My “new” (recently adopted) old girl rejoices in the name of Madame Hooch (the flying instructor at Hogwarts); it was a name given by her late family, and I wasn’t about to change it.
But I find myself also calling her Madame Mooch (for her begging habits), Mrs Mumbles (for her tortie grumbling) and Pixie-Cat (for her cute little face) – and it left me thinking about our other Sanctuary cats, and which ones have also acquired nicknames to suit their personalities or situations.
Many of them are affectionate diminutives – I hear JayZ being referred to as BabyJay – or extensions – Ollie is often OllieOllieOllie. Sometimes they’re particular to one person; Mel calls Skittles in Pen 6 “Forest” – he reminds her of a Norwegian forest cat.
I call him Mr Big, after the candy bar, because for a long time, the Candy Cats didn’t have individual names, but he was definitely the biggest boy in there. Anne calls one of our little Manxes “PlumPudding”
Our Sanctuary Manager shares her office with three senior girls who have problems getting along with other cats (they also have problems getting along with each other, but they’ve mostly been able to work out some sort of territorial agreement). Their names are Tammy, Kitty and Mindy, but they’re collectively known as The Cranky Old Ladies(though I call them the Weird Sisters)
One of the little black cats in the Tea-Room is Celia. She is one of several who dislikes the company of other cats, and rejoices in the nickname of “Slappy” for her bad habit of batting other cats out of her vicinity.
Tubby orange Horatio worships Med Staff Louise. Mostly, it’s reciprocated, except when he’s being a brat, slipping into cages where he’s not welcome, or mountaineering up people’s legs instead of jumping into a lap. Then, he becomes Horror Show!
Everybody knows Honey Bear of the beautiful blue eyes. Now that it’s colder outside, he’s spending more time visiting in the DoubleWide. Anyone sitting on the couch quickly discovers why Louise refers to him as The Scarf.
The Hug-Bug, of course, is Emery – he hides away from the other cats, but when he sees one of “his” humans, he quickly positions himself to climb up and be held; eyes closed, (so he can’t see any other felines), he butts his head under your chin, and if he’s feeling particularly needy, his paws go round your neck.
The quirkiest nickname I’ve come across belongs to black-and-white Kirstie in the SingleWide – our handyman Doug calls her FIFA, because he says her back looks like a soccer ball!
CB Lincoln is so named for his Cinnamon Bun-shaped tail, and to distinguish him from Handsome Lincoln. Shadrack is Mister Chickoholic for his favourite food. I’m sure there are others out there….
If you’re a Sanctuary volunteer or visitor, do you have a descriptive nickname for a favourite cat?