Sunday, April 22, 2012

On the naming of cats

Hunter in repose
I am reading the story of Dewey, the world famous library cat.  My sister-in-law sent it to me from Edinburgh. She is also a "cat" person.  It's the story of a kitten who somehow got into the drop box of a library one bitterly cold night in Spencer, Iowa. I am only half way through what may be an abridged version in large print for children (what was my sister-in-law thinking?). Anyway it's a wonderful story; I may actually get the grown up version.

The head librarian and author of the book named him Dewey - go figure. Actually the name is richer than one might think. Dewey is, of course, from the Dewey Decimal System - somehow Library of Congress just wouldn't have worked. His second name became "Readmore" from a cartoon cat named O. G. Readmore and his last name became Books. Dewey Readmore Books could also be translated into - "Do we read more books?" In the future, I am sure that there will be a Kindle, a Kobe and probably an ICat - is that the same as "Cat's Eyes?"

Cats lend themselves to wonderful names.  "Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats" has some classics - "Jenny Any Dots" is one of my favourites. Feel free to post yours from T.S. Eliot's book. I have written before about Magnificat and Pangra Ban.  In the knitting community, I know of a Mittens (Four Seasons Knitting) and Henry - Lucy Neatby's knitted Wall hanging of her cat Henry and Mary Pat McDonald's cat Hamish....for the most part these are/were all males.  Robyn Gallimore of Red Bird Knits has had so many cats over the years - usually more than five at a time - that I'm afraid  my pea brain couldn't remember many of their names - but they were all lovely!

I once had a black cat called "Princess" and she was one.  I wanted to name one of the three black cats that we have now Diablo - but I let the kids name them and so we have Chloe, Zack and Hunter, instead of Diablo, Beelzebub and Lucifer....must have been a bad week for sales :)

Here is a site that lists the most popular names for both male and female cats. It does mention mittens, plus misty and muffin (2 other cats I've had).  I forgot about Midnight for black cats and I love Oreo for a Jellicle - which begs the question "Could you put jelly on your Oreo?" There is also a Merlin on the list and I have written before about a cat called Marzipan (not on the list; but an "M" name and a treat.)

I did notice an absence of names from the Arts on the list, though.  There were, for example, no Hemingway's, Keats, WB's (W. B. Yeats), Ezra's etc. nor were there Beethovens (oops that's a dog's name), Mozarts, Picassos or Raffis.... What does this say about cats and their owners?

There are stitches in lace called - "Cat's Eyes" (also Bird's Eyes) - no Dog's Eyes - but we do have Faun's Eyes. Now as much as I love lace, I would never name a cat Lacey or Purly....but maybe "Stitches." :)

Please post your favourite names for cats and have a nominal - no phenomenal day!!

No comments:

Post a Comment