Back in October our friend Sue from the Talking Dogs Blog shared a Throwback Thursday post titled “The Rhyme and Reason of Dog Names at Talking Dogs”. Her post talked about the dogs in her life and how she came up with their names. I thought it was such a fun idea, and wanted to do the same thing. I wrote my dog name post in December, I’ve had many more cats in my life than dogs, so this one took a little longer!
The first two cats in my life that I named were strays that wandered into our yard when I was a teenager. At the time I was taking Spanish language in high school, so I named these two cats “Concha” and “Carlotta“. Carlotta is Spanish for Charlotte, and I thought Concha was Spanish for Constance (I had a close friend with that name at the time), but it’s actually short for Concepción. I’d have to find my old Spanish textbook to see if I was right at the time!
Both of those cats had kittens, and we ended up keeping a tan/orange one which, if I remember correctly, my mother named “Taffy” because of his color. I’m sure my sister will be correct me if she reads this and I remember wrong about that!
The next cat I got was when I was in my early 20’s and my friend/roommate and I got two kittens at the local pet store (this was the early 80’s when pet stores weren’t as frowned upon!). They were siblings and I named my female “Antoinette“, feminizing the name of the man I was currently in love with who was in a local band. Her brother was named “Chaos” by my friend (same reason, Chaos was a nickname for the lead singer in the band).
Antoinette later ended up living with a friend when I moved to Massachusetts. Though I was supposed to get her back, I ended up letting that friend keep her. The man moved on as well, and I’d like to think I missed Antoinette more than her namesake. 🙂
Once I was settled in Massachusetts, my parents asked me to take Concha to live with me; though Carlotta and Taffy were gone by then (both met the fate of many outdoor cats and sadly disappeared). Concha was just a bit needy, but I was happy to take her. She ended up moving back to NH with my husband and I later, and lived to the nice old age of 18!
While living with friends in Mass., I fell in love with their tiger cat named “Ragu“. They ended up giving her to me, and I kept that name (yes, I’m quite sure she was named after the spaghetti sauce). Ragu had kittens and we kept the runt of the litter and named her “Bones“. My boyfriend (who is now my hubby) and I had moved in together at that point, and the other roommates had moved out. Another roommate also left behind a black cat named “Blackie” (not too clever, but we also kept his name).
Bones got her name because she was such a scrawny but scrappy little thing; and later we mostly called her “Miss Bones”, I guess since that made her more feminine (this was long before the TV show “Bones”!). Bones had kittens of her own. Most of them went to live with family and friends, but we kept our favorite who we named “Don Juan”, because he was such a little lover. He went on in life to love everyone, feline, canine, and human, and definitely lived up to his name.
We lived right on a busy street, and lost both Ragu and Blackie to traffic. Don Juan also got hit by a car. He was injured badly, with a broken leg and hip but he pulled through and recovered fully. By then we became more responsible pet owners – no more kittens, and no more living right on the street!
We moved to New Hampshire with Concha, Miss Bones, and Don Juan. After Concha passed on we got another little tiger kitten from the pet store, and we named her “Tasha“, and as far as I remember, that was simply because we liked that name. I will never forget walking into that pet store and hearing her cry; I’m pretty sure she was calling out to me. I left the store without her, but it wasn’t difficult to talk my hubby into going back.
After losing both Tasha (she never came home one day; living on the street isn’t the only way you lose outdoor cats), and Miss Bones (who was killed by the neighbor’s dog), we didn’t want Donny to be the only cat (though he loved our dog at the time). We adopted our own little tan/orangey cat from the shelter and named him Conrad. I honestly don’t remember why we chose that name, other than wanting a different and human name. Somehow it always fit him.
We also took in a stray cat. We thought he was a she at first and named him Annabelle (I don’t know why). Once we realized our mistake, he became “Franklin”. At the time I collected beanie babies and Grateful Dead bears, and one of the Dead bears was named Franklin. Unfortunately our Frankie was not a healthy guy and only lived for less than a year with us.
With Donny aging, and Conrad never liking the dogs, we knew we needed more cats. My brother’s cat had kittens and though we only planned to get one, we ended up with two. Those sisters were named “Katie” and “Samantha“. Katie was named after a hostess on the CMT music channel; I think I mostly just liked the name at the time (I had to look up who she was named after, and I guess that Katie – Cook – still works for CMT!). The choice of Samantha may have had something to do with my sister having a male cat named Sammy, who was the kitten of my Antoinette. My other sister had also had a cat named Samantha and it was a name I always liked for a cat.
Reading back, I can see that I definitely leaned towards human names for my cats, other than Miss Bones (maybe that’s why I added the “Miss” – to humanize it more). Those without human names were not named by me!
If you read my dog names post, you might remember I told you this cat post would be far longer, and now you know why! I was a crazy cat lady long before I also became a crazy dog lady.
Sand spring Chesapeake says
What a bunch of beautiful kitties you had. Great post!
Dolly the Doxie says
Mom had Peaches and Herb she thinks you’re old enough to get it. Much like your Conrad and Katie, Peaches was an orange and white female that came first. She went looking for a Herb and found a male black and white tuxie. How fun you had a tuxie Katie just like Glogirly. Love Dolly
“Reunited” – correct? I love those names! I wish we’d still had our Katie when I started the blog – she was such a fun cat and would have given me much to write about.
Lynn LaChance says
love this post, Jan, yeah, good memory job on all that! love the trip down memory lane with all the wonderful kitties and seeing where their names came from. oh yes and the only correction I have is that I am quite sure Taffy’s name was my idea, not Mom’s! ☺ After you had named Carlotta and Concha-which at the time I think I thought were kind of silly but now I think were great!
That was in the back of my mind, that you had named Taffy, and that’s exactly why I said you would correct me if I was wrong! When I was researching for this post, I found out I was wrong about a couple of things at first! (I thought Conrad was named after a GD Bear, not Franklin, and actually almost forgot Franklin completely!).
Those are all great names…and you had quite a few of them. Ragu, that’s a good one.
Ellen Pilch says
All your kitties were beautiful.
The Island Cats says
Wow, you have had a lot of cats.
Yup, that’s for sure, and that’s not counting kittens we had either – and they all also got names (not that I’d remember many of those!).
Monika & Sam says
Crazy for pets is a good thing. Sounds like you gave loads of kitties a good home.
My Dad was not an animal lover so we were lucky to get to keep the two original girls. I think I was making up for lost time later on! 🙂
I had no idea you were first a crazy cat lady! How wonderful! Those are all great names, and you really spanned the gamut of possibilities! As Newt is my one and only cat (so far, anyway!) my story is so much shorter: John named her after the little girl in the Aliens movie. Only two people ever have guessed that. Most people just say, “Newt is an interesting name for a cat…” 🙂
Newt is definitely a great name for a cat, I love it! I always like unique names. I never saw those movies, but they were quite popular so I’m surprised more people don’t get that reference!
Oh, I love this post and learning about your cats and their names. You’ve had a lot of cats! I did a cat name post, too, but it was much, much shorter 🙂 These days, to my disappointment, Skeeter just doesn’t tolerate other cats well and had made it pretty clear she’s intends to be/stay an only cat. Since she’s got to be at least 16 she gets her way!
Thanks again for the inspiration! Samantha seems pretty content to be a loner too. She got along with our other cats, but she mostly ignored them and went off by herself. As sad as it makes me, we probably won’t get any more cats for a while. I don’t fully trust Luke with them, and I also feel like Sam doesn’t get all the attention she deserves. 🙁
All so precious!! Great photos 🙂 Thank you for sharing. Keep up the fun posts!
Brian Frum says
Mos of us, but not all, came with the names we have. some of Dad’s earliest kitties were Johm Paul, George and Ringo…tells you how old he is!
I love it – especially knowing I’m not the only old one out here! One of my sisters was a huge Elvis fan, and I can’t believe she’s never had a pet with that name!
Callie, Shadow, and Ducky's Mom says
You’re a baby compared to me, Jan – I’ve got about 10 years on you. Paul was my favorite Beatle; Richard Chamberlain (as Dr. Kildare), John Glenn (yes, the astronaut), and Michael Landon (as Little Joe Cartwright on Bonanza) were my first “serious” crushes. ????
I do remember the show Bonanza; and I also had a crush on Richard Chamberlain but it was after that mini-series “The Thorn Birds”. I had to look that up, BTW, I couldn’t remember the name of it!
I loved seeing Conrad’s sweet face again! All of the other kitties are so pretty, too. What fabulous names you’ve chosen! Naming pets is so hard for me–I might have to consult you next time I need a name 😉
Your crew has great names – you do just fine! I love that they’re more unique than many.
M. K. Clinton says
I am always fascinated at the reasons behind our pet’s names. ♥
Aww. I love hearing the story behind all your kitties’ names and seeing their pictures.
Two French Bulldogs says
Cute. We crack up at some of those names. We met a dog the other day and her name was Phyllis BOL
Lily & Edward
Mom was a crazy cat lady, but no more. Her first cat was Fluffy. She was in second grade learning to read and that was the name of the cat in the books. Fluffy was not at all fluffy, but she lived to be 19! The next set of cats came along in college when being preppy was in…thus Spaz, Muffy, Skip, and Penelope! The third set was more random names, Boo, Tom, and Biene. Our current kitties have TV names from stuff Mom knew in Germany. Miss Sophie is a British comedy on New Years Eve, and Bert is just a random guy. It is interesting how everyone chooses names.
I loved all the names you gave your purring furkids… my favorite is conrad… it has something of endless wisdom and a little bit of a genius. oh and the last name of the principal of our school was conrad… but he wasn’t like your conrad, he was an … well, maybe his parents gave him this cool name accidentally because they had no clue how to spell nincompoop :O)))
Lynn LaChance says
that’s too funny!
I agree – too funny!!