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What is in a name?

Updated: Jan 16

The names of our four-legged children have always been important. We don’t typically name one of them willy-nilly. Sometimes, though, choosing a name is difficult, as is the case with the inside/outside five boys (which may be becoming permanent inside boys).

Cajun Spooks, my first cat – Cajun because Momma didn’t burn the food; she just cooked it Cajun-style. Mind you, Mom didn’t burn food often, but this was the joke on those very rare times it happened. Spooks because as a small kitten Cajun was spooked relatively easily.

Stardust Escape – Stardust from her white tufts in her black blanket coat. Escape from her first month or so with me, pushing out a window screen and running along the roof of the patio.


Moz Bayou – Moz from her “mohawk” of her orange blaze. Bayou because as a baby she had an alligator bite, and my mother teasingly said Moz was so ugly she was only alligator bait. Torties’ mish-mash of colors takes a bit of acclimating to.

Silver Sterling – He was an abuse case in my apartment complex. I named him after his coloring not thinking he would ever become mine. Sterling from his beautiful meow and clear, green eyes.



Thereafter, only Nosson Shadow and Liadan Squirrel had first and middle names, but then again, they were the only ones we intentionally adopted together as a couple (Nosson passed at three years old and Liadan lives with my parents). Everyone after that came to us as foundlings. Not knowing their future with us, and not making it a priority, each only had first names.

That changed the day we had to say good-bye to Sherlock. I did not want him to leave us without a middle name. He needed to know he was a permanent family member even if we were having to let him go to his peace.

That day, not only Sherlock but everyone else in the clowder got middle names. Sherlock and his littermates all had detective first names: Magnum, Beckett, Sherlock, Higgins (adopted by Santa Claus), Watson, and Castle (in birth order). They all received hero middle names. From there, each of the others were given middle names relative to their first names.

Now, we are stuck on the five boys. Their first names are hodge-podged. Nonny – could not figure out any really distinctive features so he was anonymous … Nonny. Mosheh, Hebrew for Moses, was originally named something else morphed from Momma’s boy, as he was always with Wee Babe. Beau was from “black and white” morphed to Bow and now settled at Beau. Greensleeves was my first named one. He is he only boy with a full-sleeve tiger “tattoo”, and the song “Greensleeves” is one of my absolute favorites. Last but not least is Annikin. His name is odd and unusually spelled for a reason. Two things went into his name. One, one side of his face is covered by his tiger markings. It reminds me of the implants on Seven of Nine, Annika Hansen, from “Star Trek: Voyager”. Second, Annikin took quite a while to grow into his boy parts leaving me to wonder if he was a girl. Nope, he was a boy and therefore his name needed to alter into more of a boy’s name. Thus, Annikin (Annika plus Anakin – Star Wars) was created.


John and I have been back and forth on what the theme should be for their middle names. I refer to Mosheh as “my butter boy” because he melts as soon as I pick him up. He loves to be loved. So ... food names for the boys? We like classic literature, so names from books? John and I both love sci-fi, so maybe classic sci-fi authors or characters? The boys were born outdoors and still ache to be let outside, so middle names reflecting outdoor elements? All three are talkers! So middle names related to conversation?


See? Not easy! Any suggestions? What have you named your four-legged lovelies? Mind if we borrow some names from you?



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