Image by Fernanda Matos – Unsplash 


Pets are living up to their given pet names or is that just my hyped imagination? My tubby little black cat is named “Fat Albert”, after the so-named sitcom and cartoon show. Trust me, he lived up to his name. His nickname is “Goat”. No, that’s not being mean, here judge for yourself. Some years back, I came home from work one day. “Fat Albert” was sitting facing the door when I entered. I petted him and when he’d had enough of petting (you know cats!) he turned and walked away. That’s when I noticed something out of sorts. A long thin piece of ribbon was trailing behind him. It moved when he moved. No wait it wasn’t just trailing behind him, it was dangling out of his butt! So before he disappeared around the corner, I didn’t think, I just reacted and quickly stepped on the tail end of the ribbon. Either he felt it or my sudden movement scared him and he ran. As he ran I kept my foot firmly planted on the ribbon and watched in shock as nearly 3 feet of ¼ inch nylon ribbon completely unfurled out of his butt. He had eaten 3 ft of ribbon, who does that? Spoiler Alert – In hindsight, I should have taken him to the Vets to have the ribbon removed. It could have encircled his intestines and caused him serious injury. We were lucky that time.


To this day, ‘Fat Albert’ has a special fondness for ribbon, rubber bands, string, thread et al. In part, this is perhaps my fault. I used to tantalize and play with my cats by dangling shoe strings in front of them. While I held it, they’d grab and chew on it. I considered it a form of teeth cleaning. None of the other cats developed a string fetish but he did. Of course, this is also a cat that eats dust balls, so who knows!

                                 Image by Kristen17 – Pixabay


Fat Albert’s “brother from another mother” is named “Shadow”. A harmless enough name that he lives up to. He follows me around the house like my shadow. And every little noise sends him scurrying, as though he were afraid of his own shadow. And yet he’s the alpha male in the house. Perhaps due to his other moniker so named by my nephews. They call him “Psycho Cat”. At any of their attempts to approach him, suddenly his hackles rise, and claws spring out, accompanied by hisses and snarls. He morphs from a mousy scardy-cat to his alter-ego “Psycho Cat”. Both with the nephews and at times the other cats. Then in the blink of an eye, he’s “Shadow” again. He slinks away and his black form merges with some dark corner of a room where only his green eyes are visible, go figure!


The third of my four cat quartet is ‘Nibbler’. In his case size doesn’t matter. Though undoubtedly, the smallest of the bunch, amazingly, he’s developed an even bigger appetite than “Fat Albert”. This cat literally eats until he burst! In other words, he’ll eat until his stomach can’t hold it all and upchucks everything. Yeah, he’s not the brightest of the bunch. Thus the nickname, “DumbOne”. I have to closely monitor him because if unattended, he’ll eat his portion and then wolf down the other cat’s food as well. Consequently I can’t set foot in the kitchen without tripping over him. He’s always nibbling because he’s always on the lookout for some dropped crumb. I think he’s earned both names cause he’s the charmer of the bunch. But we’re most fond of “Nibbler”. Something else he loves to do is, climb up and ride on our shoulders all-the-while, nibbling at our ears.


Bringing up the rear, and boy what a rear he has, is “Budda” a Burmese, Siamese mix. He’s huge, not because he eats a lot, he’s just a big boy! But why name him “Budda’’? Day one at the shelter where I adopted him. I picked him up. Unlike any other animal I’ve ever held, he went completely limp, like dead weight, and still does. My first thought was, “he melts in your arms like butter”. Hence the name “Budda”(like but-ta!) Though due to his weight and girth, admittedly he’s also earned his nickname “Butterball”. Yep, like a big overstuffed turkey, gobble, gobble!


                             Image by Gundula Vogel – Pixabay


So “What’s in a Name”? Are pets living up to their given pet names? Maybe it’s all in my imagination but I feel my cats names suit them. Yet whether they’re defined by their names or defined by their nature. I’ll think twice before naming another cat. An example as to why that comes to mind, is the nature of all pets with claws. It’s their nature to scratch and render. I’ve certainly suffered the inevitable scratched furniture and unintentional mauled skin. However, I shudder to think of how I and my meager possessions might have looked; If their given names were, “Lion” or “Tiger” or “Bear”, oh my! 


The fact is there’s so much fun to be had from naming your pet. Undeniably, I get a kick out of my pets and their assorted nick-names and encourage you to do the same. I recommend two sites that might help you with your pet name choice. has a cool article on the latest pet names on social media.  I found another interesting topic on the subject in a great old article on the psychology behind some pet names on


If you’ve been following my blogs you may be aware of two books I’ve written. Both are fanciful remembrance books of original poems, anecdotes and humor. “Remember When Butta Squeezed His Big Butt Into That Tiny Little Box?” And the kids version, “Remember When Max Swiped That Pork Chop Off Uncle Ted’s Plate?” Both books are particularly wonderful gifts for anyone who has endured the loss of a pet and companion. Publication of both books were delayed in 2020 but look for both books shortly on and

Sandra Moses, Ashes 2 Essenz LLC, Author, Blogger



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