A pop culture geek’s guide to cat-naming

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Furgus “Meowley” MacLeod looking incredibly sleepy and majestic. Photo Credit/ Susan Aerathryal
Furgus “Meowley” MacLeod looking incredibly sleepy and majestic. Photo Credit/ Susan H


  1. Don’t be hasty. It’s important to remember that there’s no need to name a kitten on the first day. In fact, it’s better to get to know the little fella first, as my boyfriend and new kitten owner learned recently. Cats have their own unique personalities, so not all names will suit all cats. (Dogs pretty much all have the same personality, so by all means, name Fido right away.) There’s no need to name the cat early because cats don’t really respond to their names anyway, and therefore, don’t need to get familiar with it. In the meantime, “Kitty No-Name” worked for us.
  2. If at all possible, use a pun. Puns don’t really come naturally to me or to my boyfriend, so as we were trying to name his new roommate, I did some serious googling. Unsurprisingly, a lot of people seem to think cat names should include puns. Some of my favorites that were ultimately vetoed were Hunter S. Thomcat and the slightly less obvious Bruce Stringsteen. (Get it? Because cats love string! Like I said, it was vetoed.)
  3. A pop culture reference is a must. Obviously. There are plenty of famous cats in film, television, and literature. Use caution when choosing one of these names because the cat will always be compared to his namesake. For instance, naming the boyfriend’s little tabby after Binx in “Hocus Pocus” wouldn’t have worked because that cat was black. A combination of numbers two and three is best, taking a character name and adding a cat pun. I was partial to George Tailey, after Jimmy Stewart’s George Bailey in “It’s A Wonderful Life,” but that was deemed too complicated.
  4. Make it a group effort. The more people involved in the naming process, the better. Ultimately, the owner has final say, but it’s nice to hear what others think, especially if a pun is involved. The exchange of ideas can be super helpful where creativity is concerned. My sister, knowing that we were looking for something “punny” and referential, actually inspired the name for our little Furgus “Meowley” MacLeod. We are all big fans of “Supernatural” and the show’s King of Hell goes by the name Crowley. My sister was campaigning hard for Meowley which lead me to remember that Crowley’s REAL name was Fergus MacLeod, a name that also lends itself to an easy cat pun. And so, two days after my boyfriend brought him home, Furgus had a name.

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