Tuesday, May 5, 2015

The Naming of Cats


As T.S. Eliot writes in his 1930s classic, Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats, "The Naming of Cats is a difficult matter." It recently occurred to me that Truffles is the first cat I've named myself!

My childhood cat Patch was named by my parents before I was born. Sebastian, our neighborhood rescue, had already had his name for 10+ years and it seemed to fit his "dignified tuxedo gentleman" appearance. Sashi was the first cat I adopted at the shelter and her previous owners had named her. I kept it because it was so unusual and beautiful. Tara was originally named Kelly at the shelter. No offense to everyone named Kelly out there, but this cat needed something much more special. It was my mother who thought of Tara, because of our mutual love for Gone with the Wind.

Then came little miss Truffles. I had decided long before we met that my next tortie's name would be Mocha, but as soon as I saw her she reminded me of a tiny, delicate little chocolate truffle. I guess Mocha will just have to wait...

So what got me to thinking about cat names? I recently received a fun infographic from Rover.com about top cat names and what naming trends reveal about cat people.

My favorite finding: dog parents are more likely to name their dogs after booze. Cat parents prefer to name their cats after desserts. Looks like I got that one right!

Used with permission from Rover.

How have you chosen your cats' names? Are any of them on this list?

18 comments:

  1. What an interesting post! We loved it!
    We do not even remember how we got started with the "PR" names. MOL!

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  2. Very interesting infographic ! Naming the cats is every time a long long brainstorming for our humans ! (and it always ends with nicknames !) Purrs

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  3. My pets' names are often linked to movies. Avalon was named after the movie by the same name (because I found him on the same day as I saw the movie), Romero was named after movie director George Romero (my niece suggested the name Romeo and then the director sprang to mind), and my rabbit Sadako was named after the creepy girl in The Ring (because it's a lop rabbit and its ears hang the same way as the creepy girl's hair).

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  4. We didn't know the booze/dessert split between dog and cat names. That's very interesting! All of us have human names, not thing-names, though the head peep actually prefers the idea of dessert names.

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  5. I have always loved the name Athena and wished it had been my own name, so it was only natural I'd give it to one of my children, in this case my little fur baby! At the rescue shelter my beautiful tabby girl was Sophie, but I think Athena suits her better. I like Sophie too so it is now her middle name.

    Purrs xx
    Athena and Marie

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  6. The mom named us human names...all ending with a y or ie. We don't know why.

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  7. I'm actually glad that neither of my cat's names are on the list. I like names that not everyone has.

    My Angel Bobo was named after the tabby cat that my ex-husband had when he was young. He was hit by a car. When we found OUR "Bobo" he was as if he was reincarnated and came back so we named him after what we called, "the original Bobo"

    For Cody, I have always liked names that begin with a "C" (Gee I wonder why? lol) and I loved the name "Cody" When I told his foster Mom I wanted to change his name from "Prince" to "Cody" she said "Oh nooo please don't!" I asked why and she said "all of the Cody's that I have known have been CRAZY!!" Well, I didn't listen and sure enough, he IS! But in the BEST possible way!

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  8. Thanx for an interesting post! When I got my kitties, Peaches already had her name, and I renamed her smaller sister "Tigger" to "Paprika" (she's a tortoise) because I was looking for a small spicy name that reflected her orange vest! Interesting naming posts here! Carol

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  9. I enjoyed that infographic! It's always fun to hear about what other people name their pets. I'm kind of surprised that none of my cats' names are on the list. I thought Delilah or Sophie would be popular names for pets.

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  10. Truffles is a nice name anyway.

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  11. Mum has always named her cats with human names as she said she wasn't going to shout out anything silly if she wants us to come in.
    Luv Hannah and Lucy xx xx

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  12. Interesting. Mom jokes that the last litter of foster kittens each year tends to be named after alcohol....cause by then she needs a drink. We are all pretty random, but mom does try to avoid people names (Tim and Tom kept the names they came with)

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  13. Very interesting :) I see my Lucy made the list.

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  14. That was an interesting infographic!
    Nope none of our names was on there!
    Abby was named Abby before I adopted her. (She was rehomed)
    I randomly named Boo, Ping and Jinx. Jinx was named after a Bond girl in one of the 007 movies. Ping was named after some goofy guy in a TV ad I saw and Boo was named after a friend's cat who was named Boo. I just liked that name. I always wanted to have a girl named Gracie so that was why Gracie received that name. Annabelle was originally named Fritzy. BIG ugh on that. Annabelle has such a girly appearance + she has a very teeny tiny meow. She had to have a girly name. Because Abby brought us together I wanted to honor Abby so I chose another name beginning with "A" and somehow Annabelle just seemed and felt right.

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  15. There have been a lot of different ways that I've named pets in my lifetime. My current cats are both somewhat veiled references to Biblical lessons I was learning at the time. Cinco is supposed to be a reference to the Biblical day of creation on which cats were made, but it should have been 6 not 5. At that time I was learning a hard lesson with the passing of my previous cat that God made everything and everything belongs to Him. Manna is a reference to the mysterious bread from Heaven that the Israelites ate while they were wandering in the desert.This was a lesson about how God provides for us all. Manna also has a double meaning as in Hebrew the word means "what is this?" Manna the cat looked like a little alien when we found her because she was only 3.5 weeks old.
    -Purrs from your friends at www.PlayfulKitty.net

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  16. That's really interesting. I've actually never named any of my cats. Naming a cat is a difficult task - you have to figure out what fits them well. One of my high school friends named Milita before I left for CO for graduate school. Carmine was named at Every Creature Counts where I adopted him. I liked it. It is unique and fits him very well, so I kept it. And of course, Jewel was named Jewel by her previous owner. She was very old, and I liked her name, so there was no way I would change it on her. Unless a cat obviously has the "wrong" name from a shelter, I wouldn't rename a kitty. I think they gain part of their identities from their names (or maybe I'm projecting, haha).

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  17. That's such a fun and interesting graphic. None of our cats' names (Moosey, Gracie, Zoe) made the list. Come to think of it, none of our angel kitties (Sammy, Maggie, Graphite, Lady Madonna, and Bitsy) made it, either. MOL!

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  18. No offense Truffles but TW won’t name a cat anything she wouldn’t name a human even if she spells some names a little odd. She hope Faith and she named George’s cat Hope but nope, no Charity. Autumn had that name at the shelter. Gramma wanted to change it but TW convinced her to keep it. the shelter begged my peeps to change my name. MOL!

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