Frivolous Friday – Naming Your Cat

What’s in a name? Naming a cat can sometimes take a lot of time and trials. My mother, for example, gave her gift kitten a name, but couldn’t remember it. She kept calling him Smokey, which was the name of her previous cat. So he became Smokey Two. I rescued a sweet calico from a shelter many years ago. She came with the name Katy. But we already had a Katy in the house, so we decided we’d better change her name. But we were stymied as to what it would be. I said, “Let’s let her decide.”

So we watched her, observed her personality, paid attention to her actions and reactions, scrutinized her preferences and finally came up with a name. It took days. We noticed that anytime either of us went into the kitchen, there she was with us. One day I broke out in song, “Someone’s in the kitchen with Dinah.” And that became her name—Dinah.

Some cats are named for their coloring and features—Mama’s cat, Smokey, is gray, as was the Smokey before him. I had a Calico named Callie and a white beauty named Snowflake. Many people name a striped cat, Tiger and a Manx, Stumpy or Rumpy. My grandson has a pure black munchkin with the Kinkalow ears and they call him Bruce Wayne (Batman). Blackie or Ebony is used a lot for a black cat, Tabby for a tabby cat, Tangerine or Marmalade for an orange cat and so forth.

How do you name your cat? Do you tag them with something related to their looks or their personality? Or do you project how you would like your cat to be or become–Serena, Precious, Angel, for example.

Some cats are harder to name than others. I found Max’s name at a high school graduation. I listened to the names that were being called out and when I heard Max, I knew that was it. I know, it’s one of the most popular cat names—nothing unique. But it sure fit our  Maxie boy.

Some names don’t fit so well once the cat grows up. My daughter named her beautiful orange boy Rookie because he was new at being a house pet. He’d been dumped, as far as she could tell, at the barns where they keep their horses. He sure runs the show now—he’s quite the opposite of a beginner—a new kid on the block, which is what his name implies.

There have been times when I have a backlog of names or I know what name I’ll use for the next cat I adopt. For my 25th wedding anniversary I bought a Persian and named her Crystal (the traditional gift for that anniversary). I know, I know, adopt, don’t encourage breeders. I know that now. That was a long time ago. Sometimes, however, I choose a cat and the names I’ve gathered don’t fit.

What are some of your cat-naming stories? We all have them.

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