Friday, August 6, 2010

Daddy was down in Mary Land visiting Mommy and her sister, so the yarn lady was taking care of the cats for the weekend.  She was pretty good at it.  She wasn’t there as much as the Daddy, but when she came over she stayed and visited with the cats, and even fed LT on the table, the way he liked it.  Right now she was sitting in the living room with Peep talking about the things that Mommy and Daddy might be doing.  It seems they had gone to the beach for the weekend, and the yarn lady was talking about how much she used to like to swim in the ocean.  The yarn lady said that her favorite person to swim with when she was a kitten was her great Uncle Auntie.  She talked about how nice a man he’d been and he’d taught her how to swim and how to be safe in the ocean and dive under even the really big waves.  Peep had never been to the ocean, but she’d seen it on the television, and was pretty impressed that the yarn lady could dive under big waves.

Peep did wonder about that other person’s name, though.  Humans had interesting ways of describing family relationships, and Peep thought she’d been able to figure most of them out.  Brothers and sisters were littermates of course.  Peep used the word brother herself to talk about Fuzzy, because he was her littermate and male.  Grandparents were your cat mommy and daddy’s mommy and daddy.  Cats weren’t always fussy about figuring out who daddies were.  They were somewhat peripheral to the family, unless there was a true love match.  Sometimes there was, but not always.  In fact, Peep wasn’t sure who her cat daddy was.  

Aunts and uncles were understandable.  They were the littermates of your parents.  So, the yarn lady was obviously talking about someone who’d been the littermate of her Mommy or Daddy, or perhaps their parents.  She wasn’t sure if the word great that the yarn lady had used referred to the kind of person he was or if it was the ‘great’ that says the person was related to grandparents instead of parents.  From what she said, he was a great guy, but he also may have been related to her grandparents rather than her parents.  Well, he would have been related to her parents too, but well, you know….

The confusion though was if the person was male or female.  Uncle Auntie.  An uncle was male, an aunt, or auntie was female.  She’d never heard the word ‘auntie’ as a proper name, so that didn’t make sense, particularly for a guy.  She wondered if she’d misheard the yarn lady.  Maybe she’d said Anty.  He might have had a nickname because he was like those little black or red things that crawled around on the ground and tasted like pepper.  Again, that seemed like an odd name.  She couldn’t understand why humans didn’t use descriptive names like cats.  Peep was Peep because she well, peeped when she meowed.  LT was a Lucky Tiger cat because he’d been rescued from near starvation.  Rudy was, well, it doesn’t always work with cat names.  Rudy may have been named by someone who didn’t understand cats anyway.  

As she mused on names something the yarn lady said broke through her thoughts.  “I’m named after him, you know, Peep.  He was Andrew and I’m Andrea, but we were both just Andy, except I spelled mine a bit different.”  Okay, that cleared that up.  She had heard the Mommy and Daddy call her Ande, so the uncle was Andy, not Auntie.  

Geesh.  People made things so difficult by having words that sounded like each other.  Peep’s head was hurting from all this thought, so she moved closer to the yarn lady for head rubs.  The yarn lady happily complied with Peep’s unvoiced request and Peep gave up thought altogether to the pleasure of a full-cat massage.  
The Yarn Lady, Uncle Andy and Aunt Harriet at Driftwood beach, 1964

1 comment:

Adlpated said...

Oops - this was supposed to be for Saturday, but I hit post instead of save draft. Yeah, I know the Daddy isn't down there yet, but he'll be there tomorrow!