The Naming of Cats

7 12 2006

The naming of cats is a difficult matter,
It isn’t just one of your holiday games;
You may think at first I’m 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 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 is 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, Quazo or Coripat,
Such as Bombalurina, or else Jellyrum–
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 will never 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 rapt contemplation
Of the thought, of the thought,
of the thought of his name:
His ineffable effable
Effanineffable
Deep and inscrutable singular Name

-TS Eliot “Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats”

Practical Cats

I thought I’d recount how my Moggies got their names.  Nothing overly exciting.

Marty and Minou are brother and sister.  I got them to keep me company when we moved back to Canada, and I was feeling a little lonely.

I wanted “M” names, I really don’t know why.  But I also wanted “French” names to commerate coming to Quebec.

Because there were two of them, I picked the girl’s name, and Colin was to pick the boys name.

I picked “MINOU” which is French for Pussy Cat (Yes, I know I called my cat “cat”)  Colin decided to pick a name for our boy cat when he got to see him.  He was very clumbsy and all over the place, so Colin decided on “MARTY” as in Marty McFly from Back to the Future.  It suited him, and kept with at least one of the criterias I wanted for naming my cats.

Manny got his name long before we had him.  Colin used to joke when I would say to him I wanted another cat that if we got another one we should call him Manny, as in now we have “too manny cats”. 

So there you have it Marty, Minou and Manny Moggie. . . . . . ..(ahhhh, perhaps now I can see why I like “M”s)

How did you pets get their names?

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3 responses

9 12 2006
penseroso

I LOVE Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats! I used to have a copy, but damned if I know where it went.

Anyway, at first my wife and I were stumped as to what to name our two cats. They were only five weeks old when we got them, and we didn’t know what to make of them. We just had to watch them and wait for their personalities to inspire us.

Otto was fairly easy to name. He seemed intense, wound up, wired — the name Otto just seems to have that connotation. And with his twitchy little black mustache, the image was complete. My wife named him.

Sigmund was ougher to arrive at. We watched him for hours, fumbling around in the pantry, getting into a big wok pan and having a hard time climbing out, and when his weird face peeked over the edge, my wife turned to look at me and said, “Sigmund!”

So, my wife is the namer, but I we both agreed to the choices.

We were determined not to name them “Kitty” or “Fluffy” or “Spot”.

15 03 2009
poophead

your weird if you come on this website and write about why you named your cats. T.S. Eliot would be dissapointed. THANKSSSSSSSSs …peace out Cat LOVAAAAA

15 03 2009
jayscarlet

Ok poophead,
I think that Eliot would be rather disappointed in you and maybe you should not be so cruel and consider other’s feelings. Penseroso is just expressing his alien-like love for hairry mamal creatures andddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddd ya

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