Monday, 7 May 2007

THE NAMING OF CATS

I had a cat once --- for a week!

There were two reasons why Tiddles went off to live with Aunty Margaret and Uncle Harry: one was the fact that I turned out to be allergic to cat hair which, for a five-year-old asthmatic, is not a great discovery; the other was that Miss Baker, an elderly and curmudgeonly neighbour, accused Tiddles of tiddling in her coal shed which resulted in a decidely unpleasant odour when the coal was burnt.

Tiddles naturally denied the accusation, but since Miss B was threatening to leave out some poisoned cat food for him, he got nervous and put in for a transfer.

Since then I have never really been terribly intimate with cats, although I've always been on polite nodding-terms with our friend (and fellow blogger) Polkadots' cats DOLLY and the late-lamented MIMSY...


Following Mimsy's recent departure for what T S Eliot (or was it Andrew Lloyd-Webber?) called "The Heaviside Layer", Polkadots is in the process of looking for a new chum for Dolly and has entered into negotiations with the current guardians of this young gentleman...


However, as Andrew Lloyd-Webber (or was it T S Eliot?) observed, "The naming of cats is a difficult matter, It isn't just one of your holiday games..."

Which is true (and all the more so on a Bank Holiday Monday); so the question exercising Polkadots at present is what to call the new user of the cat-flap.

Readers of this blog are well-known for their startling creativity, so please give POLKADOTS the benefit of your insightful inspiration...

My personal offering is 'LOUIS' (pronounced 'Lewis') so that when he arrives, Polkadots can introduce him to Dolly in song (adopting, of course, a suitably gravelly voice): "Well, hello, Dolly, this is Louis, Dolly..."

Oh well, just a thought!

[Portraits of Dolly and Mimsy by David Weeks, 2007]

13 comments:

LisaH said...

How about calling him Basil? If a third cat comes to join Polkadot and him it would obviously be named Vera and then there would be Basil Dolly Vera.

polkadotsoph said...

Ha! Basil is in fact one of the names on the shortlist so thanks for that Lisah... The other news is that there may well be a third cat on the way BUT it will also be a boy so Vera is out of the question. There is one other problem with your suggestn and that is that I am somewhat allergic to cricket... My dad would have liked the idea though!

Brian Sibley said...

Crikey! Cricketing Cats, now there's an idea Eliot missed!!

Brian Sibley said...

GILL writes to suggest...

"Depending on the contemplative nature of the new cat, DAYDREAM would go well with Dolly!"

Wellington (Elven) Bear said...

Re Tiddles and her coal bunker experience. Reminds me of a time I looked after a cat, in his own home while his owner was away on holiday. He was an indoor cat, didn't go out so used a litter tray. I awoke one morning to find to my horror that I had inadvertantly shut the poor mog in the sitting room all night. With the prospect of a roomful of toiletedness I tentatively opened the door and peeked in. There was kitty snoozing quite happily on the chaize lounge (it was that kind of sitting room) and not a toilet episode in sight. Sighing with relief I petted kitty and went over to light the coal fire. There, perched neatly on top of the fresh coals in the fire was kitty's contribution. There must be something about coal...
Good luck on the naming, I have six of the critters and am all out of names!
p.s. good to "see" you here Brian!

Jen said...

All my cats had 'official'names & numerous aliases depending what they were up to at the time! The last one was called Riley because that's the life he led... Also choose one you won't mind yelling out at the backdoor around midnight when they won't come in!
if it's a duo you might find something on 'pairs search' at http://www.bowwow.com.au/pairsearch/index.asp or, um, Basil & Brush, Basil & Fawlty....

Good Dog said...

You could go all Dickens on them and call the newbie Varden.

Anonymous said...

I had a large ginger Tom called Basil - but spelt "Bazil" just to be different, however, I think this one definitely looks like an Aristotle. !

Ike2248 said...

I thought an even better one - which had I not got 7 cats already, I would love to use....
SOCRATES.
Heaven forbid he should be given a "pansy" name not befitting a cat.!!

Suzanne said...

I was completely nonplussed at lisah's suggestion of Basil Dolly Vera. And then I read the remark about cricket and understood... I don't know the first thing about cricket; it's about as alien to me as Hungarian!

Anne said...

I think the cat will eventually let his person know what to call him. The two cats I live with had no name for months, then became known as Polite Kitty and Dirty-Nose because of their behaviors or appearances.

Boll Weavil said...

I have a favourite name for a cat which I've always fancied using but never have. This is because our cat already has a name (albeit a fairly stupid one). He is called Possums, a name he detests because it gives him no cred on the street AT ALL. In order to 'hang out' properly and command 'respect'we have to call him 'The Pos' or he just ignores us when he's out with the boys. Even so, he obviously has a name so my first choice remains available. It is 'Hodge' - the name given to the father of domestic cats - the one owned by Dr Johnson and mentioned by Boswell as hanging round his house and being fed oysters by the good doctor. At a time when cats were probably big disease carriers and treated with some disregard,Hodge lived domestic life to the full and should surely live on by having his name passed down to subsequent generations !

Chris said...

Madison