Wednesday, March 02, 2005

What Are Your Cats Named? -- FAQ

My boys are named Arthur and Beowulf. The people at the shelter had named them Comet and Bowie, but my fiancee Liz and I came up with new names for them on the day we adopted them.

On the day we adopted them, we went through dozens, if not hundreds of potential names. Before we got the boys, we had thought about giving our future cats New York City names (Lexington and Madison) or Giant Japanese Monster names (Godzilla and Gigan), but those just didn't seem appropriate.

When I looked at Arthur (shown at right), he had such human eyes that I thought he needed a human name. When I looked him in the eye, I could see the whites of his eyes and he just looked like an Arthur to me. My fiancee Liz and I talked for hours about names, but I insisted that Arthur must be named Arthur. I actually didn't have a particular Arthur in mind to name him after, but later on we decided that he must be named after King Arthur.

After we decided that Arthur was named after King Arthur, we decided that his brother needed a companion name. Liz suggested other Arthurian names like Merlin or Lancelot, but I felt that it was not appropriate to make one cat a king and the other one less than royal. They had to be on equal footing.

We considered other kingly names like Alexander and Octavius, but we settled for another mythical king, Beowulf (shown at left). Unfortunately, there are a lot of people who have never read Beowulf so they don't know the old english legend. They ask me "why did you name your cat after a wolf?" Maybe the upcoming movie, "Beowulf and Grendel" will enlighten them.


Caryn said...

My cat Ozzie was named by his first owner and I couldn't think of anything that suited him better. So he is Ozzie. I believe he was named after Ozzy. But I like the -ie spelling better. Ozzzzzzzzzzzzie.

My other cat is Donnie. I got him as a kitten. He is feral and a pain in the ass. But CUUUUUTE. I wanted to name him after a movie character, because I am a big movie fan. None of my very favorite characters' names worked well for a cat. Then I saw a movie called Donnie Darko and LOOOVED it. Donnie Darko is a schizophrenic time traveler and no one quite knows what's going on in his head. So my cat also happens to be a schizophrenic time traveler. So he is Donnie. :D

socidoc said...

Boy oh boy, Avram, I'll bet you'll get a LOT of postings on this one (cat people love to talk about naming their companions!!)... my two are called Bessie Smith (because she's black and I wanted to name her after a talented black woman... almost named her Jesse Jackson, just cuz, and a friend talked me out of it, saying "You CAN'T name a female cat after Jesse Jackson!!")... my other baby is Harley Davidson... full name Harlequin Peanut Davidson.. because she 'purrs like a Harley' and her face (she's a 2-color torti) looks like the harlequin masks of old theater, one side light, one side dark. I first named her Peanut, but then figured no self-respecting adult cat would want to be named Peanut, so I added the Harlequin etc... and now she has a unisex name!! Everyone thinks she must be a boy with the name Harley... but she's a trickster, so it fits!! So there you have it!! :-) Thanks for asking!

Anonymous said...

Before "Kitty" came to live with me she was officially known as "Whiskers", but everybody called her "Kitty", so I have continued to call her by that name. When she does something bad, I call her "Hey You"...
(if she could speak she would say to call her anything but "late for lunch"...)
Best regards,
Don and Kitty, (

jancola said...

You'll be happy to learn that Columbia is putting out a huge animated epic about Beowulf directed by Robert Zemeckis, so soon everyone will no he's not a wolf.
Although, interesting, when Neil Gaiman was writing the project, he always had to explain that he was not writing "Bay Wolf" and eventually he wrote a story called Bay Wolf, a poem that melds Beowulf with Baywatch, just for kicks.

Anonymous said...

I have two cats, Simon is 6 months old, and Bella is 2 and a half years old. Bella left home a few months ago, and since she did not return, I adopted Simon. A few weeks ago Bella returned home. Much to her chagrin, I am now living with Simon. They fuss and fight, but things have calmed down some this past week. Bella is a calico, and her name is Elsa Isabella, and Simon is a tuxedo, and his name is Simon Frederic. I cannot imagine my life without my furry pals.