Thursday, March 24, 2011

Who Names Those Shelter Animals?

By Ellery Adams

What's in a name?

T.S. Elliot would tell you the naming of cats is a difficult matter. And when you work at an animal shelter like my friend Lynda Turpin does in sunny California, it can become tough to come up with wonderful new names on a weekly basis.

When she mentioned this challenge to me a few weeks ago on Facebook, I proposed asking you all for a list of some of your favorite pet names.

What's in it for you? How about a gorgeous cat key chain from the ASPCA for three lucky winners? I love to support this organization and it will help Lynda out too. And keep Lynda in your prayers, she lost her kitty Fifi on Wednesday and despite her sorrow, will march

into the shelter today to love and care for more precious animals.

All the photos are from Lynda's Facebook page. Thank you, Lynda for all that you do!


kissablysweet1 said...

Sasha... Puddin, Tiger, Daisy, Duke, Sweet Pea

grammie said...

How about Poi, Mou, Stinky, Landcat,George,or J.J. These are names of past loved cats. Poi lived to the ripe old age of 24. Landcat adopted us, our youngest named him, he took over our yard as if he owned it and let us live there. Kind of like a landlord hence Landcat. George was named after Curious George the monkey.

Fiona L. Woods said...

Here ya go: Panzer, Panther, Pagan Eddy, Scooter, Pegs, and Tigger (not Tiger!). All members of my fur family.

Tonya said...

How about Nabisco? That's my kitty's name.

Linda McDonald said...

My condolences to Lynda on the loss of Fifi. It's so heartbreaking to lose a pet.

Here's my name list:

Cindy Silberblatt said...

Love this challenge. I like to name pets for past relatives, which wouldn't work for shelter animals I guess. How about: Lillie, Coooper, Agatha, Pugsy, Samantha, Scoop, Giggles, or Fancy.
I also like dogs named for TV personalities and mystery characters. Then I'm just different :)

pet palz said...

I like unusual names but I have to have a reason each name is give to its respective pet. Some of the ones that we have had are --
Hoosier (who's your daddy?)
Hoover(a dog who sucked up crumbs)
Stinky (obvious reasons)
Foster (I'm her foster mom)
Ashee (her color is like wood ashes)
Heinz (he was a multi variety dog)
DC (darn cat)

Dru said...

We had a Fluffy, Midnight, Precious, Stinky, Kitty, Hey Cat, You There and Brooklyn.

Tonya Kappes said...

Awww that's so sweet for you to be hosting this. I breaks my hearts to see all those kitties in shelters!
There are some great names to give her.

Linda Leszczuk said...

Okay, we've had

Penny - copper colored fur
Lady - and she was one
Tuppence - who came after Penny so she was Penny 2
Trubby - short for Trouble, self explanatory
Mike - big ol' boxer, he just loked like a Mike
Peaches - Apricot colored Cocker
Cream - Peaches' little mate, very pale coloring
Timmy - little guy
Muffin - fur ball
Noel - rescued at Christmas
Bisket - like dog biscuit but we played with the spelling
Pepper - salt and pepper coloring but more pepper
Freckles - lots of them
Sandy - fur color
Chance - by chance he followed my daughter-in-law home one day
Brandi - named at the shelter where we got her.

We lost Chance last October. Brandi is 15 and still going strong. Well, maybe not strong but still going.

Pam said...

Dagwood and Blondie - my last two cats, alas no more.
Morgan - was the best cat in the world
Homer - Morgan's father
India - Homer's mother

Barbara said...

I've had two cats named Pete and Repeat. The stray I'm trying to make friends with now is still named Scaredy Cat for obvious reasons, but if she gets friendly I may name her Molly. My mother-in-law had Spooky and Ninnie which was short for Nincompoop. Ninnie liked to be lifted up a few inches by her tail and dropped.

PamelaSueJames said...

My choices are:

Pamela James

Anonymous said...

These are all great names so far. Thanks to Ellery to doing this and thanks to all of you for your wonderful suggestions.

Lynda said...

Oops. That last comment was from me (Lynda Turpin). Must have check the wrong box. But I do thank all of you for your input and Ellery for her kindness.

Kelly Saderholm said...

My daughter Rachel, who volunteers at an Animal shelter, has the following suggestions:

Watson, Link, Zelda, Ganondorf, Rufus T.Firefly, Maxwell, Omega, Minsc, Gaiman, Firestar, Bob, Sherlock, Mister, Gawain, Lancelot, Sigurd, Harpo, Chico, Groucho, Zeppo, Freya, Fafnir, Martin, Captain Jack, Rasputin, Simba, Mufasa, Schrodinger, Chekov, Fuzzbomb, Grendel, Beocat, Merlin, Samwise, Frodo, Strider, Fearless, Serenity, Malcolm, Sam, Zulu, Koschei, Castle, Beckett, River, Poseidon, Garret, Crookshank, Drizzt, Hedwig, Lexington, Cabaret, Layton, Kermit, Grover, Perseus, Hurricane, London, Gambler, Rambler, King of Red Lions, Pelor, Gandalf, Aldrich and Fuzzy.

Katreader said...

Choosing names can truly be difficult. I have pet rats and since their lifespan is so short I have to come up with lots of names-sometimes I keep the names the shelter has given, sometimes I don't. Some people have themes. In fact my female rats were all flowers or gemstones. My first girls were 4 sisters-so I named them Hyacinth, Daisy, Rose, and Violet (after the BBC comedy Keeping Up Appearances). I have boy rats now. My 4 most recent I named after Polish beers, I named another Aquinas as the markings on his head look like a tonsure. Harrison and Dylan after the musicians. My current cats are Aleister (an all black cat so I named him after Aleister Crowley), Calumet (born in my thoroughbred's barn, I named her after the famous horse racing stable), Seneca took forever to name. I finally picked it after the Native American nation. My horse already had his name-Harley-he raced under the name Bad to the Bone. My dogs, who have crossed the Rainbow Bridge, were Barrett (after musician Syd Barrett) and Brioche (her fur was colored like the buttery roll-the shelter called her Sandy-had to change it). Shelter names for some of the rats that I kept include Marlin (although I think it should be Marlon after the actor and not the fish), Wallace, Napoleon, Snickers, Abbott, Costello, Opal, and more. My first cat was Bandit and I also had Kokishin (Japanese for curious)!

Anonymous said...

My first cat was Imp - she was long and sleek and black, and it just fit her. I had her 17.5 years. The second was Tess because she had such a sweet tortoiseshell face. She got really, really sick at age 9, to my sorrow. My current cat is Gretchen - she was named that at the shelter and it just seemed right somehow; she's a gray tabby with the lovely marbling on the back. My sister had a dog the shelter named Gabby, but she didn't like that; the dog was already responding to it, though, so I suggested Abby. Her current dog is a black toy poodle named Petey. For me the name of an animal always comes from its appearance and personality...

Aurian said...

I've had two dogs myself, named Basko and Blacky. My parents always give girl names to their dogs: Jody, Wanda, Vera, Tippy, and my sister short boy names: Max, Sam, Waldo.

Jeanine said...

I had a cat once that I named "General George Washington". I had planned to put a shingle on our house saying, "General George Washington Slept Here" but, alas, my son and daughter were both in their early teens and were mortified by that idea.

Other cats I have had were named Tiger, Paulie Girl, Chester, Debbie, Cleo, Midnight, Tarzan ... and my present Maine Coon Cat is named Mario because he sings like Mario Lanza.

Ellery Adams said...

Here are two names from Cindi Handshew. Google wouldn't let her post.

Chopin and Amadeus

Lynda said...

One last comment before I head to the shelter...The names you've all suggested are great. The difficulties in naming shelter animals are (1) there are so many and you don't want duplicates, and (2) at the time you name them, you may not have known them long enough to truly know their personalities, so sometimes you have to go by looks, or just a name you like or that you think will catch people's attention (we recently adopted out a cat someone had named Goldie Hawn - a long haired orange/white beauty - and everyone noticed her name). New owners often rename their animals - which is great, but we don't want "Unknown" on their info sheets. So thanks again to Ellery and all of you for your suggestions.

Susan said...

We liked T.S. Eliot's poems about cats so well that we named our latest (a rescued Siamese) Eliot!

Kristin A. said...

My heart goes out to you, Lynda. Losing a beloved pet can be absolutely devastating.

Fun reading through all the suggestions. I have a "thing" for animals with people names. Our cats are Carl and Lenny and I know dogs named Gracie and Gunnar. How about naming some furry friends after some of our favorite fictional friends: Kelly, Lucy, Nina, Katie, Olivia, Jillian, Story, Abby, Gertie, Cooper, Molly, me out here, ladies...I'm not leaving anyone out, am I? Some seem like they would make exceptionally cute pet names!

Heather Webber said...

Hugs to you, Lynda. So hard to lose a family pet.

Love all these names. Might have to use some of them myself. I always have a cat (or three) in a story.

Suzanne said...

So sorry about Fifi.

We've had Snowball, Cinnamon, Tabitha, Teddy, Pocahontas

The current kitties, Jensen, Juliet and Kayla.

Melissa said...

So very sorry for your loss, Lynda. Losing a pet is just devastating.

My fur baby is named Tara because of my love for Gone with the Wind. I've also always loved coffee names for cats...Mocha, Java, Latte :)

Vickie said...

My list of pet names from childhood on:

Anonymous said...

Celia(Female) - Adora(Female) - CleoCATra(Female) - Dainty May(Female) - Smores(Female) - Diablo(Male) - CATnip(Either) - Ladybug(Female) - Monsieur(Male) - Coco Chanel(Female)- Dior( Male) - Noir(Either/Black Cat) - Blackberry(Either/Black Cat) - CATfish (Either) - Lady Godiva (Female) - Ainsley(Male)
And, however popular it may be- I have to pay respects to my 'Hemmingway' cat that past away last May: Mittens.
On a brighter note, that was super fun to come up with some creative cat names! I hope they come in handy. I volunteered at Colony Cats, a shelter in Dubin, Ohio and it was as much a blessing for me as it was the cats :)

signlady217 said...

Dogs of the past:

Ginger, a cocker spaniel who looked like Lady from the Disney movie)

Bear, a stray black Chow or Chow mix who looked like a black bear


Fraulein Weinerschnitzel, a black and tan Dachshund (we shortened her name to Schnitzel or just Schnitz) :)
(for those of you having trouble with the translation, that's "Miss Hotdog", perfect name for a doxie!)

And then the cats:

Bathsheba, because she was always taking one (we shortened that to Sheba)

Tiger, a beautiful reddish-gold color

Piewacket, a black/white/gold stray

We had another cat at one time, but I don't know if we actually gave her a name, she was also a stray and the mother of Sheba and Tiger.

Vicki VL said...

I'd name them Rhiannon, Foo, or Koko Gigio.

Lindy said...

Lady Gray
Mr. Rogers
Captain Kangaroo
Dr. Pepper
King George
Ivan the Great
John Boy
Billy Bob
Knight Rider
Daisy Mae

Lindy said...

Oh, and I thank Lynda for what she does too. I really appreciate those who help our four-footed and feathered friends.

Sue said...

When I adopted my dog her name at the shelter was Georgia, but she looked like a Sadie. Then when we inherited our 2nd dog her name was FeeFee but we renamed her Phoebe.

Anonymous said...

One of my favorite names for a pet is "Trixie" for Trixie Belden, of course. I've also used names from books, such as Ko Ko and Yum Yum. Currently, I have kitties named Winnie (tortie), Reddie Freddie (because he's a red tabby, long haired), Smokie, Pennie Peanut, just to name a few. I also had a gorgeous, polydactyl tortie named Twinkie, short for Twinkletoes!!!

So sorry to hear that Lynda lost a pet. I understand how she feels.

Shirley in Baltimore