Another new feline family member

Author: fraise

Saturday 29 October 2011, in Cats

Susu - first day

About a month ago, a colleague told me that another of our co-workers had kittens he was looking to give away. The mother cat had been scheduled for spaying, but she fell pregnant just before! The timing was great, since the neighbors just above me got a kitten a few months ago, and Kanoko was simply delighted to play-chase with her across the fencing (she climbs down into the courtyard, and can’t get on my patio). Seeing that, I knew Kanoko would probably be just as happy to have a kitten friend at home, and would welcome one as easily as he did the neighbor kitten. I agreed to take one of the four kittens.

Three were grey tabbies, and the fourth was all black. Grey was a grey tabby, so I opted for the black kitten. It turned out that s/he was so shy and rambunctious, that the man caring for the mother and kittens could never get close enough to tell whether s/he were a “she” or a “he”! I didn’t mind since Kanoko is easy-going; female or male, either would have been fine. But what to name her/him?

Studio Ghibli films are some of my favorites, so I went through possible names: “kurosuke” was too straightforward (“kuro” means “black” in Japanese); “Jiji”, the name of the black cat in “Kiki’s Delivery Service” sounded too much like a rather vulgar word in French; so I thought perhaps “Mei” would be good for a female – it’s the name of the little girl in “My Neighbor Totoro”. Then a friend and fellow Ghibli fan mentioned that the soot sprites are also called “susuwatari”, and that “Susu” could be a good name, as well as “Tari”! That was perfect.

Today the little sprite finally let her/himself be caught, so the guy ran with his good luck and kindly drove her/him to my place in Nice. S/he cried and hid a bit at first, but after only an hour, had figured out how to push open a door far enough to get through and sneak past me without noticing. I thought I’d lost her until she finally mewed her presence behind the washing machine!

I was able to pick her up and put her back in her area, and noticed that she is indeed a female. So, here you have miss Susu the soot sprite! She and Kanoko are getting along swimmingly. As I’d hoped, Kanoko is peachy keen on having a new friend, and has been his usual sweet self. Susu cries a bit for her siblings and mother still, but seems comforted by Kanoko’s presence, since she keeps approaching him for sniffs, with ears forward and tail perked. I’m delighted it’s going so well, I never thought they’d be comfortable together so quickly.

10 responses to “Another new feline family member”

  1. Mar Says:

    Wow, that’s lucky you have the cats doing well together. Usually this is a long process for the majority. She is gorgeous! Congratulations on the new family member!

  2. Simon Says:

    A heart warming post on a grey and miserable Monday in the UK.

  3. delaido Says:

    The photo makes me laugh! New kittens are one of the best things in life.

  4. fraise Says:

    Hi Simon! Been wondering how you’re doing since I left FB. It’s starting to get grey here as well, though we do still have some nice sun.

    delaido she is a funny kitten :) Very sweet and smart… she’s learning everything Kanoko knows, and is very good about stopping whatever she’s doing when I say “no”, the first time! Kanoko was more of a “no? I’ll try it again! Oh, okay, no means no” kitten.

    Mar yes it’s astonishing!! I was ready for it to take a minimum of two weeks, and here they are playing together on day 4 (started on day 3). Kanoko’s not entirely happy and will hiss a little, but it’s more of an “I’m the alpha cat, mkay” thing (his ears are always forward and he’s relaxed when he does it).

  5. Julie Says:

    Congratulations on the kitten. She’s a cutie. I’m longing for more kitties, but we can’t do it just yet.

    I haven’t seen you on FB for a while.

    I’m editing a book for a client, and they want to name their horse “to fly” in French. The author chose “A Voler,” but when I looked it up, it meant “a steal.” What is the colloquial French term for “to fly?” I mean, if you were to name a horse something about flying.

    Hope all is well!

    Julie R.

  6. fraise Says:

    Hi Julie! Glad to see you too – I closed my account on FB after their changes to the feed. Before, I could see everyone’s past posts, but with the changes, I was only seeing 1/4th of them (before, I woke up to 400 new posts; with the changes, it maxed out at 100), and there was no way to fix it, plus FB completely ignored those of us who complained… so if I stayed, I’d be missing out on too much. Leaving was the best way to send a message to FB that it was serious. I don’t think they care about their users as people any more, though. Anyway, I’m on G+ now!

    For the horse’s name, “à voler” is definitely a no-go. The infinitive is simply “voler”, for one (“à” is a preposition, not part of the verb; when tacked onto the infinitive, it skews the meaning towards “to steal” as in “something to steal”). So yes, it can also mean “to steal”. Honestly, I don’t think anyone would name an animal anything related to “voler” in French… it would be more likely to be related to the wind, or anything that expresses speed.

  7. Julie R Says:

    I know what you mean. I only go to FB about once a day, and usually it’s none of my friend’s posts, but celebrities or causes I follow. *yawn* I’m on Google+, I just need to become more familiar with it. They definitely have driven me away on FB. Too bad.

    So what would be a good French name for a flying horse? LOL

    Thanks so much for your help!!


  8. fraise Says:

    For a flying horse? Pégase, of course! :D “Éclair” (“lightning strike”) comes to mind as well. (I’ve just had 3 glasses of red wine before a three-day weekend, which helps with inspiration, ha.)

    Cool, I found you on G+! Rex is there as well, but I don’t think he’s active, because I added him a few months ago and he never added me back… :)

    Btw, are you doing NaNoWriMo, by chance? I’m there as AMStevenson. Tried it back in the early 2000s but never finished – maybe this year.

  9. Barb in Minnesota Says:

    She looks so sweet. I’ve missed seeing pictures of your kitty.
    Barb in Minnesota

  10. Julie R Says:

    I love-love-love your kitties together. So sweet!!!

    I am doing NaNoWriMo, which reminds me, I have some writing to do. LOL I first attempted in 2009, and didn’t finish, but I did last year. I’m hoping to finish again this year.

    I will pass on your words of wisdom for the flying horse to my author!



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