I was around 12 years old. I had a tomcat named Marie and he went missing. I was devastated. I put up signs around the neighborhood and I even called the local radio station and had them announce that Marie was lost.
The DJ had a ball with that one! "Folks, we have a little girl with a lost cat. It's a tomcat named Marie! How did he get that name anyway? He's gray and white and a little girl in North Mitchell Heights misses him very much. Call 752-8995 if you know where Marie is. Let's see if we can get HIM home." (I can't believe I remembered our phone number from when I was a kid!)
Marie was missing for about a week when he came straggling in. He was all beat up and I was so happy I burst into tears. I had never heard of such a thing and I was wondering what was wrong with me at the same time I was so happy. My mom assured me that it was perfectly normal. I still thought it was strange though. Anyway I learned that was the nature of tomcats and over the years I got used to it.
If you want to know why I had a tomcat named Marie, it was because I didn't know how to tell a boy kitten from a girl kitten. I got his sex backwards. Turns out, sexing kittens is nothing like sexing puppies. It is obvious which pups are a boy or a girl but when kittens are very young there is not that much difference between them.
I have had "many tomcats named Marie over the years."