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More on naming cats. December 9, 2012

Posted by ourfriendben in pets, wit and wisdom.
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Silence Dogood here. We wrote about naming cats—specifically, naming our cat Pumpkin—the other day. This of course brought to mind the way popular culture influences the choice of names in general, from baby names to cat and dog names.

With the first movie in “The Hobbit” trilogy debuting within the week, no doubt a generation of dogs will find themselves named Bilbo, Frodo, Thorin, Beorn, and Gandalf. But what about cats? I suspect cat-lovers will turn not to J.R.R. Tolkien but to The Hunger Games for inspiration. We may not see many cats named Coriolanus, Seneca or Romulus, but Katniss is an excellent cat name. Gale works for me. Cinna is a good cat name, as is Caesar. Some cat-lovers who also love The Hunger Games might decide to name their cats Cato, Clove, Glimmer, Rue, or even Thresh, not to mention Finnick, Annie, Haymitch, Effie, Maysilee, and Johanna.

Would you name your cat after a character in The Hunger Games trilogy? Would you name a dog after a character in The Hobbit? Much as our friend Ben and I love The Hobbit, I doubt I’d go to it for pet names. But I wouldn’t mind naming a cat Katniss. Somehow, it just seems right.

             ‘Til next time,

                        Silence

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1. Frater Zee - December 10, 2012

I think the well-named cat needs both a proper “formal” name and a matching nickname. I learned this as a child, when my neighbors had a mated pair of Siamese named Anthony and Cleopatra — whom they always called Tony and Cleo. Their kitten was named Socrates — or Sox for short. Classical Greek names fit cats very well — eg, Agamemnon, Thucydites, Parmenides, and Anaximander for males, and Penelope, Hypathia, and Clytemnestra for females. These names work well for goldfish too… In any case, my own experience naming cats is limited to two strays I adopted when living in Philly. I named one Marco Polo (“Marco”) since he traveled a lot. The other I named King Frederick of Freedonia — or Freddie for short. Cheers.

Ha! Good choices, Frater Zee! I avoid the formal name/nickname thing by giving all pets two-syllable names. (I decided this after naming a parakeet Linus Theodore Aquinas and having everyone call him “Bird.”) I did break the rule for my rosella Alcibiades (whom I called Alcibiades) and cat Athena (whom I called Athena), not to mention our chickens (Lucretia, Venetia, Portia, Olivia, etc.), but in general, I think two-syllable names are easiest for pets and people to remember.


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