘Katy’ would be good but deferred a decision until we met.  That however was not going to fit.  She is tabby and white, long, slim and self possessed.  Something regal but not too grand, I felt.  Two friends independently suggested Artemis after running through all the gods, goddesses and nymphs.  Too fancy though.  My mother out of the blue suggested Phoebe who was, as the learned among you will know, the granny of Artemis and Apollo or in a different legendary tradition, Artemis herself the moon goddess.  This came as a surprise to Mum who just thought it a nice name.  Spooky. 

To collect the creature, I drove to Rhubodach where a ferry takes less than 5 minutes to reach Colintraive.  I crossed as a foot passenger, was handed a cat basket and returned by the next crossing.  I love the eccentricity of island life.  As if that isn’t a sufficiently bizarre way to acquire a cat, the ferry trip was unusual even for here.  Having waited for some 20 minutes for it to depart, we set off only to reverse back again.  I looked up at the wheelhouse to see a crew member scanning the road through binoculars.  Sure enough a car appeared and was waved on.  When I clapped in appreciation, the crewman (may have been the skipper, I apologise if he’s reading this)  laughed and shouted that I shouldn’t applaud just yet, because they were waiting for the bus!  Nice to know there is some integrated transport around.

 My sister came up with a splendid neologism today – well I think it’s new, comments welcome.  ‘Always good,’ she said ‘to have a cop-out plan’.   I think that’s great – not an opt-out, not a backup but a cop-out plan.  It’s in my dictionary now.

Photos of Phoebe in due course!

2 Responses to “What’s in a name?”


  1. 1 wonderfulexchange June 13, 2007 at 10:39 pm

    I’m glad puss has a name. Though for my generation (or nationality??) Phoebe is forever linked to Friends. I wonder which she’ll be: calm and regal or quirky, new-age and daft. (And I dare say she’s not the only one to ever have to make that decision!)

  2. 2 chris June 13, 2007 at 10:58 pm

    Am I to be alone among my circle of amigos in not living with an animal? But at least it’s a cat – and one with a great name!


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