It seems like something around here always needs a name. A new kitten, a new stuffed animal, a new baby…… or maybe it’s work-related (a business, product, club or non-profit).
People often ask me for help in choosing a name for these types of things. In fact, out of all of my blog posts, the one with the most hits by far has been my entry from 2009 entitled How to Name Your Farm or Ranch. Apparently, it really struck a chord.
Anyway, just for a little bit of fun today, I want to introduce you to some of our pets, and how I happened upon their names. Hopefully, this will give you some ideas and inspiration for your own naming projects.
First up: Starbuck and Sabrina. They were a brother and sister pair so I thought it would be cute to have their names start with the same letter. I started with the boy, who is a silver tabby. His beautiful gray fur gave me lots of ideas: Stormy, Skywalker and even Rainmaker. I finally decided on Starbuck for two reasons: this well-known coffee brand made me think of cool, rainy Seattle weather. And Starbuck also happens to be the main character in one of my favorite classic dramas: The Rainmaker. With Starbuck’s name settled, I chose Sabrina for his sister because it started with an “S” and is also the name of fun comic-book character from the 1960’s – Sabrina the teenage witch. You know how witches and cats like to hang out together…..
Below is Solomon, named after the Old Testament king. He just appeared in our back yard one day and stole everyone’s heart with his lovable nature. I chose Solomon because this feline has such a regal appearance. His fur is thick and beautiful and plush, like the soft and opulent robes of a king. Unlike his biblical counterpart, however, Solomon has taken a vow of chastity (he’s neutered)!
Next up is Pixie. When I first brought this little girl home I was enamored with her delicate beauty. “She must have a name fit for a queen!” I thought. But none of the grand names I thought of seemed to fit. Why? This kitty turned out to be a light-footed little sprite – a mischief-maker. Time taught me that she needed a name that fit her personality. So I decided on Pixie. It’s a cute little name and full of fun, just like she is.
And here is Dante. He’s quiet and sweet. There was something about his serious demeanor that made me want to give him a “scholarly” sort of name. I reached pretty high in choosing to name him after the author of the masterpiece “Divine Comedy” but Dante remains a humble and totally approachable sort of cat. Most often you will find him approaching my lap!
In summary, here are my go-to tips for naming a new pet:
Think outside the box. Don’t choose the obvious. A Siamese cat doesn’t necessarily need an Oriental name, and a black cat doesn’t have to have a “dark” name like Shadow or Midnight. Other factors come into play when choosing a good name besides color and breed.
Take your time. Make a list of your top names and start trying them out for a day or so. See if it really suits the animal. After just a few days of bringing a new pet into your home, you’ll learn a lot about his personality, which will in turn make naming much easier.
Pick something easy to say and spell. This comes in handy when calling your pet, communicating with the vet or filling out paperwork. It’s also easier for young children to learn.
See what’s already out there. If you want something unique, Google the top names for dogs and cats so you compare your choices. Hint: don’t pick Tigger for a cat or Lady for a dog!
So……do you need some help naming a pet (or anything else)? Have some favorite names to share of your own? Comment here!