Who the shit is Kingsley Zissou?

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Kingsley Zissou

Meet the newest member of the Brown family: Kingsley Zissou!

My sister works at S.C.R.A.P.S., a local animal shelter, and when Kingsley came in, she put Morah’s name on him, giving us “first choice.” Morah has been wanting to get a dog, and after visiting Kingsley at the shelter a couple of times, he seemed like the right fit for us.

We went through several possible names and eventually started leaning toward Stevesie, the pet name that Ned Plimpton (Owen Wilson) has for Steve Zissou (Bill Murray) in the Wes Anderson film The Life Aquatic. We tried it out on him, but it still didn’t feel right. In the film, Steve renames Ned with what he feels is a more appropriate moniker: Kingsley Zissou. We gave that a go and it felt much more natural.

The final confirmation came when we were at Goodwill shopping for some cheap blankets that we wouldn’t be sad if he ruined. There, hanging on a hat rack, covered by a baseball cap of a nearly identical color, almost hidden from sight, was a red knit cap. It was as if Stevesie himself had hidden it from everyone else so that we could find it. We bought the cap, thus solidifying the name Kingsley.

Training has been… Interesting so far. We had Kingsley in a crate last night, and after about 2 hours I was woken up because he was moving around and making noise. I couldn’t get back to sleep, so I went out and slept on the couch (I think the cat liked that much better, because she curled up with me for a while). Morah says she hardly slept at all.

Overall he’s pretty well behaved. He tried to poop inside once, but we saw him getting into position, quickly corrected him vocally, and ran him outside. It hasn’t been an issue since.

He does get a little over-excited about the cat, so we’ve been keeping him on the leash when walking around the house. He wants to check her out, so he walks toward her. She doesn’t want him around, so she walks away, but he follows her, which causes her to trot or run, and once that happens, he gets excited and wants to play. I honestly think that getting them to be O.K. with each other is going to be the hardest part of getting him settled in.

We’ve been trying to give the cat a lot of attention to show her that we still love her, but she’s clearly stressed and has dry heaved a few times. I think she also jumped up on the kitchen counter last night, which she usually doesn’t do (at least, not that we’re aware of). We bought some cat treats to help train Kingsley, and we’ve been sharing them with Kisa as well.

I’m sure some of you are wondering about my cynophobia. One of the reasons that we feel Kingsley is going to be a good fit is that I’m less afraid of him than I usually am of most dogs. I don’t know why, but I suspect it’s because he’s usually pretty demure. When we visited him at the shelter, he spent most of the time just laying around in his cage (even now, he’s asleep on a blanket behind me). He can get pretty hyper (you should have seen him when we took him out to the play area at S.C.R.A.P.S.), but his general demeanor is calm and submissive. As with most phobias, the treatment for cynophobia is gradual, controlled exposure, so I think having Kingsley around will help me lessen – or overcome – my fear.

Since he’s new, I’m sure we’ll have more pictures and video of Kingsley soon!

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3 Comments

  1. re: KINGsley

    And of course king, in Latin, is rex. Great name. ^_^

  2. Ryan

    I had no idea you were afraid of dogs!

  3. DangerAmy

    Wonderful name! He looks like he belongs on the Belafonte! Perfect 🙂

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