People sometimes ask me about the names of our cats. That always strikes me as a bit odd simply because I don’t ever think about it. Cats are kind of like kids in that their names are their names, so that’s what we call them.
We try to name our cats after their personalities for the most part. A lot of people go for names that reflect physical traits, but we have only done that once with a huge male cat we called Big Kitty. We have to get to know them a bit before we settle on a name. When they first arrive at our house, we use generic names, like The New Cat, or The Kitten. It takes a week or two before we come up with a name that seems to fit them.
My wife, Vivian, named our girl cat, Skittles. I am not sure how she came up with that.
“She just acts like a Skittles,” is all Vivian could say about it.
I named the boy cat, Ozrow, after a guy I knew when I was a kid. Ozrow the cat was a bedraggled mess of a tiny kitten when Vivian found him on a bridge about to get run over. He was so hungry and flea bitten he couldn’t walk. But he tried to walk and did learn how to do it once we got rid of the fleas and we gave him plenty to eat. Ozrow the person I knew was a down and out type who always looked pathetic. Even so, the person had a greater sense of self-worth than most people acknowledged. So it is with Ozrow the cat.
I have always heard you should never change the name of a cat. We usually go along with that if a cat comes to us with a name. We got Spanky and Ophelia with their names and kept calling them what they had always been called. We did change one cat’s name because it didn’t fit her personality, though. We had a solid black cat the previous people she’d lived with had named Midnight. She was so pleasant and fun we changed her name to Sunshine. We decided a change didn’t count if the cat was new to us.
We inherited two other cats from those same people. They were a male and female pair named Mork and Mindy, after the characters in an old television show. The people apparently had some difficulty with gender identification. On the TV show, Mork was male and Mindy was female. With the cats, it was the opposite—Mindy was the boy and Mork was the girl. We kept the names but never liked using them.
We had a gender problem of our own once that required a slight name change. We had a kitten that was mentally challenged and kind of wild. We named her Cleopatra after the Egyptian queen. It was several months before we discovered Cleopatra was a male. So we changed his name to Cleopatrick.
Probably the most difficult cat to name we ever had was Miss Pitty Pat, another name Vivian chose. She was a grumpy cat from the time she was a kitten and went through several temporary names before Vivian decided on the name the cat finally carried for years.
We don’t like cutesy names or physical names. Every cat has a unique personality and we think they all deserve a unique name.