Oct 312007

Oh, the fun we’ve had trying to name these three adorable kitties!  We’ve played rounds and rounds of “how does this sound?” and “How about ….?” to come up with suitable monikers for our new housemates.  For your enjoyment, we give you some insight into the process. 

First, we thought of the situation:  two boys and one girl.  Hmmm … sounds like the main characters from the musical “The Producers”!  How about “Leo”, “Max”, and “Ulla”? 

Nah.  “Leo” and “Max” are much too common names for cats.  And our little lady cat doesn’t strike us as an “Ulla”.  Would have been fun, though! 

Well, let’s take them individually then.  First, the brown-and-gold female tabby.  She came into our lives with the name “Blynken”. 

Naming the Brown and Gold Tabby

She was actually the easiest to rename.  We’re fans of the show Meerkat Manor on Animal Planet.  For the uninitiated, Meerkats are animals of the Kalihari desert.  For a point of reference, they are kind of like the prairie dogs we saw in Wyoming on our trip this summer.  They sleep in burrows under the ground at night, but spend the bulk of their day above ground foraging for food.  They eat scorpions and bugs in a chomp-chomp-chompy way smacking their mouth loudly.  Meerkats also make little chirpy-vocal sounds to communicate.  They are sleek brown and gold looking animals, that are able to stand up on their hind legs. 

Our little girl doesn’t do the stand-upright trick, but she looks like a Meerkat, she eats her food in the same indelicate way Meerkats eat theirs, and she makes little Meerkat-like chirpy vocal sounds.  So … she is hereby called “Meerkat“!


Naming the Silver Tabby

Next, the silver tabby that looks like our dear beloved Clyde who passed away back in February.  He came to us with the name “Silver”, which was given to him by the PAWS Foster Mom. 

We briefly thought about following the model of the cat on the cartoon show, “The Simpsons”.  Lisa’s cat “Snowball” died, so they got a new cat and called it “Snowball II”.   However, our silver tabby doesn’t really strike us as a “Clyde II”, so we dropped that idea. 

We threw around other ideas … “Buddy”, “Silver”, “Amigo”, and others.  He’s a bit of a pacifist when teased by the other two cats, so we thought about naming him something on that theme, such as “Quaker”, “Pacem” (Latin for peace, pronounced pahtch-em), and “Pace” (Italian for peace, pronounced pahtch-ay). Luckily he smacked the boy kitten after being ambushed, as if to say to us “Pacem this!” So we tried other names. We also thought about something like “Tagalong” because he likes to follow us from room to room.  But the names didn’t stick. 

We noticed he has a block of white fur on his neck, right under his chin, like a clerical collar.  (It also looks him look like he’s wearing the “puffy shirt” that Jerry Seinfeld wore in one of the famous Seinfeld episodes.)  That gave us the idea of naming him “Pastor”, “Reverend”, “Monsignor”, or “Father”.  All of those sounded funny on him … but the Spanish word for a reverend is “Padre”, and that seemed unique and fitting given our Hispanic surname!  We also thought that he could be called “Compadre” since he is “friendly” and a “close associate.”  So, the silver tabby is now “Padre“!


Naming the Tuxedo Cat

Finally, the hardest one of all … the black and white tuxedo cat.  He came to us with the name “Wynken” because he only has one eye.  The other was removed because of an eye infection. 

We didn’t want a name that highlighted his missing eye … so we stayed away from pirate names and such.  He’s a really affectionate little guy, rambunctious, and definitely vying against Padre (and me) for the role of “dominant male” of the household.  We thought about naming him “Capital T” because, per “The Music Man”, it stands for TROUBLE!  But, that didn’t feel right for him.  Even “Mr. T” didn’t fit him, despite the “tough – T” image he pretends to have. 

We also nixed “Buddy”, “Hobbes”, “Tuxey”, “Romeo”, “Valentino”, “Sherlock”, “MacGyver”, “Pepe” (as in Pepe le Pew, the skunk from Bugs Bunny cartoons), and several others.  So, we really were racking our brains for a name for him.  And then suddenly a name began to emerge. 

He’s a little bit rounder in the belly than the other two cats.  He is mostly black with white markings.  He’s soft and fuzzy and likes to have his belly rubbed like a playful little bear.  And, he kind of looks like a small … Panda!  So, we’ve settled on the name “Panda Bear“! 


So, please welcome our new kitties to Casa Caban!  Meerkat, Padre, and Panda Bear!  As a group, we’ve taken to calling them “The Furry Bambinos.” 


In fact, they banded together to create their own cat blog at TheFurryBambinos.com

“With cats, some say one rule is true
Don’t speak ’til you are spoken to
Myself I do not hold with that
I say you should ad-dress a cat
But always bear in mind that he
Resents familiarity

You bow, and taking off your hat
Ad-dress him in this form: “O’ cat!” 

… And so in time you reach your aim
And call him by his name
So this is this, and that is that
And there’s how you ad-dress a cat …”

(Lyrics in “The Ad-dressing of the Cats” from the musical “Cats”)

 Posted by at 8:34 am

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