The Naming Game

It has to be something you can live with, something you can call, and distinctive, a name that is not a name in used for a human in your family and of course, appropriate.

So how do you choose the name for your cat, or any other animals in your care?

Previously we had Jasper, known as Ginger Jasper, a rescue cat with a white-tipped tail who arrived in our home and sat, very diplomatically right between us on the sofa.
Jasper Carrot was on TV when the Blue Cross man delivered him and the name stuck straight away.

And to keep him company we acquired a ginger and white long-haired farm cat who arrived in a dishevelled state, all matted and encrusted in who knows what, who used a plant pot as his first toilet and needed a bath as soon as he arrived.
A cat with attitude, named Hobbes.
I had to make cardboard surrounds to place over the plant pots to stop him using the soil therein.

The rats were ginger and white (notice a theme yet?) and they became the Weasley twins, Fred and George.

Jake and Elwood – were a pair of black and white kittens, to ring the colour changes, which arrived around the time we had discovered ‘The Blues Brothers’ -so Jake and Elwood seemed appropriate.

And with all that in mind, here is the poem by TS Eliot, which I posted on Jan’s post.

The Naming Of Cats

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.

TS Eliot

Author: Sarah

No time to lose. No, time to lose. Make time to stand and stare.... Did you see that?

17 thoughts on “The Naming Game”

  1. My boy had a family name, ie Rex, everyone always thought it was the dog!
    Needless to say we called the boy by his intials R.O.O., Roo he became, commonly know by school mates as Kanga!
    You ain’t never going to win!
    You go to one syllable, like Nia the terrier so end up calling her Ne-ne-ne, she knows its her and not Nemo, the other canine in the household who became Neem.
    You seriously cannot win.

  2. Walt Disney names our pets 😉

    No matter what pet you purchase Walt has been there done that, it’s so much easier. Our latest was a small Maltese type pavement special, a forlorn looking tiny abandoned 5/6 week old pup that we noticed at our local animal welfare society, white with a single black spot, “look, there’s Oddball” our youngest cried.


  3. You are right, Christina, you can’t win! My parents were against the shortening of names, in theory, but in fact Pa often lengthened them by some additional letter or name.

    Oddball IS a goof name. I like that…. but no idea which Disney film that came from

  4. Mornin’ Pseu. Good pome by TSE. As you know, Das Fürballen go by the names of Fogo and Fumada – ‘Fire’ and ‘Wisp of Smoke’ in Portuguese, the names having being chosen by MyTers on the old site. Their remaining litter brother, a black and white male (we suspect their mother might have been a bit of a trollop, frankly) who still lives at The Bar, rejoices in the name of ‘Al Jolson’

    I have written before of my friends whose jet black moggy is called ‘Snowy’. They also had a hen incongruously named ‘Colin’ – Heaven knows why.

    Years ago some other friends had a kitten who became ‘Trex’, as in “Look what the cooking fat’s done in the plantpot again”.

    Most of the GSDs were named after figures from Norse, Greek and Roman mythology although back in the day we did have a particularly growley, vocal puppy who became ‘Belker’ after the feisty little undercover detective in ‘Hill Street Blues’.

    Janus – Brilliant! I would love to have another GSD and call him ‘Jaws’ and if another kitten ever turns up she will definitely be ‘Galore’. 🙂


  5. “Good names, good names,” as Bruce Forsyth may have said once.

    Actually Bruce and Sheila would be good names for a pair of Kangaroos.

  6. A good name for the cat with a penchant for flower-pots – Copricat 🙂

    My Owner’s formal name is ‘Quanta,’ (feminine form of ‘Quantum.’) When she first adopted me, she would disappear for hours on end – in an apartment! I decided she must be a relative of Shroedinger’s moggy, hence, ‘Quanta.’ I have no idea what her real name is, but she answers, (literally,) to ‘cat,’ ‘Oi!’ ‘Bloody-well stop that…’

    Little point of interest, the Romanian word for ‘cat’ is ‘pissicat.’ 🙂

  7. Very important is a name for your cat.

    I have had Jethro, Radar, Moustache, Sian, Sox, Jeeves and Spoof. Spoof had a big ginger tom pal who was always dropping by for tea. We called him Claude.

  8. Nym,

    He was the bully of the litter and used to do that leap up and look big thing with the paws outstretched. You could almost hear him shouting ‘Spoof’ as he pounced on his peers. It just seemed to fit.

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