I like people names for my cats. Spot, Ziggy, and Blackie are nicknames I give to the street cats I feed during my walks. I figure those cats are ok with such names because dignity isn’t a watchword; all they really care about is the bag of kibbles in my pocket. (Or, in the case of Spot the Cat, the dog biscuits she seems to prefer.)
But for family cats, I think a name is pretty important and should suit the character of the cat himself. I’ve had cats named for a Civil War general, a Tolstoy heroine, a Delibes ballet based on a Greek goddess, and the Prince of Wales (not because I'm such a fan, but because "Chuck" is a cool name for a cat ;) ). This time, I considered a lot of “duo names,” like Bert and Ernie or Stan and Ollie. But history called, and they’re name for two individuals I greatly admire: Winston and Franklin.
At first it was easy to tell them apart. Franklin was a bit darker on his points and had a slightly narrower face. Winston spotted a silvery blaze on his forehead and seemed to lean towards being ever so slightly cross-eyed. As I would pet each one, I’d say his name, so he’d get used to it. Plus, I figure it was sort of cool being the namesake of a famous British statesman or an amazing American president.
Three weeks later, the kitty’s points were evening out to a dark chocolate/seal point appearance, the faces are starting to adopt the same shape, and in a certain light, both look just a bit crossed eyed. Or not. (Mind you, everyone in my family believes that cross-eyed Siamese are preferable, not matter what the snooty cat show people may say, so if these kits are heading in that direction, so much the better!)
So these days, calling them is a mess. “Fran…Winston – get out of the trash bag!” “Here’s your portion of the cheese, Wifrankie.” “Win..lin, come chase the mouse with your brother.” “Has anyone see Fra -- ohthat’sthisone -- Winston?”
More and more, I’m petting them both at the same time and calling them “The Boyz.” :)