What's In A Name?

We rescue A LOT of cats and kittens each year at the Georgia SPCA - more than 300 of them so far this year! It can be challenging to think up names for all of them. The obvious names - like Tulip, Spring, Summer and Daffodil for kittens born early in the year - are used up pretty quickly when we rescue several cats and kittens every week. We've named kittens after great cities of Europe (London, Vienna, Rome, and Paris,) states of the Union (Montana, Ohio, Alabama) and I recently fostered a litter of three adorable kittens who were named Gouda, Muenster and Cheddar (Cheddar was the yellow tabby, of course, and her fur color inspired us to name the rest of the litter after cheeses.) We've named cats and kittens after staff members, volunteers, candy bars and cereals. We've used alliteration (Mandy, Maxy and Martin), their appearance and popular culture (Spock and Sulu.)

My own cats have come by their names a variety of ways - usually, I like to let the cat "tell" me what it's name ought to be. Snagger was a big grey and white tuxedo who was found abandoned on a riverbank as a tiny kitten, when my husband was snag-fishing for salmon in Wisconsin. Hammie was named after the comic strip character who was always into mischief, and Annie was named after Little Orphan Annie because she was found, half-starved and scavenging for food, at a garbage dump. I am also partial to names that can easily be morphed into nicknames (Hammie is Hammie-Hamster, and my Persian-mix Molly was Molly-Moodles. I know - I'm nuts.)

I’m always curious about why other people name their cats as they do.  I think all of my cats throughout the years have had the same name for ME - "Hey You, Feed Me." How did your cats come by their names and what do you think your cat calls YOU?

PS - Rome, pictured above, and Pumpkin, at right, are at the Georgia SPCA right now, waiting for their fur-ever homes. You can learn more about them and our other adoptable cats at www.GeorgiaSPCA.org/adopt-cat