“The naming of cats is a difficult matter. It isn’t just one of your holiday games.
You may think at first I’m as mad as a hatter
When I tell you a cat must have three different names….”
(From the poem The Naming of Cats by T.S. Eliot).
Whether you subscribe to this charming notion of three names, so well expressed in T.S. Eliot’s beloved poem, or if you want to stick with only one, every cat-lover knows that, once you have a kitty in your house, and especially a super genius Siamese, it’s common that the cat names itself
Even if you’ve adopted a kitty with a particular name in mind, chances are that once you’ve lived with a Siamese for a time, its various and fascinating moods are likely to inspire a variety of alternate names as you and perhaps others attempt to find a name that mirrors their enchanting and unique personalities. For example, you may have had ‘Muffin’ in mind, but end up using ‘Boomerang’ or ‘Einstein’.
Eliot in his poem suggests three different names which include a dignified name, a family name and then a unique and secret, very individual name that only the cat knows.
Eliot’s notion actually fits nicely with the common practice of giving a cat a ‘dignified’ or we might say, ‘registered’ name which reflects their family heritage. If you adopt a cat from an established breeder placing registered cats, then your kitten will automatically have a surname which is the registered name of the breeding establishment. In the world of pedigreed cats, this name goes first. So if the name of the registered breeder is ‘Camelot’, then the surname of all the cats from that establishment will always be registered as Camelot followed by whatever name the cat-parents chose. For example and cat could be registered as ‘Camelot Lady of Rose’.
The family is name is usually the name or nickname. This is the name the cat typically responds to and is the one the kitty will most often be called.
While the dignified name is typically known only to those who named the kitty and the computer of the registry, the family name or nickname is known to everyone. So while a cat’s registered name may be Camelot Lady of Rose, she may actually be simply, ‘Lady’ or ‘Rosie’ or ‘Camie’.
A couple of suggestions about naming a cat their family name:
1. Make sure you like the name and don’t mind saying it thousands of times.
2. Make sure that, if it is a longer name, there is room for it to shorten to a (usually) one syllable ‘nickname’ since that is the name you will use most of all. For example, Barbarella will end up being Barb or Barbie. Thomasina will end up being Tommie or perhaps Sina. Make sure you like the nickname that the family name implies.
3. If you have multiple pets in the household who are also responding to a name, make sure the names all sound different enough so that the pets can discern if they are being called or if it’s another pet (or family member). Use names with different vowel sounds and strong consonants. The question is, if you heard the name mumbled, could you distinguish it from the other name? For example, Humpty and Dumpty or Topsy and Turvy, cute as they are, are too similar and will often cause such confusion that neither or both will respond. You can still have the names go together but try something like, Laverne and Shirley or Si and Am, (the infamous Siamese pair from ‘Lady and the Tramp’).
The third name Eliot suggests is a secret name that only the cat himself knows, leaving we poor humans only to guess. This name is unique and captures the essence of the individual and perhaps is something that felines amuse themselves by considering.
As Eliot describes it:
“When you notice a cat in profound meditation,
The reason, I tell you, is always the same:
His mind is engaged in a rapt contemplation
Of the thought, of the thought, of the thought of his name.”
Below are lists of names ordered with the hope of helping you find the perfect name for your Messer pal, whether it be one or three. These names are categorized as male, female or both and are listed according to various themes or descriptions to help you narrow down the kind of name you think fits your Siamese best. These categories are:
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