Thinking about it, I think probably most of the caution against "pets as presents" is probably directed at people who are giving like a surprise present of a pet and then *assuming* that the recipient will want and care for it.
Your concern is warranted, and I would express my worries to anybody who was considering a pet-as-present. However, in this case, we've been pretty careful.
We've thought long and hard about this, and Audrey understands the animal will be part of our family, and her "ownership" extends only to selecting, naming, her say-so about whether kitty gets treats and when, any tricks she wants to teach her, etc. There's already a precedent in place, in that Pixel is "my" cat and Storm belongs to Mrs. Maximus... like the animals know or care. (Actually, the pack behavior of integrated dogs+cats is fascinating, and may be worth another post...)
And strictly speaking, the actual presents
will be a cat carrier, new litterbox, some kitten food (if applicable), and a small supply of treats.
Animals often seem to inspire kids to name them after they've been owned for a day. Why not tell audrey to meet the cat first and then try to figure out the name that best suits it.
Excellent advice. If nothing else, it buys us more time if she insists on "YouTube" or "Google".
Or she could observe the cat for a while then give it a name. If it's clumsy, then call it "Crash". If it's a good mouser ( ohmy ), call it "try-catch". If it eats a lot, call it "CPU Hog" or "Resource Hog". If it tends to pee where it's not supposed to, call it "Memory Leak".
Heh. One of our cats is named Pixel (tiny, colorful, yet fleeting), and my first kitty was named Amiga (expensive and crashed a lot). Tech names are indeed fun!
If Audrey were to choose from her known mythology, I worry the cat's name will come from a Disney princess or a character from Cartoon Network. Be very afraid.