The Origin of Eddie
Though the fictional Minnie Hamilton, bookmobile librarian extraordinaire, met a two year-old cat in a cemetery, my husband and I were introduced to a six month-old adolescent cat in the rear lobby of an office building. (Don’t worry, the cemetery part is coming up.) A co-worker of ours had found the young stray cat in, yup, a cemetery. She knew my husband and I were suckers for adopting stray cats, and called to ask if we might want to increase the size of our cat family.
My husband and I looked at each other, shrugged, and told our friend we’d stop by, just to see. When she opened the door to the bathroom where the little guy had spent the night, out pranced an intelligent, bright-eyed, personality-rich feline. It was love at first sight. He came home with us (suckers!) and our lives have never been the same.
In the books, Eddie found his name courtesy of the library’s IT guy. The real story is somewhat more complicated. Names are important, and this cat was so packed with character that we knew the right name was going to be critical.
Many names were tried. Chris, short for criss-cross, because he had (and has) a habit of sitting Sphinx-style, but with his front legs crossed. Another attempt was Jim, short for Diamond Jim for the small diamond-shaped piece of white on his front left leg. There were others, but none of them seemed to fit for beans. Then, one day, we watched him leap with wild abandon from one object to another, obviously not caring how he looked or how he landed.
“Huh,” my husband said. “Remember Eddie the Eagle? You know, that English ski jumper at the Calgary Olympics?”
I did. I remembered his lack of skill compared to the other jumpers. I remembered his almost palpable sense of joy at being alive. And I remembered his tremendous crowd appeal. Grinning, I pointed at the fuzzball. “I dub thee Eddie.”
“Mrr,” Eddie said.