Saturday, August 9, 2008

Get your cat names right here

People are always coming up to me and saying, "The Hawg, I've got a cat and I don't know what to name it. Can you help? Please?"

Actually, people almost never ask me for advice on cat names but they should. Why? I can name a cat like nobody's business. It's a gift and I'll share it freely.

And I'm not talking about any of those cutesy names, either. No, you'll not find me coming up with any slop such as "Mr. Whiskers" or "Madame Fuzzy" or "Wittie Bittie Shmoopy Shmoo" or any such rot. The trick, of course, is to match the name with the cat.

Here are a few examples of great cat names that have received the coveted The Hawg Seal of Approval over the years. I didn't come up with all of them, but they are all spectacular enough to have been developed by me:

1. Meow Tse-tung. That particular name is my all time favorite. It's both a clever pun and a jab at a communist hero (and God knows it's always fun to ridicule communists). Don't want to be the person yelling "Meow! Come here Meow!" through the neighborhood? You could simply nickname the cat "The Chairman." That's one of those can't miss names.

In addition to being a darn fine name, if I had a cat named about Meow Tse-tung, that would prove something very important -- those Chinese history classes I took in college while working on my political science degree weren't wastes of time. It's just too bad my wife has vetoed that name every time we've gotten a new cat. It's her loss.

2. Ol' Yowler. There was a scruffy old cat that used to come around my door yowling for food, so I dubbed her Ol' Yowler. My ex-wife hated that cat, so I started to let her inside to feed her and fawned over her quite a bit. I haven't seen Ol' Yowler since I got divorced and I've always suspected that my ex stole the cat (she took everything else, so why not?)

At any rate, Ol' Yowler may be gone, but the name lives on.

3. Clawful. When I was a kid, He-Man and the Masters of the Universe was a big deal in cartoon land. Of all of Skeletor's minions, Clawful was about my favorite. Why? Because the name is so damned cool, that's why.

While Clawful makes a great name for a cartoon villain, it makes an even better name for a cat. Just say it a few times and see if you don't chuckle. And, folks, the joke doesn't grow old, either.

4. Professor StinkButt. This one will be appreciated by anyone who has ever had to change a litter box. Anyone who claims that cats are "clean animals" is either a straight liar or has never had to haul a box of cat crap out to the trash. So, Professor StinkButt fits a cat very well.

Besides, wouldn't that just make a fantastic comic book hero and/or villain? Just think about it. The Professor could either clear out a room with his stench or torment an enemy thoroughly just by stinking at him.

5. Rasputin. Cats have long been embraced by those fascinated with the occult and/or mysticism, so naming a feline after Grigori Rasputin seems very appropriate. For those keeping score at home, Rasputin was a Russian mystic who had the ear of Tsar Nicholas II. The "Mad Monk" was a controversial character, indeed, and was accused of everything from unduly influencing Nicholas to raping a nun.

To say he was a mysterious figure is a severe understatement. The dark complexity of Rasputin's character fits sneaky cats quite well, indeed. Rasputin might not be the most sunny and optimistic name for a cat, but think about it for a bit and you'll likely agree that it fits.

6. Gracie. We actually had a cat named Gracie once upon a time. She was a calico and the name fit her very well.

"Uh, that name's not that great, The Hawg."

Well, it (hopefully) is if you understand the history behind it. Gracie the cat was named for the late, great Gracie Allen, the person I still regard as the genius in the Burns and Allen comedy team. George Burns and Gracie Allen charmed the U.S. on radio and, later, television for years. So, that particular name was a tribute to a comic genius.

7. Mickey Mouser. More than a name, that particular moniker lets a cat know what you expect of it. My cats are expected to keep the house free of pests, and one of them has become an expert at chasing, killing and eating insects.

I know, I know. "An insect isn't a mouse, The Hawg." Agreed, but a cat named Mickey Mouser should be bright enough to figure out that you want it to cut down on mice and whatever pests it encounters.

So there are seven names that are just dynamite. Just pick any one of them and your cat will stand out in a world of cats named "Fluffy," "Purrly Gates" or whatever cutesy names people slap on their felines.


FishHawk said...

Tweedle-Dee: "MEOW TSE-TUNG!!! Oh no, He didint."

Tweedle-Dum: "Oh yes he did!"

Tweedle-Dee: "I bet the rat terrier had something to do with it."

Tweedle-Dum: "Yeah, we know who the StinkButt is in that house, and they ain't no professor, neither!"

Allure said...

interesting cat names!

The Natural State Hawg said...


That's right -- pick on the guy with ulcerative colitis ;)

I've wanted to name a cat Meow Tse-tung for years. The wife has objected every time, however.

I still believe she shakes her head because I named a cat "The Cheat."

Oh well...

The Natural State Hawg said...


Can't miss cat names, you mean!

Well, maybe.

FishHawk said...

I am so, so sorry. For my mother-in-law's cat snuck out of her room and got on the computer while I was off...umm...doing something else. Evidently, she has a split-personality (Tweedle-Dee & Tweedle-Dum???) but that doesn't excuse her picking on the poor puppy like that, nor her general rudeness.

Be assured that I have tried to delete the comment, but she has learned a thing or two about encoding somewhere. Please accept my profuse apologies.

The Natural State Hawg said...

Ah! Blaming it all on a typing cat, huh? Well, I've heard that one before.

All my cats can do is walk across keyboards and annoy me. They can type with no skill at all. I'm not even sure they know how to spell.

Regardless, I'll give you the benefit of the doubt -- it would be just like a cat to pick on Cobb. Cats, by their very nature, are suspicious.

Sara said...

I only name pets human names. I hate cutesy made up names.

Da Old Man said...

You do have a gift.
If I were to get a cat, I'd name it "Tastes Like Chicken" just so it knows its place.

feefifoto said...

I wanted to name our dog "Stella" or "Taxi" so there'd be some comic relief when she bolted and we had to yell for her, but my kids were embarrassed so we named her Violet. We've nicknamed her "Voldemort, The Dog Lord" or "She Who Will Not Be Tamed". Who cares if she's a girl -- the names fit.

The Natural State Hawg said...


I've named a few after human beings (my favorite animal names influenced by humans thus far are Priscella, Hannibal, Gracie and Cobb).

The cutesy ones drive me up the wall...

The Natural State Hawg said...

da old man:

That doesn't surprise me one bit! I kind of like that one -- could keep a cat from getting uppity. There's nothing worse than an uppity cat...

The Natural State Hawg said...


Yeah, I love the name Stella. That's an absolute hoot. Yelling that through a neighborhood would be fun every single time.

I'm writing that one down...

Lauren said...

I think I have you topped on being a good cat namer. My family always comes to me. UGH! I named my parents kitties George and Gracie, yes just like you after Gracie Allen. George is really after curious George and Gracie went along with it. We had Shana and Casper (as in the friendly ghost and he lived up to the friendly part) Keisha (after the little girl on Cosby),Olivia after the character on Cosby, Emily(just a pretty name and she was a pretty spirit) and now I have Leo (my initial and Olivia and Emily's), KC (after Keisha and Casper) and Sadie, after Shana. :-p Found you from Crotchety.

The Natural State Hawg said...


The Crotchety Old Man is one of my faves. He's funnier than me, but I don't hold that against him.

At any rate, it sounds as if you might be getting close to challenging me to a name-off. If so, I accept.

Here is my proposal. Line up five kittens and we each get an hour to pick out names that are appropriate to each kitten. The names, along with an explanation of why we believe each is appropriate, will be submitted to an independent panel of at least three judges (we need an odd number so as to prevent ties).

The winner gets, well, bragging rights. And a trophy (maybe).

Sound good?

JD at I Do Things said...

How have I lived this long without knowing about "Clawful"? That is a truly awesome name. Professor Stinkbutt is also very apt, especially for our kitten, who packs a double wallop of having a naturally stinky butt and very bad gas problem.

Well done!

JD at I Do Things

The Natural State Hawg said...


Cats are fun to name, aren't they. Sadly, my wife tends to object to the cat names I come up with -- apparently, she believes the joke will wear thin over time.

It could just be that she's the one who winds up taking them to the vet and she had enough trouble convincing the vet that one of our cats was actually named "The Cheat." That's right -- not just "Cheat" but "The Cheat" with a upper-case "T."

Heh, heh. I'm lucky I don't get smacked by that woman on a regular basis...

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