Ian’s First Pet: Jackson the Cat

Last week Ian got his first pet, a cat named Jackson.

Jackson was born 7 April 2007. She was part of a litter that Kathy Oths and Bill Dressler foster parented, acquiring it from a pet-rescue organization. They’d given her the provisional name of Cupid. Ian chose the name Jackson for her permanent name. We don’t exactly know why.

She arrived at our house on 8 June, after she’d been weaned (and litter-box trained!). Here she is in the dining room, contemplating life in Northport, Alabama.

For the most part, Ian has been very good with Jackson. He loves playing with her, although sometimes gets frustrated when she doesn’t want to play on his terms, when he wants to. Mostly, he’s gentle with her, but he’s still learning how to hold her (and when not to pick her up) and how to put her down.

Fortunately, Jackson is a very friendly, sweet and calm kitten (for a kitten). She enjoys being around people and will often nestle up to Marysia while she’s sitting on the couch. One day she even hopped in Marysia’s backpack there.

Jackson seems to have made friends with Java, Marysia’s 13-year-old cat, about which we were concerned. Java and my cat, Flipper, never got along. They reached a certain d├ętente, with Java controlling downstairs, Flip controlling upstairs and the staircase a no-cat zone where they frequently fought. Jackson and Java, in contrast, have yet to get into a real fight and they’ve even shown signs of getting along together. Java mostly ignores Jackson, but Jackson occasionally pounces on her and tries to entice her to play — which Java tolerates.

Marysia’s theory is that Java finds a kitten non-threatening and thus deigns to have her share her space. And Jackson is too young to know any better. So far, it seems to be working!

Ian’s first cat reminds me of mine, which I think was named Butter. And that reminds me of the “What is your porn name?” game. You use your first pet’s name as the first name and the street you grew up on as the second. For instance, mine would be Butter Thirteen, or perhaps Butter Maryland, if I were to use the nearest cross street — or even Butter Ocotillo, if I were to use the other cross street. I like that one.

So, Ian’s would be Jackson Bellwood. Pretty classy. And Marysia’s would be (if we use her pet duck’s name): Tami Cedrus.