"The Naming of Cats is a difficult matter,
It isn't just one of your holiday games..."
When T.S. Eliot wrote "Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats" in 1939, he probably never imagined his poetry would be turned into a delightfully despised musical. And when unsuspecting show-goers witnessed the spectacle of CATS on stage for the first time, they likely had no idea how much of the largely non-existent plot would be about what, why, how cats are named.
Silly, perhaps, but the naming of cats truly is a difficult matter. Cats are bizarro screwballs of the highest order. They start off adorable little puffs purring fur, and evolve into beautiful animal specimens that emanate strength and grace on the one hand and hilarious quirks and personality on the other. How can you possibly choose a name that truly befits such a magnificently weird creature?
You can't. Which is why people end up naming their cats the silliest names they can think of.
On Twitter, Jennifer Xiao posted a simple observation that got a hilarious ball rolling: "Dog owners will pick names like max or bailey and cat owners will literally name their cat beef stroganoff."
Dog owners will pick names like max or bailey and cat owners will literally name their cat beef stroganoff— Jennifer Xiao (@Jennifer Xiao)1616853498.0
Cue the deluge of pretty kitties with shameless names.
@meganmary627 @jxiaoo My cat is called Ravioli! Pasta cats unite https://t.co/sYk9EIDpCT— lauren⚡️ (@lauren⚡️)1616937340.0
Lots of pasta cats out there. How cute is "Wednesday Fettucine"? Come on now.
@nataliasweetx @jxiaoo Meet my cat Alfredo! https://t.co/pak2DL42JZ— Rae (@Rae)1617013061.0
No shortage of fruit and fruit-flavored names as well.
@jxiaoo wow I'm glad y'all like baja blast! here's some more pics of him with his sister raisin :) https://t.co/fh603tMPeC— damien💌 (@damien💌)1616917877.0
Rooty tooty fresh and frutiy kitties, all day long.
@guavacatsoup @tarcreature @jxiaoo Guava is so cute!! This is baby papaya 🥰 https://t.co/d4zWTzO9gG— Sammi (@Sammi)1616976284.0
Who names a cat "Egg"? Several people, apparently. Egg, Eggs, Eggsy.
@Rheno_101 @jxiaoo Omg I love 🥺🥺 this is Eggs!! https://t.co/VU4KQYdoCV— Nicole Adams (@Nicole Adams)1616937296.0
CRUNCHWRAP SUPREME. I can't.
@TaraTomahawk @jxiaoo I have an avocado! We call him cado for short! https://t.co/Vg8Qd0hmgv— 🫀rev. gould🌻 (@🫀rev. gould🌻)1616941192.0
Green Bean Casserole is a cutie. But the promotion and demotion of Beans is hilarious. "Grand Marshall Beans!"
@fullthrottlegay @jxiaoo beanie kinda looks like my cat beans 😭 originally named vibe inspector beans, she was bein… https://t.co/v0EYc1GmWy— liz (@liz)1616960739.0
@jxiaoo And this is his Brother Cornbread https://t.co/kGRN0FP7s4— Bean Counter (@Bean Counter)1616888593.0
But food names are just the beginning. It gets so much better.
Meet beautiful baby Bong Water.
@jxiaoo this is bong water https://t.co/akE7V6OE7b— dee ☽ (@dee ☽)1616895530.0
And Mozzarella Television.
@aaaaaaaaaimzach @jxiaoo do you ever call him MTV for short— morgan 🚶♂️ (@morgan 🚶♂️)1616905448.0
Hallway. HALL.WAY. People are so magical.
@Risstastic @jxiaoo i had a kitty called pandora cause she was born in a box— cunt™ (@cunt™)1616958432.0
Missy sounds normal enough, until you find out it's short for Missile Launcher.
And then there's Beanbag. Is her middle name Chair? Hope so.
@whatthehak That is such a good name. This is Beans. Her legal name is Beanbag https://t.co/Mdv7qGAwgA— Camille ♿🦓🧠🧶🖇️ (@Camille ♿🦓🧠🧶🖇️)1616976201.0
Stinky and Pot Roast are cute. But Astral Projection (to the Nearest Target) might just take the cake.
@jxiaoo stinky’s full name is actually “astral projection (to the nearest target)” but he only responds to stinky— jett 🍑 (@jett 🍑)1616899678.0
Someone shared that their friend had named their huge cat Parking Lot. Another had a cat named Beep. Some shared epically long names like Lady Cassandra Johanna Von Mussel Klossowski De Rolo De Conerty II.
One person pointed out that the reason people feel they can name their cats any old random thing is because they never have to call their cats' names in public. Yelling out "BEEF STROGANOFF!" or "BONG WATER!" or "PARKING LOT!" might be a little...awkward.
@AAmolins @jxiaoo My cat is an indoor/outdoor cat, but he comes when called, so sometimes I have to call for him to… https://t.co/JJv1qD7Zbd— 🌚 Piss Christ 🌝 (@🌚 Piss Christ 🌝)1616909648.0
But of course, unique names are not the domain of cats alone. Check out this person who named their snake Minecraft Creative Mode and who once had a dog whose full name was Lego Star Wars: The Complete Saga (2007). (Lego for short.)
@jxiaoo this is my snake, minecraft creative mode. i have a cat named Cig (short for Cigarette Butt) i used to have… https://t.co/BS2gxaqHIf— cricket ☭🏹 (@cricket ☭🏹)1616895432.0
Going back to T.S. Eliot, he wrote that every cat has three different names—one everyday name that the family uses, one name that's peculiar and unique even among other cats, and a secret name that only the cat knows and enjoys pondering on occasion:
"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."
Perhaps that's why we give cats such silly, goofy, laughable names. They have their own cosmic, mysterious name we're never going to know, so why the heck not name them Microsoft Windows or Spam Sandwich or Driveway? They're just going to ignore us when we say it anyway.
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