Earning Her Nickname

Today is Lucy’s Gotcha Day. Four years ago, on April 14, she came home and took over my life and I’ve loved every minute. She’s the sweetest cat I’ve ever known – in four years, she has never hissed, never swatted, never nipped. She just puts up with things. Whether it’s nail clippings, having her temperature taken at the vet, having children pay lots and lots of attention, she just takes it.

Over time, I have discovered that her full name is Miss Lucinda A. Bellows. Lucinda because she is very much not a Lucille, Bellows because she purrs harder than any cat I’ve ever met, her flanks pushing in and out like a bellows in a smithy. The A? Is for anatife, barnacle in French. Which should tell you something about how much time she spends on my lap. Where she often grooms herself and would fall off, if I didn’t make sure to hold on to some part of her.

Miss Lucy has many nicknames, often variations on her name (Lu, Lulu, Luce, etc.), but there are also others, more descriptive of her actions and personality. She is the opposite of elegant, very much a doofus cat. In the 13 years I shared my life with Mojo, she never once knocked anything over. Lucy? It happens every couple of days.

One could argue that this should be incentive for me to ensure that all surfaces (a.k.a. horizontal filing areas) were pristine and uncluttered, but that’s just not the kind of life I have. What it has done is prompted me to develop a particular statement – “what are you doing?” — said in a particular tone that Miss. Lucy knows very well means she has done something she’s not supposed to. At which point, she looks at me half innocently, half apologetic and I melt.

Today is not about the level of clumsiness in my supposedly feline companion. Today, I’m going to share one of my cat’s particular characteristics that has earned her an equally particular nickname.

I first learned about this part of my new companion very shortly after she arrived. I always have a (plastic) glass of water on my bedside table. In the aforementioned 13 years I shared my life with Mojo, I had two glasses on my bedside table: one for Mojo, one for me. She never drank out of mine. Lucy? Didn’t just drink out of my glass, but would also sit on my bedside table and if I didn’t pay attention to her, knock it over. Into the bed.

It took three times of spending several hours in a very cold and damp bed before I replaced it with a ceramic mug that she couldn’t knock over. This hasn’t prevented her from drinking out of every glass of water I have. Half the time using her paw, dipping it into the water, licking her paw and repeating this until she’s done. Often right after having been in the litter box.


Not surprisingly, I always make sure that her glass is filled up with fresh, cold water.

When I first moved into this apartment, I used to buy Christmas trees. Then I got cheap and started decorating my ficus tree instead. This stopped four years ago, as Lucy had already on numerous occasions tried to climb into the ficus and didn’t need any additional temptation. So instead, I buy a small Christmas decoration in a pot. It’s worked well for several years.

A couple of days into January, I noticed that the 2013 version of the pot was tipped over. I thought maybe one of the staff at accidentally touched it with an elbow, so I righted it again. The next day, the same thing happened. And the next day. I righted it again and went back to watching TV. Then I heard a rustling, turned around and noticed that Lucy was chewing on the pine needles. Rather energetically.


The pot got moved into my storage room for a while until cleaning day. My housekeeper put it on my hallway dresser for maybe 1.5 minutes just before going to the garbage. There was a crash. When we went to look what had happened, we found this

Not surprisingly, Lucy barfed shortly thereafter.

I also have two little clay birds, of the kind you fill up with water and by blowing in the tail, sound like they’re chirping. They are displayed on one of my shelves, standing tail to tail. Some weeks ago, I was ignoring Lucy. I know it wasn’t nice of me, but we’d already played for a while and I do have to work so I can pay for her kibble. I heard something hit the floor in the living room and when I went to investigate, I found this on the floor


It may not have been a parrot, but it was very definitely an ex bird. When I showed it to Miss Lucy, she thought I’d finally come to play with her.

Now, you may be asking me how I’m so sure that this was an accident. As proof, I’d like to present this photo of the other bird. Located on a shelf that had (temporarily) also served as a horizontal filing area for some mail.

So, what is this nickname I’ve given her? It is, quite naturally, You Little Shit.

But with a face like this, how can you be mad for long?



Anonymous said…
I think "gotcha" has a lot of meanings on Lucy's gotcha day. Thanks for starting my day with a laugh.
Judith Flanagan said…
Beautiful Kitty loved the blog post :)
Joyce said…
It amazes me how wide cats can open their mouths. (Love that picture). You and Miss Lucy, or whatever her name is at the moment, are lucky to have found each other!
AlisonH said…
Cats are so funny. And they know it. Loved this!