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Thursday, March 18, 2010

Pet Names

This blog is called "Baby Names," but I would like to talk briefly about pet names. We have a new cat at our house, and he needs a name, and this is the first pet I've named in 15 years or so.


When I adopted two male kittens from a shelter right after college, I gave them people names I considered far too quirky ever to be used for children: George and Oliver. Well, 15 years later the name Oliver is in full swing and the name George still seems quirky but definitely not unusable.

When I took in a female stray, we named her Amelia. Amelia was a quirky choice in 1996 (#222), but it sure isn't quirky now (#68). Not that it mattered, since we soon called her exclusively by the nickname Mouse, so that I had to really reach to remember what we'd originally named her.

I think there are three basic categories of pet names, though there is plenty of overlap between categories:

1. Names based on physical appearance or actions: Tiger, Puddles, Butterscotch, Spot, Jumper, Mittens, Socks, Frisky, Shadow, Midnight, Smokey, Snowflake, Fluffy.

2. People names---either ones the namer would like to use for a child or ones the namer considers too amusing/quirky/eccentric for an actual child.

3. Names that are somewhere in between: Buttercup, Otter, Puzzle, Rocky, Muggle.


My goal is to find a #3 name this time. And not to be morbid, but I'd like it to have enough dignity to work in a sentence in which the vet gives me some bad news.

What kinds of names have you chosen for your pets?

84 comments:

MC said...

We have always been split between actual names (Jesse, Marti, Otto, Danny) and names that are more pet-oriented (Midnight, Co-Co, Bucky).

I think your cat (who I LOVE, BTW!) has a goofy kind of expression on his face in this picture (and I mean that in an "OMG, that cat is SO CUTE!" kind of way), so I think a quirky name would be good for him...something to celebrate his goofiness. Of course, the only name I can think of for that is, well, "Goofy," and he doesn't fit that name at all.

Okay, the name "Ned" just popped into my head. Not sure where it came from. But I guess that is my vote...it's apparently too early for me to use my brain in this manner!

Snoopyfan said...

I think names in the #3 category are hard and in my family, pets come by those names as they grow.

Our cats are Patience and Esmerelda. We nn them Patty and Emmy. While Emmy has pretty much been Emmy, the whole 11 years we have owned her, Patty has had several nn. The most common one is Burger, so much so that my 3 yr old thinks that is her name! It is funny to see people's faces when he tells them her name is Burger or Patty Burger. :)

He has the traditional tabby M on his head so how about a name that begins with M? Uh, unfortunately, I am coming up blank this morning. Good Luck!

Nowheymama said...

We go for real names: George (the guinea pig), Kevin (the parakeet).

Rayne of Terror said...

Our cats are/were Boyd, nn Boydie or Boydo, Maggie, and Groucho. Groucho is a girl and she got than name when a roommate's cat had kittens and we named them all based on their looks. Groucho has a mustache. We ended up keeping her. Good thing we didn't keep Toupee.

Cats growing up were Yoshi, Busha, Sneakers, Rocky, and Blue.


What about Buster nn Bus? As in, Hey Buster, get off the table.

Linda said...

I like naming pets AFTER someone/something, just like with kids.

Lucy is named after Lucy from the Narnian Chronicles by C.S. Lewis.

Roland is named after the gunslinger from the Dark Tower series by Stephen King. I like it, but as an orange tabby I think Mango would have been a fun name.

Bailey is named because I like Bailey's Irish creme. That was 10 years ago. Now I would name her Malbec or Absolut.

For a potential pet of mine, I like Cecilia from the Simon and Garfunkel song. My husband is also willing to accept Bridget which he vetoed for our youngest. I really should keep a running list, because I'm always saying, "Hey! That would be a good pet name!"

Melody said...

My sister and I developed a tradition in which we name pets after favorite characters in television shows, books, movies, etc.

The result has been some really great pet names. Our dog is Felix, after Felix King in Road to Avonlea. It's a name that suits him perfectly.

My sister has had pet rats with the names Dundie (from The Office), Bluth (from Arrested Development), Emerson (from Pushing Daisies), Mosby (from How I Met Your Mother), John Oliver (as in, The Daily Show Correspondent), and Arthur and Ford (from The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy).

She also has had a number of mice over the years, and they have all been named after assistants from The West Wing: Bonnie, Ginger, Charlie, Delores, Carol, etc.

For us, looking for inspiration from our favorite characters and shows has allowed us to find names that I feel like are quirkier than your average human name, but not so quirky that they're absurd and cutesy.

Good luck with naming your new kitty!

Linda said...

Melody - My next male pet will be named Bluth - that's awesome!

Kit said...

I love Melody's idea! What about Zuko (Danny Zuko from Grease)?

Stephanie said...

Our pets all have people names, although only one of them was named by us. Simon and Warren had their names when we got them, and I named Alice after Alice in Wonderland. I love pets with people names though, my friend put it best when she said "I love when they have sensible names, but look like a muppet."

Anonymous said...

Our dog is named Cole, but my husband named him before I was on the scene.

Our cats, which I named and are sisters, are called Tulip and Petunia. Tulip is my favourite flower and when my husband came home with two kittens instead of one from the Humane Society ("they gave me a two for one!"), we had to go with another flower name, of course.

Megan said...

When I was trying to name my female cat, my Aunt suggested Sister Mary Whiskers. I love that name! But sadly I was afraid it was too weird, so I went with Ramona after Ramona Quimby. Quimby might be cute!

My last male cat had a great name too. He was Mao. I like it because he was an asian breed and also because it sounds a little like meow! Sadly, the vet's front desk always pronounced it "mayo". Oh well.

Laurie M. said...

We have a cat with similar markings. We named him Milton because of the "M" on his forehead. His middle name is Bandito--inspired by the Zorro mask markings around his eyes. I wouldn't stress out too much, though--pet names usually just come to you as you get to know them. Just ask my other cat, Noodle.

pb said...

My siblings and I were nerds and named most of our cats after the horses of Civil War generals. We had a Traveler (Robert E. Lee's horse), a Cincinnati (Grant's horse), a Rienze (Phillip Sheridan's horse), a Charlemagne (Joshua Chaberlain's horse), etc.

Now, my husband and I have one little black-and-white cat named Bling-Bling because she looked like a panda when we got her and we thought she should have a pseudo-panda name.

If we ever get another cat, my husband wants to name it for his great grandfather, Artemas Washington Comstock, but I want that name for a child!

pb said...

Oops, I mean Philip Sheridan and Joshua Chamberlain. Always proofread before you hit "publish."

Casey said...

Our cats are named Buster and Roger. Buster was named after the character on arrested development. He was quite a handful as a kitten and my husband thought it would be funny if we could say "You're killing me Buster!" like Michael does on the show. Roger was named after Mt. Rogers where we found him abandoned at our campground.

-R- said...

We had a dog named Pippin when I was growing up. I still think that's a good name for a little dog.

I can't think of any good cat names at the moment, but I agree with you that I prefer the 3rd category for pet names.

Liz said...

We thought about naming our dog Buster because he's socially awkward and has panic attacks, just like the character on Arrested Development. (He also turned into a real mama's boy, but we didn't know that yet.) But we went with Baxter - a very human name, as my aunt pointed out - but it fits his sweet, gentle personality. Unfortunately, at least one person has misunderstood me and accused me of naming my dog "Bastard" (which ... seriously, lady?)!

I LOVE pb's tradition of naming pets after Civil War generals' horses. I never would have thought of that!

Lucy said...

Our pet names have mostly been Blackie, Oscar, Fiona, Potter, and Albert.

Both Fiona and Albert I wish we would have saved for a child, but oh well!

karintha said...

My husband named his cats after his fave author and some of his characters (he had LOTS of cats before we met!): Dream (after a cat character black with yellow eyes), Roseroar (shortened to Rosie), Pog and Gaiman. Dream, Rosie and Gaiman are the sweet old kitties that are still with us

I named my cat Tolstoy because he was a distinguished little Russian Blue. Sadly the non-reading folks around me (like at the Vet's office) always wanted to call him Toy Story. Weird!

In the last year, we've added two dogs to the mix! A golden/chow mix who smiled in her adoption picture was immediately named Kaylee after a character in one of our favourite TV shows, Firefly.

The latest is a dalmatian/lab mix who is tan and white with one brown and one blue eye. I obsessed over name choices and narrowed it to a list of 6: Fallon, Skye, Poe, Cora, Dolce and Joplin. I was obsessing a bit, so we put the contenders in a bowl and pulled one out! She ended up being Skye. It's really hard when you want the names to go well together! Kaylee and Skye works =)

Your adorable new little guy has kind of a distinguished, quizzical look to me and I love the idea of honoring the M marking on his forehead. Would you consider Milo, Mosby or Marshall? I'm a little partial to using surnames for pets, apparently :)

Christine said...

Our current cat is Ninja. Technically "The Ginger Ninja." We also thought about "Sammy" Samurai. My girlfriend has a female cat named Poppet, which I think is maybe the best name ever, but perhaps too girly for your cat.

It's harder to do this since I don't know the actual names of your kids, and I don't want to overlap. So I'll give out things that most people wouldn't name a human. We always think that if we knew our cat better before naming we would likely have called him "Butters" from South Park. He's kind of awkward, no grace in him, but really good natured. I always picture him saying "Gee whiz fellas." We've also thought "Archimedes" shamefully from the movie "The Sword in the Stone" rather than the actual mathematician. Maybe a philosopher? Socrates, Aristotle, Plato.

As far as human names go, I could really see him as a "Charlie".

Good luck no matter your choice. He's adorable.

Susan said...

This looks to me like an exceptional cat. How about "Bunter," after the butler of Lord Peter Wimsey books?

d e v a n said...

We typically use names that are either clear pet names or people names that one of us likes but the other would not consider for a human child. Pets we've had:
Tiger
Belle
Calvin
Sierra
Lucy
Penny
Peso (because we have a Penny... we went with Peso for the cat. Weird? yeah.)

Your kitty is very cute! I've always like the name Bosco for a cat, but never got DH on board. Muggle is a super awesome name for a cat since that's what humans are called in the HP series. That makes me giggle. heh

Elizabeth said...

We use people names, and I have this weird thing where I like the names to be from a song. So we have a cat named Cecilia, and my in-laws let me name their animals, so their current cat is Lilah, because I named her Delilah. They are about to get a new dog, and she'll be Genevieve, but that's after the dog in Madeline's Rescue, rather than a song.

My in-laws are more likely to pick Category 3 names. My favorite one of these is that their last cat was named Pele, so when they got their dog they wanted to choose a Hawaiian god name too. Someone told them Nu was a water god, so they went with that and then a year later when we were in Hawaii they mentioned it to someone one and were told that "Nu" actually means "sneeze." Oops.

Clarabella said...

Pets I have named: Eli (cat), Pixie (cat), Greta (dog), Malcolm (dog), Nico (dog), Duggie (dog).
So, you can see my patterns. Looking at your new kitty, I would think about his looks first: I.e., the mark on his nose-there was that astronomer who had a prosthetic nose, Tyco Brahe. Tyco would be a cute name.
Or think about what you already have: I.e., New Kitty-Newk would be cute, which leads me to Newt, which is super cute for a cat, as are Eek & Zeke, which I also go to from here.
That's how I work out pet names. Good luck.

christa said...

My first cat, I named when I was 4, was Mottsie because she was the color of applesauce (Mott's brand...).

My second kitty, Mottsie's baby, was Stashie - because he had a mustache, of course. I was 5 then.

Third cat was Madeline (nn Maddy) because she was very curious as a kitten and reminded me of the Madeline from the children's books series. I think I was 13/14 then.

Next kitty was found when I returned home from a long trip to Italy. His name is Spazino (nn Spaz), which is italian for 'garbage collector'. And he brings home plenty of garbage.

All the above living kitties are at my parents house.

And last, but not least is Elliott. He is the first cat that my boyfriend and I have named together - and it took us a while to decide. We new we wanted a human name that we wouldn't use on any future children.

We are looking into getting another kitty to keep Elliott company, and we plan on continuing the human naming system.

Good luck! He is adorable!

dawilson said...

My cat is named after his grandfathers. My husband passed away before we could have kids, so I went with the name we wanted for a boy. Charles Edward is called Charlie. I always think animals need middle names so you can use the full name when they are in trouble just like kids. I lso have mostly chosen human names for pets, a little on the quirky side.

Julia said...

Our cats are all named after mythicalogical gods. Our black and white bitchy female cat is Isis (Egyptian). Her sweet black sister is Kali (Hindu/Sanskrit-pronounced kahli). And our 1 year old kitten is named Atlas because I couldn't bear to name a cute gray tabby kitten Thor or Odin, both which may be more appropriate.

Zoo said...

Our dogs are Boris and Vinnie; our cats are Medea, Pandora, Asparagus (Gus), Moe (Molasses*), and Claudius. Yeah.

Names I think of for future pets (hey, I'm not having kids, so yes, I think of names for future pets): Oxford nn Ox, Memphis, Zephyr, Yukon, Magnolia, Ophelia. I'm all over the place, clearly.


*We adopted Gus and Moe at the same time and my husband really wanted to name one Asparagus after the TS Eliot poem, and I needed a name that "matched" (food) because I am that kind of freak. We should have named him something else.

Tracy H. said...

My childhood dog was named Pitchfork. My dad randomly suggested it and for some reason we all liked and he was a wonderful dog. As a child I named my grandma's cat Mumpsy after a book I loved called "Mumpsy goes to Kindergarten" about a little girl who brings her cat to her kindergarten class. I recently bought a vintage copy of that book, as I have fond memories of the cat and the book.

Since an above commenter noted the "M" on your cat's head I think you should go with an "M" name.
March - The month he was adopted
A "Mc-Irish" name like McEnroe or McCarthy since he was adopted near St. Patty's Day
McGregor - Like Mr. McGregor in Beatrix Potter
Mambo - A fun name
Marbles - Not sure if this is dignified enough? But his markings are kind of marbelized looking
Meeko - Raccoon from Disney's Pocahontas - he's kind of raccooney looking
I also like the above mentioned names of Marshall & Mosby.
He is just so adorable. His nose is my favorite.

Misty said...

I am not a "pet" person, but I have had a gray cockatiel that I named Merlin, who ended up being exclusively called Grumpy Bird. (That bird hated us.)

I think your cat looks like a Sebastian. But I am pretty sure that is a #2 and not a #3. Oh well.

Annika said...

I think your cat looks like an Orion, which is technically a #2 name but is rare enough that it almost crosses over to #3 because of the cosmic association.

Growing up, my cat was Begonia, my sister's cat was Genie, and my step-sister's dog was Blossom.

Randonn said...

We tend to name our pets from a source of nerdiness. Our current cat, Six, was named after the Cylon on Battlestar Galactica (because she is an evil blond robot). Previous cat Toki was named for a shrill female character from Princess Mononoke. Akira the Akita was named,well, from a dream my partner had but also the anime movie.

When my siblings and I were younger we tried to sell our Mom on Wolverine for our new puppy but she wouldn't go for it. We did manage to slip Logan under the radar, though (Wolverine's "real" name).

ashleyruthless said...

When my sister and I got the go-ahead to get not one, but two kittens when we were younger, we were pumped. We were getting them from my sister's friend, so she already knew one would be black (she claimed that one), and the other was black and white. She knew she wanted to name hers Ebony. I had no idea what I wanted to name my baby, so I consulted my baby name book and wrote down every name I liked. I knew I wanted something that would sound good with Ebony, too. I ended up with Ivy, because I loved the name, but would never want to name a child of mine Ivy. People always tell me I should have named her Ivory (like the song, Ebony and Ivory), but I am glad I didn't.

My sister's cats are Leo (he's orange and striped...more like a tiger, but lionish also) and Sox (grey with white booties).

I had always wanted to get an orange or orange and white kitty and name it Mandarin, or Mandy for short.

As for your new friend, I like what someone mentioned about using his prominent "M" as inspiration. What about Mickey, Merlin, Max, Mischief ;), Mr. M, Magoo, Matisse, Mondrian (channeling artists here), Mortimer, Mervin, Marvin, Meerkat!

Carmen said...

My childhood cat was orange with a big ruff-thing around his neck - he looked like a tiny lion. My mom named him after a baaaaad old movie called "Clarence the Cross-Eyed Lion". Yup, we had a cat named Clarence.

leashah said...

I have had lots of cats since I was little...
Merlin, Creamy, Fluffy, Zoe, Teeka, Tahji, Reenoh, Tiger Lily, Ratamous Gordon nn Rat, Angel.

Dogs we named: Calliope, Sheba, Cleo, Shasta, and Cupid.

My current cat is River.

I'm not a fan of the "People Names" for Pets category, obviously. Your new kitty is very cute. He seems adventurous. What about some traditional literary, adventuring-type names?

Like Huck or Finn?

robin said...

Our pet names have usually been of the more unusual type, mostly named after songs, places or mythical figures. Here's a run-down (with the type of animal and my age at the time, for clarification):

Tools (Called both Tools and Fang - rabbit - named after a John Denver song) - my age: 5
Albunno (Nicknamed Bunno - rabbit - named that because she was an albino bunny) - my age: 7
Memory (Nicknamed Mem - rabbit - named after the "Cats" song, in memory of Tools and Bunno) - my age: 12
Rysy & Tatra (sister rabbits - named after topographical features in Poland, because they're Polish rabbits) - my age: 25
Faust & Serapis (cats - not named by me, but inherited from a friend. Still, I like the names) - my age: 28

If we got another cat, I would name him/her something mythological, to fit in with the names of the other two. Persephone, or Orpheus, maybe.

Anonymous said...

We'te total geeks, so we use ancient god/goddess names and character names from sci-fi shows/books/movies and literature.

An Egyptian god might provide a fun name for your cat : )

StephLove said...

I made some suggestions on your other blog, all in the people names category. Growing up I had cats named Alexei, Felix, Phinneas and Mystique (we called her Missy), most of which fall in the quirky category, more so in the 70s & 80s than now, but I think they're still there for most folks. Then my dad and stepmom had a long series of dogs with more mainstream human names (Sara, Rosie, etc.) So I was imprinted to prefer this kind of name for pets, I think. My cats have been Emily (now deceased) and Matthew and Xander (both living).

One of the names I proposed earlier was Micah and I thought that changing the spelling to Mica could be a reference to his variegated color-- kind of a type 1 & type 2 cross-- does that make it a type 3? I hope so because that's all I've got for now.

Katie said...

Two dogs named Rainey and Ginger (but I wanted Daphne).

Names I like for a future pet:
Nosey, Maebe, Smudge.

Meg said...

I have too many pets... Mathilda "Molly" Anne, Emma Louise, Prudence (somehow she's never gotten a middle name) "Pru", Oliver Maxamillion "Ollie", Isabella Gertrude "Izzie" and my husband just brought home a kitten that he's calling Zorro... and it makes me shutter.

Anonymous said...

We had a cat named Grover (a lovable furry monster).

Our dog is Viper. I never would have picked that name, but he was already named when we got him. It's grown on me... A little.

mayberry said...

I think that cat is SO cool looking!

We adopted our dog on April 1, and so we called her Folly. She gets called Molly and Polly and Foley a lot, but I still like her name.

Emily said...

I have always been a big fan of pet names that would never be people names, simply because it gets kind of awkward when I ask a pet's name and then have to say, "Oh! That's my daughter's name!" I mean, I don't care that there are a billion dogs named Lucy, I just don't want to be on the OTHER end of the awkwardness, if that makes sense. I'm perfectly fine with YOU naming your dog my kid's name - I just don't want to name my dog YOUR kid's name. I don't handle that kind of awkwardness well.

So our dog is named Hambone. Interestingly enough, my dad knows some guy who goes by Hambone, but I doubt I will ever cross paths with him.

I wanted to name my parents' last dog Radar, but they nixed it. I think it's a perfect pet name.

Hillary said...

my pups' names are Stella and Wolfgang - people names that I love but would never use for my hypothetical future children.

Kathy said...

My favorite pet name is one we had for a cat, who has since passed away. We named her Tuesday because that's the day she joined our family.

Our dog is named Farkle. (I didn't know it was a dice game when we picked the name.)

Caitlin said...

I *LOVE* this topic!
First of all - Unnamed SweetBoy is adorbs.
Second: We have two cats. Kona is a girl, and Murphy is a boy. Both names have place/memory significance for us.

However, when we were trying to name Murphy (before we had him, but after we knew we would) we kept joking about how hilarious it would be to give him an actual, totally normal, people name, so that we could say things like "This is our cat, Dan." or "Meet our cat, Walter." We went on about this for quite a while, and found it hilarious. It seemed so HUMAN, and I sometimes thought of these names while picturing him wearing little glasses and a smoking jacket. Um, okay, so!

Next pet names will be names that I LOVE that unfortunately will not work with our last name for any possible future children. Specifically Georgia & Charlie.

hashak said...

I got a kitten when I was 3 and named her Yo-Yo, which I still think is a great name.

The cat I had in college was Ace (my roommate got a cat at the same time that we named Amelia nn Millie)

Now our cats are Tesla (for Nikola Tesla, not the 80s hair band) and Conrad (after the character on Weeds). I originally (and still kind of do) wanted to name him Edison (nn Eddy)for Thomas Edison because he and Tesla were rivals. My husband wanted to name him Einstein, but that name does not fit at all.

If I had another pet now I think I'd want to name him Ferris for Ferris Bueller's Day Off, a movie I love.

Jordan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jordan said...

Oh man, I have had SO many pets, all over the naming spectrum. I love pet names.

My dogs have been called Genevieve (from the Madeline books, like the commenter above), Kipling Darcy (after the writer, and Mr. Darcy from Pride and Prejudice), and Chase Eliza (after Elizabeth Bennett). We called Genevieve, a Great Pyrenees, "Boo-Boo" for some reason, and the other two (both Border Collies) are called Kip and Chasie.

I've also had cats through my life called Wasa, Paisley, Schnäflocken, Jasmine, Ben, Willy, Flossie, Pedro, Malcolm, Jake, Findley, Nemo, and Titus.

I've also had mice named after Arthurian women (Guinevere, Morgan, and Niniane), gerbils called Maddy and Nicky (who had to be switched to Matty and Niki when we realized a gender reversal), and a pygmy hedgehog called SPUD (when I was 10, the all capitals were really important).

Actually, now that I look at it, I think this mostly puts me in group 3, with a smattering of 1. With that in mind, I kind of love the suggestion of "Marvin" above. Just the right combo of weird and adorable.

Good luck though! Your new little guy is fabulous.

*re-posted after editing

Beth said...

Growing up, our pets were named after games (table/board/card games). We had:

Uno (dog)
Yahtz (dog - short for Yahtzee)
Dutch and Blitz (a pair of cats we got as kittens)
Chess (a black and white cat)
Muggins (cat)

Some may find this idea kind of quirky, but I love it and I think I'll continue the tradition with any future pets we may acquire.

Word verification is PAPETO - that could be a pet name!

Farrell said...

Butterscotch was my first cat.
Penny is my current cat, which my ex-husband named because he (like Butterscotch) is a tabby tiger-striped and my ex said "he's the color of a penny." only problem is that he's MALE and has a girl name which means we have obviously turned him gay (haha) - it's ok though; we love him just the way he is:)

My dog is chloe. My ex's current dog is Josie. We like the "ee" at the end of names I guess: Jamie (ex), Sophie (child), etc.

My friend just got a poodle puppy and named him Jager (sp?) as in Jaggermeister (too lazy to look up but sure I spelled it wrong). The dog across the street is Lucie.

How bout something like Popeye?
I kind of like Otter.

Donna said...

We have 2 cats - Napoleon (he quickly took over our home and our hearts) and Leilu, a siamese named after the character in 5th element (Lelu Mina Lecatarina Laminacha Ecbat D Serat).

Your lovely man looks like a Mr. to me. Not sure Mr who, but definitely a Mr.

Little Bird said...

We have a 7 month old dog. On the long list of possible names was Thor, if we got a male dog. I wasn't crazy about it but my son liked it. So it stayed on the list. When we found out we were getting a little girl, we crossed off the boy names or feminized those that we could. We ended up naming our new baby Thora. We LOVE it. It means thunder in Norse and tiger in Japanese.

A good strong name for a girl.

Barb @ getupandplay said...

I've never had a cat, only dogs, whose names were Sheba and Max.

My cousin-in-law's kids (confusing?) have three cats named Sugary, Jerry, and Moonshine. Love those names!

Anonymous said...

Dogs: Ajax, Maggie, Max, Zoe. Not names we would use for people but still not obviously pet-ish.

Steph the WonderWorrier said...

We have a dog, her name is Chelsea because my cousin was here visiting the day my mom brought her home, and Chelsea is his favourite soccer team -- he suggested the name, and it just stuck, we couldn't come up with anything else we liked for her at the time (also, in the first photos I saw of her online, she looked like she had blue eyes, and Chelsea's team colours include blue, so it was sort of cool).

I sort of prefer people-names-i-wouldn't-use-on-a-child, because it's my chance to use them!

My first suggestion was Tigger (on your blog) because of his tiger-striped body but...

I loooove the idea of naming him an "M" name because of that M on his forehead -- that is so cool!

Even a "Mister something". I love the suggestion of Mosby, even if you don't watch How I Met Your Mother, I just think that's a wickedly cute name for a silly/brave cat!

Monkey McWearingChaps said...

I have an orange cat named Julius de L'Orange-Mylastname. His nicknames are Juli, Jules, Jude and Judi.

His nickname is a pun on the so-cal smoothie stand.

Jasmine said...

I agree with whoever said to call him Mr. Whatever (with the whatever being replaced by a word, name, or phrase of your choosing).

Or Boris (after Rocky and Bullwinkle). He looks mischievous enough to be a Boris.

ccr in MA said...

My first cat was called Honey, because she was honey-colored (I was a kid). As an adult, I got two kittens and named them Pan (short for Pantalaimon, from The Golden Compass) and Harold (from Bill Cosby's routine about his friend weird Harold).

When I got a new cat a year ago to be company for my old Harold after Pan died, I spent a lot of time debating her name, and now I never call her by it, instead calling her mostly Little Girl or Baby Girl. So when I got another new cat this year (after Harold died--I totally get your not-morbid point), I just kept the name he came with, and so far I tend to call him Buddy or the like. I think of Miri and Carlos as their "vet names".

For some reason, Topher strikes me as fitting your new guy.

Jenn said...

We also get pet names from books/songs/movies/TV - growing up we had a dog named "Pongo" (from 101 Dalmations) and a cat named "Leroy" (Bad, bad Leroy Brown). We now have a Sadie, but that was the name she came with when adopted, so we just kept it.

It was probably your mention of Oliver, but your cat looks like a "Dodger" to me (as in the Artful Dodger from the Oliver musical, not the baseball team :)
Hope he is settling in well, he sure is a cutie!

JMT said...

Oh, your previous cat names are so similar to ours: William and Gulliver. William is "William of Orange" and we thought we'd call him Billy, but never have. Gulliver is often Gully.

I had the most random thought the other day, we walked by this big curly-haired leggy dog in butterscotch fur and I thought, how cute would it be to name an animal in that color "Terscot" from the middle of 'butterscotch'. Pronounced with the accent on the first syllable and hence a schwa for the o.

Anyway, your lil fellow's not the right color. I like Morfin, Rickle, Twombly, Widget, and Drango (w/ hard g).

AmyRobynne said...

Our cat, the first pet I've had in my adult life, is named Shelob (husband's idea). We got her in hopes that she'd get rid of the mice at our last house. It mostly worked. She's definitely not as menacing as the LOTR spider.

Our chickens are named for a combination of their looks (Stripey, Raccoon, Queen) and spices we might eventually cook them with (Tarragon and Curry)

AmyRobynne said...

Re: -R-

Our baby's in utero name is Pippin.

Anonymous said...

Great topic! Everyone loves to talk about their pets. =)
My dog is named Charlotte. We chose a people name for her because we don't have kids, so she is pretty much our baby. I have two fish named Finn and Gilly, which are based on their anatomy. We also have a hamster named Tater Tot, because she's small and brown and kind of oval shaped.

My mom has a cat named Clawdia. I've always wanted to name a cat Clover. Your cat looks a little mischievous. How about Wilder?

TweePopACap said...

I tend to name pets after video game characters. My current kitty is Bowser (after the villain in the Mario series). Actually, his full first name is Bowser, King of the Koopas. And we gave him a middle name, too - Tortimer, another video game character (we wanted something that sounded like a dawdy, embarrassing middle name, and that still fit the video game theme). So his full name is "Bowser, King of the Koopas Tortimer Mylastname."

I guess this puts me in the third category. Am I the only one who is bothered when people give their pets perfectly reasonable human names? I'm always afraid they'll name their pet one of the names I have picked out for my future kids, and thereby ruin the name for me a little.

Anonymous said...

My parents had a dog named Artie (full first and middle name: Art Deco). I'm a big fan of naming pets after things or people you like that you wouldn't name a child after, like literary characters or favorite musicians. I almost adopted a dog whom we would have named Emmylou (after Emmylou Harris--the dog was a Southern rescue), and we ended up naming our dog Boo Radley Surname (also from the South, and very agoraphobic). Other dog names I've got in the hopper:
Swinx Diocletian (a tour guide in Croatia at Diocletian's palace kept pointing out the sphinx statues but pronouncing it "Swinx")
Bellis Louise (latin name for a daisy and sounds like "belly")
Zanzibar Buckbuck McFate (from Dr. Seuss's "Too Many Daves," and would be called Bucky)
(Too Many Daves is a great source for pet names, I think)

We almost named Boo "Dougal," since it means "dark stranger" apparently, and he was this little black silent forlorn doggie. And occasionally we call him by his Nicholas-name, Arthur.

Laurie - Little Blue Chairs said...

Some of our cats names have been as follows...
Mercury
Hamlet
Esmeralda (Relda)
Calliope
Rocket and Daisy (we now have kids who do the naming)

We had 2 birds named Copernicus and Galileo.

Some name we have always wanted to use are Walt (Disney) and Sir Isaac.

I love using names for mythology or literature for kitties.

Anonymous said...

Love this cat. Love it. Not much for suggestions on the name. I have heard the following names for cats that i found amusing.... Pickeral, Trout (same family!) and Spoon

My pets names are Toulouse (cat) and Boss (dog)

Justine said...

My cats name is October...she is an orange tabby and brownish calico mix. Its definitely an interesting pattern. Her colors just fit the fall feeling of the name.

He definitely looks like the kind of cat the could rock a quirky name!

Rayne of Terror said...

I love love love the suggestion of Radar. Then you could sing Radar Love to him in the morning.

Anonymous said...

Heavens, there are 70 comments but I will read them all later! :)
My family had two mini schnauzers: Mollie (middle name Rose) and Macy (m.n. Rae), both named by me. Now they are getting Clark and Bella, and I am getting Fleur. LOVE cute peopley names!

Karen L said...

We've used all 3 categories (e.g., Ivory, Jezebel, Gizmo) in my family. My favourite though is a #3, based on his story.

One morning when I was a teenager, I awoke to find a kitten in our bathroom. My brother had rescued him from a dumpster behind his work. The next morning, I awoke to find FOUR kittens in our bathroom. Therefore, I named the first rescued kitten Tribble.

Once at the vet's, I commented that they must have lots of patients named Tribble, and the vet replied, "Uh, no. I've never heard of it." I guess people aren't as into Star Trek as we were. I think "Trouble with Tribbles" is one of the most famous episodes of the Original Series.

I really like the McIrish suggestion. Or maybe just March if it bothers you that it wasn't exactly St. Patrick's Day.

Or my captcha is "flings." That could be a pet's name.

R said...

Let's see - growing up our cat was Sadie, we had Joe Cocker (a cocker spaniel) that ended up being Josie (who knew my mom would believe them when they said she was a male?) my sister had a German Shorthair Pointer that she named Gebauer nn Gebby for our German exchange student (last name Gebauer eh?)... her current dogs are a great big rottie mix named Bear, and a lab mix named Samson Luther... we have a chocolate lab that hubs named Turbo Todd (we only use first names... not sure why he has a middle name?) and our cat was Boots when my grandparents had him, but once he came to live with us when he was about a year old hubs renamed him Batman Bob...

I had Maggie on my list for girls when I was pregnant, and I can't tell you HOW MANY people said to me "oh, that's my dog's name" when I told them... also, my in-laws' lab (Turbo's mother) is Daisy Mae... and no kidding, at Target the other night - I hear a lady say to her daughter "come on Daisy Mae!" my first thought was of the family pet... also, a friend of a friend has a new puppy named Emma... which is my 14month old's name (thanks for the help with that one Swistle readers! still love it!!) and I do have the thought "seriously? you used a people name for your dog? have you no creativity?" but my cousins have dogs named Steven, Lloyd, Gatti, Zelda, Nelah... so we're all over the board :)

Good luck in your decision!! and congrats on the new addition - beautiful cat!!

R said...

PS - some friends of ours name their pets based on a big event for them that year (which also helps them remember when they got the pets) one of their dogs was Dumas (the year the Joe Dumars & the Detroit Pistons won the NBA Championship I think? back in the 80's?) sometimes it was after a family vacation (the year they went to Yellowstone they named two new dogs after rivers out there) I think Hershey was named for Orel Hershiser retiring from the MLB in 2000... things like that :) just another idea for you to consider :)

Marie Green said...

My favorite pets names are the ones that make me laugh. A know of a male cat named Larson, a male dog named Steve, and both crack me up!

My pet's names have been: Charlotte (childhood cat, called exclusively "The Cat"), Chloe (college cat), Sadie (a cavalier (dog) that we rehomed with our neighbor), Coco (LOVE her name, 3rd category, I think), and Posie (also 3rd category?).

I can't wait to hear what you decide!

Amanda S. said...

I have a boy tabby named Cosmo:) He is a handsome, quirky guy and I am biased, but everyone seems to love him. He was a stray kitten that we took in while living in Okinawa.

Anonymous said...

We had a lot of cats growing up: Bear (HUGE male tomcat with no tail), Douglas (female), Jensen (male), Tigger (female), Tandy (female), Boris, Socks, Black Cat, Missy, Puss Puss.

My favourite for your beautiful cat is Briggs. I don't know why but I think it just suits him!!

Anonymous said...

I don't know quite why, but the name that came to mind immediately when I saw your cat was Mungo. And it fits because it isn't a person's name or anything, but it isn't one of those silly pet names people always use.
I'm going to try to think of more and post if I do.
Good luck!

Anonymous said...

Someone in my apt named their dog COL Pickles. I love the rank concept. Perhaps because of the M, he could be Major ___ or Master Sgt ___. If you use another M second name, his nn could be M&M.

Pocket said...

I like food names for pets! Noodle, Crouton, Nugget are my favorite, but I also like Muffin and Cupcake. Not sure they would pass your "bad news" test because they're just so darn cute, but it's something to consider!

Thesaurus said...

I like the M name suggestion for your new cat. How about Montgomery? Monty for short and Field-Marshall Montgomery for best.

Adey said...

I am not a fan of human names for pets and our dog earned her name for sure!

We have a yorkshire terrier named Trooper. When we had her all of about an hour she fell down 8 ft down the cold air draft vent in our house to the concrete floor below! After taking apart the furnace to get her out we decided that the only way she should've survived without injury was if she had a parachute - and since my husband is in the army we went to "paratrooper" and thus "Trooper"!

My parents have named their dogs after foods. Ruffles like the chips, Chiclet like the gum, and now they have a yorkshire terrier named Skittles. It's very fitting!

Anonymous said...

It certainly is interesting hearing the difference in naming styles between the UK and USA - George, Amelia and Oliver have certainly never been considered quirky.

I know many many people with each name - and actually the most is George ranging from men in their 80s to new borns. I have a sixteen year old cousin called Oliver and know a few more his age and many babies.

And Amelia is simply a classic!!

Chaya said...

I embarrass my family with the names I come up with for pets. I cannot stand food names, or description names. Each and every animal I've been graced with naming was given a human name.
Such as:
Andre', Cali, Phinnaeous, Marilyn, Stanley, Heathcliff, Talulah, Gustavo (though his nickname is usually Ghost or Gooey), Hollis, Jack, Serena, Boomer (after the football player), Alaina, Lennox, Sierra, Tucker, Milo, Andy, Adelaide, Octavius, Alexander "Xander", Penelope, Christian, Maxwell, and Wynne.
(Other immediate family members have bestowed on their animals, much to my dismay, names such as Oreo, Pumpkin, Laydown (don't ask...), Spot, and Lucky)

I did, when younger, name a goose Egypt, quite a few various fowl Jupiter, a goat Sunflower, and a whole collection of chickens after states.
(We had a farm...hence so many opportunities to name things. And I stole pretty much every naming opportunity)