Tuesday, August 3, 2010

The Naming of Cats




This is one of our favorites by T.S. Eliot.
We purr that you will enjoy it as much as we do.


The Naming Of Cats by 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 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.

When you notice a cat in profound meditation,
The reason, I tell you, is always the same:
His mind is engaged in a rapt contemplation
Of the thought, of the thought, of the thought of his name:

His ineffable effable
Effanineffable
Deep and inscrutable singular Name.







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19 comments:

Cat said...

I agree...I will never tell anyone my name for myself because it is TOP SECRET and if anyone learns of it, I must go off in the wild and live alone until I die of natural causes. But, I do know that not only do most cats have two other names, but probably a hundred other names!! Our Mom calls us lots and lots of different names and sometimes she just invents a new one so we don't know if she is talking to us or, oh, I don't know, to the kitchen sink!! But we know that whatever name she calls us that she is doing it with love and that is the most important...that love be in whatever name we are given. Purrs, Lautrec and Tiny

Jacqueline said...

Our Mommy calls us sweetie and baby a lot and we get Calle Girl, Halle Cat and Sukki Su all the time too!...kitty kisses...Calle, Halle, Sukki

The Chair Speaks said...

Wow! You guys sure look cool in those berets!

Inigo Flufflebum and d'Artagnan Rumblepurr said...

We have wayyyy more than three names, but the humans will never know our TRUE names.

The Monkeys said...

You don't want to know the silly names our Mom calls us all...they are ridiculous!

You two are super handsome in your berets. Oui oui!

Old Kitty said...

Yay!!!!! Oh me and Charlie love this poem!!!

"His ineffable effable
Effanineffable
Deep and inscrutable singular Name"

Yay!!! Oh Charlie agrees - and is not telling me his real Name!! Silly Cat! Thank you adorable Sammy and amazing Andy and mum too!

We love your berets - ooh la la!

Take care
x

The Taylor CatSSSSS said...

Hello to you wonderful guys & your Mommy!!! We LOVE the pictures and the poem is one of Mommy's favorites. Mommy was actually at the CAT'S Broadway show opening....way back when! Love it!!!

Kea said...

You guys look very dapper in your berets! And that poem is purrfect--we don't tell any human what our names are for ourselves, either!

Madi and Mom said...

Morning Sammy and Andy...oh what a great post. We have never seen that before. Dad said it took longer to name me than my human sister.

Here are some of my names
Madison, Madi, Mads (mom's pet name), Madster (dad's pet name)
then there are the silly ones baby girl, poodle face, etc.
Very cute post and as always love the hats...men in berets make my heart go pitter-patter,
Madi

The Paw Relations said...

What a great poem! We'd never heard it before.

The Kool~Kittie~Krew said...

Hiya Boys! Looking furry dapper today! Skeeter is LOVING Andy's beret! She thinks he's looking mighty regal! That poem is fantastic!!! We have tons of names, but we know which ONE is the true name...here they are...

Skeeter = Mommy
Pandora = LadyBug or Lades
King = Fat Boy
Cricket = Monkey

Hannah and Lucy said...

Along with your berets do your have strings of onions and sell them from your bicyles? Years ago they used to come over to the UK from France to sell onions like that!

Cat said...

That is one of my favourite poems too! I think it was used as the basis for the musical Cats, or maybe that is just an urban myth.

I have so many names for my babies, but I long to know what their secret cat names are :-)

Katnip Lounge said...

You two are dashing in your berets! Very Puurisian.

We all have the same middle name at our house: "Dammit"!

heh heh.

Brian said...

You two look great, no matter what names are used!

Lisa, Jack and Baby said...

That's a great poem. Our official names are more common, but we have lots of silly, quirky nicknames.

ABBY said...

Oh we have lots and lots of names. But we've never shared the names our true Mommies gave us.

purrin

xo
Abby

Angel and Kirby said...

Mom loves that poem!

The Island Cats said...

We love you guys in your berets!! And as for our secret names...well, if we told you, they wouldn't be secret!!

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