“Ruben wanted to name our son “Gato Travieso” but I didn’t want to name my son ‘cat’ and so Ruben said, “what about ‘Chat’?” which means cat in French. I thought it was a better name than Gato, so we named our son Chat.”
I was born in Caracas, Venezuela, which is where I met my husband. He is an architect and went to Venezuela to work on a project. My dad was involved in the project too, and that’s how he met Ruben, an American architect who spoke Spanish. We fell in love and got married in 1980. Ruben came to the U.S. in the here, so I came to live here with him in 1981.
I was born in Cuba, and I came to the United States in November of 1960 when I was 14 years old. I learned that I was coming here the night before, and my dad hadn’t told me anything. I remember as we walked out of the house, he locked the door. We got in the car, got to the airport, and as we were walking to the airport with a small suitcase he said, “Don’t look back because we are not coming back.”
Ingrid: I love everything about my husband! He is kind, generous, has a big heart. He isa perfect parent and a good husband. That’s everything. To tell you the truth, there are not a lot of people who have all these good things all together. That’s why I have stayed in this country for so long. I have three kids, and they have studied in the best universities. This country has given my kids a lot of opportunities, so I am truly happy and grateful I live here in the United States.
Our daughter’s name is Yara, which is the name of a Cuban town where Ruben was born. I didn’t know there was a town with that name. Ruben had told me it was the name of a princess, but it was really his town’s name. After we named our daughter, he told me the truth about the name.
Our other daughter’s name, Siri, was chosen because it is the name of one of my favorite paintings. Andrew Wyeth made a beautiful painting of a girl, and the girl’s name was Siri.
Ruben wanted to name our son “Gato Travieso” but I didn’t want to name my son ‘cat’ and so Ruben said, “What about ‘Chat?’” ‘Chat’ means cat in French. I thought it was a better name than Gato, so we named our son Chat. Our three kids’ names, Siri, Yara and Chat, are pronounced the same in English and Spanish. It was very important for us that the names sounded the same in both languages. We live in this country, so we needed names that people could pronounce.