This story was dictated to me by my beloved Esther Williams Goldman. We all miss her every day.
“I’m Not Fluffy”
by Esther Williams Goldman
There I was in my cage at the pound. It wasn’t a bad place—I was warm, well fed and my litter box was pretty clean. But, I dreamt of a new home. A place to run around, a spot in the sun for naps, a lap for cuddling, and most of all, a nice person whose head I could sleep on at night.
It was Saturday and the people started coming in. The first lady walked up to my cage. I ran to the window and tried to be really cute, sitting up straight and wrapping my tail around me. She said, “You’re awfully sweet. I’ll call you “Fluffy.” “Harrumph! I’m not Fluffy,” I hissed and stalked back into the corner.
Another woman came by, this one with a little boy. I thought that a family sounded good, so I pranced up to the window and pawed at it to get their attention. “Mommy,” said the little boy, “Look at this tiny tabby. Wouldn’t it be funny if we called her Tiger?” “I’m not Tiger,” I protested as I slinked away.
Just how would I pick a new owner who would know my name? My name is very important. I’ve had it for my whole life and I didn’t want to someone to change it. It suits me.
Two young men walked up to the cage and tapped on the window to get my attention. I sauntered over and rubbed up against the window, being as sweet as I know how. “Hey, Bill. How about her? She’s quite the flirt. We could name her after Angelina Jolie.” No, fellows, I don’t think so. I’m not that kind of a girl.
It was getting late. If I didn’t choose a family today, I’d probably be at the pound for another week. I was getting worried.
Two young women came up to my window. I rolled over lazily, thinking that they wouldn’t figure me out either. One of them tapped on the window. “How cute is this one?” I made one last effort to tell them my name. I ran to the window, stopped, dropped down, rolled over, and began doing my best backstroke. “Check it out! She’s doing the backstroke. And she looks like she has a movie star attitude. You have to call her Esther Williams!!”
“Ohmygod Ohmygod Ohmygod, I thought, Yes! Esther Williams. That’s my name! I’m named after the 1940s Olympic swimmer and MGM movie star. That’s it! They recognize me.” I jumped up, and began to head butt the window. “I really, really want to go home with you.”
Next thing I know, I’m in a cardboard box on the back seat of your car. I tried to talk to you all the way home to tell you how happy I was that you chose me, that you knew my name, that you recognized me. I was the luckiest kitty in the world. Well, I AM the luckiest kitty in the world.
Your friend gave me a diamond-studded collar, befitting the movie star that I’m named for.
I’ve learned a lot since then. I’ve found my favorite sunspots. I’ve dealt with moving twice and getting a little brother cat. I’ve discovered that I love chicken and tuna fish. And, I’ve realized that you like to call me lots of different names even though you know I’m Esther. Some of my favorites:
Tabby Won-Kenobi, when I’m sitting still, staring into space, looking wise and thoughtful.
Queen Esther, for Purim, the Jewish holiday apparently celebrated in my honor.
The Esther Bunny, on Easter, of course.
Esther Nightingale, when I nurse you during a headache or tummy ache. My secret? Lie on the painful body part and purr. It seems to cure all kinds of ailments.
Just plain Bunny. Not sure if this is short for Esther Bunny or because my little pink nose makes you think of a bunny.
Honey Cat. Rhymes with Bunny. What else could it mean?
Thumper. When I just can’t get my thumping tail under control.
And maybe a dozen other names, based on the purr of the moment.
But even though you tease me a lot, you never, ever call me Fluffy. That’s why you’re my best friend.