| What's in a name?
I’m sure that you are familiar with the situation: you just purchased a new, young pet and now you have to name the little critter! And if you are a breeder (with a litter full of young bundles of joy) then it even gets more complicated! Whole systems are set up, just for the naming of young thoroughbred animals: some start with an A-name (all the names start with an A) for the first litter and follow the alphabet all the way down to Z, others think of a particular theme (for example: the characters of Walt Disney’s Lion King, or all kind of flowers, or popular singers and so on). There are also breeders that stick to one particular civilization (like names of ancient Egypt, Celtic names or Native American names)
Until a short time ago, my solution was: not naming the animal, until I noticed one particular characteristic or behaviour. That is how my first two (Dutch) cats got their names: Mikki and Keetje. Mikki was a black and frisky little kitten (later in life he turned out a big black 14 kg. weighting panther with penetrating yellow eyes).
Keetje got her name because of the sound that she made, when walking on the tin roof: a light tapping sound. In that time there was a Dutch movie about a young hooker with the name “Keetje Tippel” (which in English would be something like Tripping Kay, but in fact has the ambiguous meaning Kay the Street hooker). Although I was much too young to know the content of the movie, or the meaning of the name, the sound that little cat made was exactly like the movie title sounded to me! And despite all the adult resistance: the cat was named Keetje Tippel and that was final!
Years later, after moving in with my boyfriend (who’s now my husband) I convinced him to purchase a Persian Chinchilla cat. Something I always dreamed about! But then we learned the price of such a kitten! Fortunately, the breeder turned out to be a relative of my husband and she took a liking to us so the price dropped with 50% to 300 euro’s, which still was a huge amount back in 1983. Especially for two young people that just started their own home, but we managed! Because the breeder turned out to be a kind of fairy godmother, it was only natural that Cinderella came in mind. The Dutch version is “Assepoester”. I did not want to give that beautiful kitten that could be shortened to “Assie” (which means cinder, or ash) so we named her Ashley. Or as she was registered: Ashley Mistique.
The little half-breed Persian girl that we took in to keep Ashley company was named after a few day’s of running through the house like a little red devil: Satanique or in short Nicky
Our third kitten was born in a shed somewhere in our neighbourhood. The people that owned the shed did not like cats and threw the litter of five out! All stressed out, the mother did not return to her young, and after a little bit of waiting, we picked up the three weeks old kittens and brought them to our vet. One of them died quickly, three others were in a bad shape and were kept at the vets, but one was healthy enough to take home and so we did! She just started to crawl a little bit and she waggled like she was a drunk, so we called her Tipsy!
Some years later, a cat at a relative had a litter. From the moment she was born, I knew that this little kitty was mine! I just had to convince my husband… After a continues period of whining he gave in, but: “This is really the last cat we take in! Four is the maximum amount!!!” So we named her Maxime or in short: Maxi. Sadely enough she did not live very long, after just eight precious months her heart gave up, same like all her brothers and sisters…
Next in line was our little British shorthair. His breeder chose a name that did not agree with him (Pipin). Because of his shy and easily scared nature, we wanted to give him a strong name. Altough is no red street kat, we named him after the though ally cat form Disney’s Aristocats: Thomas O’Malley the Ally Cat (shortly Tommy).
Our next two kittens, our first Maine Coons, did have beautiful names of their own: Fébé (who reminded us of her namesake Phoebe from the tv soap Charmed) and Yael (who we call shortly J, or as pronounced: Jay)
The real challenge came with our first litter! Because one kitten was already promised to a friend who wanted to give her kitten a whiskey-name (her other cat’s name is Dimple and she wanted the same theme) we decided on an alcoholic theme for the whole litter. Well, as it turned out, our whole litter had a total amount of two kittens: a female kitten we named Chivaz (after the whiskey brand Chivaz Regal) and our little boy and joy Smirnoff (of course after the famous vodka brand!)
With this naming our future was set: we decided to join the breeders that choose a theme for every litter! If you have problems naming your pets, here are some sites with names in themes or by alphabetical order: