Thursday, 16 April 2015

What's In A Name?

As Juliet said in Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet: "What's in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet."

There are plenty of daft names of cats but no matter what you call them, they are their own man (or moggie). Talking of "sweet" my cat is called Toffee. She was called that when we got her so we didn't change the name - not that we wanted to, we rather liked it. It was rather ironic that she turned out rather grumpy! She has her own website here.

Other cats we have known and loved include Carlsberg, Carling and Clint (as in, the cat with no name; he was a stray who occasionally visited us. We never did find out his real name.)

Naming cats is as tricky as naming babies. You want to get it right and you want it to suit them. The top 10 names for cats are (in order), Bella, Tigger, Chloe, Shadow, Molly, Oliver, Kitty, Smokey, Angel and Gizmo. They're all lovely names but not as original as my friend's cat's name, which is Cindy Clawford - Cindy for everyday and "Clawford!" for when she's being naughty. I also know a couple who named their two cats Brad Kit and Angelina Pawlie. 

If you're a fan of  celebrities how about Cat Winslet or Cat Damon? Then there's Marilyn Meow, Catsy Kline, Daniel Day-Mewis, Jude Paw, Pawdry Hepburn or Meowly Cyrus. Here are a few other names -  Ms Demeanour, Bob Scratchit, Margaret Scratcher and Pablo Picatso. I'm sure you can come up with a few quirky ones of your own.

You have to consider how they look and their personality. Some cats are regal and need a regal name like Countess, Duchess or Diva - or Cat Middleton - and some are more tomboyish and would suit a more mischievous moniker like Imp, Pixie or Puck.

You might want to allude to their colour and call them Coal, Raven or Blackberry, or Gingernut, Satsuma or Red, or Snowball, Moon or Milkshake.

So you see, you have to be careful with The Naming of Cats.

What is your cat called?

The Naming Of Cats by T. S. Eliot
The Naming of Cats is a difficult matter,
It isn't just one of your holiday games;
You may think at first I'm as mad as a hatter
When I tell you, a cat must have THREE DIFFERENT NAMES.
First of all, there's the name that the family use daily,
Such as Peter, Augustus, Alonzo or James,
Such as Victor or Jonathan, George or Bill Bailey--
All of them sensible everyday names.
There are fancier names if you think they sound sweeter,
Some for the gentlemen, some for the dames:
Such as Plato, Admetus, Electra, Demeter--
But all of them sensible everyday names.
But I tell you, a cat needs a name that's particular,
A name that's peculiar, and more dignified,
Else how can he keep up his tail perpendicular,
Or spread out his whiskers, or cherish his pride?
Of names of this kind, I can give you a quorum,
Such as Munkustrap, Quaxo, or Coricopat,
Such as Bombalurina, or else Jellylorum-
Names that never belong to more than one cat.
But above and beyond there's still one name left over,
And that is the name that you never will guess;
The name that no human research can discover--
But THE CAT HIMSELF KNOWS, and will never confess.
When you notice a cat in profound meditation,
The reason, I tell you, is always the same:
His mind is engaged in a rapt contemplation
Of the thought, of the thought, of the thought of his name:
His ineffable effable
Deep and inscrutable singular Name.

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  1. We resisted the temptation to name our polydactyl cat "Hemmingway" although there are a lot of multi-toed kitties by that fact, we had a NAME before we had a CAT this time around. My husband said he wanted our next cat to be named Sammy.....when we went to the shelter to adopt, our little ginger polydactyl was the ONLY kitten they had. He was instantly Sammy and "grew" into his name quite nicely we think!


    1. Sammy is a sweet name. My mother's little Jack Russell dog was called Sammy.And I think Hemingway is a better name than Ernest for a cat!

  2. If I would have a cat, I'd name her Macaroon. :D
    I don't know why.
    M is for Magnanimous touch ~ A Poesy Discourse

  3. Fabulous post! The regal kitty I lost to age and cancer last August was Luna, who often got called Luna Lou (after actress Lucy Lou) or Lunatic if being naughty. Then there is Tilly, so named when we got her from the Human society and kept for the acting family and often called Silly Tilly Willy because she's so darn goofy. And Jezebel nearly got called Gunny (after R Lee Ermey) because of her gray fur. She's also Jezaboobunnybear. ~rolls eyes ~ Aren't you sorry you asked? Oh, and thanks for stopping by my blog yesterday. It looks like I'm number 1263 on the A to Z blog list today. People seem to be falling off rapidly. Sad to see. Best wishes!

    1. Uh, did the gray fur make sense? It's sort of gun metal blue. ~grin~

    2. No shortening of names in your house - just lengthening them! I like it.

  4. Ha! This was great!
    I had a community of feral cats in the Middle East and they all had descriptive names like Patch, or Twixie. It was like watching a soap opera! Inside the house, I had Shika, Bika and Blosoom, (the first two named after a phrase in an Egyptian song), and Totoro (named after a friendly Japanese monster cat who turned into a bus (totoro-chan). As a cat lover, you may have seen that movie. Loved the movie star names!

  5. PS Loved the cartoon and the movie star-inspired names!

  6. PS Loved the cartoon and the movie star-inspired names!

  7. When I was younger I named my one cat Charlotte (after Charlotte's Web). We had a black cat that I loved and named Fuzz. We also had another cat (country living and all of them were dropped off) that I named Tramp for, well, she kept getting knocked up and my parents didn't think to get her spayed (old-timers). We now have 4 cats-Naddie (male cat aka The whiner), Lucy (aka the Diva!), Jade (aka The Lover) and Mia (she came with the name)-we nicknamed her Fat Swan.

    1. Wonderful names. Poor Tramp - that name made me laugh!

  8. My sister-in-law named her cat Monrovia. My brother figured it was better than letting her name one of their (then future) kids that. But the cat became Babies and even though she's now 15, she's still Babies. The two kittens (they've now had them about a year) were named by my niece. Winter, for her gray fur looked just like a winter sky, and Shadow, as Shadow was Winter's shadow. (That he has black fur was a bonus.)

    Liz A. from Laws of Gravity

    1. Monrovia a great name for a cat - not so much for a child!

  9. our beautiful boy is a big ginger male, his name is Carl Puuurkins, after the 50's rock 'n' roll singer who wrote Elvis Presley's "Blue Suede Shoes" His littler sister was "Janis Martin" again after a 50's rock 'n' roll singer also known as the Female Elvis. Another in that littler was named "Wanda Jackson", again a 50's rock chick, she actually dated Elvis and we met her a few years back at her Melbourne concert! The last one in the litter was LaVern baker.. "Wanda" and "Lavern" had their names changed when they left us to be re homed but Carl and Janis stayed.The Mother cat was named "Brandi" after a local rock n roll band called "Brandi and the Bad cats"
    My best friend named her cat Ceefer.. C for Cat..

    1. Love those musical connections! Carl Puuurkins - ha!

  10. oops I forgot to say I dropped by from the A-Z challenge
    Kim from Australia

    1. Clicked your name and was taken to Google+ but I can't see the name of your blog (I'm probably being very dim!). Would love to visit.

  11. My cat's name is Kia. She was named before she came to live with us. Apparently, it is Japanese for light or something similar.

  12. Our landlord's cat, who lives on the land and visits us a lot, is called Merkel. Yes, as in the German Chancellor.

  13. Merkel is a good name for a cat - but not one I would have thought would have endeared to the Greeks!


Thank you for your commenting, Purrfect.