Back in October our friend Sue from the Talking Dogs Blog shared a Throwback Thursday post titled “The Rhyme and Reason of Dog Names at Talking Dogs”. Her post talked about the dogs in her life and how she came up with their names. I thought it was such a fun idea, and wanted to do the same thing. I wrote my dog name post in December, I’ve had many more cats in my life than dogs, so this one took a little longer!
The first two cats in my life that I named were strays that wandered into our yard when I was a teenager. At the time I was taking Spanish language in high school, so I named these two cats “Concha” and “Carlotta“. Carlotta is Spanish for Charlotte, and I thought Concha was Spanish for Constance (I had a close friend with that name at the time), but it’s actually short for Concepción. I’d have to find my old Spanish textbook to see if I was right at the time!
Both of those cats had kittens, and we ended up keeping a tan/orange one which, if I remember correctly, my mother named “Taffy” because of his color. I’m sure my sister will be correct me if she reads this and I remember wrong about that!
The next cat I got was when I was in my early 20’s and my friend/roommate and I got two kittens at the local pet store (this was the early 80’s when pet stores weren’t as frowned upon!). They were siblings and I named my female “Antoinette“, feminizing the name of the man I was currently in love with who was in a local band. Her brother was named “Chaos” by my friend (same reason, Chaos was a nickname for the lead singer in the band).
Antoinette later ended up living with a friend when I moved to Massachusetts. Though I was supposed to get her back, I ended up letting that friend keep her. The man moved on as well, and I’d like to think I missed Antoinette more than her namesake. 🙂
Once I was settled in Massachusetts, my parents asked me to take Concha to live with me; though Carlotta and Taffy were gone by then (both met the fate of many outdoor cats and sadly disappeared). Concha was just a bit needy, but I was happy to take her. She ended up moving back to NH with my husband and I later, and lived to the nice old age of 18!
While living with friends in Mass., I fell in love with their tiger cat named “Ragu“. They ended up giving her to me, and I kept that name (yes, I’m quite sure she was named after the spaghetti sauce). Ragu had kittens and we kept the runt of the litter and named her “Bones“. My boyfriend (who is now my hubby) and I had moved in together at that point, and the other roommates had moved out. Another roommate also left behind a black cat named “Blackie” (not too clever, but we also kept his name).
Bones got her name because she was such a scrawny but scrappy little thing; and later we mostly called her “Miss Bones”, I guess since that made her more feminine (this was long before the TV show “Bones”!). Bones had kittens of her own. Most of them went to live with family and friends, but we kept our favorite who we named “Don Juan”, because he was such a little lover. He went on in life to love everyone, feline, canine, and human, and definitely lived up to his name.
We lived right on a busy street, and lost both Ragu and Blackie to traffic. Don Juan also got hit by a car. He was injured badly, with a broken leg and hip but he pulled through and recovered fully. By then we became more responsible pet owners – no more kittens, and no more living right on the street!
We moved to New Hampshire with Concha, Miss Bones, and Don Juan. After Concha passed on we got another little tiger kitten from the pet store, and we named her “Tasha“, and as far as I remember, that was simply because we liked that name. I will never forget walking into that pet store and hearing her cry; I’m pretty sure she was calling out to me. I left the store without her, but it wasn’t difficult to talk my hubby into going back.
After losing both Tasha (she never came home one day; living on the street isn’t the only way you lose outdoor cats), and Miss Bones (who was killed by the neighbor’s dog), we didn’t want Donny to be the only cat (though he loved our dog at the time). We adopted our own little tan/orangey cat from the shelter and named him Conrad. I honestly don’t remember why we chose that name, other than wanting a different and human name. Somehow it always fit him.
We also took in a stray cat. We thought he was a she at first and named him Annabelle (I don’t know why). Once we realized our mistake, he became “Franklin”. At the time I collected beanie babies and Grateful Dead bears, and one of the Dead bears was named Franklin. Unfortunately our Frankie was not a healthy guy and only lived for less than a year with us.
With Donny aging, and Conrad never liking the dogs, we knew we needed more cats. My brother’s cat had kittens and though we only planned to get one, we ended up with two. Those sisters were named “Katie” and “Samantha“. Katie was named after a hostess on the CMT music channel; I think I mostly just liked the name at the time (I had to look up who she was named after, and I guess that Katie – Cook – still works for CMT!). The choice of Samantha may have had something to do with my sister having a male cat named Sammy, who was the kitten of my Antoinette. My other sister had also had a cat named Samantha and it was a name I always liked for a cat.
Reading back, I can see that I definitely leaned towards human names for my cats, other than Miss Bones (maybe that’s why I added the “Miss” – to humanize it more). Those without human names were not named by me!
If you read my dog names post, you might remember I told you this cat post would be far longer, and now you know why! I was a crazy cat lady long before I also became a crazy dog lady.