04 June 2012

What's In A Name?

May I introduce... well, I don't know what to introduce him as. This is our new kitty. He's small, he's extremely cute (well, d'uh, he's a kitten), and we can't agree on a name for him. Some of us wanted Napoleon, Leo or Leon for short. My son, who stumped up the cash for the SPCA adoption fee, wanted Wilhelm, to be called Villi (this is Kaiser Wilhelm we're talking about, so it would have to be pronounced German). But nobody else likes that. I suggested Boney, for Napoleon Bonaparte, or Willy, for William the Conqueror, but it didn't really fly.

In case you haven't caught on, we like naming our cats after royalty- preferably emperors or other really famously imposing characters (blue blood mandatory). So far, we had a Julius Caesar, a Charlemagne, and a Cleopatra. And a Later, but he was our first cat and outside of the line of royal felinity. (His name was the counterpart to that of an extended-family dog, which was called Sooner - as in, Sooner-Pee-on-the-Floor-than-Go-Outside. Which was slander in her case, but the name stuck.) I've considered Augustus Caesar and Ludwig (the mad Bavarian king who built Neuschwanstein. Remind me to rant about that place some other time.), and for females, we still have Boudicca, Victoria and Elizabeth available. For the boys we could also go for Henry or Edward (Wars of the Roses, anyone?), or numerous Georges. But those are kind of boring, as far as cat names go.

You see, it amuses me to bestow the appellation of some really bombastic, magnificent, even megalomaniac ruler on someone as small, fluffy and utterly adorable as our cats are when they arrive at our house. The more imposing the name, the better. But in this case, we just can't seem to agree.

So finally, I said: "How about we just call him He-Who-Has-Not-Been-Named?" And of course, everyone knows that's Voldemort. Bombastic? Check. Magnificent? For a given value of it, check. Megalomaniac? Through the roof. So it could, perhaps, fit. Except that You-Know-Who is fictional, and not blue-blooded (in fact, he's mudblooded, but don't tell him that, it'd upset him). But, whatever. Voldemort also conveniently shortens to Mort, which sounds kind of cat-ish, and besides, is the name of Death's Apprentice in Terry Pratchett's Discworld, and Death, as everyone also knows (that Everyone, he's awfully knowledgeable!), is very fond of cats. They're some of the few creatures who can see him.

We still haven't agreed on a final name for Small-and-Fluffy. I think it might boil down to Napoleon, Mort for short. Or perhaps, he'll just be Kitty, for the rest of his life. When you come to visit, you may feel free to call him whatever you please. Or Whatever-You-Please, What for short. What? Wat! Wat Tyler? Hmm...

Life, the Universe, and the Naming of Kittens. A cat by any other name would be as sweet.


  1. Aaaaw, he's so cute and he looks very aristocratic in that pose.

  2. Doesn't he, though? All he needs in a paw on his chest for the proper napoleonic look.

  3. I love the idea of the regals names for a sweet fluffy kitten.

    We used to work on the sort of opposite tack I guess .. knowing that those fluffy kittens often grow up to rule the house eventually with us becoming their mere servants we gave ours really ordinary names - like Kevin the Kitten and Colin the Cat - just so they didn't forget their humble beginings!

    I also like cat names that play with cat-related words .. like Oedipuss and Chaiman Meow :o)

  4. Hah, that's brilliant. That's where you get the Oedipuss complex: "Oh de puss! What's she done now?"