Sunday, October 17, 2010

Meet the McGees

Once, a long time ago, I opened the door to let my cat in for dinner and he deposited a live white mouse on the doormat before hurrying off to eat his Fancy Feast. We spent some time speculating about where our cat had been-- had he raided a science lab? stolen someone's pet? saved the little rodent from becoming snake food? --but neither the cat nor the mouse was talking.

The mouse was completely unharmed but clearly unfit for outdoor life, so we did what any other nutty animal lovers would do. We got a tank and some cedar shavings and kept him as our pet. We had another cat named Molly at the time, and she was fascinated by him, spent hours watching his tank (we called it MTV, mouse TV), and so we named him Fibber. Soon we began saying that all of our pets had the last name of McGee: they were Molly, Fibber, Oliver, Noah, and Silly McGee. When we rescued a betta fish from a floral arrangement at a party a few months later, we named him Bobby and he fit right in.

The McGees are all long gone now, gone the way of so many beloved pets, but they are not forgotten. Tonight I heard that the Philippines is bracing for Typhoon McGee; at least that's what it sounded like on the radio. McGee seemed like a strange name for a Pacific storm, so I looked it up and found that it was actually "Megi," which by some accounts means catfish. That works, but Typhoon could have been a great name for a canary or maybe even an iguana, too.

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