A Pet By Any Other Name…

I had all kinds of pets when I was little.

My first dog was Princess. She was a pekingese mix, and she came with that name already installed. I got her when I was three and she was three.  I grew up as she grew old.  She was my best friend.  


Since I grew up on a farm, I also had “my” chicken, Henny Penny, and “my” cow, Rosie.  I had a pony named Peanut (name also pre-installed). 

Kittens were Chocolate and Vanilla. Yeah. Bet you can’t guess the colors.  And more kittens, Salt and Pepper. 

Hey, at least I was consistent.Pets box turtle wiki

I had a box turtle named Tortie for one summer.  Tortie was just a young turtle I found in the woods on our farm.  He enjoyed the fruits of our garden for a few months, then escaped his enclosure and went on his way.  Even then I knew that Tortie was not the best name for a turtle, but I hadn’t figured out how to come up with good pet names at that point. 

Look at that turtle over there on the right.  He could carry a name like Sophocles or Vladimir or Plato.  Any of those fits that face I think.  Regardless, even if he were only a summer guest, he would certainly deserve a far better name than “Tortie.”

I had a hamster and also had many fish in my small aquarium.  All of these had names, but I can’t remember them.  Probably because they were not, in the least, extraordinary names.  

pets parakeet free imagesI had a parakeet.  Can’t remember the parakeet’s name either.  That was too long ago.  I don’t *think* I named it Tweety.  But as you can see, I was not particularly creative when it came to naming animals.

Then I grew up, and I noticed that the cool people had really cool pet names.  And I knew right then that I was lacking.  I determined to repair this breach.

These cool people, I observed, were actually paying attention to their pets—to the personalities—before they gave the animal a name.  Growing up on a farm, where most animals were livestock, this had simply never occurred to me.

As an example, one fun couple I know rescued a baby kitten from a gutter and named him Velcro.  You know how little kittens can’t control their claws—they stick them out and then don’t know how to pull them back in at the appropriate time?  Yeah…Velcro would walk across the back of the couch with his claws out and it sounded like…well…Velcro.

Another couple we know have three awesome cats, Mieko, Oliver and Dexter.  I don’t know where the names came from, but I have to say, each name fits each cat perfectly, and as cat names go, those are awesome.

In every book I’ve written, animals are part of the cast of characters.  They just walk on stage.  And my human characters do a pretty good job naming them.  In the first book I wrote, there is a cat named Emperor, named for his high and mighty attitude.pets white mouse free images

When my husband, Steve, was a little boy, he had a mouse named Cleopatra,which is quite a lofty name, even for a sophisticated, white mouse, but Cleo accidentally got sucked into a vacuum and met an untimely end. 

All the other pets Steve had as a child involved scales or fangs and (often) eight or more legs. *Shudder.*  So quite often they had no names.  Steve had allergies, so no cats or dogs allowed.  

Steve’s brother did have a red-tailed boa named Moses.  I have to admit that Moses was an extraordinarily good name for this snake.  With his forked tongue and deceptively easygoing manner, Moses had the look of someone old and wise. Someone who could part waters or smite anything that pets chinchilla wikineeded to be smitten.

I know a young lady with a cute chinchilla named Chester.  If you ever met Chester, you would realize that his name suits him perfectly.

So when Steve and I got together, I was determined that if we had pets, we would have to up our “naming” game. I wanted us to be “cool pet name” people.

Our first cat was named Bullet (We were both shooters, and she did shoot around the house at high speed). Among our many pets was a huge male rottie named Bismark.  Yes, he was that big.  Another rottie was named CareBear. We also had an escape-artist Border Collie-Sheltie mix named Houdini. ??????????????????????

There was a cat named Max (after Max from Where The Wild Things Are) because as a tiny kitten who weighed only three-quarters of a pound, he started wild rumpuses in the middle of the night. I later learned that Max is the most common cat name of all.  But I didn’t care, because it fit him so perfectly. That’s Max over there on the right.

A lot of pets have crossed the Rainbow Bridge since we’ve been married.  Max is one of those.  They have crossed the bridge accompanied by a lot of our tears, and (I believe) met by their brothers and sisters who’ve gone before.

Our most recent losse???????????????????????????????s were Jager—named by Steve because it means hunter in German, apparently, and Jager was a Search dog who hunted for lost people—and Majik, my SAR dog, who we found under a table at a closed-for-the-season store.  He would answer only to that name, so it became his.  Jager is there on the left, with thKali in cratee blue tag.

We still have a lot of pets.  More than we need.   More than we can afford, really, but it’s hard to turn them away when they come to your door needing help.

There is Kali, the German Shepherd.  She’s on the right there, in the crate. She came with a pre-installed name.  And there is Mako, Steve’s SAR dog.  We took him for free from a puppy mill to keep him from ending up as pit bait.  He’s named after an actor.


With the cats, we started a few years ago with good intentions.  There is Amon, which is Egyptian for “faithful and true” (and she is).  She’s there on the left.???????????????????????????????

And there is Umbra—the darkest part of the shadow in an eclipse.

Umbra is there on the right as a baby.


MishraThere is Mishra on the left.  He’s named after a Bengal tiger who won our hearts at a cat sanctuary we visited.  Mishra is a Savannah, which means he’s huge.  His tail is 17” long. Even so, he thinks of himself as a much larger kitty.  


And we have sweetie pie, Holly Grace.  It’s a dumb cat name I think, but no matter.  Holly has earned her place in our home.  If you want to read about how Holly came to be with us, I wrote a blog about her a long time ago. It’s called  The Little Gray Cat. 

Aaaannnd after Mishra, we ran out of steam with the pet names.MommaKatt pregnant but not showing

A wayward kitty came to our door a few years back, needing help because she was in the family way.

Her name?  MommaKatt.

Yeah.  Not too creative.  But in our defense, we were dealing with four baby kittens in our bathroom at the time.   That’s MommaKatt on the right, pregnant at the time, and before she would let us touch her to bring her inside.

Recently we’ve had a new addition.  Another kitty came to our house in the dead cold this winter. It was below zero and he was outside, sitting there, looking in the door. 

We caved like a cheap suitcase.

We have a small house. And WAY too many animals already.  We are becoming the crazy cat people.

Tiger KattAnd we have run out of energy with the pet names.  The well is empty.  This new addition got the laziest name yet.


Yeah, he has some stripes, and his face is wide like a tiger’s.  He’s a tom cat.  Well..he WAS a tom cat.  Ahem.

So tell me, Bandits and Buddies..

I’ve blogged about pets before, but I didn’t ask your pet’s names.

If you grew up with pets, what were their names?  Did you name them?  Or did someone else?

Do you have pets now?Kittens

Where did their names come from?

Are you a “creative” pet namer—one of the “cool people”?  Or are you like we are recently—just giving the animal a name for reference?

Here is a picture of the babies that were born in our bathroom.  Four little beauties.  All of them have good homes and awesome names. Clockwise from left to right is Elphaba (Elfie), Embers, Olive, and at the bottom is our Mishra.

Do you have a “method” for naming pets?

Any favorite pets from books or movies?  If so, what were their names? 

Is there an author you love who does a good job including pets in his/her books?

If you could have any pet you wanted, with no worries about care and feeding, what would you have?  And what would you name him/her?

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  • Heathercm2001 says:

    Great post Cassondra! I really like when pets pop up in books. They help make a story fun! A few of my faves are “Peanut” the cat in Julie Ann Walker’s books, and “Willow” the pig in Tonya Kappes’ Divorced Divas books. They both made me chuckle quite a few times.

    As far as my pet naming skills, one of my dogs is named “Askim.” I found it online. It is pronounced like “ask him.” I’ve had a few people fall for it. Usually it goes like this. “What’s his name?” “Askim.” Then the person asks the dog what his name is. Then I start giggling. Haha! It’s pretty silly.

    Great post! I love reading about pets! Have a great day everyone!

    • Cassondra says:

      Hi Heather!

      Good grief you got up about the time I went to bed! And I’m sure you realize you are spending the day with a pet of a whole nuther flavor…the Golden Rooster.

      He’s not happy after being tossed out of Nancy’s launch party yesterday, so I’d watch him closely if I were you.

  • Helen says:


    You sound like me LOL I used to bring home any stray cat or dog I found I drove my parents batty but no special names I have had a Prince a Sooty both dogs and then cats that I have had have been Sheey Fred Fluffy Tabitha Tom Mitchy Missy Cfor Tiger then more dogs Sky another Prince Blocker Brandy Tootsie and now we have a Casper he is a Maremma Italian sheepdog and so cut 🙂 and I have had Guinea Pigs Mice Birds fish so many and I do miss them they were all such great friends some I named some were named before I got them. There have been many that I have read in books way too many to remember but I do love a good book with pets

    Have Fun

    • Cassondra says:

      Hi Helen!

      Haha! A soul sister when it comes to the animals! I’m so glad to see that somebody else likes to share her life with animals. LOL about driving your parents batty. Mine were okay with whatever as long as I didn’t bring it in the house. Hamsters, parakeet and fish were the only exceptions. My mom and dad did not believe in cats and dogs in the house. Of course, now my house is full so this apple eventually rolled far from the tree.

  • Oh Cassondra – Those little bathroom kittens are too precious. I’m afraid I’d have had a hard time parting with them.

    I’m definitely not one of the cool kids when it comes to naming pets. Growing up we had a dog named Gypsy and a cat named Duchess (Hmmm…they could be characters in a historical romance. 🙂 ) Gypsy was a good dog, After she passed away, my mother got another German Shepard to replace her. The new dog’s name — Gypsy II. Since we’ve been married we’ve had an Irish Setter named Rusty Bucket (after her color) and a mutt named Oreo. Oreo was appropriately named, given her coloring, and she was a happy, sweet pet – just like the cookie. We currently have a cat named Coco – but we also call her Kokomo and Cokie.

    • Cassondra says:

      Donna, we did have a tough time parting with the babies. We just about demanded a blood sacrifice from the adoptive parents as proof they would not decide “this cat is too much trouble” and give it away or drop her off at the shelter if she became inconvenient. Because they went to good friends that we knew, we now get to see them regularly or–with Embers–we get pictures now and then to know she is doing well.

  • Shannon says:

    Our naming process was somewhat random. My two 4-H sheep were Heidi and Hercules. Our cat switched from Tom Slick (cartoon character-male) to MamaCat after she delivered. We had an orange tom that was Cougar; he roamed far and wide but always came home, even after someone shot him badly. My dad’s various dogs were Babe, Bailey, Stub, and John.

    My cats were all shelter kitties that came with names. My first cat, an all black, was Mr. McGoo. Over time he became Goo. You can imagine the odd pauses in telephone conversations when I would say I needed to find Goo.

    My husband and I adopted the black brother and sister pair Julia and Robert (yes the actress) from a shelter. My ex-had a discussion with Robert, and they came to me explaining he wasn’t a Robert but a Bobbie. It was a rather diminutive name for an 18 pound behemoth, but Julia suited the 6 pound black beauty. I lost Bobbie to cancer about three years ago, and Julie passed on 4 July last year. Sooner or later I’m going to have to move to another apartment, and that is much easier to do if I’m petless. But I miss having a cat curl up next to me when I come home totally stressed out. A few purrs and a lot seems right with the world. Enjoy your house full of love!

    BTW, I love pets in books especially when they’re part of the plot. Right now I’m reading a steam punk series with a red hen named Rosie, and the heroine refers to her coterie as a flock. (Apologies to the GR if his nose is out of joint.)

    • Cassondra says:

      Shannon, you very nearly cost me a keyboard. I had taken a sip of coffee when I read, You can imagine the odd pauses in telephone conversations when I would say I needed to find Goo.

      Yeah…I spewed coffee.

      I forgot to mention the little Tuxedo kitty we had for a while. We named her Garbo–after Gretta Garbo because she was such a svelt little black and white beauty.

      As to the GR–his nose is out of joint anyway cuz he got bounced from Nancy’s launch party yesterday after he was causing trouble. He holds a grudge, that bird.

  • Susan Sey says:

    Cassondra,I so admire your open-heartedness. I like to think I’m a decent person but I don’t know that I could take in quite that many stray cats. Even if I could, I doubt I could convince Mr. Sey (he’s unfortunately cat-phobic) to go along for the ride.

    That said, we do have a guinea pig. His name is Bear because he’s brown & furry & my eldest child is very smart but not overly creative. I, of course, call him anything from Monsieur Le Bear (when he’s on his dignity) to Bucko (when he shoots his hay all over my newly vacuumed floor. Mostly it’s just Buddy.

    True confessions time? I would actually like to have a cat. Mr. Sey would dearly love a dog, of which I’m deeply phobic. (I’ve been bitten too many times.) We are at an impasse. The guinea pig is the best we can do.

    • Cassondra says:

      Aww, Susan, you guys are sort of stuck, aren’t you? He is cat phobic and you are dog phobic.

      I am not nearly so open-hearted as I seem. It’s just that something has happened to me over the year–(not a good thing, either) and that once an animal looks like it needs help, it’s more painful for me to think of him/her out there alone than to suck it up and live with one more. But honestly if any more come, we won’t be able to manage it. I’m over my limit now. I have only so much tolerance for the hair and the mess. And TigerKatt is sharpening his claws on the bathroom door facings, so we may yet have a come-to-Jesus. Weather’s gettin’ warmer. He may get tossed out on his furry little butt.

  • Debbie says:

    I’ve had too many pets through the years to name them all, growing up the most unique dog name we had was “Alligator” named because when playing with him as a puppy on the floor he would scoot along opening and closing his mouth like an alligator in water. When my husband and I got married he bought me a cockatiel and since they’re from Australia we named him Aussie, we decided that we liked the idea of naming pets after places we have since had Neris, Kiev, Sydney, Oslo, Bristol, Cairo and now have Mesa, Sparta and Osaka.

    • Cassondra says:

      Debbie, those are fantastic names!

      The place names are so creative! I love it. You are definitely one of the “cool” pet naming people. *grin*

  • Debbie Oxier says:

    Had pets all my life. While growing up, Boston terriers were my mom’s choice of dog. Sugar, Burch, Duke (who was registered), and Muggy. We also had cats because my brother was bedridden with a rare bone disease and wanted a pet to keep him company. We had Tabitha Sue, Boo-Boo, Sweety, Rattles, and Duffy. When I got married I chose cats as well. I got my first two from the pound, Snuggy and Prissy. Many have come and gone since, all of whom were well loved and spoiled rotten. Now my mom, dad, and brother have passed on as well and just last year my brother’s only remaining cat, Romeo, crossed that rainbow bridge. He was 20 at the time and had been a wonderful companion for my brother, sleeping beside him until the day my brother died. Now I still have Pookie, Baby, Bobo, and Samantha Jane. All the names came from different people in the family and most for no particular reason at all. Mainly just because it was cute. My daughter has a bird named Smokey and a dog named Bandit. Guess where that came from. My other daughter has a dog named Delilah. The plan was to get a male cat named Samson but her husband was allergic so Lilah is their only baby for now.

    • Cassondra says:

      Oh Debby, the story of Romeo and your brother has made me cry. That’s wonderful that Romeo took his role to heart. I know it was hard to lose the cat, not only for himself but because of the connection to your brother.

      I grow more attached to some than others, much as with people I guess. Some I can wish well, mourn for a day or two and wish them love as they cross the bridge. I have one, though, that I’m not sure what I’ll do when she crosses. It’s one of those, “how will I live without her there,” things. Not entirely sure that kind of attachment is a good thing. Okay now I’m crying for real. :0)

      I love your pet names. Burch and Muggy are names that are full of personality all on their own.

  • Cassondra, what a fun post! I love all your pet pictures.

    We’ve had five dogs since we’ve been married. They were all adult rescues/adoptees and so came with pre-installed names. While many people give their dogs new names in such situations, we don’t. We figure they’re already dealing with a lot of change.

    My parents had an English bulldog when I was born. She died when I was about four or five, and we got a fox terrier-chihuahua cross who, thank goodness, missed out on the yappier tendencies of those breeds. She was brown and white, like a Tootsie Roll wrapper, and my parents named her Tootsie.

    She lived to be about twelve or thirteen and overlapped with a couple of English bulldogs. No remarkable bames, though.

    If I ever become a stray animal, I’m seeking out your house. That’s a great picture of the kittens. And I think the names y’all have chosen are great.

    • Cassondra says:

      Nancy, don’t do it.

      Don’t come here as a stray. We’re full. You’ll end up at the shelter or living outside under the house. We’d feed you of course, but it’s cold in the winter and there are mice down there.

      As a human, you are welcome of course. ;0)

  • Oh, forgot the question about books! Nora Roberts does a great job with Galahad, the cat in the J.D. Robb books and with the dogs that generally appear in her other books. The heroine of The Collector is a house-sitter, so there’s a cat and a dog.

    Jill Shalvis has great animals in her Animal Attraction series, and Jesse Hayworth has two great dogs o far in her Mustang Ridge series.

    And if I could have any kind of pet, I’d just have room for more dogs. I once would’ve picked a horse, having briefly taken and enjoyed riding lessons, but I’m not allowed to ride since my back fusion–makes potential falls more dangerous–so having a horse would be pointless. Whereas having four or five big dogs around, aside from the whole shedding issue, would be lovely.

    • Cassondra says:

      Nancy, if I’m not mistaken, Nora is a dog lover. At least I’ve seen a photo of her with two big goldens (I think that’s what they were). I’m not surprised she does well with animals in books. I’ll have to get The Collector

      I almost mentioned Jill Shalvis in the actual post, because the Animal Attraction series is so full of amazing animal personalities. But I gush over Jill enough already. *grin* You can tell Jill lives with dogs, because she paints them so beautifully.

      • I think they were labs, but I only remember because that was when we had our yellow lab. Dogs play a big role in one of her other books. I think it’s The Search.

  • Hellion says:

    My first dog–and he was my sister’s and father’s before I showed–was a Collie mix named Rex. Which I think means King…and was very appropriate for him. He was a King Arthur kind of dog: noble, sacrificing, believed in the greater good, protective, brave, and always with grace and dignity. The last day I saw him–he was an old man–he walked me to the bus and I patted him on the head and rubbed his ears, thinking he was looking a little old and how I hoped I had more time to spend with him, and then I got on the bus and went to school. I think he went off to the woods to die after, but wanted one last walk and pat. (Farm dog–my father doesn’t believe in indoor dogs or whatnot.) When I was a baby, I used to try to ride him like a horse–and he was very tolerant. He was never aggressive or mean with me; he was always good, gentle, and loving.

    Braveheart was my dog, a Lab mix, who was not very brave, but all heart. He was a goofy, gregarious mess. He wasn’t as noble or dignified, but he was loyal to the bone.

    I miss them both.

    I also had a pony named Dance–she was a small horse, I think maybe a mix or something because she was dainty built but not stocky like a pony. She was iron gray with big liquid dark eyes and white eyelashes; her mane and tail was white–she was very fey. She had a beautiful trot and she was a bit of a dork. She liked soda and carrots and oats and apples. She also liked to try to brush me off as we went around corners of gates. She kept me on my toes. She was a bit lazy and ornery like me and I adored her completely. Best. Horse. Ever.

    • Hellion says:

      P.S. Kristan Higgins ALWAYS has a pet in her books, and they are hilarious and adorable. Don’t remember their names–but I think one was a Jack Russell terrier and I loved him best.

    • Cassondra says:

      Oh HELLION!

      You wrote The last day I saw him–he was an old man–he walked me to the bus and I patted him on the head and rubbed his ears, thinking he was looking a little old and how I hoped I had more time to spend with him, and then I got on the bus and went to school. I think he went off to the woods to die after, but wanted one last walk and pat.

      Now I’m just bawling! What a great story. And what a great dog. Isn’t it interesting how they go away to die? They don’t want us messing over their bodies and mourning. But of course I do. He saw you safely to the bus and bid you farewell, then went to cross. *sniffle*

      And your horse sounds so much like a little Arabian mix that belonged to my best friend in high school. That horse taught me to ride, but had a wicked sense of humor. She’d be trotting along and would just sort of “dip” her shoulder a little and if you weren’t paying attention, off you’d go. (bareback this was) Then she’d stand over you and literally laugh, then look down and check on you, like “Ahahahah! You okay? Ahahahah!”

      • Hellion says:

        I’m quite familiar with the shoulder dip and falling off (and I was bareback the whole time as well). She was a minx!! *LOL* Loved her though. Great gal.

  • catslady says:

    I could go on forever on this subject lol. My first pet was a long awaited hope of mine – a cat that my dad named Tiger (I wanted Whiskers). Unfortunately, many year later my parents had him disappear because my grandmother who lived with us didn’t like animals. Traumatizing to say the least. I think karma was working when almost 30 yrs. ago a mama cat and her 3 kittens showed up hungry on my back porch. I’ve been working with ferals and strays ever since. (We also have had two wonderful dogs). 7 is the most I’ve had inside at one time with 5 at the moment but I’ve named all my ferals/strays too. I’ve used band groups, actors, and just by looking at them to name them lol. My favorite name is my 17 yr. old inside cat named Pita (long e sound) and stands for pain in the @ss lol. I have 3 of my daughter’s cats which she named KItty (so original lol), Chloe and CheeChee. I had one stray that had been covered in oil as a 5 wk. old kitten that I bottle fed and my daughter called him Ollie lol. I always wanted a horse as a child and I even had a name picked out – Clover. I’ll quit now lol.

    • Cassondra says:

      Ah, Catslady, I see we are sisters in our hair-covered houses.

      There’s no way to avoid it that I can see. I just had to lower the bar.

      I am so sorry that Tiger was made to disappear. That’s hard on a kid. And who knows…maybe that Mama that came to you in the family way was bringing Tiger back to you for another life. :0)

  • Wonderful post, Cassondra! And wow, you’ve got a lot of cats! (Yes, I’m the master of the obvious, LOL.) But they’re all so beautiful and look so happy. 🙂

    I agree about Galahad, Eve’s cat. He was well named and well written. I’m trying to name a kitten in the next bibliophile mystery. It was an interesting exercise. There were so many possibilities and it became super important to find the right name. I posted the question on Facebook and got about 300 great suggestions for names. I think I’ve come up with the perfect kitty name and the perfect reason to name him that. And yeah, you’ll have to read the book to find out the name, LOL. No spoilers here! 🙂

    I like human names for cats and dogs. If I had a dog or a cat, I’d probably name him Sherman or Douglas or Howard. My first dog was named Susie and our goldfish was Kimberly. At the time I thought they were very cool names, but I was only six and not very cool at all. LOL

    • Cassondra says:

      Kate I LOVE that you’re naming the cat in your next book. And yes, the name is very important. That kitten will go down in history because your readers will remember forever!

      And absolutely, no spoilers allowed! *grin*

      Some human names seem to work really well for animals. Others, not so much. Don’t know why Holly Grace has never seemed like a “cat” name to me. Our cats almost never get middle names though. Just a first name, which often gets shortened to something. Amon’s nickname is “Pie” or “The Pie” as in, “Cassondra, have you fed The Pie yet?” And she anwers to it. When I’m aggravated at her I’ll call her Amon W. Pie. Because you need three names when you’re aggravated, yaknow?

      • Jeanne Adams says:

        Snork. Yes, you need three names. Best reason ever for giving your children impressive middle names.

        WHen you use all three, they KNOW you mean business.


      • Three names are absolutely vital when disciplining! I don’t have a middle name, but my mother would make one up when she was mad at me. Truth!!

        • Cassondra says:

          OMGOSH, now that’s a funny one. I make up the W. in Amon W. Pie, but it’s so funny that your mom made up a middle name for you. You should blog about that, Kate.

    • Jeanne Adams says:

      Oooh, oooh, ooh! Kitteh gets a name!! I contributed to that FB debate as a recall….woooohoooo!! Can’t wait!!

  • MichelleMB says:

    I try and come up with cool names, but don’t think I succeed all the time LOL. Younger years we had Skippy the fox terrier. He loved riding on the front of the boat we had at the time at the lake, so it fit. We had 2 German Shorthair Pointers, Rufus and Cindy. Rufus was already named, my brother/sister named Cindy. There was a daschund Kubasa, calico cat Loco (in her younger years she was a bit wild & crazy LOL), my cat Nicki, my Bichon Frise Alfie (registered him with the AKA as Gandalf the White. I was big into Lord of the Rings at the time) He was my baby for 14 years, miss him still. There was Speckle the bunny, she ended up as mine and was a sweety, lived until 11 – yep miss her too. Over the years various hamsters etc but don’t remember their names. Right now we have the kids cats, Flower and Lily, named by them, and Manny our Pappillon who came prenamed as a rehome from a breeder (registered name Sharp Dressed Man – I’d have called him ZZ LOL) . He’s my newest baby, and is amazing.

    Lori Foster works pets into her books frequently and well. I love when characters have pets, makes them more real to me. The longest I’ve gone in my life without some pet in the house is 5 months.

    • Cassondra says:

      Michelle, I didn’t grow up with animals in the house, so it was an adjustment for me when we first brought them in. But now i think the house would feel so lonely without them!

      You never come home to an empty house when you have cats or dogs living with you.

      • MichelleMB says:

        We’re a bit animal crazy in our family, have always had pets. My sis is big into the dog world, obedience training, carting. She has 4 Italian Spinones and one Rotty, and a cat. All my brothers, sisters, and most niece/nephews have at least one pet.

        I don’t know how I forgot our two pound adopted rescues. Lady – only had her 3 years, Spaniel. She got sick with tumors the vet couldn’t help, I was heartbroken. And just before Manny, we had Angel – Border Collie mix of some kind. She was 12, got kidney disease – was hard to let her go.

  • Cassondra, what a lovely piece. And gorgeous photos. I love getting an insight into people’s pets – it’s actually quite revealing. I currently have no animals and I miss them. Like you, I grew up on a farm so I was used to having animals around. And also like you, I wasn’t particularly imaginative with our first few pets. Snowy and Blackie the cats. Hmm, creative! I had a crush on a manga cartoon character called Astro Boy when I was a toddler so when my parents got me a collie puppy, we called him Astro. Then the Jetsons hit and everyone thought he was named after the dog in that – NOOOOOOOO! I had a horse called Gypsy, but she came prenamed.

    • Jeanne Adams says:

      Oh, Anna, I love collies! Astro. Totally cool.

    • Cassondra says:

      Anna, I love the name Astro for a dog! And Gypsy is a great name for a horse, and very popular for all kinds of animals. I’m not entirely sure why it’s so popular, but I love the name.

  • Becke says:

    Agreed. Pet names are special. Like you we had land so there were many pets. Anything I could catch became a pet.
    Sugarfoot, Cindy, Buttons, Judy, Sunshine, and Snazzy Britches were the equines of my childhood.

    I had a canary in prep school named Mr. Mung. I’m sure there was a reason for that. I’m equally sure it was ornery. All girls school tend to stimulate that in the students.

    Best naming convention came from one of my brother’s girlfriends. She named them after authors. Voltaire- Cocker Spaniel. Tallirand-Sheetzu.

    Arabian horses are often named using Bint-daughter of and Ibn-son of in the names.

    • Jeanne Adams says:

      Snazzy britches! What a great name for a horse, Becke!!

      I’d forgotten that naming convention for the Arabians until you mentioned it. PRetty cool.

    • Cassondra says:

      Becke, Snazzy Britches is SUCH an awesome name!

      I love Arabians, but have never gotten to name one. Like Jeanne, I’d forgotten that tradition for naming.

      Now then…ahem..the whole girls’ school bringing about orneriness…that’s a subject for deeper discussion, right there. We must have wine someday, and you must tell me stories. Yes, indeedy. That has to happen.

  • Becke says:

    Maple the poodle has a part in Sleighbells in the Snow, which is a Rita Finalist. Christine was here in the lair.

  • Hi, everyone–Cassondra called me and asked me to tell you her power is out. She’ll come on and respond to everyone as soon as it comes back.

    • Cassondra says:

      Thank you Nancy! Even the guys in the electric trucks were confused. WE’ve had a bit of wind, but not much, and half the county was without power!

  • Mozette says:

    Well… when I was 6 months old, we had a cat called PC. My brother named him: PC = Pussy Cat. 🙂 Yeah… but what did you expect from a 2 year old? 😛 The story goes that PC tapped at our front door one day, Dad opened it, and the moggy walked in and made himself at home in front of the stove. Good thing my Dad was a cat person. 🙂

    Big problem: I’m grossly allergic to cats – always have been. So, Dad had to keep this lovely feline away from me. Poor PC – poor me! 🙁

    Anyway, after PC died from pnuemonia and a collapsed lung – silly guy wouldn’t sleep in his box but on concrete – we got a fish called Tony.

    We just loved Tony… to death.
    One day, I woke up and fed Tony and went out to play.
    Then, my brother woke up and fed Tony…
    Then Mum fed Tony…
    Then Dad fed Tony…

    Then, Tony was found floating on top of tank looking like a balloon. Dad asked who fed Tony? We all raised our hands and we had to bury Tony because we fed him to death! 🙁

    Poor Tony.

    We then got a budgie called Kermit… um… Kermy… um… Kermit… dammit was it female or male? We don’t know! o.O that nose kept on changing colour! She/he … it… was a cool little green bird! It stole our breakfast, toast, and cornflakes, flew around the house, enjoyed everyone and loved orange juice and cold tea (without milk)… and yes, I know we weren’t supposed to feed her anything like we did. But we were first bird owners, we didn’t know then. Anyway, after a while, we got this really, really, really…. really old budgie called Charlie.

    He was older than Methusthla… honestly. We took Charlie to the vets for a check-up and he was the oldest budgie they’ve ever had… aged 19 years old! Wow! That’s budgie years! He had been handed down through about 6 families and came to us for 3 and then died from natural causes… just dropped off the perch one night after I turned 15.
    But I taught Charlie to bite people, to shake hands and to enjoy being patted… he was a sweet little guy. And at the Albert Animal Hospital here in Logan City, there’s still a plaque on the wall with his name on it and a little picture of a budgie saying he was the oldest ever budgie to pass through their doors… how cool is that? My bird’s name is there. 😀

    Then, we got a dog: Jessie. Now, my brother wanted her and Mum and Dad bought her from the RSPCA at Fairfield. She was 8 months old and a Staffie-Cross… with what, we still aren’t sure, even now. But she was the most shy, up-tight dog I’d ever met when she was brought home. And she turned out to be the most cheeky, amazingly wonderful, sweet and lovely woofy we ever had… she was put to sleep 11/11/2000 at St Lucia University Vets and she was almost 14 years old and crippled with old age and arthritis, deaf and blind… so it was certainly time. But she could still smell everything and her mind was intact.
    Grandpa Killips named Jessie. The moment he met her at Wonderlost Outlook, Tarrigindi, and Jessie sat by his chair, he patted her and said, “Well, she looks like a Jessie to me!”
    I made a photo album about her and my folks love it. 😀

    Then, when I moved out of home, I got Little Miss Stevie. At first, I bought the sleepy, blue budgie… but…. within the year, he turned into a she and I had a snotty, little brat who kept on attacking me as though I was trying to poison her! I kept on trying to let her know that I wanted to get to know her, then one day, she didn’t bite me, she let me pat her… from then on, we were friends. 😀
    I initially named her Stevie-K after Stephen King. AFter I took her to the vets because she had a sore throat, i was told he was a she… so my bird went in a boy and came out a girl… thus her name went from Stevie-K to Stevie Nicks to Little Miss Stevie… simply because she was jsut a Little Miss… but she was my Little Miss. 😀

    Little Miss Stevie suffered a massive stroke on 1st, December 2012, but survived it for a week and died from heart failure in my hands out in the back yard at sunset on 8th, December… we made the most of that week together… she’s now buried in a potted plant in my backyard and I often go out there to say hello to the plant she’s helping grow.

    • Jeanne Adams says:

      Awww, Mozette, I”m so sorry about your bird! Glad she’s where you can say hello. :> Had to LOL about PC though. Grins.

    • Cassondra says:

      Oh…poor Tony! Death from being a glutton, I guess. Eats everything we feed him. I know fish are that way.

      As to Little Miss Stevie, I’ve heard you speak of her so many times…I feel like I know her. :0) I am so impressed that you just kept loving her through the bitey phase. What I want to know is…how do you know when a parakeet has a sore throat?

      • Mozette says:

        it wasn’t easy to know about the sore throat… but I’m an observant person. I put in new seed and fresh water and found she gulped down the fresh water and no seed, and she slept all day, and didn’t sing.

        So, I called Mum and told her, and she said that it was unusual, and we took her to the vets where he told us she had a sore throat… I just had to mix some pink powder into her drinking water and she’d be okay… 🙂 within a fortnight, she was eating like a little piggy and singing her heart out. 😀

  • Coming a bit late, Cassondra, but I do love all your pets. We tend to be a one pet at a time family…and due to my allergy, no cats are allowed.

    When I was a girl we killed off our share of hamsters and mice. Not on purpose. Mostly due to old age or the rare mouse that escaped to run up my daddy’s spine in the middle of the night.

    But when I was about 10 we got our first dog. He was the runt of a litter of standard sized poodles. We gave him a very fancy name, Mr. Chips, but we called him Chip. He was a very faithful dog, that slept beside me or my sister when we were on the floor watching TV or he’d crawl onto the bed and sleep on our feet. He lived to be 16 years old.

    Then about 14 years ago, a co-worker asked me if I wanted a Boxer/Lab mix puppy. Her dog had 16 pups and she hated to offer them to her neighbors who might actually use them for fighting dogs. Needless to say my son and I happily drove over, picked out the most frisky one and brought him home. Uhm. The Jazzman didn’t know we had a dog until he came home from work. 🙂

    Since he was part Boxer, my son and I named him Rocky. He was the best buddy for a young teenager, a comfort to my daughters, a companion and walking buddy for the Jazzman, my co-writer and swimming buddy, and a very patient babysitter of grandchildren. It was very sad for the entire family when we had to put him to rest. His health had deteriorated quickly.

    So as y’all know we got a new puppy for Thanksgiving, an early Christmas present from our daughter and her family. He’s part boxer and part Australian Red Healer, which Anna and Christine can probably tell you is a cattle hearding breed.

    Well, the only thing this little guy heards is me up and down the hallway and the grandkids when they come to visit. He has a bit of a red in his coat of brown, so Jazzman and our granddaughter picked out the name RUSTY.

    Funny thing is, he doesn’t bark… well hardly at alll. But he makes this odd whimpering sound. So much so, that Jazzman calls him RUSTY-HINGES, because that’s what the sound he makes sounds like! HEHEHE!

    • Jeanne Adams says:

      Awww, Suz, we were all so sad for you when Rocky crossed the Bridge. Rocky the Wonder Dog. Grins.

      LOVE the sound of Rusty though. What a fun little guy. Have to LOL about the Rusty Hinges. Grins.

      THey are great company!!

    • Cassondra says:

      Awww…Suz, so glad to know Rusty is fitting in with the family.

      And I hope he’s as good a cowriter as Rocky the Wonder Dog was.

      I’m guessing Rocky is just across the veil, coaching Rusty about how to help you along with your characters and plot blocks. ;0)

  • Christine says:

    Great post! I think I may fall into the Cool Pet Names People category. I have a German Shepherd named Anubis after the Egyptian god of the dead. If you Google “Anubis” you’ll see why it’s a good name for an all-black GSD. I have two cats, Shikari, which means “hunter” in Hindu and she looks like a little black panther, and Jamu, who is a brown and black tabby. I used to have a lizard too, but he passed last summer. His name was Drazil, which is lizard backwards. So how did I do? Do I get into the Cool Pet Names People category?

    • Jeanne Adams says:

      OMGosh, you TOTALLY get into the cool pet names category! WOW!! I love Anubis, and had to LOL about Drazil. Snork!!

    • Cassondra says:

      Oh My Gosh yes, those are the coolest pet name EVER!

      And I am familiar with Anubis. And a black GSD does fit that image.

      And it’s a great name for a big, protective dog on SO many levels!

  • Jeanne Adams says:

    Cassondra, hope your power comes back on!

    I’m sittin’ on the fence of the Cool thing. Grins. I;ve not named ‘a lot of my pets. If I did, I tried ot make it something well thought out and cool. If someone else did? Not so much. SNORK!!

    My first cat was Dubh. This is the back-half of Skean Dubh, the short blade Scotsmen carry either in their hose or on their thigh. It’s the clutch weapon. She was a black as coal kitty w/ yellow eyes and was as thin as a blade. Hence…Dubh. Grins. Mostly she got called Doobie, by my brothers. *eye roll*

    My first Dalmatian was Bailey, for the mountain near where I went to college, then Jude as in Hey Jude, PRetty cool even if I didn’t name him. I named Jasper, as his liver spots looked like the stone, and my darling girl, Talia. She was named for Mercedes Lackey’s Talia, a Herald of Valdemar. (Mostly because, like a true herald, she talked a lot – talked, not barked)

    From there, the ones I didn’t name: Remy, was for Remington Steele, the litter was all spies. A rottie mix named Sweet Pea, who was girnormous, but indeed sweet. Diver, as in O’Malley’s I’m DIving In, his show name. Now Bella and Mia, whom I suspect the children of their previous owners named. Grins.

    The most fun one I ever named was one of my Talia’s show pups. His show name was Ivy Lea’s Ringmaster, call name Ring. Grins.

    • Cassondra says:

      Wow, Jeanne, you’ve been really lucky with the names. Even the “previously installed” names are good ones.

      Love “Ring” and “Doo” I have to say that I’m impressed that as a young girl, you even know what a Skean Dubh was, let alone how to pronounce it. And I give your brothers credit. Doobie is also a very cool name.

      • Jeanne Adams says:

        I’ve been mad for all things Scottish since I was 8, Cassondra. :>

        And Doobie WOULD have been cooler if my brothers hadn’t mimed smoking a joint every time they said her name.


  • Cassondra! My sister from another mother. Yes, it is an Animal House here in the wilds of Alabama. Fortunately I have limited it to dogs and one very arrogant cat these days. In my 50 odd years I have had everything from tarantulas and Pac Man frogs to goats and a quarter horse / Tennessee Walker cross who broke my heart so badly when he died after 25 plus years I have vowed never to get another horse. So far so good.

    And I have had to draw the line on dogs and cats with the current menagerie as I am not getting any younger.

    My first dog was Fritz, a standard dachshund. There have been several Fritzes in our family, but I currently have four dachshunds (2 miniatures / 2 standards) and there isn’t a Fritz in the bunch. They are Adelaide (Addy) and her littermate Sassafras (Sassy) and Chester and Spanky.

    I owned a Rottweiler named Psycho and he lived up to his name with everyone except me and my mother.

    When we lived in England we got a King Charles Cavalier Spaniel named Devonwood Roland, but we called him Mischief. We also had an English marmalade cat named Tigger. The both traveled back to the States with us and lived long happy lives with us.

    When I was teaching high school English and History I had tarantulas named Morticia and Lily.

    I had a six foot iguana named SIgmund Freud (he liked lying on the couch) and he was litter box trained.

    I owned a 13 foot / 100 lb Burmese python named Big Mama for many, many years.

    Of course I also owned a six foot rat snake with one eye named A**hole because he tried to bite anyone and everyone no matter what.

    I have a rescued basset hound named Boudreaux now. He was rescued after Katrina in New Orleans and he came with the name and it suits him.

    • Jeanne Adams says:

      Psycho!?! OMGosh, Louisa, I LOVE that! And I love Sigmund Freud too!

      Oh, you definitely go in the COOL NAMES list!!

    • Cassondra says:

      Louisa said:
      When I was teaching high school English and History I had tarantulas named Morticia and Lily.

      I had a six foot iguana named SIgmund Freud (he liked lying on the couch) and he was litter box trained.

      Okay those are THE BEST NAMES for tarantulas I can even imagine. And I freaking LOVE Sigmund Freud because he likes lying on the couch! AHAHAHAH! It’s perfect!

      You get one of the cool pet naming awards for the day. That’s for certain! You made my night with your tarantula names, though I would not have guessed you’d had tarantulas. I draw the line at those. I understand how cool they are, and I like visiting them, but when there is a need to touch or hold them, I wouldn’t be able to do it. At least, not yet.

      I have a ways to go….