Sunday, June 7, 2015

What Would You Name a Calico Cat?

"I don't want her to have a cat because she'll end up talking baby talk to the cat. That's the way it is, and how can a P.I. do that? (Sue Grafton talking about her character in her alphabet mystery series)

I can understand Sue Grafton's point of view. Every character is different and some need a pet and some don't. As much as I love dogs, I don't always let my characters have one. 

The Dogs in my Books

But then, when I think back I do have dogs sprinkled through my stories. Trouble, Lorena's dog in Small Town Girl. He did get his name changed eventually. Poe, Graham's dog in both Angel Sister and Small Town Girl added to the story and then Chaucer in Love Comes Home. Aristotle made an important appearance in The Believer. And of course, Jocie had the dog hunger in Scent of Lilacs, the first book in the Heart of Hollyhill series, and talked her father into letting her keep a dog she found in the woods. She named him Zebedee, shortened usually to Zeb. 

My new Shaker book, The Innocent, has a dog named Asher who plays a big part in the story. He's a great four-footed character. When I was trying to come up with the perfect name for Asher, I asked my internet friends for suggestions. I got so many great dog names, but Asher, the eighth son of Jacob in the Bible, seemed to work best even though only one person suggested that name. Thanks, Amy. 

My Cozy Mystery Cats

My work in progress is a series of cozy mysteries that have cats. The first three cat characters already have names. There's Two Bits in the first book, Murder at the Courthouse. I also have a gray and white cat named Grimalkin who makes another appearance in the second book which has yet to have an official title. There's an attitude cat named Sandy too who makes a cameo appearance. 

Now I'm working on book three and have invited a new cat character into the story. This is a calico cat, so a female since most calico cats are female cats. She is an independent cat who lives by her own rules. She simply showed up on the doorstep of an elderly character one day and that character gave the cat a name and told her she could stay if she wanted to. 

So What Would You Name Cat Character Four?

I've already tried out three or four names but nothing seems quite right. So what would you name a calico female cat named by a woman around eighty. It makes a difference - the person doing the naming. That's why Poe was the perfect name for Graham's coon dog in my Rosey Corner books. That's why Two Bits is the perfect name for a barber's cat. 

So what do you think? What's my independent calico cat's name? 

And come back Wednesday. I'm going to do some kind of flower game to let some of you win a book or two. Just got to figure out how to make it work. Until then, I'm ready for your cat names.  

31 comments:

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    1. That is one of the names suggested online for a calico cat, Melanie. But I'm thinking my elderly character would perhaps come up with something more unique. Perhaps literary. Not sure yet. But thanks for the suggestion. Who knows? The cat may end up Patches. She might like a straightforward, no nonsense name.

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  2. First I thought of Jezebel in a good way, then Sugar Baby. The picture does make her look like little miss independent! Linda

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    1. I searched for a photo on the free photo sites that showed my fictional cat's personality, Linda. I don't have a cat so this isn't my picture. I can't use Jezebel because that's what Jocie calls Aunt Love's cat in the Hollyhill books, and not in a good way! In an odd circumstance here, Aunt Love calls her cat Sugar. Funny that the names matched yours like that.

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  3. Faye Simer ......Callie would be a good name for her or Miss Priss , since she's so independent .I didn't know calico's were mostly female.! I don't know much about cat's as you can see ! lol

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    1. I don't know much about cats either, Faye. We had plenty of barn cats when I was a kid, but they were always going off and getting lost. Callie, so far, has been the most popular name suggested. Miss Priss is cute too. Like the alliteration.

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  4. I had a cat just like this growing up. I called her Muffin. She was a great cat! Can't wait to see what name you pick for this cat. The naming process is so much fun. You can't just pick any name. You have to get to know the animal first and then name him or her lol.

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    1. That's so true, Sally, with any character. So I'll let the cat walk around in my imagination a little longer to see what works. Thanks for chiming in.

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    1. Callie is a popular pick right now. I posted the link to my blog post on my Facebook and it seems a lot of calico cats do end up named Callie. I have given that name a trial run in my work in progress but didn't quite settle on it. Honey is a nice name for a calico too. Thanks for suggesting names, Donita.

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  6. Wilma/Willie, because this nearly 70 year old woman would give that name to the cat in the picture.
    Silly reason perhaps, but there you have it!

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    1. I think your reason makes perfect sense, Mary. Thanks for the suggestion.

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    1. Queenie might fit her better than Princess, Grace. Could even consider Gracie. What do you think? :)

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  8. I suggest Coco. Short for Calico. Old ladies like to drink cocoa.

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    1. Nice suggestion, Peggy. Old ladies do like cocoa. But then don't we all like cocoa? My grandkids do for sure after playing in the snow or even getting a little cool playing in water. LOL

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  9. I love calico cats. I have had a few. I have a one now, and my daughter has one. Some of the names we have used are Callie, Nellie, and Lizzie.

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    1. Callie is obviously the most popular name for Calico cats, Susan. Nellie and Lizzie are great names too.

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  10. Our calico is Tasha (Natasha) and our previous one was Mishka. She's nearly 16 and we sometimes call her Sweety Cat or Tasha Bunny! Silly, I know :-) Maybe an elderly woman might call her kitty Sweety or Bunny -- or Lovey or Poppet. Calicos are indeed unique. Tasha is quite vocal, a bit demanding at times and likes to adhere to a routine, but she's a wonderful comfort in times of trouble.

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    1. Thanks for telling me about your calico cat, Tasha. I like that name and Tasha sounds like a cat with personality the same as my fictional cat needs to be. I appreciate your suggestions, RoseElaine. Poppet does sound like something my character might come up with. We'll see.

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  11. Muslin; another name for a fabric variation of calico.

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    1. Muslin is a neat suggestion, Mary. Someone earlier, maybe on my Facebook page, suggested Cotton. But Cotton makes me think white. Muslin not so much. Might work.

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  12. Without knowing more about the 80-year-old woman, I'm going to guess she thinks about her age and much or little time she has left. In keeping with that focus, I think she would call the cat by the number of lives left. I say she calls the cat "Nine."

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    1. That's an interesting take on the naming, Nancy. Fun idea. Unfortunately Miss Fonda has problems with dementia and often can't remember how old she is.

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  13. A few 'literary' names that I think might suit your beautiful calico... Kiki; Calliope; Scout; and one that the elderly woman might like... Vivienne! :-)

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    1. I like your suggestions, Noela. Especially Vivienne. I can see Miss Fonda perhaps naming a cat that. I've gotten so many great ideas for names I might have to write a book with all calico cat characters. :)

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  14. We have had two calico cats. The first was Lucy and now our second one is Hermione. :) "Lucy" might be more appropriate for an 80 year old who is doing the naming. :)

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    2. Right, I doubt Hermione would work for my elderly character, although my mother read a couple of Harry Potter books when she was in her eighties. So you never know. But of course, as you do know, it's not what really happened but what our readers believe could have happened that's most important.

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  15. Kate or Bianca from "The Taming of the Shrew"

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    1. A couple of good names, NLFP. Couldn't use Kate since my main character in my Rosey Corner books is Kate. Bianca would be a possibility though. My older lady character might have read about Bianca.

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Thanks for joining the conversation. I like hearing what you have to say. Thanks for dropping by.