As an associate member of ninevoices, known to make my cuddly presence unavoidable on sofa or lap, it was suggested it was about time I made a contribution to our scribbling.
“The Naming of Cats is a difficult matter, It isn’t just one of your holiday games;”
See how my involvement with you literary guys has rubbed off.
The naming of cats, dogs, pets: Mr Eliot was right. I am fortunate that I adopted a family who believes animals should not be given human names. It seems that every cute little puppy that joins the dogs’ parliament on the Common has a fashionable human name. I have met three Hugos, several Charlies, Betsy – my sister’s name by the way but she adopted another family – Susies, Lucys, Alfies, and an Olivia.
I am pleased to say ninevoices seem to be in step with my family. We have Bamber, Gizzy, Rumble, Streak, Snowy, Flax, Keiko and Yuki. The last two work if you’re not Japanese.
Then there are the fictional pets: Bullseye, Flush, Jumble, Crookshank, Ginger and Pickles, Greebo, Mog, Tab, Buck. You’ve probably spotted Flush, a real dog who belonged to Elizabeth Barrett Browning. But my point is these are all distinctive names not borrowed by humans.
Queen Victoria’s childhood spaniel was Dash, but her great-great granddaughter chose Susan for her first corgi. Personally I think that let the side down.
“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:
His ineffable effable
Deep and inscrutable singular Name.”