I went back in time a bit (12 Feb 2013) to find this prompt, but thought it would be a fun one.
Back in the olden days of 1997, when Mr Tater and I (though we were neither married nor Taters at the time, but more on that later) first moved here to Large Southern City, we did not have a cat. We almost had a cat, because as we were packing up our apartment in Large Rocky Mountain City (after living there cat-less for most of a year), a little orange cat wandered in and started washing his/her face. I of course decided that the cat must be in need of a home and should come with us in the car for 4 days. Mr Tater prevailed and we left FaceWash behind.
Shortly after arriving here though, one day after work we came home to find 1/2 a squirrel on the front step. (The top half, if anyone’s interested.) Yay, we have a cat, I said. Eww gross, Mr Tater said, and shoveled it up with newspaper and disposed of it. For the next couple of weeks, every 2 or 3 days there would be parts of rodents on our step. No sign of the hunter/gatherer/dismemberer, just the gifts. Finally, at the weekend, we spied her. Scraggly, skinny tortoiseshell with some kind of huge scab on her chin. Eww gross, Mr Tater said. Yay, we have a cat, I said and fizzed off to the market to get catfood. You all know what happened from then. We fed, she came back, we fed more, she came back more, eventually coming in the house, eventually being bundled off to the vet for an exam and vaccinations.
Somewhere between 6-10 years old he said, already spayed, in relatively good health, but been living rough for a while now. Shots and ointment for the chin and we had ourselves a cat. But a nameless cat. A standoff-ish cat, not a cuddler (at first), a cat who didn’t want to sleep on the bed or sit on the couch, a floor cat.
Until one night, in the middle of the night, without warning, she leapt on the bed and landed on Mr Tater’s unguarded … umm… bits. Lord how we laughed about it later (well, I did), but at the time, he shrieked and once recovered asked “What the hell was that sack of potatoes that hit me?” “No sack of potatoes”, I answered, in a flash of unaccustomed brilliance, “just one Li’l Tater” – and she was named. Li’l Tater she was forever more.
Well, not FOREVER more. A couple of years after that I switched careers from dead-end Customer Service to sky’s-the-limit Information Technology, in a leap of faith that I am daily both thankful for and deeply troubled by. During an otherwise less-than-memorable conversation about it, I said that I was “all about the data” just as Li’l Tater was meandering past. “Isn’t that right Li’l Tater, I’m all about the dater. Data. Tata…” and so on and so forth. There may have been adult beverages involved. But it seems that from THAT night on, she was Data Tater. And so was my email address, and my Twitter account, once I finally got one, and I believe there’s a Facebook account out there in that name, but I’ve never actually used it.
So when the time came to enter the world of blogging, that was of course the ONLY name I could have used.