Well, we tried. We bounced dozens of names off the kitten — names of friends, singers, movie stars and writers. We actually decided to call her Etti, after a medal-winning Indonesian speed climber (because our kitten has proved quite adept at climbing up the furniture). But sometimes names stick, and that’s what happened with Susu.
I like Susu because it has soft consonants and round vowels. It sounds like a cat — especially a small, vulnerable cat. It also reminds me of an Indonesian saying about how a drop of indigo, i.e. ink, spoils a whole barrel of milk. Her fur kind of has an ink-and-milk color scheme.
Chad always liked Susu, but for whatever reason he usually calls her something like Monkeyfish instead.
Anyway, it was clear that a visit to the vet was even more important than finding the right name. So I canvassed all my cat-owning friends, and everybody recommended a place called My Vets in South Jakarta. We set out by taxi on Saturday. We don’t have a cat carrier so I just punched some holes in a box. Susu was remarkably pragmatic about the car ride and, after crying for a few minutes, resigned herself to her fate and fell asleep.
The vet really was awesome. She scrubbed Susu from head to toe and even had the assistants blow-dry her. Our tiny cat turned out to have quite a mountain of afflictions: fleas, worms, mites, diarrhea, open sores and anal prolapse (I’ll spare you the details on that last one).
We have to wash her frequently to keep the sores clean, and put drops in her ears for the mites. Needless to say, these things do not go over well with the cat.
Still, with each passing day she gets a little more playful. The sores are healing, and she seems to be bent on eating her own weight in kibble. She’s still very people-oriented and likes to snuggle up to anyone who sits on the couch. We haven’t really seen her whole personality yet, but the early signs are promising.