My friend Griggs has lots of friends. She’s always telling me “small world” stories where she goes to the grocery store and runs into an old neighbor whose daughter dated Griggs’ best friend’s cousin’s 2nd grade nemesis. Who just happens to be Griggs’ first boss from her second job, that she started in 1983 where she met her other best friend Janice. Confused yet? Don’t worry. I’ve known Griggs for over ten years and I have never been able to navigate the convoluted network that connects her world. All you really need to know is that Griggs only knows one woman whose name is not Janice, Susan or Nancy. That would be me.

But … my mother wanted to name me Nancy and my father wouldn’t let her* – so that totally counts. Which reminds me of last weekend. I went back to the little sports bar looking for Gay Tony (who wasn’t there) and struck up a conversation with another man (because there aren’t any women there. They lied to me!). While we were talking, yet another man walked up and said, “Excuse me. Is your name Nancy?”

And I said, “No, but my mother wanted to name me Nancy. Does that help you?”

Anyway, a couple months ago, Griggsy found a box of kittens on the side of the road. She took them to one of her numerous Nancy friends. I was actually going to get one of them as a buddy for TFC, but my landlord said no, so I didn’t do it.

I thought this particular Nancy (we hadn’t met) worked part time at a vet’s office and I could have sworn Griggs said that Nancy always had the cats spayed or neutered before she let them go to a new home. I could have further sworn that this would be at no cost to me.

We went to look at them yesterday and I fully intended to take two of them home with me – landlord be damned. There was a black cat that was a little older, maybe 4 months, that wouldn’t crap in the litterbox. Thanks for that bit of info. There was a tuxedo cat and a calico and one that was part siamese. The runt was black with really long fluffy hair.

And I didn’t fall in love with any of them. They were skinny and skittish and the little one looked sick. Plus I was going to have to take them to the vet and get their shots and get them spayed (or neutered, depending). I just couldn’t do it. I told them it was too soon and I wasn’t ready. Nancy was very nice about it and I felt better. Then I headed home and decided to stop for Chinese food.

I went to the pet place instead. And there she was. The sign on her cage said she is six months old. And she had all her shots and she had been spayed. But it’s too soon. I said I wanted two cats, didn’t I? So I left, got dinner (beef fried rice, egg rolls and crab rangoon), went home and stopped thinking about it.

The woman running the adoptions said she had 6 kittens at her rescue center (different from the shelter) and that I could come by and look at them any time. I was going to do that.

But I couldn’t get that other cat off my mind. I went back.

I don’t think she’s six months old. She’s not much bigger than the kittens at Nancy’s. I think she’s about four months old, but it doesn’t matter. She purrs like a motorbike and she’s adventurous and excited. She has about three white hairs behind her right ear.Β  And best of all? She poops in the litterbox.

* True story. My mother liked the name Nancy but my father didn’t like it and refused to let her use it. I never found out why he hated that name; it seems like a perfectly nice, normal name.Β  So my parents picked out a bunch of names and let my siblings vote on their favorite. And that’s how I came to be Capricorn Cringe.