When I look at my two cats, Toro and Nero, I am reminded that pets reflect the personality of their owners. My cats and I have lots of things in common, and I was also born in the year of the tiger, which makes me a little more than kin to the feline family.
My cats and I are creatures of habit, not readily adept at familiarizing ourselves with changes in the environment. We like the comfort of tranquility, the solace of romantic solitude, and the occasional entertainment of visual and auditory excitement, such as watching movies and listening to music. We are so used to routine activities at home that an iota of deviation feels like the earth moving under our feet. But that doesn’t mean we are peevish curmudgeons sulking and skulking in the background of joy and laughter. We do things on our own, keeping things to ourselves, yet we need each other when we are alone. For example, when I feel down and out, my cats come next to me, especially in bed, and console me with their soft furry, puffy cheeks against mine with purring, which also puts me into a sound slumber soon. It’s incredible to realize that my cats know how I feel.
They say when you love someone, you become one. Or am I already onne?
I am not a baby anymore than you are a girl never; The hours, minutes, seconds we have traveled together How could we have known where we would be now when I see you in my eyes And me in your glass palace reflecting the liquid dreams forming the shapes of memories? The shadows of melancholy cast upon the liquid eyes filled with emerald dreams Will be cleared away soon When your lucky star finds you and the whole universe conspires to rebel against the malice of gods.
T.S. Eliot, an admirer of the cat, advocates the importance of naming them in his Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats because cats are so individual that they defy asinine nominative determinism inadvertently assigned by humans. Suppose cats like the names they are called. In that case, they will turn their heads toward the resonance of the calls with inquisitive eyes full of curiosity that often turns into alacrity of adventure. In this witty and illustrious book, Eckstein agrees with Eliot and gives practical advice on naming cats ranging from ancient legacies to modern celebrities.
Eckstein provides a variety of ideas about cat names according to the guardians’ cultural inclinations, such as history, fine arts, and entertainment. For example, if you are keen on ancient history, consider the names like Cleopatra or Caesar. Picasso or Figaro if you love their paintings. How about Bono of U2? Whatever it may be, one thing is sure your cat loves it by responding to the name. According to a book I read about dogs written by a monk who specialized in dog training, it is advisable to give a gender-specific name to a dog. For example, if it is a female dog, the name should end with the -na suffix. Conversely, if it is a male dog, it should end with -no. Although the canine and the feline are different species, I always think it is convincingly good advice. Hence, I named my tabby cat Toro, derived from Tora, meaning a tigress in Japanese. Incidentally, my zodiac animal is Tiger, so I thought it would be apropos of him. Does Toro like his name? You bet.
My black cat now has a new name, Nero, changed from Camille, the name he didn’t respond to. Initially, I thought about naming him Bono as suggested by Eckstein, not because I like U2 but because I suspected my newly adopted cat being a Bombay cat with his beautifully shiny and sleek ebony fur coat. So I tried it, but there was no response. Then I remembered the song “A Black Cat Named Nero,” I liked when I was a little child. The result was Nero materialized. What can I say? Cats are individuals.
I want to say this book is not only for readers with cats, but practically speaking, it isn’t. Any would-be cat owner or one who has just adopted a cat will find this book delightfully helpful in naming the cat. I have to say it reinforces me to change my second cat’s name from Camille to Nero. So when you call your cat, it should be the one only your cat has and likes it. You will know because your cat will meow. All cats are personal with stories to tell.
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