So why is it I’m called Kitty? I think the 1950s had a lot of little baby girls given the names Katherine, Katharine, Kathleen or the like. Well I came along at the end of that cluster. One of my Dad’s sisters quickly decided I would not be called Kathy, Kate, Kay – any of those common diminutives. No, she liked cats and I was going to be called “Kitty.” That was fine & dandy with my Dad’s side of the family. Relatives on my Mom’s side would continue to use my full given name.
I noticed, and decided I liked Kitty. I didn’t give the underlying dynamics of my family much thought until – oh maybe my late 30s.
I did, however, decide when I headed off to college it was time for something less childish. I dreamed I might become a Kate. Some people pull off nickname changes. I was not one of them. I remained “Kitty” to all who knew or met me.
In my mid twenties there was a boss who cringed at my nickname. For half a second I thought he might be right, that I needed to be called by my full name to be seen as a grown-up. I wasn’t thrilled & then a couple seconds later it clicked that his hang up was not the cute factor but more likely a slang issue. On the turn of a dime I decided too bad, I’m Kitty and he would just have to deal with that like a grown-up! Tables turned.