Now I will tell you about the process by which I chose a name for my foster kitty. Since this was early Spring of 2007, it was a few months before the last Harry Potter book came out, so that was on my mind.
There is insanity (and more kitten pictures) after the jump.
In his first couple of weeks, I wasn’t sure of the kitten’s sex, so I thought it would be cute to name him Blaise Zabini. For those who were not so involved in HP fandom, let me explain: we saw the name Blaise Zabini in the first book, and never heard about him again until the seventh, and in the ensuing years, there was some controversy about this character’s gender. So, for a day or two, I thought it would be funny to name my furry critter after a fictional character whose gender was as yet undisclosed. Then I realized that I would almost certainly figure out the kitty’s sex in good time, and then it would be unfair to keep him saddled with a Slytherin’s name. I know cats frequently seem Slytherin-ish, but the kitten was acting more like a first-year Gryffindor hopped up on way too many Chocolate Frogs, and I’m a Ravenclaw according to everyone I know, so the Slytherin name would not do.
The ridiculousness has not yet begun. If you’ve read HP at least up to Book 6, you may remember that Harry’s affection for Ginny is likened to a monster rising in his chest. Those of us who liked to discuss the Harry/Ginny relationship online also bounced around ideas about the monster, and we had to give it a name. Those of you on the outside are probably now asking, “Wait, is this the kind of shit that goes on in Harry Potter fandom? You were a bunch of kids, right?” I can assure you that we ranged from young teenagers to advanced middle age and upward (I was 26 at the time), and that this was among the least of the crazy shit that went on while I was involved in fandom.
Anyway, we decided to name the monster in Harry’s chest. We ended up naming him Ignatius Iguana, or Iggy for short. This was established long before I became a syringe-feeding Foster Mommy to a tiny furry thing that wanted to crawl around on everything that gave his little claws some purchase. Since my kitten reminded me of a little monster, I named him Iggy, and the name stuck.
So, that happened. I also learned at this stage that baby kittens do not pee and poop of their own volition, which made it easy to keep his bedding clean, but it also meant I had to massage his lower belly with my thumb to empty out his bladder. I announced to my LJ community that despite my allergies I was fostering an abandoned newborn kitten, and my mother emailed me some links to helpful information, including quick recipes for kitty formula. The one I chose for Iggy consisted of whole milk, egg yolk and salad oil, which I had to shake up before each feeding because the oil rose to the top while the egg yolk sank to the bottom. I saved the egg whites and used them in my omelets.
In Albania, Easter is split between two consecutive Sundays, and the first Sunday after I found Iggy was Orthodox Easter.
Since I did my training in Kuqan, an Elbasan village with a predominantly Orthodox Christian population (the country at large is about 70% Sunni Muslim), of course I had to go make an appearance and have lunch with my first host family. All my training buddies were showing up at Kuqan for Orthodox Easter. Since Elbasan is only about two hours from Lushnjë by bus, I could fortunately make it a day trip. I left Iggy with Donika for the day, and when I got back, she had a friend with her who told me the kitten was beautiful, and that it was a female. I think it was the calico-like markings on his face that gave her that impression, but it became clear within the next couple of week that he was quite obviously a boy kitty. In the meantime, though, I kept calling him “such a good girl!” and referred to him with female pronouns in my LJ posts. I can still agree with her, however, that he was a beautiful kitty. I may have been biased, as all that kneading my palms during feedings put me in frequent oxytocin overload. I took another picture that night to show how much he’d grown in the past week. Within the next few days after that, he opened his eyes.