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Saturday, May 02, 2009

I'm looking for a name

Dear George, I’m a calico and brown cute girl. I was brought to this shelter on Feb. 2009. The people here (at the shelter) are very nice. They think I’m about 2 years old. I can’t remember much of these 2 years or may be I don’t want to remember. Anyway, this weekend will be one of the happiest in my life as I’ll go to my forever home. Soon after my picture was posted on the shelter’s website, Alison (my new mommy) fell in love with me! She called and everything was arranged for her to pick me up this weekend. I know she’s as thrilled as I am….but we both have one little problem! I can’t remember my name! I’m a shy girl, so I’ll be very quiet for a while getting used to my new home. I heard Alison worrying over “what name should she give me”. Dear George, I wonder if you (and all the other cats, of course) can help my mommy find a name for me? May be you guys can make some suggestions? I promise I’ll write back to let you know of my name. Love No Name yet!

Dear No-Name,
Humans are pretty unreliable, not to say insultingly absurd, about feline names. Dogs may be called Ben or Shep or Jack. We often get lumbered with very elaborate names. One of the oddest names I ever came across was a cat called Little Princess Hazel Honeybunch Thunder Paws Richardson. The Richardson bit was the name of the human, and the rest was the result of the human wanting to make up a name that sounded dignified.
What I don't care for are the insulting names like Dishrag, Vee, Fluffybum, Scraggybag, Pinhead, or Dribble-chops. Yes, they are all real names meant affectionately but pretty sad, really. What kind of human makes up this kind of name? There are also less insulting and longer names such as Zookie McCookie, Milly Molly Mandy, or Adolphus Ignatius Loyola Septimus Mugwumps. These are all real names too.
How would you feel about a literary name such as Gussie Finknottle or Jeeves (think newts and butlers in P G Woodhouse) or Frodo or Gandalph (from Lord of the Rings), Lydia Languish (The Rivals), or even Elizabeth (Pride and Prejudice). A bit much? Well, possibly. Who wants to have the human literary heritage hung round their neck!
What you need is a name that is easy for humans. They need to be able to call you with it. So get thinking, cats. What would YOU like for her?
PS. Thank goodness for humans that get their cats from rescue shelters. Most of us would be dead but for their kindness in rescuing us. Go to the City of Oshawa Animal Services for more information about this excellent cat rescue.


  1. AnonymousMay 02, 2009

    Personally I prefer a sensible name like my own - William Bedford Payne. Dignified without being over the top. The only drawback is when she goes out late in the evening calling "Willy, willy, willy." People might get the wrong idea.
    William (not Willy)

  2. AnonymousMay 02, 2009

    Personally, I refuse to answer to any name that doesn't completely suit me, as my human discovered when she rescued me. She tried a few different appellations: Chloe (very nice, but somehow not me), Trixie (not at all me), and something along the lines of Fluffles (decidedly not). I resolved to hide in the heating vent until she sorted this out. When she came up with something I could accept, I made her feel grateful by coming out of the vent, purring, and condescending to accept some tuna-flavored Pounce. It worked: she has been on my schedule and my feeding terms and, in short, the same sheet of music with me for over a year. I recommend planting your paws and standing your ground.

    Very sincerely,
    Puss-Puss (which suits me just fine)

  3. What about something simple and straightFURward like Callie! It has an allusion to her caliconess, too, and is something that would be easy to call out. "Cal-lie, Cal-lie!"
    I can just see her running when she hears her name.

  4. Yes! I was thinking of ...Cali too (I spell it this way) :-) She can call her mom "Ali"!
    Cali & Ali....doesn't sound nice?
    I bet you two will get together very well!
    Hope we'll hear from you soon!

  5. Well, just be yourself, don't be too shy!
    Show your mommy who you are, so she can pick up the right name for you!
    See, when our mom got us we were 6 weeks old. I was running and playing and "flying" throughout the house...and mommy used to say that "I probably ate hot pepper" - therefore my name "Cayenne". Not to mention that exactly a month later Porche named their new model "Cayenne" (I've always been convinced that they called their car after me) :-)
    When a kitty, my sister didn't do anything at all. She was running three steps and then sleep. And mommy said that "she's just a ball of fur" therefore her name; Fluffy! Now her name can very well be "plug-in-cat" (if you ask me) since she's the one playing all the time:-)
    I'm sure you mommy will get you a nice name that will fit you!

  6. Oscar Snuggles, King of TidewaterMay 05, 2009

    Personally, I think this young lady needs a name with meaning. My name has a meaning, well, maybe not Oscar, but the Snuggles certainly expresses my personality and the King of Tidewater absolutely reflects my position, I'm king of the house!


Help for cats whose humans show behaviour problems.

This blog is devoted to the study of human behaviour. We cats, who live with this sometimes unpredictable and always feeble minded species, can benefit from seeing their behaviour in its proper scientific context. The study of feline dilemmas, training problems, and difficulties with humans, can only benefit all of us. All of us train our humans - to buy the right food, for instance, but many of us do not have knowledge of how to improve our training methods. The human species is obviously not as intelligent as the cat, but nevertheless can learn quite a lot - if properly managed. Topics of interest include the use of claw and order, purring as a human reward, rubbing your human up the right way, when to bite, spraying as a method of making our wishes known, ignoring the human, human harassment, human inattention and sheer human stupidity. I welcome your questions. Photos can be sent via my secretary's website, This blog has been chosen as one of the top 50 feline blogs by Online