A Rose by Any Other Name Might Not Be a Rose

My wife Alex likes to rename animals she comes across. As was the case with my two cats Tom and Ginger. They were a product of my previous relationship, so I thought maybe that’s why she renamed them. In fact, after hearing that Tom and Ginger were now and forever Bubba and Sugarpuff, an old friend of mine said “now that’s a power move!” But I came to find out it’s just a thing she does.

Being a man and all, I had a hard time with the name Sugarpuff at first, but after a while I’d find myself talking about my cat Sugarpuff to the manliest of men. Alex said she named her that because she was as light as a puff of sugar. And Bubba because he got along with everyone. She was right on both counts.

She’s very intuitive about the names she gives. There are two horses we pass along the road that she dubbed Pokey and Friend. Pokey is kind of polka-dotted, so that’s obvious, but he’s also kind of slow and pathetic looking. Friend, we found out only later, hangs out next to Pokey rain or shine. Even if we learn their real names, to us, they will always be Pokey and Friend.

Another day we stopped to take a picture of a gray horse with a white streak down his face.  He galloped up to us like a dog who hadn’t seen his owner for a week. He nuzzled Alex’s neck as she turned toward me and I snapped away. As we left, the horse looked at us like “don’t go.” This horse definitely had a spark in his eyes, which is probably why Alex called him that. We found out later his real name was just two letters off of what Alex had rechristened him: Sparky was really Spooky.

She has also been known to rename a human or two. I’m surprised she hasn’t renamed me after all this time together. But then again, maybe that’s a good thing. She has called me “Stinky” more than once… Let’s hope that one doesn’t take.

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