How Cesar Got His Name

Last week, I received a long-dreaded text from my friend Deb.

“Cesar had another seizure. I took him to the vet, and it was time to let go. This has been a bad week.”

Cesar the Cat was her second pet to die in two days. She had had to say good-bye to her beloved terrier Daisy earlier that week.

The late great Cesar.

Cesar was 20 years old, and had first entered her life at the age of six weeks. When I met Deb two years ago, she was afraid his time had come then, and a visit to the vet revealed he did, indeed, have kidney disease. However, cats can live a long time after that initial diagnosis, and Cesar continued to function in a healthy manner.

A few months ago she sent me this agonizing text: “Cesar just had his second seizure in two days. I’m afraid it’s time. I will miss him so much. He is the best cat EVER.”

It wasn’t time yet.

Deb taught high school English for decades, and 20 years ago, she told one of her students she’d name her kitten after him if he got an “A” on his paper. He got the grade, and Cesar got his name.

I wonder what former student Cesar is doing now. Assuming he’s alive (and we’ll assume that), he’d be in his mid- to late-30s. Does he remember his one-time teacher named her cat after him? Did it matter to him? Has he ever owned a cat, does he have children, was he successful in his life?

We influence the world around us, and never know it. Student Cesar would likely never imagine that today, a woman he’s never met is musing about his life. Because of a dead cat. To say I care what happened to him is perhaps a stretch, but in a way, I do. I want success for him.

About the time I met Deb and learned about Cesar the Cat, I was in the middle of drawing a cartoon cat for one of my posts. I named him Cesar. When I showed Deb the drawing, she said, “Yep, that looks like him.”

Cartoon Cesar.

I had no idea. I had simply liked the name. For some reason, I’d thought CtC was a Siamese, but he was a Maine Coon. The cat I’d drawn did resemble him. Eventually I made some “limited edition” t-shirts featuring the cartoon Cesar, and a couple of months ago I gave one to Deb.

Rest in peace, Cesar Kitty and Daisy Doo. You are missed.

Image Credits: (Paws and Heart) ©

9 Replies to “How Cesar Got His Name”

  1. What a beautiful story about how Cesar Kitty got his name. That is lovely how you were able to draw the cartoon and give it on a shirt to Deb not long ago. I’m sure she treasures it.
    Twenty years is a long time for a cat to live, but not long enough when you love your sweet kitty.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Nice post! …. You are so right, we never know how we influence the world around us. I taught elementary school a very long time ago – taught 6th grade. I loved every minute teaching but had to leave for financial reasons. I often thought if any student ever thought of what went on, the day to day, the fun we had, etc., Fast forward to 10 years later and I’m outside of the corporation I worked for, enjoying a Summer day, when this young man approaches me. He tells me, since I didn’t recognize him, that I was his teacher in 6th grade, and he just wanted to thank me…telling me it was the best school year he ever had. I’m not saying I was any great teacher…only relating it back to what you brought up in your piece…that Cesar, the student, may very well remember that tiny event, with a smile and be grateful for the teaching efforts of your friend. Thank you for the post!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think of the little things that influenced me strongly and laugh sometimes at the strength of their influence. You obviously provided that boy with something he needed that year, and I’m betting he still remembers you.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. She’s having a hard time, I think, but knows they were suffering and didn’t want to hang on any more and hurt them in the process. Daisy was a sweet, sweet dog who clearly was in pain in the end. I think seizures in animals mean so many different things, but for Cesar it meant time to end the suffering.


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