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January 27, 2010

Pet Names

Mystery By Elaine Viets

Are your friends named Buddy, Max and Daisy? How about Lucy, Molly and Bella?

I’m talking about your best friends, your cats and dogs.

Petfinder checked its adoptable pet data base and came up with the most popular dog and cat names for 2009.

Their top ten dog names are Buddy, Max, Daisy, Lucy, Charlie, Bella, Molly, Jack, Sadie, Lady. The days of Spot and Rover are over.

Top cats are named Lucy, Smokey, Midnight, Bella, Molly, Daisy, Oreo, Shadow, Charlie, Angel.

Notice that the popular dog names are all people names, except for Lady and Buddy, which can be human nicknames. Bella, Charlie and Molly are inter-species names.

At least five cat names sound descriptive. I’m guessing Smokey, Midnight, Oreo and Shadow are probably black or gray cats and Angel is for white cats.

According to Petfinder, some animals got saddled with these names: Shyanne Thailand Moo Good Guy Pan (no, I’m not making that up).

Mr. Tomfoolery Scardeycat Eliot.

Rusty Buckets, KeelHaul, Angry Donut, Too Fancy for You, Maple Syrup, Prince Xavier Binxley, and Hoku-ho’okele-wa’a were unleashed on other harmless animals. I’m hoping KeelHaul lives on a boat.

These names violate my first rule of pet naming: Is it easy to yell?

If your cat slips out the door, do you want to go through the neighborhood hollering, "Here, Hoseclamp"? Or "Angry Donut, get in this house NOW"?

Animals will let you know if they don’t like your choice. I tried to name my cat Diamond. He is a brown-and-black tabby whose stripes turn into swirls on his sides and form a diamond on his shoulder blades.

For a week, I called him Diamond. The cat ignored me. If you’ve ever been ignored by a cat, then you know what it’s like to be invisible.   

I was reading mystery writer Michael Connelly at the time and realized how much my cat had in common with Connelly’s hero, Harry Bosch. Both were orphans. Both had murdered mothers. In my cat’s case, someone had shot his mom, brothers and sisters. My cat and his brother were the only survivors of this cat massacre. His brother stayed curled in a ball in his cage. My cat was frightened of some humans, but active. He was tough. DSCN0005_0002

I named him Harry.       

Harry the cat liked his name. I tried Hieronymus, which is what Harry Bosch’s mother had really named the future detective. My Harry wouldn’t have it. He answered to Harry or nothing.

Some cats will go for nicknames. We have a Chartreux named Columbleu’s Unsolved Mysterie. Pedigreed Chartreux are named after a different letter of the alphabet each year, sort of like Sue Grafton mysteries. Mystery was named in a U year. Her breeders were kind. She could have been called Ursula Undress or Columbleu’s Unwashed Underwear. We call her Mystery with a Y. She doesn’t seem to mind.

Mystery was bred to be a show cat. Her breeders said that she was beautiful and shy. The gray, copper-eyed cat is indeed beautiful, but she’s as shy as a used-car salesman. She is preternaturally lazy. Mystery attacked a cat show judge, thus ending her career. She’s never worked a day since, unless you count covering a four-room apartment with gray fur as work.  (That's her at the top of this blog.)

If the animal named Prince Xavier Binxley has any backbone, he’ll insist on being called Prince.

Some cats have literary names. We had an orange tabby named Hodge. He was named after Samuel Johnson’s cat.

Other cats have geographic names. Don rescued a calico kitten that was almost run over by a semi on an Illinois highway. The near cat-squishing happened by the pretty town of Elsah.

That made Elsah one lucky cat. Five miles down the road, and she would have been called Wood River.


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I named my Keeshond dog "Leah", so I could say "Hiya Leah". I had a long-haired tortoiseshell named Emma Peel, and a short-haired tortoiseshell named Lydia the Tatooed Lady. My first dog, a girl, was named Ralph... that is how the dog in the Pogo comic strips barked.

My two current Canine American Princesses are named Lucy and Winker. Lucy had that name when we got her and Winker was originally Serena, but she's only got one eye, so Winker sounded better and less pretentious. We gave them middle names, because we are big old saps where our girls are concerned. Lucy Louise and Winker Sue.

Previous dog kids of mine have been named Roscoe, Daisy, Goldie, Rosie and Tippy.

Before I became allergic to them, I owned cats named Foots and Priscilla.

I've had bunnies named Crusader Rabbit (which tell you how old I am), Blue and Mr. Bunny Rabbit.

I've had birds named Rocky, Peaches, Oscar and Gandalf.

And when I was a tween, I had a burro named Henrietta.

Elaine, Mystery is the most regal and beautiful cats that I have ever seen. Her eyes are just wonderful.
When I was growing up my parents were enamored with President Franklin Delano Roosevelt and named our two gorgeous Saint Bernard dogs, Frankie. I loved those dogs since they were so loving and great company.
My girls loved our cat Twinkles.Our siamese cat was a little temperamental because we wanted to make it an indoor cat. Now my daughter has two lovely longhaired cats Simon and Shadow. My other daughter has a cat Lucky who is overshadowed by two Golden Retrievers. Thanks for sharing your blog today..I loved it.

I looooooove Mystery. She is beautiful.
Fitch was the first cat I had as an adult. He was a gray tuxedo and his first owner named him Shadow, but I didn't like that and he didn't mind. Then the rescue house called the orange tuxedo Dandy(lion), I renamed him Chips so I could have Fitch and Chips. He didn't seem to mind. I could yell "Fitch-itch-itch-itch" or "Chip-chp-chp-chp" to call them.

Diego -- that's him in the icon -- was named by the Humane Society and it was too fitting a name and we kept it. But it's a very hard name to call. So I yell "Yago,yago,yago" and sometimes shorten it to "Ya-ya-ya-ya". I sound like I'm practicing my part in a Bulgarian womens chorus.
Steve says that Diego has the personality of a Jesuit. He does have a white collar and also white toes.

Boo had his name when he came home to us. A genuine Master of the Universe, this one. I've told Boo Stories here before, so I won't bore you with more, but Life is never dull with 9.5 lbs. of Canine Protectiveness on the premises. I will confess that I was under the foolish impression this was my house. After years of patient teaching on his part, my thinking has now been corrected.

Thomas was a Rescue Cat. Somewhere around here, there's a photo of him plastered to a plate glass window, all four paws clinging to the screen, invisible to see, making him look like he's suspended in mid-air. I flashed on the Robert Loggia series T.H.E. CAT, and he was Thomas forevermore.

Miss Galore is the baby of the family, another rescue kitten. Bottle fed, indulged, spoiled, and just home from surgery yesterday. GOLDFINGER was on the day she came home, what can I say? I thought it was terribly original and clever, until the vet rolled her eyes and said, "Another Galore." She shares the same temperament as her namesake, though, so it worked out okay....

We named our cat Troll. "Big mistake. Huge" (C). He turned out to be a real devil terrorising everyone at home.

My previous cat was the most lovely cat in the world. His name was James but not Bond. He was named after a politician.

Mystery is just too beautiful.

The only pet we've ever had (other than the goldfish from the school carnival - several of whom have achieved the ripe age of 4 - which is probably 500 in human years) was a little corn snake named Marbles. This name may or may not have come from my out burst when Tom and the kids came home with it from the pet store.

I do call my friends and family 'My Pets' sometimes, though, if that counts.

My favorite companions today are Motrin and 800 MG. I am calling them Tony and Ziva. I thought about sharing the day with Percocet, but the last time I did that I ended up killing the cast of Cirque du Soliel in my dreams - they were all clown-face killers. Tough to catch them when they're flying all over the place.

I've always wanted to name a dog Stella so I could stand at the back door and bellow ala Marlon Brando.

My cat is named Scout (after Scout Finch in To Kill a Mockingbird) and my current golden is named Ernie (after Ernie Banks). Our previous dog--a 100 lb. yellow lab-golden mix was named Tank by my son (6 years old at the time) because when we picked her out they told us he was the "tank of the litter." I still miss him.

Our golden retriever was Nittany Autumn Haze on paper, but we eventually called him Nitwit. It suited him best.

I'm thinking Miss Percocet needs to go back to bed.

The rescue pound named our cat Echo because she carries on a conversation with anyone who speaks to her. However, after living with her for about 2 weeks, we changed her name to Doggie D. Dog She was intended to be my cat, but she had other ideas. She worships my husband, follows him around like a puppy, and keeps him to a strict schedule. If he doesn't do what he's supposed to do when she thinks he should do it, she either head butts him, winds through his legs, or sits and stares unblinkingly at him. This means he goes to the office no later than 7 A.M. EVERY SINGLE DAY. He has lunch at 1 P.M. EVERY SINGLE DAY. He knocks off work at 4 P.M. EVERY SINGLE DAY. He has dinner between 6 and 7 EVERY SINGLE EVENING. He heads for "their" recliner no later than 8 EVERY SINGLE EVENING, where he will pet her nonstop for at least an hour and she will purr so loudly he has to turn up the volume on the TV. After she has been petted enough to suit her, she jumps off his lap and searches for me (but not very hard.) I am trying to teach her a foreign language, so I bark at her. Arf, arf. Woof, woof. Bow wow, wow. So far, she hasn't learned a thing. If I forget to bark at her, she bats at me with her left paw and meows.

Yes. We are a weird family. Yes, we have a weird pet.

Our grandcat lived to be 19 years old. Her name was Shiloh Lucille Wynona Jane Marie Kathleen. We miss her every day.

Kathy, I missed something. Why are you on pain meds?

My newest little house bunny is Gibbs. I tried 'DiNozzo' but it just didn't fit.

My beloved dog was Kirby. Unfortunate name for a girl. When we brought her home from the Humane Society, she really all her treats - crumbs and all. The comment was made that she "sucked like a Hoover," but we had a Kirby vacuum at the time, and it stuck.

I'm contemplating 'Pearl' for my next dog after Spenser and Susan's Pearl.

Piper got her name because she and her sibs were washed out of an irrigation pipe in the springtime. We affectionately call her Hyper Piper. The other two, Lizzie and Fannie, were named by Jane Austen.

Tony and Ziva did it last night... pass it on....

Mystery is the most beautiful cat I have ever seen!

We have a dog name Louis, although we call him Louie. My husband named him after an Anne Rice character. The cat is Mickey. Not sure how she got her name. I think we just thought Louie and Mickey sounded cool, like a couple of wise guys.

Is that true about Ziva and Tony? I DVR most of the tv I watch and didn't see it yet.

Ok, Kathy. I've had that same experience with Evil Percocet. Hope your ribs feel better soon, and HOLD ONTO THE RAIL when you use the stairs, 'kay?

You all are so clever with names. When we got married 28 years ago (March 1st, and they said it wouldn't last), I had never spent a night alone in a house in my life. My husband then traveled a lot, lecturing for the Audubon Society, and I could never sleep, hearing every creak in the house, so I decided to get a dog. He was a "free" puppy, and you know what that means. They're never free. Since he was supposed to be my protector, we named him "Knife", which was a huge joke when he was still a little ball of fluff, but he grew into his name.

We also had a orange and white cat adopt us (also not free; she got knocked up under my car one night, prompting an immediate trip to the vet). I'm allergic, so we kept her outside, and the girls named her Peaches and Cream Hiawatha Maslowski, aka Peaches. She vanished one day the same way she appeared, leaving two crushed little girls.

But mostly we've had wild animals since my husband is a wildlife photographer, and since people find critters and take them to him. We had twin baby bunnies called Haas and Pfeffer; two baby red foxes: Vixey and Vixey II; a grey squirrel named Sugar (for her sweet disposition); a pair of grey foxes named Tom and Jenny; and a female coyote who I got to name Wyla.

If any of you pet lovers are interested in immortalizing your darlings, a friend of mine does amazing portraits of pets: www.pepperportraits.com

I have a very, very, very firm rule about pets -- no rodents and no reptiles. I did give in on a couple of occasions when the science class pets needed care for the weekend, but said no when it came to keeping them.

Our very first baby, oops, I mean dog was the result of the springer/lab mom and german short-hair dad and was the runt of the litter. Her head was totally black but the rest of her body had dalmation type spots and springer patches. For some reason we named her Crickette, and it just seemed to fit. She ended up being about 50 pounds but always considered herself a lap dog. She also liked to climb up behind my husband and curl herself around his neck and shoulders.

She was the best dog in the world and after we came home with our daughter, she would always put herself between daughter and the public. Heaven help you if you were a stranger and even thought about coming into the yard uninvited. Crickette would also charge at someone in the street (we have a corner lot, so that's quite a bit of street) and stop just short of the curb. She had quite the presence. She lived a long and happy life and when it was time to say goodbye, it broke all our hearts.

We now have a 70 lb black lab mix (mixed with what, we don't know) and the rescue group originally named her Amelia as in Amelia Bedilia, but it was changed to Zena before we got her, and since she was already 9 months old, we kept it. Zena was abused as a puppy and isn't very fond of unknown men, which is nice when you have two daughters. She's a solid dog who can be quite light on her feet when she wants to try and sneak into bed with us in the middle of the night.

Three of us are allergic to cats and my husband has just one use for them -- he calls them muskie bait. (a muskie is a trophy fish in some of the bigger lakes in MN and they might really go after a kitten, but it's really just a joke) He'd never ever harm a cat, but he isn't very fond of them either.

Since I am one of the allergic ones, I can only enjoy them when they are in books -- a six toed one comes to mind, but the cat's name escapes me right now. Guess I'd better get some caffeine.

Jinn and Fez are the dogs. They were rescue dogs, and the rescue people had named them Jenny and Pepsi, but those names weren't really them. Jinn and Fez are really the only names these dogs could possibly be.

Our late cats were April and Rice, and before them Eddie, and long before Eddie, in my childhood there were Milkweed, Isaac, Jabbernathy, Peachfuzz, Arabella, Ebenezer, and on and on. We lived on a farm.

My childhood dog was Alfalfa.

Gee - the synchronicity demons are out again. Riding With the Top Down addressed the same thing.

Our dogs have always come from others, and they've had names. Heck, coming up with names for our kids was enough of a fright.

I did have to hand-raise 4 baby possums once, and I called them Abercrombie, Bertha, Charlotte & Desdemona.

In a couple of my books, the hero (a cop) has 2 cats which he named Starsky & Hutch.

I plead guilty to two grey cats named Smokey and Shadow. What can I say? I was young.

Our daughter has named most of our recent cats, which for reasons known only to her are now called Raisin, Dexter and Lila (yes, Dexter is based on the television show).

My father once named a cat Farting Ferdy Fuzznuts.

Of course 5 miles after Wood River Elsiah would be Brooklyn.

Our pets are all of the poly stuffed variety. Build A Bear has a book in each of their stores of the common names for their creations.

My friend once adopted a cat named Little Baby Jesus. Talk about fun to yell for in the neighborhood! She called him LBJ for short, which also causes the mind to reel with shouting possibilities.

Bravo, Avis. Proud to have a Pogo fan on the blog.
Yeah, Doc, I remember Crusader Rabbit.
Holly, I'd love a video of you yelling "Fitch & Chips."
William, you get a pass on Miss Galore because you are a true Bondo-phile.
Janis, Echo wrote the manual on people training.
Miss Percocet, go back to bed until you are perkier.
Stuck, still laughing about LBJ.

I've been lucky to have five dogs associate with me over the past 50 plus years of my life. Judy Pup, a beagle mix, whom I named at age 2, according to my parents, after my favorite baby sitter. Joy, a pure bred miniature beagle and the only dog our family actually paid for, was named by consensus by my brothers and myself.

Nutmeg was a Heinz 57. Her mother was a beagle/cocker spaniel mix and her father was part basset/german shepherd/collie. I named her Nutmeg as when I picked her out of a litter of pups in the dim light of dusk she looked like she was the color of Nutmeg. When I went to pick her up in the full light of day she was gray speckled, but I loved the name. She was one of the most unique looking dogs we ever owned, with a lot of personality. She was the most intelligent , most loyal, most athletic and longest lived dog we ever owned. She also was the luckiest as she survived three run-ins with automobiles over the course of her 16 years. Even her last day on earth was unique.
We'd decided to put her to sleep. She was mostly blind, wasn't eating unless I fed her by hand, couldn't hear and was incontinent. After three months of trying to put it out of my mind. I made the decision and the appointment with the vet. On her last day, I let her outside on a foggy September morning. I didn't think she'd go very far as she was lame in one of her back legs due to the last auto run-in when she was 12. Five minutes later I went to get her and she wasn't there. I called for her, but of course she couldn't hear me very well. I began to look everywhere for her, but couldn't find her. Got my husband out of bed and he began go further afield in our yard. When he found her she'd fallen into the grave he and my father had dug for her the previous day. You may ask how we could still have her put to sleep after surviving yet another accident, but she was wasting away before our eyes and seemed to no longer have the will to live.

My daughter named our black lab mix when she was four years old after Lydia in the TV cartoon series based on Beetlejuice. We gave my husband the opportunity to name our current dog, a black lab/golden retriever mix, since he had never owned or had the opportunity to name a dog when he was growing up. Her name is Samantha Lily, but she's called Sammi or Sam, because she's named for "My dog Sam eats purple flowers" (Draggin' The Line - Tommy James and the Shondells).

My sister-in-law gives all her cats French or Italian names. Bambino, one I can't even begin to spell and poor little Cosette. She's really a he. When my sister-in-law went looking for a new "sister" for Bambino, she already had the name picked out. Unfortunately there were no females in residence at the shelter so she got a male kitten, who now has gender issues.

The naming of cats is a difficult matter
It isn't just one of your holiday games
You may think at first I'm mad as a hatter
When I tell you a cat must have three different names

First of all, there's the name that the family use daily
Such as Peter, Augustus, Alonzo or James
Such as Victor or Jonathan, George or Bill Bailey
All of them are sensible, everyday names

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? *

Which is why my cat Lucy is also called Lucifer.

* (thank you, t.s. eliot!)

OH, this is such fun. (My main character Charlotte McNally has a cat named Botox..she says, because the kitty keeps her young.)

I had, for 14 years, Leon, named after Ponce de Leon Avenue in Atlanta, where I rescued him from being tormented by a pack of stupid teenagers.

He'd come when I yelled "Lee-yon!" Which I thought was so smart of him. Until I tried Kee-yon, Dee-yon, Free-yon, Bee-yon and etc, you get the picture. And he answered to all of those, too. So it was just the sound and the tone more than his name. Maybe that meant he was smarter, since it generally meant food.

My cat Lola (whatver Lola wants, Lola gets) would not come when I called her name, unless it was accompanied by the sound of a can opener.

And what PJ is saying about TS Eliot, I absolutely subscribe to. That's why some cats won't answer to some names and why some names just don't fit. Cats each have three names, right, according to Old Possum?

I have three dogs, and yes, one of them is Max. The other two are Riley and Bailey. My daughter has a turtle named Franklin. Our recently departed cat had the name "Softpatch" when we got him. We shortened it it just "Patch" so my daughter, who was then two, could say it. It confused others, since he was a striped tabby with nary a patch.

My brother gave his black lab the tongue-in-cheek name of Genius. My nephew's cat's name is F'ing Carl, and is always referred to by his full name. My favorite is my friend's son's dog, a yorkie named Chuck.

My cat rescued from the SPCA shelter long ago was named Bertram from Agatha Christy's At Bertram's Hotel. Bertram sadly has moved on to Cat Heaven. Then we were adopted by a neighborhood cat who was thoroughly uncared for. He had to have an equally old-school English name to go with Bertram so he became Bernard with the emphasis on the first syllable. But he is now just Bernie. And he thanks his lucky stars and the cat gods everyday that he wandered across the creek and made us his staff! When it rains, he's dry. When it's cold, he's warm. When it's hot, he's comfy. When he's hungry, there's food. And he gets ice in his water all the time. Heaven, he says. Unless staff is not around, then he is really peeved. He keeps a personnel file on his staff and gives annual reviews, pointing out every little abuse or lack of attention given. He makes us laugh.

Laura, that's so funny. Yorkies think they're so macho, so Chuck is a perfect name.

I was wrong about Peaches' full name. It was Peaches and Cream Tiger Lily Maslowski. Got my Indian princesses mixed up there!

And we have a donkey named "Otie", does he count?

Get it, donkey-ote? Yeah, my husband is a hoot.

My dogs have doggish names (Not-a-Lady and Bubbalicious). But the cats, all found in inappropriate locations, have been named to reflect those circumstances. Speed Bump and Asphalt are the official names of my current two kitten butts, although we realized when he was two or so, Asphalt is sight-challenged; now he is also Mr. Magoo, Goober, and Gooey. Speed Bump is still Speed Bump, often shortened to Speed or Bump. All four respond to "You! Furbutt!!"

I have given my cats literary names. Aslan, Eliot (as in TS) and my current crew, Lewis (as in CS) & Kipling.

Lewis is as big as a dog and thinks he's one too, Kip is all cat, aloof and independent. However, I recently discovered that Kip has been cheating on me. My neighbor came by to ask if Kip was well. Apparently he has been visiting her nearly everyday, but hadn't been by in a couple of weeks. I was on vacation, they stayed inside, so it curbed his visits.

We had a squirrel when I was about 10. It had a broken leg that Mom fixed and we put him in a cage until he was well. I know we named him, but the Sometimers has kicked in and I don't remember right now.

About the same time we had a beautiful white kitten we named Snowball. She had clear sky blue eyes. Mom found her one morning, stiff, in the box where my brother put his metal trucks (My dad worked for Midland Ford-tractor division-and he got the metal trucks, tractors at work. They'd be worth a small fortune now). I guess she thought it was her bed. I was heartbroken.

We had a cat when my younger sister was born named Smokey. Yes, he was gray. My dad made us get rid of her because his mother (who was notorious for hating cats) told him that cats suck the life out of new babies.

A too closely bred beagle named Mister was next. He was soooo stupid. He'd be outside for hours then come in and do his heavy business on the heat vent. Just dumb.

When I got married, I told Dear Hubby: no birds, rodents or reptiles. I do cats & dogs...thats it. We had a cocker spaniel/Siberian Husky mix named Tasha. She was only 7 when we had her put down. She kept developing bladder stones and when we had the first one removed, it was as big as a kiwi. She hadn't tolerated the surgery very well. We spent I don't know how much on special food and pills, but when the second stone (much bigger the second time around) came, we decided to put her down. I cried for days. Such a great dog.

We had a pure bred (too closely...you'd think I would have known better) black lab we called Shadow. Her baby fur was such a black matte color that you would lose her in the shadows at night. She was very sweet, just dumb. Couldn't teach her a thing. She didn't mind the cattle prod (don't even ask...) but was scared of an oversized red wiffle ball bat. We thought we were moving so we gave her to a couple in the country. We heard years later she tore up 3 above ground swimming pool liners before they had her put down. She was just a mess.

When my daughter was 7 we 'rescued' a pure-bred, 1 yr old Samoyed named Shelby. You know how the 'tumblers fall into place' and you just know this was destiny? That was Shelby for us. The undercoat on this dog would have made us rich knitting sweaters, but she was the perfect dog. Dear Hubby decided that one dog was just not enough...he talked me into getting a pure-bred cocker spaniel The breeder wanted to show him (he was beautiful) but the dog just didn't like people. He had these big droopy eyes and always looked so sad so I named him Bogie, after Humphrey Bogart. He just kinda looked like him.

As it happens when kids go off to college, Shelby became incontinent and at the age of 13 the vet said her kidneys were failing. We had her put down when Stephanie came home for Christmas break. It has been 6 years but it still makes me tear up just thinking about her. And three years later Bogie's arthritis, deafness, and losing his sight made the decision for us to put him down.

We have been dogless (Dear Hubby & Stephanie are alergic to cats) 3 years this month. Dear Hubby has started to give hints he would like to get another dog. I'm still not sure. But we love Stephanie's dog, Nikki: a black lab/German Shepherd mix. Great dog!

I don't have a chance of staying dogless, do I?

Willam Simon..... Yeah, that was my conclusion about Tony and Ziva as well!

Heh. Fitch and Chips. And donkey-otie. My dogs were both pre-owned, and came to me pre-named. I would not have chosen either name, but didn't change them. I now wish I had changed my current dog's name, though, as it is Daisy, and she is not a common dog, and surely doesn't want to share her name with so many other dogs. I won't tell her about today's blog, and all will be well.

My cat is Ravenclaw Midnight, named during a Thanksgiving dinner that followed a mass viewing of the first Harry Potter movie. She doesn't even need a name, as she does not answer to it, does not care who says it, and secretly giggles when the dog comes running in response to calls to the cat.

When I was a kid, we had a dog named Nipper (named after the RCA dog--his master's voice and all that), and when we got a kitten (after much pleading on my part), my mother insisted on naming the cat Tucker. Then we had Nip and Tuck, long before that phrase had anything to do with plastic surgery.

My house is run by Sparkie and Paisley. We've long suspected that Sparkie was actually Sparkle and the humane society just misread the paperwork. Paisley was a stray and they were calling her Miss Kitty when we adopted her. My parents have Laverne & Shirley. Shirley was serving as a seeing eye cat for their dog, Lucy, who lost an eye and needed help navigating.

My kitty's name is Sydney, after Sydney Bristow on Alias. We found her when she was 3 weeks old, and she liked to "spy" on us from around the corners of the walls. So, she's my little spy kitty.

TS Eliot nailed it,Kris.
And Peach, Nutmeg's end is such a touching story.
As for Donkey-Otie -- what can I say? You all have such fun stories and clever names for your pets.

Oh, and my neighbors down the street have two yorkies named Rocky and Adrian. We are outside of Philly, after all...

I have Dexter, the gray and white tuxedo cat, who was so named by the San Francisco SPCA and it does fit him. He's a very suave, devil-may-care, rakish cat. And Abraham, the one-eyed fat black and white tuxedo who was rescued from Lincoln Avenue. Sophie is a sweet little calico and that name came to me the first time I saw her. Jolie is a white fluffy cross-eyed feral I acquired after I got home from Paris. Then there's Daisy the Demon Cat, the one who looks like a small Maine Coon. Her other name is Daisy Empress of the Universe. Just ask her.

I was getting my first cat as an adult, and was told it was a cute, grey tabby kitten, 'like Nermal, in the Garfield cartoon.' The cat I picked up was wet from a flea bath, and had long, dark fur, and a teed-off expression. The first thing out of my mouth was, "That's the ugliest cat I've ever seen," and she became U.C. who went on to be the most gorgeous, lovely cat.

My dog Daisy is also not a common dog. Her formal name is Daisy Jane, as that was the song on the radio when I picked her up from the side of the road. She also is called, Daisy Jane, the Wiggle Pig, Wiggy-Piggy, Piggles, Dr. Piogolis, Scout, and The Talking Dog, as she says things like "grow-woo-urrr-urglll-raarroo-moorrrfff" which usually seems to mean, "I would really like another treat, please."

We also had Annie, named after Anne Boleyn, as she had double dewclaws (she was an AmEskimo and Lab mix). Her nickname of Monster came from the staples that were used to closed the gash around her neck from a wire. She looked as if Dr. Frankenstein had operated on her.

We've also had O'Toole (named after Peter), and Partner, named after Eastwood's character in Paint Your Wagon, and Grendel, who I thought was one kind of dog, and then after picking him up off the street, I looked into his eyes in the rear view mirror and wondered if I'd just put a monster in my car. I told him his name would be Grendel while I found a different home for him, but 12 years later, he's laying next to me, sleeping the sleep of an old, contented dog. Oh, he just lurched to his feet - a potty break is needed.

William, never miss Tony and Ziva! Those shots of Paris were beautiful, but brief.
There's a TV Guide cover story about these two fabulous characters from NCIS.

I have always had pets, and having pondered the thought, realize that there were never any duplicate names!! LOL!!! Amazing, considering the litters of kittens that were rescued by us (and named) and the guinea pigs that bred like...rabbits. And the rabbits.

The guineas: George & Martha (were donated to my kindergarten class...their progeny live on!), Snowball, Snowflake, Pepper, Jelly, PB,... you get the idea.

The rabbits: Strawberry (rich black & white color) and Grape (gray eyes that looked purple). Had both, thinking I had two females, until I saw Strawberry chasing Grape. And then had babies.. Barnabus, Augustus, etc.

The dogs: Penny and Gidget (dachshund mommy and daughter). Tasha (officially Anastasia which means New Life...I adopted her on her last survivable day at the shelter). Bonnie (another rescue, this time from abuse... she came with the name).

The cats: Tiger (followed me around better than the dogs). Missy (really Thomasina, as she was from the Thomas' farm). Suzie (gave me Cat Scratch Fever and was sent to live with my grandparents). Squiggy (her head was on cock-eyed, probably from being hit by a car. Named by her former owner).

The horse: Lady (although at horse shows we called her Lady-Be-Good).

The current critters: Bonnie, mentioned above, is gonna be 15 on February 8th. Ten years of life with me and no broken tail or dislocated hips. Bella the momma cat...so named because she didn't like Maggie or Maura.

In retrospect, Boo should be named McGarrett. Same unwavering dedication to Law and Order, with NO compromises or middle ground. At this very moment, Sanitation Engineers are doing their job, but they are doing it without prior approval from His Highness. One would think WW 3 has broken out on this very street....

My sisters dog is Molly.
My brother has Skip and Grissom.
The best cat ever was Ben, who wandered away when he got old.

And there was a rabbit we named Food.

I love donkey-ote . . .

Soooo....I'm tempted to say the old tip joke here. Never call your dog taxi in New York. But I'll refrain.
You all know my jack russell, Isaac Dog. My late ex husband HAD to have one as his first wife got the dogs in their divorce. Funny how he could have cared less when we got divorced. He's about as snuggly as a toaster oven and ran away any second he could. I spent most of my life running after him screaming!
I'm remembering one night he got almost to the Rec Center when I cornered him in someone's side yard. I grabbed him by the harness and smacked him on the nose screaming BAD DOG then suddenly realized the people inside the house were probably calling 1 800 dog abuse. He lost his tags in their yard and I had to go knocking on their door the next day to see if they had found them. "Was my face red" as they say does not describe it.
Anyways I have no idea why Bill named him Isaac. The breeders called him Rusty. He was a tri color short and long hair puppy that was mostly rust which means no matter what color you are wearing it will have dog hair on it. He's mostly grey now and I still call him my old man as he is 17. He chewed the wallpaper off the kitchen cabinets when he was a puppy. Blind and deaf but can still smell & bark. A lot.
I can't believe I actually stand in front of the dog food looking for something soft now.
He sleeps in an orange tabby cat bed complete with a cat head, ears and a tail. I bought him a pink Winnie the Pooh fleece baby bathrobe with a hood and ears at the church rummage sale. The ladies howled but I said he was blind anyways and besides how does he know what color it is or who is embroidered on the front? He hasn't minded the cross dressing so far.
Childhood pets were hamsters, dogs, cats, fish and birds. Chico, Frosty, Midnight, Tiger, Joey, Blackie, Squeeky, Scratch, Crackers, Cleo, Goldie, Hercules, Mary Jane and Frisky Junior.
Guess who was what.
William I am sooooo upset I was at a friend's house eating dinner and they watched American Idol so I missed the big one! Finally the sexual tension between those two will be over? Ack!!!!

Xena, it was lots of hints and sly looks but no action shown - unless we get an edited version in Canada . . .

Xena, you have a soft heart to keep a dog like Isaac.
I had a parakeet named Dolly. Then I discovered she was a he. The name was changed to Dolmand. He didn't mind being Dolly.

Rascal, Cleo, Tawnie, George, Holly, Pipi, Greta, Sadie. All dog names in my family. After being married, we named our dog Roxanna Marie.
Growing up, we had cats: Muffy, Buffy, Yipes. (I do not claim ownership to any of those.)
My husband and I named our cats--> Gumby Pokey, Jenna Penelope, and Simon Peter. I prefer the normal names, so obviously, I did NOT name Gumby.
Fun post today, Elaine.
Glad I'm back here reading again--just went to my library's webpage and reserved the books of yours that I haven't read. :-)
(just finished a couple of Sarah's!)

Emma the Wonder Mutt and the cats Dudley and Nellie are all rescues. The 3rd cat Samson -- the name fits since he is slightly larger than a bear cub -- is a rescue of a rescue from a daughter who couldn't keep him. He actually has the best name of the felines. He was part of a male/female pair and my daughter asked for advice on naming them. I recommended Samson and Delilah or Boris and Natasha (we already had Dudley Do-Right and Nell). Of course her cats ended up as Sampson and Natasha.

Insanity is hereditary; you get it from your kids.

We brought home a pair of dogs from an animal rescue outfit and so they came with names. One was a champagne color and her name was Bubbles. The other was a male called Spanky.

My youngest daughter asked "Can we call him Sparky? I don't like Spanky." I looked at my wife and we exchanged nods. We said sure why not?
"But will it be OK?"
"Sure why not?"
"He'll just think we have funny accents."

So from then on he was known as Sparky, not Spanky. He never complained.

Childhood pets were two collies father and son named Laddie and Rex. Poodles later, they were named Ruff, Suzie, and Ricky. Cats were Butch, Pepe, and Snoopy. Snoopy (a Siamese) came with me when I got married. DH and I got our first dog soon afterwards a GSD named Rommel. He was with us for 7 years. Snoopy outlived him and our first Bull Terrier--Danny. Danny died very young, a little less than 3 years old he'd never been a healthy dog--suffered from pyloric stenosis and kidney disease. He was followed by another BT named Danny who also lived a short life, he was born with deformed kidneys, something no one could tell until the kidneys failed. He died a week after our Siamese Snoopy, she was over 20 at the time. The next BTs were Malcolm, Sadie, and Mercy. Right now we have BTs Gavin and Patty. Over the years we rescued and placed 36 other BTs.

I love reading about your pets and pets' names. It's like a quick look into your lives.
I guess you know I had a box turtle named Spot. Not very original. The name, not the turtle.

I almost forgot my beloved family Persian cat Cookie. He was so beautiful that I studied him and handed in a pencil drawing to my schoolteacher in elementary school. I drew all his fur, his whishkers and his beautiful eyes. The teacher told me it was a masterpiece.
Later, when my dad and I were in a car accident my dad went to the hospital for a month. I had knee damage but nothing serious. I was alone in the house for a month with Cookie. Cookie was my father's pet since he had a true rapport with animals. Normally, Cookie didn't pay much attention to me but the first night after the accident Cookie came up to my room and slept on the bed until my father came home. Then as if nothing had happened he immediately fled to my father's side and ignored me. I was glad that Cookie and I had each other for that short time. And he gave me the repuation of being an artist which I certainly am not.

Because we are huge Nascar fans, all our animals have names relating to the sport. Our female dog who my son bought home on Valentine's Day for me is named Gordon. After Jeff Gordon. She'll be 15 next month and I'm dreading that the day she dies. We had a retriever/lab mix who was named Earnhardt but we called him Tread for tires. Earnhardt was too much to say all the time. We had to put him down a few years ago because of diabetes. The last year of his life, we were injecting him twice a day with insulin and he just sat there and took it. He was a great dog. We also have a cockapoo who's dumber than rocks. His name is DW for Darrell Waltrip but it also stands for dimwit. Our cat's name is Bud after Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s sponsor. Are we dedicated fans or what?

My dog's name is Max. It was the name that was on his cage at the kennel and we decided not to change it. Our other dog, who SIGH passed away last year was Angel. Before that Barney. Easy names to call out. And I had cats named Inky and Shadow as a girl. I named one of my childhood dogs Charlie Brown because he was so hang-dog. his girlfriend was Belle. I seem to have made all the lists! Nothing creative. But oh, pets bring so much love!! Thanks for triggering good memories!

Elaine, "Spot" may not have been an original name, but as I recall the story, he was a very cool turtle...:)

Marie, Cookie was the name of my husband's cat when he was a boy. Someone asked him what color Cookie was and Don said, "Dirty."
I feel for those who had to put down beloved pets. It's hard doing the right thing for our animals.

I have eight cats and feed the strays in our neighborhood as well. Our eight are: Layla (named for the Clapton song since my Mom found her in a parking lot when she was a newborn, she'd been abandoned-My Mom brought her straight to me), Patches-a Calico who is HUGE-her name is self explanatory, Oreo-a black and white tuxedo aka Psycho Penguin, Midnight- aka Goober or Dum Dum, Fireball-ginger/male aka Goat, Butterscotch-pale ginger/male aka Weirdo, Athena-tortie/female-she reared up and showed the other cats she wouldn't be cowed, Pepper-black/female aka Miss Magoo (vision issues) and The Baby.
The outside kitties have been nicknamed. One won't shut up so he's call Meow Mix, another has a weird meow so he's called Ya-Ya.
And scary enought? We're sort of thinking of getting a dog. *sigh* I think we're all nuts. *G*

Elaine, my husband, when I told him about your turtle named Spot, said "Because that's where it stayed, in one?"

Karen, that's funny! (Elaine, we had an all-white cat we called Spot. We thought we were hilarious.)

I love hearing about all the pets' names! It's really is so revealing...and you are all adorable. (Hey, it just hit me, what can I say.)

And I also love how pet names deteriorate to nicknames. My Lola morphed into Lolita, then into Lolita Burrito, and then we finally called her the "The Burrito." As in, has anyone seen the Burrito?

Pogo is my fave, too. Another blog for another day. Bewitched, Bothered and Bemildred.

We had an all-white cat named Stripe. She had one on her head when she was a kitten, but then it disappeared, just to spite us. Which was very typical of this cat.

On the topic of pet names devolving into other names: My daughter and son-in-law's first dog together was Sebastian, which became Bang-Bang, then Bangie. And that was before they had a kid. The second dog, a doofus black Lab, is called Otis, which became Otie (no relation to the donkey), and then O-ti-O-ti-O, which my grandson LOVED to say when he was very small.

Now they have a giant puppy, a Bernese Mountain dog named Zuna, aka Zuna-Lulu. Eight months old, and 80 pounds. So far. But she's very sweet. I'm hoping she stops making her giant piles in the house before she visits the next time, though.

Oh, I forgot one of the best cat names - My friend had one called "Mere" as in Com'ere.

My VCR failed to tape NCIS, but full episode here

The Frog just had to be named Prince. I called my very last cat (before the allergist laid down the law) Max because my friend said she was a he -- very embarrassing when the vet declared her pg. Her kitten was just Baby Kitten until I found them a new home.

I have to admit to actually HAVING cats named Starsky and Hutch. Mom was Callie Cat (a calico, natch) who appeared in a January snowstorm & literally attached herself to my pant leg. She came with a little collar with a bell and also pregnant. She had a litter of 5 & since I was a very big fan of the TV show, the yellow kitten was Hutch, the two tabbies were Starsky and Nikki (Starsky's brother's name from the show), Huggy (the little calico kitten who had outrageously colored clothes) and Capt. Dobey, the little gray kitten. :sigh:

I kept mom-cat & Starsky (I just couldn't let that one go!), gave Nikki, Hutch, and Huggy away to friends, and poor little Dobey never made it past about 2 weeks. Callie & Starsky (a girl cat, but I wasn't going to change her name!) stayed with me. I must have done something right as Callie made it to 21 years before the stroke she suffered was just too much to let her continue blind and paralyzed. Starsky made it to 27 years, 5 months before she got so sick I had to have her euthanized. That was terribly hard -- she'd been my loving companion from birth. It sounds incredible, but it's true -- the vet who helped ease her over was younger than my beloved Starsky! The whole vet hospital couldn't get over the fact that my kitty was older than her vet. That was five years ago & I still miss her.

I recently adopted a cat and named him C.K. Dexter Haven. Dexter for short. Of course it's from my favorite character of the "Philadelphia Story" starring Cary Grant, but I also wanted to call out after him the same way Jimmy Stewart's character called out "oh, C.K. Deeeexterrr Haaaveeeen!!" :D But now since I call him Dexter, people assume it's for the serial killer. :(

As I write this, a public service announcement is playing the Willie Nelson song, "Always on my mind," and presenting stray animals. Sad stuff. If anything here is the website;

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