NOTE FROM ROBIN: just before I was going to upload this post, I got a number of urgent texts from Maria about a kitten who was in dire need of rescue. As you may know, we rushed this kitten to the Vet last night and after getting him on fluids and an injection of B12 and some antibiotics to help soothe his upper respiratory infection, he was sent to Maria's to begin recovering. He is seriously underweight, but he's eating and doing all right so far. What's ironic is that he'll need a name, so I better make sure I take my own advice about what name to choose.
Running a Cat Rescue often requires that I name incoming cats and kittens. I love the challenge of coming up with something unique, that speaks to the personality of each foster cat, but after naming a few hundred cats it becomes a bit daunting.
©2011 Robin A.F. Olson. MacGruber.
The right name can make or break an adoption. If I have a somewhat shy foster cat, who does not rank very high on the must adopt list, meaning it's a black kitten or not a known fancy cat breed, the better the name, the better the odds are that I can get that cat adopted.
©2011 Robin A.F. Olson. Polly Picklepuss.
Do adopters keep the name I give their cat? Often times they do, but it surprises me when I believe I chose a great name and they change it. I'm sure if you asked the cat, they wouldn't care. As the saying goes; “I don't care what you call me, just don't call me late for dinner.”
Keeping in mind that this is ALL IN GOOD FUN, if you named your cat something on this list, PLEASE do not be offended! You could simply consider changing your cat's name to something more clever and appealing to avoid feeling badly. (I'm joking about the name change unless your cat is named, Kitty!)
©2007 Robin A.F. Olson. Bob Dole-best cat name, ever.
1. Kitty. Really? You can't come up with something better than that? Look around your home. Name the cat, “Maple,” “Cinnamon,” “Corian.” Anything is more creative than, KITTY! We KNOW it's a kitty. It's like calling a baby, “human” or “male.”
2. Max. If I had a $1 for every kid, dog or cat named Max, I'd be loaded.
3. Tiger/Tigger/Stripes. Firstly, it's not a tiger, it's a cat. Yes, it may have a striped pattern, but don't call it Stripes! Why not fancy it up? Give it pizzaz? How about LeTigre? Blaze? Some tabbies patterning looks more like herringbone. See? Herringbone is a much cooler name.
4. Boots/Mittens What's next? Naming your cat, “Underwear?” “Ear Muffs?”
5. Fluffy, Puffy, Fluff I named one of our foster cats Miss FluffyPants, which is a great example of how to use a hackneyed name and give it a memorable twist.
6. Lucky That name always connotates an animal with 3 legs or 1 eye (or both) and in my book, that's not particularly lucky.
7. Puss I wouldn't even say that name out loud these days.
8.Tabby. Good thing you don't have a black or gray cat. What would you name that one, Blackie? Gray-ie?
9. Harley This was a cool name at one time, but it's 15 minutes of cool are over.
10. Sooty, Inky, Midnight Only okay to use if the cat is NOT black. If the cat is black, how about choosing one our friend in the Philipines, who does cat rescue, called her black foster kitten: Skittles.
©2011 Robin A.F. Olson. Periwinkle.
Then there are those out there who ignore social convention, common sense or good taste. They have no regard for how the cat might feel being called by the name they chose or the fact that their Vet will one day have to say this name out loud when talking about a serious health issue the cat is battling. “Mr. Jones, I'm very sorry to tell you that we found cancer in Douchebag.”
3. Lil' Hitler
6. Al Qaeda
9. Tabby Turdstockings
I love to think up names that are unique or have a play on words. I have to wonder if a well-named cat gets slightly better Vet care. Every time I went to a new Vet with my cat, Bob Dole, EVERYONE who heard his name laughed, smiled and REMEMBERED him any time we needed to have a return visit. Maybe a cat's name is not such a big deal, but I believe it's worth taking time to come up with a name that's special to you and your family.
1. Count Chocula
3. Kevin Scent or Kevin
4. Sultan of Swagger or Sammy Swagger
5. Sir Chunksalot
6. Roger That
7. Phil Opian
8. Richard Widmark (you would always have to refer to him by his full name, no nicknames or else it falls under number 5 of Stupid Cat Names)
10. Dammit. My Mother always wanted to name a cat Dammit so she could let it outside during the day, then have the pleasure of calling it to come back inside each night. “Dammit, get in the house!”
11.(bonus!) Rocky Road
I could go on and on about cat names and perhaps one day I'll share some insight into what inspires my curious name choices. For now, please promise to still be my friend if your cat is named Mittens or Max or anything else on these lists. I want to inspire you to consider coloring outside the lines when you name your next cat. Give that cat a special name that makes you smile every time you have to scold that cat and say its' name out loud: “Richard Widmark! Get off the counter!”
©2012 Maria. S. Now that we've discussed what not to name the cat, stupid names and cool names I've come up with; I've chosen to name our newest foster kitten, Tater Tot.