What’s Your Dog’s/Cat’s Name?

They say what you name your children is a reflection of you and your significant other. Your personalities, your experiences.

Kids names don’t hold a candle to the reasons we name our pets.

I’ve had a Rennie (Renaissance Faire, pretty self explanatory), Dickens (C Dickens Write, pretty self explanatory too), Kahlua (we all know what that means), Holly, Harley, and my father-in-law’s Indy (Independence Day Girl).

Cats included Mysty (really lame I know) who we usually call Fat Cat, Jazmine (from the Aladdin movie), Tom (he was one cool cat), and Persephone (someone else named her… too many syllables for me).

Over the weekend I went to visit my friend’s daughter and fiancé, and they have a dog named Charlie. Not bad. Their old dog was named Kochani, which is Polish for sweetheart. Other names at the table were Peso (a monetary unit) and Kohana (meaning swift) and a cat named Ty’setzu (who knows what that means!)

The one I loved the most was the dog named Butters. I didn’t ask where that came from, but, since the evening was FULL of stories, I’m sure there was one there, too.

People are more clever with their pet’s name. More adventurous. More likely to tie them to someone or something famous, goofy, or familiar. I know a Briggs (for Lance Briggs from the Chicago Bears), Coda (the concluding passage of a piece or movement, like the concluding member of the family), King Tedward of Fluffernut (that explains itself), Payton (Walter Payton), Nestle (because he was brown like the drink), and Izzy.

I am tickled to hear the stories behind pets’ names. I barely take time to think about my character’s names in my books — whatever comes to mind and sounds smooth works. No reference to TV stars, family members, or people I used to work with. I’ve even made up names which, to my credit, have worked fairly well, too.

But pets.

I can see some cat names:  Tom. Mittens, Patches, Boots. And dogs — Max, Bear, Rocky.

But Butters? Rennie

An article from The Dog People says that among dogs and cats, the name Covi is up 1,159%, followed by Rona (up 69%), Corona (up 24%) and Covie which is also trending up in popularity.

Go figure.

I love creative names — especially for our little guys. I can see me someday, standing in my yard, screaming at my runaway dogs — Burrito! Taco! Get over here!  Whiskey! Here!  You’d better listen, Banana Peel!

What are your dogs/cats names?



28 thoughts on “What’s Your Dog’s/Cat’s Name?

  1. I LOVE those names! Stripie — why not? Sniffy, Tigger — those work. But wow — Puss-in-Boots Washington Wee Toto Snuggles Horse Purr — what a classy moniker! Her must have been proud to wear THAT name tag! Ha!

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  2. I can’t say the names of we’ve given to a line of cats are very imaginative. In order as I remember them:
    Smokey – he was smokey grey all over
    Blackie – an all black cat
    Stripie – a tabby with a distinctive stripe pattern
    Bib – a dark tabby with a white patch on his upper chest, resembling a bib
    Sniffy – he was suffering from cold-like symptoms when he arrived
    Tigger – A striped ginger cat with a personality that reminded me of A A Milne’s Tigger from Winnie-the-Pooh
    Puss – That’s all I knew him as for 17 years, but after his demise, my daughter informed me that his full name was Puss-in-Boots Washington Wee Toto Snuggles Horse Purr plus a few more that I can’t recall. The Puss-in-Boots makes sense as he was all black apart from his paws and lower legs, which were white, and did indeed have the appearance of white boots. Snuggles and Purr make sense because he did both. But Horse was the name given to a fearsome cat from the popular New Zealand comic strip Footrot Flats – everything that Puss wasn’t. As to the rest of his name, even my daughter doesn’t remember why she assigned them to Puss.


  3. I once had a gray cat named C’mere. When I got her I hadn’t chosen a name yet so I would just say “hey come here”. She started answering to it.


  4. Over the years – Cats: Max, Bratty, BooBoo, Smoker Fat Man (originally Smokey), Zuzu, Miss Frankie Lulubelle (originally Frankie), Zeke, BB (originally Baby Boy/Bad Boy). Dog: LaVerne


  5. What great names!! Budha Belly! Putty Head! Our nicknames are even better than our formal names! Sometimes breeders have to name their dogs some long, uncomplimentary names. I usually ignore those and go for the gusto!

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  6. People do get creative. My current felines, are Brady(ex loved tom brady) Simon, whose name should be Alvin, Allie, aka flying Monkey. When i say fly monkey fly, she def knows what it means and does. Previous ones, were Bitser, aka budha belly cause he would sit like budha with that fat little belly and Pumpkin, aka putty head. He was sweet and loving but not always the brightest bulb…


  7. I love this. I often spend more time coming up with my pet’s names than with my kids names. We often get rescue or rehomed pets who usually come with names. I’m loath to change them. When we got our current dogs the first one was called Dottie because she has a large black dot on her back. I thought it sounded too babyish and a bit flighty so I shortened it to Dot which really suits her. The latest dog was named Dahlia which I shortened to Lia. It works as she is a bit of a Princess.


  8. In a Robert Waller novel, there was a raggedy orange cat that hung around the local bar named Dumptruck. Just loved that.


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