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Mister Kitteh isn't cutting it
August 31, 2014 4:58 PM   Subscribe

We brought this sweet boy home from the humane society today, yay! He is 7.5 years old and was surrendered when his previous owner passed away. The only problem is we're not really keen on keeping the name he came with (Midnight). Realizing that I could FINALLY be the one asking AskMe to name my cat, I'm turning to you for help.

Our thought process (kind of):
* people names could be fun, such as Toby, Mitchell, Frank.
* maybe something to do with the sky (that isn't Midnight)
* or a reference from LOTR or Harry Potter. We were almost there with Sirius Black (because he's a fairly staid cat), but I got hung up on Sirius being a canine reference. Severus was another possibility, but not sure.
* even in the first hour or so, he's been superglued to us, following us everywhere. Shadow was a contender, but seems….boring?
* he has no white markings anywhere. Solid black cat. Fairly chill personality. Was described as a couch potato by the shelter volunteers. We're getting tired of calling him Sir, Mister, or Buddy. So far, he hasn't responded to any of the above options, including his actual name.

Please help!
posted by spinturtle to Pets & Animals (87 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
I have no idea why, but Avarice.
posted by Ms Vegetable at 5:02 PM on August 31 [1 favorite]


Oliver. He's an Oliver.

Or what about Umbra, which is Latin for "shadow" and also has celestial connotations?
posted by Athanassiel at 5:03 PM on August 31 [6 favorites]


We named our black kitty Malcolm. After Malcolm X and Malcolm McClaren.

When I was a kid and we had black kittens, they were called:

Pinot Noir
Rouge et Noir
Bette Noir
Esteban

You see where we're going here. Othello would also fit in with this theme. Sombra means shadow in Spanish.

You could ask him, I suppose (that's how one of my friends does it.) Try a few names and see if he responds. Malcolm told us his name was Kytmenx once, by walking across the keyboard of the computer.

Just keep loving on him, his name should occur shortly.

He's a lovely boy and should make a wonderful addition to your family. Mazel-Tov!
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 5:05 PM on August 31 [4 favorites]


Soot.
posted by SemiSalt at 5:06 PM on August 31


Licorice!
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 5:06 PM on August 31 [2 favorites]


Smudge.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 5:10 PM on August 31 [1 favorite]


Mr. HortonHearsWhat? saw that cat and said, "His name is Pudder." So there you go.
posted by HortonHearsWhat? at 5:14 PM on August 31


Harry Potter reference: Snape.
posted by Sassyfras at 5:20 PM on August 31


Well you could change "Sirius Black" to "Kittius Black".
posted by losvedir at 5:20 PM on August 31 [8 favorites]


He looks like a Rufus to me.
posted by jaguar at 5:21 PM on August 31 [2 favorites]


A friend named her black cat Jack (as in, Blackjack), so that would work for both person-name and color reference.
posted by jaguar at 5:22 PM on August 31 [2 favorites]


Moses.
posted by Librarypt at 5:23 PM on August 31


Fluffypants.
posted by youcancallmeal at 5:24 PM on August 31 [4 favorites]


I always like Jellybean as a name for black cats, though my personal black cat is name Lord Conrad Blackcat.
posted by jeather at 5:24 PM on August 31 [1 favorite]


If you like Shadow, you might consider Shadowfax. Yeah it was a horse in LOTR but the name supposedly means something like "shadow mane," which I think would be appropriate for a cat.

If I were going with a Harry Potter theme I'd make up a name like Leonix Black.
posted by zennie at 5:25 PM on August 31


Colonel Mustard
posted by thelonius at 5:25 PM on August 31


(Oh, and shelters almost always rename animals who are surrendered to them, so "Midnight" was probably not his name at his previous home, which is likely why he doesn't answer to it. That, and he's a cat.)
posted by jaguar at 5:26 PM on August 31 [1 favorite]


My first cat was an all-black kitten whose original owners dubbed him Bootsy, but I renamed him Midnight. In retrospect, I like the name Bootsy a whole lot, and it's a shame it went unused. If you decide your Midnight is a Bootsy instead, it would restore balance to the cat world.
posted by Metroid Baby at 5:29 PM on August 31 [4 favorites]


Fourteen. For Carbon-14.
posted by zadcat at 5:30 PM on August 31 [3 favorites]


Phoenix Dark Dirk
posted by aubilenon at 5:34 PM on August 31


Admiral Inksetter

Earl
posted by SpecialSpaghettiBowl at 5:48 PM on August 31


Ninja
posted by SyraCarol at 5:49 PM on August 31


He is a lovely cat, congratulations.

Given all he has been through, it would be nice if he could keep the name he presumably has come to recognize as his own, despite your aesthetic (?) objections to it.

Of course, you could keep his name and still have fun coming up with many new nicknames for him....
posted by girl flaneur at 5:52 PM on August 31 [4 favorites]


Harry Potter reference: alchemy: nigredo or spell: nox
posted by effluvia at 5:54 PM on August 31 [1 favorite]


Also, Crookshanks, of course.
posted by effluvia at 5:54 PM on August 31


My lovely black cat was Othello and we called him OT when he was feeling super cool.
posted by RoadScholar at 6:02 PM on August 31 [1 favorite]


Smudge.
posted by escape from the potato planet at 6:05 PM on August 31 [1 favorite]


Storm or Stormy? Sylvester?
posted by Night_owl at 6:12 PM on August 31


Meatball!
posted by jason's_planet at 6:13 PM on August 31


or a reference from LOTR or Harry Potter. We were almost there with Sirius Black (because he's a fairly staid cat), but I got hung up on Sirius being a canine reference. Severus was another possibility, but not sure.

Sirius's other form: The Grim!

Also, Tom Bombadil would be hell of a name for a cat.
posted by ignignokt at 6:13 PM on August 31 [1 favorite]


Smoke. Smaug. Balrogkitteh.
posted by vrakatar at 6:16 PM on August 31


Soily

"The cat in satin trousers said it's oily"
posted by rhizome at 6:16 PM on August 31


Nocturne
posted by randomination at 6:17 PM on August 31 [3 favorites]


Rico Suave
posted by drlith at 6:20 PM on August 31 [5 favorites]


Sky/Harry Potter:

Mr. Nimbus.
posted by MonkeyToes at 6:38 PM on August 31 [1 favorite]


Nyx

(Nyx is the Goddess of the night, but I think it would work with a male kitty too.)

Other suggestions:

Leo
Thorne
Pasta Batman
Onyx
Obsidian
Snowflake
McLovin
Ranier
posted by Ostara at 6:43 PM on August 31


Cocoa
posted by just asking at 6:45 PM on August 31


Oooh! Black cats are the best. For real. You have a handsome guy there.

Inky
Chimera
Jet (for jet black, and since you said he's a couch potato, it's like how they call big tough guys "tiny")
posted by desjardins at 6:47 PM on August 31


I've known black cats named Orion and Omen.
posted by desjardins at 6:48 PM on August 31


That cat's name is Nigel.
posted by Sal and Richard at 6:50 PM on August 31 [2 favorites]


Henry. Obviously.

(Well, obviously to me. I saw the picture and boom! 'Henry' appeared in my head.)
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 6:53 PM on August 31


Padfoot
Regulus Black
Mrs. Norris
posted by Suffocating Kitty at 6:55 PM on August 31


How about the French or Italian versions of midnight: Minuit (Fr.), pronounced meen-wee, or Mezzanotte (It.), pronounced metsa-note-tay? They're both easily shortened to meen or meenie, or metz or mezza.
posted by primate moon at 6:56 PM on August 31


Minuit is pronounced more like mi-nu-ee. Just saying.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 7:09 PM on August 31


He reminds me of the black cat in The Matrix, so Neo or Morpheus.
posted by raf at 7:24 PM on August 31


I like Soot but I would add a "y" to make it Sooty.
posted by Lieber Frau at 7:26 PM on August 31


Mr. Blackwell.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 7:27 PM on August 31 [1 favorite]


Arlo.
posted by Riverine at 7:28 PM on August 31


Zorro.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 7:29 PM on August 31


Padfoot, if you want Sirius's dog name.

If you want a Harry Potter reference that isn't about dogs, there's always Regulus Black, Arcturus, or Orion.
posted by bile and syntax at 7:35 PM on August 31


Professor McGonagall's animagus/patronus was a cat, so you can use her last name.

My cousin called her black kitty Pyewacket.

Grimalkin was the name of the cat in Marguerite Henry's King of the Wind.
posted by brujita at 7:39 PM on August 31


Cinder. (Which can, but needn't, be short for Cinderfella.)

Or Sir Rowen Ravenclaw.
posted by argonauta at 7:39 PM on August 31 [1 favorite]


He looks a LOT like our cat, whose name is Lord Sebastian J. Ashford, Ebon Knight of the Winter Aisles.

We call him "Sebastian Boo", "Mister Boo" or "Mister Sir" for short.
posted by Verdandi at 7:41 PM on August 31 [2 favorites]


Why, hello there, Spooner.
posted by The corpse in the library at 7:54 PM on August 31


My last black cat was named Griffin. (Giffy for short.) I was going to name him Gargoyle but it didn't roll off the tongue.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 7:57 PM on August 31


Pitch! As in, pitch-black.
posted by orrnyereg at 8:00 PM on August 31 [1 favorite]


Binx
posted by daninnj at 8:03 PM on August 31 [1 favorite]


Cole (as in coal).
posted by jgirl at 8:16 PM on August 31 [1 favorite]


Licorice
posted by 724A at 8:22 PM on August 31


Wow, so many amazing suggestions! Lots to think/talk about, and see what Himself thinks. Feel free to keep 'em coming, and I'll post an update once we decide!
posted by spinturtle at 8:25 PM on August 31


I don't know why, but that cat strikes me as an Arthur.
posted by Etrigan at 8:42 PM on August 31


We have an all-black cat, and we named him Helo! It has nothing to do with his colouring, but rather we like the character from Battlestar Galactica :)
posted by just_ducky at 9:04 PM on August 31


"8 ball" Definitely "8 ball."
posted by InsertNiftyNameHere at 9:13 PM on August 31 [1 favorite]


Haku, from Spirited Away.
posted by I'm Brian and so's my wife! at 9:16 PM on August 31


Mook!
posted by fiercekitten at 9:36 PM on August 31


My black cat was Chinese (we lived in Singapore and he understood Cantonese) so we called him Zao (rhymes with cow) which meant black in Chinese.
posted by Jubey at 9:54 PM on August 31 [1 favorite]


Angus
posted by The Underpants Monster at 10:54 PM on August 31 [2 favorites]


(Gus for short)
posted by The Underpants Monster at 10:55 PM on August 31


Edgar Allan.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 10:57 PM on August 31


Linden
posted by Quilford at 11:46 PM on August 31


Pytheas, maybe? Stumbled across his name looking for Greek astronomers, since you mentioned the night sky:
He is the first person on record to describe the Midnight Sun. The theoretical existence of a Frigid Zone, where the nights are very short in summer and the sun does not set at the summer solstice, was already known. Similarly, reports of a country of perpetual snow and darkness (the country of the Hyperboreans) had been reaching the Mediterranean some centuries before. Pytheas is the first known scientific visitor and reporter of the arctic, polar ice, and the Germanic tribes. He introduced the idea of distant Thule to the geographic imagination, and his account of the tides is the earliest known to suggest the moon as a cause for their production.
posted by en forme de poire at 1:28 AM on September 1 [1 favorite]


On the complete other end of the spectrum I think it would be hilarious to name him Chad.
posted by en forme de poire at 1:33 AM on September 1


For whatever selfish reasons, I don't share my MeFi life with friends. Partly because it's my special thing but also, I never know how to explain that cat-naming questions get the most responses, which makes me very happy.

Athanassiel's got it; he's definitely an Oliver. But those paws make me also think he could be King Oliver or Lord Oliver, Keeper of the Catnip.
posted by kinetic at 4:24 AM on September 1 [2 favorites]


Congratulations and good for you bringing home an older kitty. How wonderful that he's sticking by you rather than hiding. He's beautiful.

I like your suggestions of Mitchell and Frank. I considered both for the male cat we got in December, but Mr. Wet Hen (aerosolkid) didn't go for them, so he became Otis, another fine choice.
posted by Wet Hen at 5:21 AM on September 1


I keep coming back to "Alvin".
posted by escape from the potato planet at 6:57 AM on September 1


Merlin
Pendragon, as in King Arthur's father Uther Pendragon
Magic, as in black magic
Art, as in dark arts, short for Arthur
posted by carmicha at 7:32 AM on September 1


I like both Oliver and Nigel.

Edgar Allen. What about just Poe? Or Nevermore?

It looks to me like his fur has a lot of gold tipping. Maybe Topaz?
posted by marsha56 at 1:25 PM on September 1


My about-to-turn-2-year-old daughter June suggests either "Beans" or "Dad-dad The Cat." You're welcome.
posted by saladin at 1:27 PM on September 1 [2 favorites]


Beans is a pretty darn good mefite cat name
posted by aubilenon at 5:34 PM on September 1 [3 favorites]


I probably won't have another cat when my current girl's time is up, but if I did, "Dad-dad the Cat" would be a serious name contender.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 6:35 AM on September 2


Marlinspike.
posted by The corpse in the library at 12:12 PM on September 2 [1 favorite]


Zephyr.
posted by carmicha at 1:01 PM on September 2 [1 favorite]


"Spike" or "Zef" for short are also great cat nicknames!
posted by en forme de poire at 3:39 PM on September 2


I almost don't want to tell you that we've picked a name, as I want this thread to go on forever. Turns out that his name is (Colonel) Sherman (T. Pawter). Doesn't exactly fit any of the parameters above, but it seems to fit him very, very well. Thank you all so much for the suggestions! I loved many of them, and may decide to get several more black cats, just to use all the names.
posted by spinturtle at 4:27 PM on September 2 [10 favorites]


Shermie! It's perfect!
posted by The Underpants Monster at 8:13 PM on September 2


To this stranger on the internet, he seems to be a Felix. I don't know if that necessarily jives with his vibe, but aside from just my gut feeling, my reasons are: it means 'lucky' in Latin (and a cat who gets two loving homes in its lifetime is pretty lucky!), it sounds like a great cat name (IMO), and it puts me in mind of felix felicis.

Whatever you choose, you've got one handsome devil there! Congratulations!
posted by AthenaPolias at 3:11 PM on September 5


My mother threatened to rename our (very sweet, but very scary-looking) mastiff (not my photo and not my dog, but representative) "Sherman" when we moved from the Midwest to the South, explicitly after the man who set fire to Atlanta. I salute your use of the name, however you meant it.
posted by jaguar at 6:55 PM on September 6


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