Wednesday, January 27, 2010

It was Inevitable... Adso it is.

We adopted our new kittie from the Animal Shelter in North Platte in mid-November, just about the time I downloaded Diana Gabaldon's seventh book in the "Outlander" series from Audible, "An Echo In The Bone." If you have never read Diana Gabaldon's books, I highly recommend them, both the Outlander series, and the Lord John series. The series' are related - Lord John is a favorite and central character in the Outlander series.

I have read all of the books, in audiobook format - Davina Porter is a master narrator, and the books all top 40+ hours of reading, so you are immersed in the Scotland and America of the 1700's for a goodly long time.

It wasn't until I took the kittie to the vet recently that we discovered that it is indeed a "he", not a "she". Yes, I can tell the difference, but neutered males don't have a lot of obvious parts, so I wanted to make sure before sticking him with an unsuitable name. After we were sure... In case you haven't begun the series yet, I won't give away too many details, except to say that Jamie and Claire acquire a cat.

… The kitten had completely emptied the dish of cream. He sat down with an audible thump on his tiny backside, rubbed the last of the delicious white stuff from his whiskers, then ambled slowly toward the bed, sides bulging visibly. He sprang up onto the coverlet, burrowed close to me and fell promptly asleep.

Perhaps not quite asleep. I could feel the small vibration of his purring through the quilt.

“What do you think I should call him?” I mused aloud, touching the tip of the soft, wispy tail. “Spot? Puff? Cloudy?”

“Foolish names,” Jamie said, with a lazy tolerance. “Is that what ye were wont to call your pussie-baudrons in Boston, then? Or England?”

“No, I’ve never had a cat before,” I admitted. “Frank was allergic to them – they made him sneeze. And what’s a good Scottish cat name, then – Diarmuid? MacGillivray?”
He snorted, then laughed.

“Adso,” He said positively. “Call him Adso.”

“What sort of name is that?” I demanded, twisting to look back at him in amazement “I’ve heard a good many peculiar Scottish names, but that’s a new one.”
He rested his chin comfortably on my shoulder, watching the kitten sleep.
“My mother had a wee cat named Adso,” he said, surprisingly. “A gray cheetie, verra much like this one.”

“Did she?” I laid a hand on his leg. He rarely spoke of his mother, who died when he was eight.

“Aye, she did. A rare mouser, and that fond of my mother, he didna have much use for us bairns.” He smiled in memory. “Possibly because Jenny dressed him in baby gowns and fed him rusks, and I dropped him into the millpond, to see could he swim. He could, by the way,” he informed me, “but he didna like to.”

“I can’t say I blame him,” I said, amused. “Why was he called Adso, though? Is it a saint’s name?” I was used to the peculiar names of Celtic saints, from Aodh – pronounced OOH – to Dervorgilla, but hadn’t heard of Saint Adso before. Probably the patron saint of mice.

“Not a saint,” he corrected. “A monk. My mother was verra learned – she was educated at Leoch, ye ken, along with Colum and Dougal, and could read Greek and Latin, and a bit of Hebrew as well as French and German. She didna have so much opportunity for reading at Lallybroch, of course, but my father would take pains to have books fetched for her, from Edinburgh and Paris.”

He reached across my body to touch a silky, translucent ear, and the kitten twitched its whiskers, screwing up its face as though about to sneeze, but didn’t open its eyes. The purr continued unabated.

“One of the books she liked was written by an Austrian, from the city of Melk, so she thought it a verra suitable name for the kit.”

“Suitable . . . ?”

“Aye,” he said, nodding toward the empty dish, without the slightest twitch of lip or eyelid. “Adso of Milk.”

A slit of green showed as one eye opened, as though in response to the name. Then it closed again, and the purring resumed.

“Well, if he doesn’t mind, I suppose I don’t,” I said, resigned. “Adso it is.”
And so, Adso it is. Do you think he minds?

The quote is from "The Fiery Cross", the fifth book in the series.

Thanks for stopping by. Adso will be more than happy to warm your lap while you are enjoying your coffee.

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