When a new pet enters our lives, sometimes a name is immediately apparent and other times we have to wait for the right name to manifest itself. Sometimes the appearance of the furry friend presents the framework for its name, other times it's a personality or behavior trait that suggests the name. This week, I decided to share how my feline family received their names.
Halo was a stray who appeared on our patio on Mother's Day. She was frail, malnourished and pregnant. We had lost a very special outside yellow tabby the previous September, but it was difficult to go out on the patio because Lancelot's presence was still felt. But the stray gave us new reason to spend time on the patio. It was almost as if Lance had sent our new friend to us to fill the void he left. Ironically, the stray had beautiful colors throughout her coat, but a ring of pure gold on the tip of her tail. We referred to it as Lance's halo and the stray became our Halo.
Paddy was the firstborn in Halo's litter. We witnessed the birth and decided the kitten looked very much like a little bear. Without knowing the sex of the kitten, we brainstormed "bear" names and settled on Paddington. When "he" turned out to be a "she," we decided to keep the name because it was endearing and just seemed to fit. So she became Miss Paddington, Paddy for short.
Zoie Joy was another stray we found in a bush in our backyard...on my parents' wedding anniversary. I always considered her a gift from my parents. She was named after a character in one of my books who ran away to find her bliss. Zoie and I formed an immediate bond through the weeks of quarantine before we could introduce her to our indoor cats and she has found her bliss in our home. We added "Joy" to her name because of the joy she has given us.
London, the oldest member of our furry family, was born in a shed on a friend's farm. We chose her from the litter and had a few weeks to come up with a name because she was too young to be weened from her mother. A colleague of my husband suggested "London" because of the gray misty fog that often envelopes the city. It felt like a strong name yet, like the city itself whose royal grandeur attracts so many tourists, an endearing name as well.
Sunnybud has been around for two years but only recently has become a regular visitor. It took a long while to gain his trust, to get him to step into the basement and just recently to start to "hang" out in our sun room. As first, for lack of a better name, we just called him "Buddy," but the more he came and the more affectionate he became, we noticed the light yellow of his coat and the way it glowed when the sun shone on it. So we began referring to him as "Sunny" some of the time and "Buddy" other times. Eventually he became our "Sunnybud." Now he is our sunshine and we love the feeding and petting sessions, but know they will end on his terms when he is ready to move on for the day or night.
And just recently, we've had a new visitor at our feeding stations. She is a beautiful tortie with the most beautiful green eyes. This week, she watched cautiously as we talked to her behind the storm door, but she still runs away when we move outside. We have decided she needs a name, but the right one has not yet presented itself. So I would be open to any suggestions you might leave in the comments below.
Our pets are special. Their names remind us of where they came from and how they've touched our hearts. What's in a pet name? Love, memories and a whole lot more!
USA TODAY Bestselling Author Karen Rose Smith is an only child who delved into books at an early age. She learned about kindred spirits from Anne of Green Gables, solved mysteries with Nancy Drew and wished she could have been the rider on The Black Stallion. Yet even though she escaped often into story worlds, she had many aunts, uncles and cousins around her on weekends. Her sense of family and relationships began there. Maybe that's why families are a strong theme in her novels, whether mysteries or romances. Her 91st novel will be released in 2016.
Readers often ask her about her pastimes. She has herb, flowers and vegetable gardens that help her relax. In the winter, she cooks rather than gardens. And year round she spends most of her time with her husband, as well as her four rescued cats who are her constant companions. They chase rainbows from sun catchers, reminding her life isn't all about work, awards and bestseller lists. Everyone needs that rainbow to chase.
Karen looks forward to interacting with readers. They can find her at the links below.