Nomenclatures – Kate Garrett


If I could find a real life place that made me feel like Tiffany’s, then I’d buy some furniture and give the cat a name.” – Truman Capote, Breakfast at Tiffany’s

Our cat was called Eve before we met her.
It was a name I changed in the years when I
believed she would be all I knew of daughters,
amidst the day-to-day mothering of free-running
sons, whose constant bounce off brick and stone
kept me earthed. And when our girls found us,
their flickered hellos on screen from the small
ocean inside me, we willed our wishes into their
new patterns of letters—freedom, grace, beauty,
a honeyed life. We teach them mutability. They will
know to drift downstream is not only forgivable,
sometimes it’s necessary. I learned the same lessons
slowly, hard-earned, my own name’s gift unattainable
for so long – a mother’s cruel joke: pure, worthy of love;
a smattering of abbreviations always falling short.


Kate Garrett writes and edits. She was raised in rural southern Ohio, but moved to the UK nearly twenty years ago, where she still lives – in sunny Sheffield – with her husband, five children, and a sleepy cat. Twitter: @mskateybelle /

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