If you have ever been owned by a cat then you will understand the struggle of naming a cat. T.S.Eliot put it beautifully when he opened his poem
The Naming of Cats is a difficult matter,
It isn’t just one of your holiday games;
You may think at first I’m as mad as a hatter
When I tell you, a cat must have THREE DIFFERENT NAMES.
I’ve never even tried to give my cats two names, and certainly have never worked out what their third name might be. I just struggled with finding their everyday name!
You see for those of you who have never been owned by a cat the problem is they will never tell you what their name should be, and if they arrive as a kitten you never quite know whether they will grow into the name you have chosen.
When my seventh cat arrived, nearly 9 years ago now, he arrived with an everyday name but it wasn’t right for him or for us. On went our thinking hats, as he was already about 9months old and with the experience of 6 previous cats you would have thought it would be relatively easy to name him. It wasn’t perhaps because I had spent too much time as child reading T.S.Eliot;
But I tell you, a cat needs a name that’s particular,
A name that’s peculiar, and more dignified,
Else how can he keep up his tail perpendicular,
Or spread out his whiskers, or cherish his pride?
- Roobarb after the cartoon but then I remembered that was the dog, and Custard just didn’t sound right;
- Ginger and Rusty we felt were far too obvious, as was Marmalade
- Garfield appeared for a moment or two but at that stage our cat wasn’t fat
- We then tried Gobbolino and I was looked at in horror
- By which point I was trawling the net for names
- Saffron I liked but our cat was a boy
- And Orlando we thought was too everyday
- We then thought of ‘The Cheshire Cat’ but did you know he has no name
- We tried ‘Old Possums Book of Practical Cats’ alas to no avail
- And then it came to us, so perfect, so us and so him
- You see I remembered he was to be my seventh and I was reading Georgette Heyer at the time
- Clearly our cat, our splendid ginger cat, his name could only be Septimus