Funny and Strange Animal Names



When I was little, maybe five or so, my folks wanted to get me a kitten. We found a nice little tortoise shell cat. When we were naming her, I had heard about a cat someone had named Ketchup. Wanting to be TOTALLY original, I decided to name her Mustard. I really liked Yoda too at the time (having only seen him on a library poster and heard of him from Star Wars books and the Star Wars radio program) so I decided to give her that name as a middle name. So it was that this cat was named Mustard Yoda Plassman. Shortly, her name was changed to Tractor Breath for her loud purr.

Then there’s the guinea pig (from the previous post) named Cosima Kix Butts Wagner.

And then there’s the cat who was named Will Tweedy but his nick name eventually morphed into Goozit.

And my floofy calico, named Cassiopeia Dawn, who is now either called Mouse or Nezumi (Japanese for Mouse). Oddly enough, she responds better to the Japanese version.

I named my first real pet, a goldfish, “Otis Spoffard.” Only I called it “Otis Spotford” because I didn’t read the name right. I named my green vine snake “Egon Spengler.” And my first guinea pig was “Amelia Earhart.”

Orion Midnight, my inimitable black furred buddy, was called Rat for his odd “raa” meow.

Usually we start with a fairly nice name but end up with all kinds of crazy nicknames. I think that’s fairly common.

Oddly enough, when Orion died, Mouse would sometimes meow like he did. She knew what happened to him as she was there, but it was plain she missed him. It was like she was using his signature meow as his name.

What kind of odd names have you found for your animal friends?

Exercising with a Cat


Those pretty exercise videos and slideshows didn’t prepare me for exercising with a cat in the house.  She really wants to be an integral part of my workout routine, often getting in my way at critical moments. I call it ‘agility training.’

Sometimes she joins in by doing yoga, but usually she’s winding around my feet, mostly wanting to be between me and my exercise bands, me and the wall, me and my weights

Someone needs to write a special guide to exercises for people with cats, so I’ll start.  Here are two of my favorites:


Find a clear place on the floor where the cat is not currently sleeping.

Lie down on your back by putting your arms by your sides.

Now bend your knees and raise your hips while maintain your back straight and keeping your feet on the floor. Let the hips be in a straight line with your shoulders and knees.

Hold it there for 30 seconds or until cat walks under your back.

Gently lower your hips back to the initial position.

Kettlebell deadlift:

Wait till the cat is otherwise occupied with catnip, mouse, or nap.

Stand with feet shoulder width apart, toes slightly turned out.

Bell should be placed between your feet or slightly behind ankles, not near cat.

Inhale through your nose, reach around the cat for the bell.

Keep a neutral spine with eyes on the horizon.

Press through floor and stand up.

Watch for cat before setting bell down again…

Words my Cat Knows

My calico is quite intelligent, or at least I think so. She has a somewhat large head, with an unusually domed skull. And she uses it, too. Last night I said something involving catnip, and she looked at me with bright, interested eyes, and meowed sharply. Like “hey! I want that.” She had been ignoring me before. Here are some other words I’ve known her to understand and respond to cognitively.

Food, bed, dinner, bedroom, Mom, no, okay, out, hi, excuse me, her name of course, toy, mouse, water, litter box, bathroom, couch, chair, and quite a few others.

Interestingly enough, she has learned a few words of Japanese and responds better to them than to English. Fewer hissing sounds.

She’s invented her own ways of communicating too. For example, she will pet you with her tail if she likes you, because she has learned that people pet each other when they like each other. Living with her is like living with a little furry alien who cannot speak, at times. It’s fun!