Guest post by MeLinda Hughes of Merlin's Hope Ragdoll Rescue A cat by any other name is still a cat. Wait, that should be a rose, but you understand what I mean. T.S. Eliot knew how important it was to choose a cat’s name. After all, he wrote an entire poem called “Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats”:The Naming of Cats is a difficult matter, It isn't just one of your holiday games; You may think at first I'm as mad as a hatter When I tell you, a cat must have THREE DIFFERENT NAMES. First of all, there's the name that the family use daily, Such as Peter, Augustus, Alonzo or James, Such as Victor or Jonathan, George or Bill Bailey-- All of them sensible everyday names. There are fancier names if you think they sound sweeter, Some for the gentlemen, some for the dames: Such as Plato, Admetus, Electra, Demeter-- But all of them sensible everyday names. But I tell you, a cat needs a name that's particular, A name that's peculiar, and more dignified, Else how can he keep up his tail perpendicular, Or spread out his whiskers, or cherish his pride? Of names of this kind, I can give you a quorum, Such as Munkustrap, Quaxo, or Coricopat, Such as Bombalurina, or else Jellylorum- Names that never belong to more than one cat. But above and beyond there's still one name left over, And that is the name that you never will guess; The name that no human research can discover-- But THE CAT HIMSELF KNOWS, and will never confess.Three names? Really, sometimes it is hard enough choosing one, and choosing a name for your pet is an important part of your relationship. So, how do you choose a name?Websites of names: There are a number of websites that help you find names; there are pet name books and websites; there are baby name books; books about cats that help choose names (see Jenny Dean’s A Ragdoll Kitten Care Guide) are everywhere, but how do you choose? When I first met my Domestic Short Hair white girl, I was unable to adopt her. I was in a no-pets apartment, but two weeks later I was still thinking about her, and by the time I went to adopt her (and take her home to my no pets apartment), I had already named her Nimue, after the Lady of the Lake in the Arthurian legend. That started a theme of Arthurian names (the Arthurian legend was the topic of my dissertation in college) which included Guinevere, Merlin, Lyonesse, and Taliesin. There are also pages on Floppycats that deal with cat names:Red Ragdoll mix. Using foreign words for colors--Azul for a blue cat, Rouge for a red cat, Blanco for a white cat—works well.Personality quirks make for great names. One gorgeous Ragdoll came in named Squirt. We renamed him Flirt, much cuter. The Snowshoe who came as a rescue but stayed was Prince Charming, called Charm, because he is, well, charming. A female cat with a lot of attitude might become Sassy; a prima donna cat might become Princess. My vivid calico Maine Coon, Gypsy Rose, was named after the famous dancer, Gypsy Rose Lee, but her name also fit her personality. A poor grumpy Ragdoll became MacGrumpy, shortened to Mac after he became nicer. Other people like to use human names. One friend named her large Red Persian, Bob (short for Big Orange Boy). In the rescue, we get cats named Max, Leo, Rex, Kitty, Bella, and Sam. Human names, especially if you do a search for a particularly relevant meaning (see baby name guides) work well. Leonidas, for example, means “lion” and is perfect for a big red Maine Coon. Charlie, short for Charles, means “man” or “warrior.”What I have personally discovered is that often, if you wait long enough, your cat will tell you his or her “everyday” name. A quick “sexy” look from a cat might earn him the name Sean Connery, a cat that flitters around the house might become Butterfly, a cat that prowls around all night might become Luna. So, a cat by any other name is still a cat, but put some thought into choosing that name. Remember that your cat and you might have to live with that name for 20 years. Oh, and don’t forget that once you have an everyday name, you still need two more names, but we’ll talk about that later.