Saturday, August 30, 2014

Why do cats have so many names?

We have four cats who all started life with us each with one name.  Now everyone has official names, and secret ones, and names that come and go like the weather.  Why do cats have so many names?

Losha has the least number, maybe because she is the Mom cat and one year older than her three cat children.  Of course she is also Mamalosha, and sometimes Loshamama, but these all seem to maintain her dignity, or which she has a great amount.

Mau has several names but like her, they are sort of generic rather than descriptive.  Mau is cat in Egyptian, and she is also Mauchica, which is cat girl in Egyptian and Spanish.  Mostly she is Mau Mau; always turned toward her wild outdoor life.  On those rare occasions when she briefly comes inside she is so on guard she earns the name Scary Cat.

Hopee is sometimes called Hoopee, and has had many variations like Hopito and Hopeecito.  Also he is occasionally Hopeelapo because that's where he most wants to be. Most recently he was christened Burr by our housesitter, I think because he like to stick to furniture and is difficult to dislodge.

Hopee and his sister Soma like to watch me make frame drums and the difference in their manner seems a perfect reflection of their attitude toward life.

Hopee is curious while Soma is happy to lounge.  Soma was named for the sacred drink of the Gods mentioned in the Rig Veda but she is often Somatalkie because she has a comment for every moment of our insufficient attention to her needs.  Her newest name is Limpet, which does capture exactly her suck up and attach qualities.  I often wonder what cats name themselves.  Surely creatures as complex and mysterious as cats have their own many layers of names.  One of my favorite phrases of shamanic wisdom from the Journey Oracle card deck seems to apply perfectly: "naming it makes it so."