Who knows how it started? I have an incredibly vague, quite possibly imagined memory of signing up for some pet store loyalty card like the day after we moved here, whereupon we were asked for the name of our pet. Having several, and not knowing which cat’s name to choose, it’s possible we just scrawled in Kitty Cat to move the process along. And we rent; it’s entirely possible that some long-ago tenant filled out some long-ago form using Kitty Cat as a joke or an alias. Wherever she comes from, the United States Postal Service and youth-oriented direct-mailers across the country have decided to believe that we, the residents of this apartment, saddled with the rare and improbable last name of Cat, are the “proud parents” of a young woman named Kitty.
And she is no ordinary young woman, our Kitty. We don’t just receive mailers from peddlers of SAT prep courses or (tragically unstylish) senior photos. No, the parents of Kitty Cat are specifically targeted as the lucky parents of a high-achieving and lovely girl whose list of accomplishments is only just beginning to come together. We’ve been invited to cart her along to campus tours, pageant auditions — heck, she was even slated to be included among the Who’s Who of American High School Students. You know, once our check cleared. Whoever first used her name on whatever sign-up sheet was obviously a good judge of character, for her information was in fact immediately sold to at least one contact clearing house, and has since been shared with several others, cuz the bitch gets reams of mail.
Invitations, declarations, congratulations, there’s no stopping her. And she’s always invited to only the Very Specialest of events, as befits a student of her skills and reputation. Which makes me want to send a friendly note by return post and let these solicitors know they’re laying it on a little thick. Even if I did have a lovely and talented daughter, I want to tell them — hell, especially if I had a lovely and talented daughter — I would want nothing to do with your product or service; you represent a company that can’t even be bothered to weed out “Kitty Cat” as a fake name, for heaven’s sake. Don’t bother, my husband says. We’ll just show up with Mocha (our little girl kitty, and the closest we’re likely to come to having an actual daughter) to the next Colorado’s Junior Miss pageant and insist that they let her compete. But we got a letter, we’ll say. He hates when I watch “Toddlers and Tiaras,” but I think he’s secretly dying to get his hands on one of those crowns.