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Thread: Your Relationship to Pets & Naming Strategies

  1. #11
    Homo siderius Sistamatic's Avatar
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    Jan 2014
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    Inky (who I did not name) was an indoor outdoor cat with a pet door. I did not consider myself his owner because he chose to be here and could leave whenever he felt like it. I did do everything in my power to make sure he was fed and healthy though, so he'd continue to choose to be here, so I was definitely his caregiver. The time he got lost, I put many hours into finding him (and was successful).

    Tom Bombadil was also indoor outdoor. The neighbors "owned" him, but he chose to spend all his time at our house, and as a consequence, I became responsible for flea treatments and chopping the dingleberries out of his long fur, and because he was happier here, he chose to be here a lot. But I couldn't call him "mine" because he belonged to a little girl who called him Zeke and you are the asshole when you take a cat away from a little girl. We didn't find out he belonged to someone else until we got him groomed (he was a norwegian forest cat with fur so matted he couldn't even stand upright) and he came back to our place with a note attached. But you know, saying a cat is yours when your neighbor is the one taking care of all the parasites and shots and grooming is sort of ... a grey area. Tom Bombadil went missing. The little girl cried and so did I. My husband and her father each suspect the other of "getting rid of him" but I think that's ridiculous. He was too pretty. I think he got stolen...all of which implies a sense of ownership, doesn't it. What are you to a creature that you have the right to euthanize simply because you don't feel like you want to take care of it anymore? I think in Tom's case, it would have taken a judge to determine who had ownership rights, and in the case that he was stolen, I suppose possession is ten tenths of reality. We had him chipped and never heard back, so maybe he met with a grizzly fate. I don't like to think about it.

    Inky is dead now and I have three cats and I've chosen to go the indoor only route except when I take Thufir on leash walks. Conan and Spock get all the stimulation they need from an indoor environment. Thufir is "special." I use quotes because I mean it sarcastically half the time and impressively the other half.

    I consider it my responsibility to make sure that they are getting everything they need, psychologically, from an indoor environment. Cats aren't genetically meant for it. We have huge windows, we have lots of play time and since they are very different genetic stock, they have various play needs. Da bird is the ultimate cat toy for Spock...he would be killing soooo many birds outside. It spins when you whip it through the air and sounds like a bird flapping it's wings. He leaps 3 feet into the air and snatches it, and when play time is over, I let him predator carry it into a corner.

    Conan likes a string but he wants you to make it almost disappear under something, like the edge of a rug. He also does predator carry to a corner at the end of play.

    Thufir likes to play chase with me. Like we chase each other back and forth all over the house until we are both out of breath. He likes to leap onto things in such a way that it becomes a tumble roll. He likes to see every single thing I'm doing. He chatters at me constantly. When I'm in VR, he sits outside the door waiting for me to finish. It is his life goal to knock over all the things. Sometimes you'll see him considering whether or not to do something really dumb...head tilted, yes, he knows it would be impossible to land that but we all know he isn't going to rest until he tries it. He must investigate every square inch of every new thing that I do. When I do yardwork, he watches me through the window. When I come home from anywhere, he must sniff my shoes, my hands, and my face before he will chill the fuck out. He sleeps under the covers, sometimes on my feet, and sometimes on his back with his head on my arm like I'm his pillow. I'm starting to think he owns me. I fell down and played dead while we were playing chase the other day and he freaked out and started making vocalizations I'd never heard him make before. He might be an alien.

    Naming conventions: Hmmmm....usually some character they remind me of either visually or personality wise. Thufir's whiskers and brow whiskers were so freaking massive on his tiny kitten head that he got named after this guy:

    Spock's ears are kinda big and nearly hairless, plus he's really lanky like Leonard Nimoy. I think he might have some oriental short hair lineage. His autoimmune disorder is very common in the breed too.

    Conan had a broken tail and a lopped off ear when we got him as a kitten, plus he was sort of feral. So a barbarian name seemed about right.

    In grad school, my pets were three betta fish. I named them Shinmen Musashi No Kami Fujiwara No Genshin, Tsun Tsu, and Lee Iacoca, and put their three containers side by side in a circle so they could debate the merits of each other's strategic philosophies. One day I came home and Lee Iacoca and Tsun Tsu had committed suicide. Shinmen Musashi No Kami Fujiwara No Genshin lived on for years.

    (I made it a point to say his entire name every time I referred to him.)
    Last edited by Sistamatic; 05-12-2018 at 03:47 PM.
    Insults are effective only where emotion is present. -- Spock, "Who Mourns for Adonais?" Stardate 3468.1.

    I'm not avoiding socializing I'm helping socializing avoid me! --MoneyJungle

  2. #12
    Member Tekton's Avatar
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    Dec 2015
    Quote Originally Posted by jigglypuff View Post
    are you their "owner"?


    do you humanize your animals, become their "parent"?

    are you equals, therefore "companions"?
    I suppose I'm my cat's owner and guardian, and not at all his parent. Cats are rather independent and don't respect hierarchy, so I suppose we're de facto companions, and companionship was what I wanted when I went looking for a cat to adopt. I don't really know my cat's history, since I adopted him when he was about 8-10 years old. I think he belonged to someone because he loves to be around people, but he also behaves like a scavenging street cat and will tip the trash can over to get food. It took him about a year after I adopted him to snuggle up next to me at night.
    Quote Originally Posted by jigglypuff View Post
    what the hell are you?
    We're bros.
    Quote Originally Posted by jigglypuff View Post
    what's your pet naming strategy?
    Typically non-human names, except for when I gave the name Otto von Bismarck to the family English Cocker Spaniel. That was awesome.

    My cat's name is Bagheera, because I loved that movie when I was little, and he's a staid, black cat who likes to chill with man-cubs and is a total badass who will attack dogs that are bigger than him if they don't come correct.

  3. #13
    Dr.Awkward Robcore's Avatar
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    Dec 2013
    They're our dog/hamster/chicken, and we're their person/people. Companions and care-givers is probably the appropriate title.

    As for naming...I've only named a few pets...Tyra was a wee little terrier we had when I was like 6. We inherited her from my mom's truck-driver cousin who had named her 'meat' (even though she was all bones). My mom had many better names, but I wanted to give her a dinosaur name (I was 6!). My mom said that Tyra was short for Tyrannosaurus Rex. Tricked me good. I was pulling for Ankylosaurus, though. Tyra was a compromise.
    Had some turtles that were named Michelangelo and Donatello...though they were much less exciting than their namesakes.

    The wife and kids gave names to the 4 chickens that they just hatched. The almost 2 year old named hers 'Chick', 3.5 year old named hers 'Love Sprinkle', 5.5 year old named his 'Dodo', and wife named hers 'Maple'.

    Since having kids, I think I've become better at naming...a future dog, provided that it doesn't come with a name, will be luckier than Tyra was.
    Oliver, Aria, and Willow are our kids' names...and I expect that a dog would get a name with a similar feel.
    ...the origin of emotional sickness lay in people’s belief that they were their personalities...
    "The pendulum of the mind alternates between sense and nonsense, not between right and wrong." ~Carl Jung

  4. #14
    know nothing pensive_pilgrim's Avatar
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    Dec 2013
    He's my kitty, and he doesn't have any words for me because he doesn't have any words. As far as other people are concerned I am his owner and he's my companion. I tell him all the time that he's my best friend and the best kitty in the whole world. I love him and plan to care for him as long as he lives. I've been doing so for about nine years now and he seems to feel that I'm important.

    I gave him a name when I got him but I never call him by it, I just call him "kitty".

  5. #15
    Senior Member Makers!*'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Shoshone Country
    I believe I'll be judged by them in the afterlife.

    Hopefully the cat's not too upset.

    If the dog is, that's her own damn problem.
    "Long live the weeds and the wilderness!"

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