Top 10 Literary Cat Names | Character Edition

This is Nierme from the Haunted Bookshop of Iowa City and she has a literary name! Her name means "sorrow" in Sindarin, one of the many languages of the elves in Lord of the Rings. And it's true, she does get very sad when her owners wake her up from naps or forget to feed her.

This is Nierme from the Haunted Bookshop of Iowa City and she has a literary name! Her name means “sorrow” in Sindarin, one of the many languages of the elves in Lord of the Rings. And it’s true, she does get very sad when her owners wake her up from naps or forget to feed her.

Today I’m linking up with The Broke and the Bookish for their weekly feature, Top Ten Tuesday! This week’s prompt is “ten characters you’d name a child/dog/cat/car/et cetera after.”

And, well, two of the things I love most in this world are cats and books! Spending time with either one – or, preferably, both – makes me feel so happy. I’d rather be around them than other people!

So, yeah. The more cats and books in my life, the better. Aside from education and career goals, one of the things I want most for my future is to live with my wife and some cats in a small house filled with books and plants. I have a running list of possible cat name ideas, most of which are organized in pairs because if you have two then they can be friends! (Or mortal enemies. It really depends.) Some of the names in this post come from that list, and others are brand-new.

In fact, I got so into writing this post that it turned into two separate posts! This one is just for character names, and on Friday I’ll publish one with author names. BECAUSE REASONS.

Enjoy!

the great gatsby1. Jay Gatsby Catsby 

THIS ONE COMES FIRST BECAUSE IT’S THE BEST, OBVIOUSLY. I’m proud of myself for thinking of it. I mean, what’s better than cats and books and puns?! NOTHING, I TELL YOU, NOTHING.

And in keeping with my “you gotta have two cats at a time” principle, I would name the other one Nick and he would frown at the excess of Gatsby’s misadventures and/or catnip parties.

2. Petra

I’ve always liked this character from Chasing Vermeer by Blue Balliett and I think this would be a lovely name for a female cat! I feel like it’s kind of dignified, though, so I’d have to first find a cat with the right sort of personality.

3. Minerva McGonagall

No one can stop me from doing this. NO ONE. I love McGonagall so much I sometimes forget she’s not a real person… so naming a cat after her is clearly the next best thing, right?! Possible names for my other cats at the time include Crookshanks and Mrs. Norris.

4. Callablue lily lily blue

This would be a great name for a haughty cat because the fictional character she would be named after – from The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater* – is as well! It’s a gorgeous name, too, and I want to use it for SOMETHING. Since I’m never having children, I may as well give it to a pet.

*Wait, I mean Maggie StiefCATer. I’m sorry, I’ll stop now.

5. BartholoMEOW Cubbins

THIS IS ANOTHER OF MY ABSOLUTE FAVORITE CAT NAMES OMG. This is from The 500 Hats of Bartholomew Cubbins by Dr. Seuss… or is it the 500 CATS of Bartholomeow Cubbins?! SORRY NOT SORRY.

6. Gregor

I had the protagonist of Suzanne Collins’ Underland Chronicles in mind when I thought of this, but Gregor Samsa from Kafka’s The Metamorphosis would be a interesting namesake as well.

I really love old-fashioned names as cat names, or as pet names in general. Perhaps because most of the cats I’ve known have been male and most of the birds female, I think old-fashioned male names fit cats’ personalities so well, while old-fashioned female names fit chickens’ personalities perfectly. (We have or have had chickens with names like Sheila, Phoebe, Priscilla, Mabel, et cetera…)

So Gregor works perfectly in my book. (PUN TOTALLY NOT INTENDED OOPS MY BAD.)

gregor-and-the-curse-of-the-warmbloods-29u31g4[1]7. Faust

I don’t even know why I want to use this as a cat name?! We just finished reading Doctor Faustus by Christopher Marlowe, a retelling of the legend, in one of my lit classes. So I suppose it’s been on my mind a lot lately. I don’t know. I think I like how outlandish this name is for a cat – I mean, this character sold his soul to the devil. It works as a cat name precisely because it’s so dramatic.

8. Martin Chuzzlewit

This is the only name on this list from a book I haven’t yet read: The Life and Adventures of Martin Chuzzlewit by Charles Dickens! It’s just… so fuzzy-sounding… it would be perfect for a fluffy, chubby cat.

I have to admit that I didn’t think of it on my own, though. I stole it from a highly entertaining list of literary cat names published on Book Riot. OMG GO CHECK OUT THE REST OF THAT LIST IT’S SO GOOD AND MADE ME WANT TO ADOPT APPROXIMATELY 459823752935 CATS FROM THE ANIMAL SHELTER IMMEDIATELY.

9. Montmorency

This is the name of the protagonist in a kind of obscure YA historical fiction series by Eleanor Updale, which I strongly recommend! It’s fancy and kind of fuzzy and it’s just so much FUN to say! frindle

10. Frindle

I’M CHEATING HERE, I KNOW. Frindle isn’t exactly a charater in Andrew Clements’ book of the same name: It’s an alternative to the word “pen.” Buuuuut… this little pen plays such a big role in the story that it’s almost a character in its own right?! Maybe? I know it’s a bit of a stretch and that logic is not entirely on my side, but shhhh. Let me revel in glorious cat names.

-~-

Stay tuned for my upcoming post on author-based cat names! In the meantime, what characters would you name a cat (or dog or bird or fish or car or child) after? And why?!

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About nevillegirl

Elizabeth. University of Iowa class of 2019. Triple majoring in English & Creative Writing, Journalism, and Gender, Women's, & Sexuality Studies. Twenty-one-year-old daydreamer, introvert, voracious reader, aspiring writer, and lesbian. Passionate about feminism, mental health, comic books, and cats.
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9 Responses to Top 10 Literary Cat Names | Character Edition

  1. matttblack42 says:

    This is definitely the weirdest top ten list you’ve done in a while.

    That being said, Jay Catsby! (Awww) If i get a cat, I’m stealing that name.

  2. Mom says:

    Wow, you’re just full of puns today. Are you sure you and Nierme weren’t sniffing a bit of ol’ cat nip when you wrote this?

  3. Miriam Joy says:

    I’m kind of suprised you didn’t have a cat called Carmilla on this list, haha. I’d probably name one Bartimaeus, after the character from Jonathan Stroud’s Bartimaeus series — he’s a djinni and can shapeshift, so he could feasibly be a cat. I guess if I had more than one they might end up named after others from the same series — Ptolemy, Nathaniel, Kitty (ha!) — if those names suited. Otherwise I can see myself giving cats historical names, e.g. naming them after obscure medieval kings.

    I sort of hoped this would be about the names of cats IN books for a second. Cassandra Clare’s got a couple of good ones — Chairman Meow makes me laugh, and Simon’s cat is called Yossarian, which is the name of the main character in Catch-22. Pretty sure Simon’s a massive nerd who did that deliberately. 🙂

  4. orphu44 says:

    If I had a nameless cat hanging around, I would steal the name Montmorency for it.

  5. Pingback: Top 10 Literary Cat Names | Author Edition | Musings From Neville's Navel

  6. I LOVE THIS IDEA. Now I’m thinking of literary cat names too… Because obviously books and cats are the best combination. *nods* (My local bookshops definitely need to up their cat game.)

    Anyways, I think my favourites from this one are Montmorency, Gregor, and Calla! I feel like all the TRC names would be wonderful for a cat, actually. I almost want to suggest Katniss as a name but that seems kind of, er, obvious. 😛 I must store these for the future!

  7. Heather says:

    Ughhhhh all of this is really making me wish I had a cat and I don’t know what I am going to do about it because here are all these great cat names going to waste!

  8. Maggie says:

    I’m super late in coming to this page, but I love this post. My cat is named Neville. 🙂 I’ve got Minerva on my list for a future kitty as well.

  9. Pingback: Quarterly Rewind, Fall 2016 | Writing, The Election, & “Moana” | Musings From Neville's Navel

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