I’m not exactly sure how it happened but a few months ago, I somehow talked my husband into letting us get a kitten. We have a twelve-and-a-half year old dog named Bear and a seven-year-old cat named Mandolin. Mandolin’s brother Banjo died suddenly two years ago and it seemed like enough time had passed to get another little guy. And besides, between vacuuming dog hair daily, sweeping crumbs, changing diapers and incessantly cleaning the kitchen, I had way too much free time on my hands. I felt the need for yet another furry dependent even if that meant another mouth to feed and more poo to pick-up to add to my daily regimen. Just call me an aging Snow White in sweat pants.

I looked online for local litters of kittens and found one about 30 minutes outside of town. I was told there were three that were still unspoken for, all black, and that the grey and orange tiger were the first to be chosen. The woman told me that not many people wanted the black kittens. “What??” I practically screeched, “Why?” “They’re superstitious, I guess,” she answered. I told the woman that I had actually been hoping for a black kitten specifically. In fact, growing up we’d had a black cat that lived to the ripe old age of 21. He must have had good luck to live so long.

My husband had a meeting not too far from the litter so he stopped at the woman’s house on the way back and picked out our future kitty. The kittens were only five weeks old so we were going to have to wait at least three weeks before we could take him home. I could hardly stand it. Practically jumping up and down, I told the girls that we were getting a kitten and that Daddy had just picked him out. I told them that he was black and fuzzy but still drinking his mama’s milk so we couldn’t get him for a few more weeks. They understood that perfectly because Cooper is still nursing and certainly not ready to leave his mommy.

We immediately set about the all important task of coming up with a name for the kitten. I suggested Zippy because that’s the nickname of my hometown in Vermont. Lauren immediately shot that down exclaiming “We are not naming a kitten Zipper!” Kate then suggested “Rosie,” which honestly I love. My first dog was a Corgi named Rosie. And when I was six and my sister was three, my parents brought home two kittens and let us each name one.  My sister named her all-black male kitten Susie and I named my grey tiger kitten Knit Ball. (Can you guess what I was thinking?) Believe it or not, the names we chose just sounded like names after a while. The kittens grew into them. Even Susie the boy cat.

Since we had a bluegrass theme with Banjo and Mandolin, we tried to come up with another instrument….Fiddle? No. Guitar? No. Dobro? No. So then we switched to bluegrass musicians…Tony Rice? No. Ricky Skaggs? No. Sam Bush? Sam. Yes, Sam! We all agreed that Sam was  great name for a little boy kitten. And speaking of Mr. Sam. I am about to go find him and put him on my chest to snuggle while I proofread this and I’ll be sure to keep you all apprised of his adventures growing up with three young human siblings. Purrrrrrrrr…

Do you have any funny or unusual pet names in your family?