What’s in a name? (cat names)

Growing up, I LOVED TS Elliott’s poetry and my favorite was “The Naming of Cats”. I knew it by heart & still do…. 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! I loved this poem before I ever really even pet a cat. It’s funny how you get drawn to things. 

We helped strays before and once when I was about 9 or so, there were kittens left alone in our backyard (I’ll keep the long story short). We had to bottle feed them they were just so tiny and yeah. We adopted them out or brought them to a no-kill shelter. Anyway, Our first real cat was an accident. We did NOT plan on a cat. Well, it was just the end of my 4th grade school year, so end of June, when this gorgeous black cat kept hanging around. She would jump to your hand for affection and purr something fierce. She was a character! My dad had recently had heart surgery & our family room was still under construction. That means we didn’t have walls or a ceiling (just insulation was up). This cat would go into the garage, climb up stuff into the attic, them walk through the attic to the family room and drop down into the room on purpose! Yes, this cat would do it over and over again! She wanted IN our house (which is funny because we owned a mouse the year before named Mickey. One day we found a “wild mouse” got into the cage with her. Apparently, animals tried to live in our house more than once). Turns out, this svelte black cat was pregnant! She had 5 babies in our backyard under a bush. 1 died during childbirth. My mom carried the 4 babies inside and we had a nook for this Mama cat to take care of her babies in. She wanted out! She went out and carried the dead baby in and put her with the others! It was so sad.  When those babies made a peep, she flipped. She was THE BEST momma cat in existence! Again, she was this shiny, exotic looking black cat and I was 9. My mom said she needed an exotic name. What did I come up with? Miko! It was the name of the island Barbie 🙂 Miko had 4 babies that went to forever homes care of North Shore Animal League: Elton John (tiger cat), Nikita (gray fluffy cat), Shayna (tiger cat), & Reggie (black cat). Can you tell I named them and loved Elton John? Miko lived 16+ years until she got very sick & had to be put to sleep. She got buried next to my precious Annie (3rd cat).

Miko Doll

Then, Mother’s Day 2 years later we were walking into the flea market (Tri-County Indoor Flea Market) and a woman was giving away kittens by the door. We stopped, fell in love, and opted for the runt of the litter. She was little and black & white. I had taken spanish for over a year at this point and came up with Nina because it meant small girl in spanish. Nina stayed a kitten it seemed. She had a small tail and small frame. She looked like a kitten until she got a bit too pudgy 🙂 She also lived 16+ years. She was cremated and my mom has her and puts her sweet box in the Christmas tree each year because Nina loved to hide in the tree 🙂

Then I was 16. I was getting special food for my iguana when from  a store length away, my heart melted. I saw this tiny white kitten and I HAD to hold her. She meowed and went to sleep in my arms. I was in love more than I could stand. The cat got it’s forever home with me. My ex bought her for me for our Anniversary (which was right around then) so I named her Annie short for anniversary. Princess Annie-Bell-Lee was the best cat! She was like a dog in that she’d follow you down teh block as if on a leash. She had a HUGE personality and loved everyone. her best friend was my brother’s Golden Retriever, Harley. She’d climb up the steps and wait for Harley at the back door. But outdoor cats (this was the only one that went in & out – she NEEDED to socialize – 90% inside but 10% out to socialize with people in the neighborhood and Harley) have a shorter life. My sweet baby got hit by a car and the vet couldn’t help her much. She was put to sleep because her injuries were so severe. As I write this I am literally hysterical crying. I cant get over this cat. She was my baby in so many ways and I loved her so much! I can barely ever say her name without misting up; Tom can verify that for those skeptics. June 2001 held a day that changed my life. Annie was buried out my bedroom window, wrapped in her favorite blankie with a white rose bush on top (Miko was buried next to her when she passed). Annie loved roses… she’d sniff them out of any bouquet and chew on them. They were her favorite! S I hate when I get any roses to this day. At our wedding, I declared no roses! The only rose at  my wedding was 1 white rose in my bouquet so Annie was able to walk down the aisle with me. 

After Tom & I settled out new married life, we went to North Shore Animal League and got 2 rescued twin Siamese brothers. They were named Randall & Banky. Randy was Tom’s and Banky was mine. I’ll say long story short but our heart broke a bit as we had to give them up but not after finding them a more perfect home with someone who would treasure them even more than we did. I wonder how my sweet boys are doing right now?

After baby #3, we got Zoë from Safe Haven for Cats. Then we rescued Sushi our black cat. You usually say Sushi Roll, but we also like this wonderful author named Roald Dahl and since you say his name like “Roll” we named her Sushi Roald. Then we got Kaylee River from Safe Haven. And recently, we got Miss Remy LeBeau from Safe Haven.

Our cats are a part of the family – our nerdy family. 

Miko – Tropical Barbie
Niña – Spanish for Little Girl
Annie – short for Anniversary
Randal – From Clerks (Tom’s favorite Kevin Smith movie)
Banky – From Chasing Amy (My favorite Kevin Smith movie)
Zoë – Firefly character
Sushi Roald – our family’s favorite food & a great author
Kaylee River – 2 Firefly characters rolled into 1 name
Remy LeBeau- from Ratatouille initially but morphed into our own little Remy LeBeau (aka Gambit)


Kaylee River


Miss Remy LeBeau


Sushi Roald


Princess Zoë-Girl

 So yeah, our cats have Nerdy names. So what? 😉

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