Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Pet Names

People have different ideas and preferences when picking out a name for their pet. There are so many special and distinctive names out there, that it's difficult to decide on just one. So how do pet owners go about it?

Most commonly, names that are chosen reflect the appearance or colour of the animal. Like Fuzzy, Flopsy, Smudge, Fudge or Snowflake. Gender-specific names are popular too, like Coco Chanel for a girl and Louis Vuitton for a boy. Names are also based on a pet's personality: Sassy if it's cheeky, Bashful if it's shy or Scamp if it's mischievous. Others associate sweet confectionery with their pets, like Oreo, Biscuit and Cupcake. Sometimes, a pet name can go beyond just the physical aspect or cuteness factor. It can stem from something, well, slightly different. That's how I found a name for my pet.

I got my cat when it was about 5 months old. It had sadly been abandoned by it's previous owners. I immediately took to this lovable & adorable feline with fluffy white fur & ginger points. Being the first time I had a real pet (goldfish don't count), I had no idea what to call it. Fluffy was too common, Gingersnap reminded me of a Spice Girl. I considered giving it a name according to it's gender. As I am completely ignorant (and unwilling) to find this out myself; I called upon a close and self-proclaimed animal lover, who was also an Anatomy major at university. He professed that my new cat was a girl. I looked up all sorts of girly names for her. Tinker, Mitzy, Trixie, Buttercup, Minx - I just couldn't decide. 

I then got some inspiration from an event I was planning at work. It was an Egyptian themed Women's Day function, to which my bff and I dressed up as Cleopatra. That's when I thought, hmmm, Cleopatra - Cleo for short, that's a pretty name. And my cat has this curious way of always sitting like a little Sphinx. Perfect, I will name her Cleo. Everyone I know gushed and 'awww-ed' when I introduce them to her.

Two weeks after Cleopatra moved in, she got really sick, and for the first and panicked time, I had to locate a vet in Small Town, SA. I found out that there is only one vet in our town, and it was lucky that I got an appointment. Cleo had a thorough check up and a few vaccines (I couldn't bear to watch). With eyes closed in the consultation room, I asked the vet, "Is she going to be okay? I just got her." He courteously and unflinchingly replied, "No need to worry, he is going to be just fine." He? Cleopatra is a boy?! I can't tell you how embarrassed I was. Poor Cleo, no wonder he got sick, it's from the gender-identity crisis I had caused him.

By then, everyone was already used to calling her him Cleo and so the name kinda stuck. It could have been a lot worse. Imagine if I had named him Lulubelle or something frillier. Although pet names are a personal choice, it should at least indicate whether it's a boy or girl. And don't rely on so-called animal lovers to figure this out, always ask the vet, that's why they studied for 6 years.

I wanted to post a picture of Cleo, however, he refused to put his paw print on the photo release forms. He is just mortified since this whole incident. So I had to get a body double to pose in his place. The cutie below looks slightly similar to Cleo and it seems that they have the same pastime.


CJ said...

A friend of mine named her cat Bella, and through a similar incident discovered too late that it was a boy. Oh well. The cat doesn't know the difference.

Patty said...

I had such a hard time picking out a name for my puppy! So much to consider! I like Cleo a lot. Good choice :)