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THE Naming of Cats
. . . T.S. Eliot

The naming of cats is a difficult matter,
It isn't just one of your holiday games;
You may think at first I'm 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 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 is 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, Quazo or Coripat,
Such as Bombalurina, or else Jellyrum--
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 will never guess;
The name
that no human research can discover--
But The Cat Himself Knows,
and will never confess.

When you notice a cat in profound meditation,
The reason, I tell you, is always the same:
His mind is engaged in rapt contemplation
Of the thought, of the thought,
of the thought of his name:
His ineffable effable
Deep and inscrutable singular Name.

Ideas from: Alexis ( nos4a2no9) wrote in english_majors,
@ 2005-07-15 11:19:00

· Footnote
· Allegory
· Iambic
· "Grendel," of Beowulf
· “I always thought it'd be fun to use "peeve" as a name. Then you could say, "This is my pet, Peeve!"” – saraswati3
· “Mine's named after Hemingway (Ernest) because he drank like a lush (4 bowls of water the first day!) and was always adventure-safari-ing around our apartment. There was no choice.” – curieuse
· “I know someone who named her cat Cassius, "for he hath a lean and hungry look." “
· “We used to have a cat named Satan. Whenever he got into the garden my mom would yell "Satan! Get out of the azaleas!" “ – jitendra
· Orpheus
· Vignette
· “how about grimalkin? it's the old name for a cat that is a witch's familiar... shakespeare uses it.” –mermuse

"Sonnet to a Cat"
John Keats

Cat! who hast pass'd thy grand cliacteric,
How many mice and rats hast in thy days
Destroy'd? - How many tit bits stolen? Gaze
With those bright languid segments green, and prick
Those velvet ears - but pr'ythee do not stick
Thy latent talons in me - and upraise
Thy gentle mew - and tell me all thy frays
Of fish and mice, and rats and tender chick.
Nay, look not down, nor lick thy dainty wrists -
For all the wheezy asthma, - and for all
Thy tail's tip is nick'd off - and though the fists
Of many a maid have given thee many a mail,
Still is that fur as soft as when the lists
In youth thou enter'dst on glass bottled wall.

Posthumous and fugitive Poems


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