Sunday, 23 January 2011

The Name of the Cat.

If you take the responsibility seriously, it is surprisingly difficult to choose the right name for cat. I was recently thrown into confusion when an RSPCA inspector asked me to name the litter of kittens she’d brought in for vaccination. Rescue names usually follow a theme eg. Animals abandoned at Christmas will be named Holly, Ivy, Mistletoe, Noel et.c. When suddenly landed with the responsibility of naming my mind went completely blank – each theme I thought of seemed too cliched or not nice enough, so despite my best efforts those kittens left nameless.
Going back to medieval times the most popular name for a cat was ‘Gibbe’ which is a shortened form of the name ‘Gilbert.’ Chaucer mentioned “Gibbe our cat” in ‘Romance of the Rose’.
 In Skelton’s 1509 elegiac ‘Phyllp Sparrow’ it is a cat called Gyb that is responsible for the death of Jane Scrope’s pet sparrow. The name was equally popular in France, where the equivalent name was Tibert or Thibert. The name remained popular, especially in Northern England, until the 1860’s but is now largely forgotten.
The most common cat names in 2010 were; Molly, Charlie, Tigger, Poppy, Oscar, Smudge, Millie, Daisy, Max and Jasper. A recent list of the worst cat names includes; Small Man in a Cat Suit, The Urinator, Hanibal Lickter, Ducttape, Fattie and Uranus.
           My personal favorite humorous name is Furkin. A good school friend called her cat this….think about it…calling out; ‘Has anyone seen the Furkin cat?’    
"What did you just call me?"

So how about you? What is your favourite name for a cat. Do leave a comment, I'd love to hear your stories.


  1. Some pals had a cat called 'Butler', named because he was all Black witha white patch on his front, so when he was sitting he looked just like, well, a Butler. He had another name that was used as well. 'Cooking Fat' That one was mostly used when he'd done something bad e.g. "Where's The Cooking Fat? There's a dead mouse in my slipper."

  2. Thank you Cha0tic, that really made me smile!
    Loving the name Butler - very apt and puts me in mind of Rhett Butler which is always a good thing...Rhett would actually be a great name for a cat.
    Tee hee hee 'Cooking Fat' - get it (wink!)
    Grace x

  3. Hi. Very interesting. I love names & cats. However my cats' names have been rather pedestrian, I'm afraid. (Teddy, Oliver Twist, Lily, & now Julie. Julie's name was already given & I left it.) I've been following a kitten rescue blog in Tacoma, WA by a woman who has the funniest names for her rescue litters. I laugh out loud. She's travelling now but has visible labels on the front page w/all the names. Hilarious. I'll put in the url.

    She was chosen to be one of a few crafty bloggers to sell at Martha Stewart's big NYC holiday craft fair. I love her spirit. (And her cat, Miss Charlene Butterbean, is good at Twitter, too:)


  4. Thanks Giulia, on my way to 'the itty bitty kitty committee' for inspiration so I'm prepared next time!
    Grace x

  5. How interesting to find out some of the history of cat names. I really enjoyed the pictures you posted, too. What breed of cat is in the extreme close up? Love those amber eyes, and the snout seems different from most domestic cats.

  6. Oh Maryann that is really going to bug me. I have a client that has 6 cats of this breed, I can remember the name of each of the cats (a Disney theme!) her name and where she lives but my mind has gone a total blank right now about the breed - it's so blank I can even see a black space in my mind ( I have a photographic memory) Argh! Grace x

  7. I named the cat who adopted me Gremlin--mainly because he reminded me of the cute little furry being in the movie!! He is mostly white with black markings and a little black goatee--I love him to pieces!!! His pic is featured on my blog on occasion under the miscellaneous tab--alone with some of his antics!! (and I love Historical Romances!!)


Due to the amount of SPAM I have been forced to moderate comments. If you are a spammer - please go away! You comment will not be posted and you are wasting your own time.