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A Catalogue of Cats and Other Catastrophic Creatures... and Some Funny Cat Names Too!
Feline Friends Make 'Purrfect' Pets
My Animals And Other Family
As a child, I always wanted to have a dog but it was not to be. My family's sole attempt at owning one still summons up vivid memories of a four or five-year-old me, my parents and a black Labrador pup (whose name I'm not allowed to mention nowadays) all in a double bed together on the night my father brought him home. The pup, too young to leave his mother, whimpered continuously and with this sudden addition to our family, I was far too excited to settle in my own bed. Mum and dad didn't know the first thing about dogs, so needless to say none of us got much sleep and the pup was returned to the litter the following day.
My first ever cat was called "Mitzi"; I chose her out of all the other kittens at the cat and dog's home in Plymouth. She was a sort of tabby with a lot of white and was with us for about two and a half years before she was run over. The death of a pet is often the first time a child will experience profound loss and this was the case with me. I had just returned from a school trip abroad and it was a great shock to learn that Mitzi was no longer with us. After this, we had a black and white cat called "Panda" who also met an untimely end on the road. Then there was "Elsa", ‘named after the lioness from '"Born Free". More wary of the traffic than her predecessors, my cat Elsa lived to the ripe old age of thirteen.
Over the years of my childhood I ended up with a catalogue of cats to rival Joy Adamson's lions but dreams of dog ownership still occasionally surfaced in my mind. Frequent attempts at taking my cat for a walk always ended in disaster - or should I say catastrophe? The fact that cats don't like going for walks on leads did not deter me from trying and this often resulted in my arms being covered in scratches and the cat retreating to the top of the nearest telegraph pole whenever she saw me coming. Where my mother was all this time I really don't know but I suspect she may have had her head stuck in the latest historical novel as usual. I was an only child and an incorrigible tomboy too so most of the time I deserted my dolls and ran to the park to create my own wild adventures, left to my own devices. How I actually survived to tell the tale, I'll never know.
I soon learned that owning a cat was quite useful as it meant you could acquire other animals such as slow worms and birds that the cat would catch. Often these hapless creatures would recover from their encounter with the cat only to become my next childhood "pet". Rescued from feline fangs and claws by none other than me they would now be held captive until I tired of them. There was quite a menagerie in our tiny courtyard garden at one point with my state of the art slug and snail sanctuary made from an empty biscuit tin. There was also the occasional jam-jarred butterfly which I had lured into captivity with the aid of a buddleia bush. To my dismay, these mini zoos all miraculously disappeared overnight. I think dad had something to do with it as mum continued to be as oblivious as ever. Thank goodness dinosaurs were extinct or I would have attempted to domesticate a diplodocus too.
I was never allowed to own a budgie and this is probably because mum once had a lodger who had one in her room. She should have kept her door locked because one day I sneaked in when she was out, went through her belongings and squirted hair cream at the budgie through the bars of its cage. Again my mother was nowhere to be seen. "Joey" survived the ordeal but perhaps it was as well I was an only child. Lord knows what might have happened to my siblings.
At some point in my childhood, I became the proud owner of a goldfish won at a fun fair and "Goldie" was soon joined by companions acquired from the local pet shop in Plymouth Pannier Market. Unbelievably, I looked after the goldfish extremely well and they enjoyed every conceivable luxury in their tank. There was a sunken shipwreck, a bridge for them to swim under and strands of multi-coloured weed as a backdrop The goldfish were fascinating to watch but the most boring pet was surely the tortoise which I had for about a week before my mum gave it away because it began happily munching its way through her prize blooms. I don't recall that I even gave him a name but it was most likely "Fred" just like the one on the children's show: "Blue Peter".
My search for the ideal pet resulted in me bringing home a various assortment of marine life since we were lucky enough to live near the coast. Those empty jam jars came in useful and were often filled with enough squirming life forms from rivers and the seashore for me to open my own wildlife sanctuary - if my dad hadn't made me go down to the creek and release them all at the end of the day.
One day, I came home with a bucket full of newts that a classmate had caught down by the ponds next to the railway sidings along the London to Penzance line. I put the newts in the old goldfish tank in the bathroom and all was well until they began to climb out. Mum let out an almighty shriek as she entered the room one morning and discovered them crawling all over the floor like miniature iguanas. OK, so I knew that newts could live on dry land, as well as in the water but how dare they try to escape from the tank that I had so lovingly provided for them? My amphibian adventure now over, the newts were swiftly returned to their ponds. I was a child as wild as the things I collected; I couldn't tame them, and mum was largely unsuccessful in taming me.
‘Paws’ For Thought When Choosing A Name For Your Cat
Naming a new kitten or stray cat you have adopted (or who has adopted you!) is no easy task. Our feline friends have unique personalities and deserve names to match.
For a name to be good it needs to be one that is easy to repeat when you call for your pet - not a double-barreled one that can't be shortened.
For a male cat endowed with stripes the obvious "Tiger" or "Tigger" springs to mind. It may sound good but it's not exactly original and be warned; there could be several practically identical "Tiggers" on the same block. When they all arrive for lunch when you call, your pet food bill could easily soar to greater heights than the "Trigger" of Disney fame.
"Elsa" was the name I chose for a female cat and was the name of the lioness in the film "Born Free," the big screen hit of The Sixties which had animal lovers in tears the world over as they watched Joy Adamson's successful attempts to return the big cat to the wild.
Black and white cats can be called "Tux" as in Tuxedo and "Panda" was the name I Chose for one of my black and white kittens or perhaps you could decide upon something more adventurous like "Monochrome." which was another name I chose for a black and white stray. Then there are the obvious "Felixes" and "Sylvesters" of cartoon fame, not to forget "Tom" as in "Tom and Jerry" or "Thomas O'Malley" the infamous alley cat.
Disney names always remain popular with children when given the task of naming kittens but adults can perhaps allow themselves to be more outlandish in their choice. If you decide to call your pure hairless breed "Fluffy" at least the hapless feline will become a conversation piece.
"Cooking Fat" was the unfortunate name of the unpopular cat in an old "Carry On" film and has to win the prize for being the worst ever cat name.
Cats, being nomadic creatures, are often named after the place or time they were found. "Bushy" was appropriate for a cat which I found in the bushes or "Twiggy" could be so named because it was stuck up a tree. Cats named "Scuttles" have been found in coal bunkers, and a homeless cat I named "Pumpkin" followed me home one Halloween.
You can make up your own unique and quirky names. "Bigpuss" was a name I coined simply because of a stray Tomcat's huge size and "Splat Cat 5" is perhaps a statement that the cat's owner lives on a busy main road.
"Mompty" was an innovative corruption my cousin made of the French "Mon petit chat" meaning "My little cat." Clever and original inventions like this help to give a cat its individuality. And for something more traditional "Mitzi" would make a suitable name for a female feline as my first cat was called or perhaps "Tabitha" for a tabby.
As a clever cat owner, you are certain to find a name that aptly describes your pet's personality and appearance but it's wise not to choose one so ridiculous that it makes the neighbours fall about laughing every time you stand in the garden calling your feline friend.
And remember if you look after it well, your cat will always arrive on your doorstep whenever it's hungry, regardless of the name you've chosen. I even had a stray cat called ''Doorstep" once as that's where it appeared one day and decided to take up permanent residence there, much to the consternation of everyone in my household as they kept tripping over it on the way out.
Appropriate Names Can Be Found According To Your Cat's Individual Markings And Personality
© 2015 Stella Kaye