What would the Kittah Monks name her?
August 21, 2014 7:01 PM   Subscribe

I wander into the room calling out, "hey beautiful" to the gorgeous five year old kitty I just adopted. She was named the same in Italian and though she is, the name is just a little too precious for my tastes.

My last cat got her name in a roundabout way. She was born under the house to a feral mother. Initially we thought she was a he and looked a lot like a abandoned male who liked to hang out on our deck. When I discovered Junior was a girl after taming her we fooled around with the name. For awhile she was Hoonior (say it like you're hacking up a furball with castanets and a Spanish guitar playing in the background), but that was shortened eventually to Joon. On a lark, I looked up her name never expecting to discover it's a Persian term of endearment that means "beloved" and, she very much was.

I want to do the same for this kitty, but I'm no language expert. I'm looking for foreign words (bonus if I can pronounce them) that have that sense of adored, loved, fond of and, though dear usually leaves me spitting mad, that option would be ok here too. Hopefully the story of Joons naming will give you a sense of what I'm striving for.


She chirps and brips at the laser pointer. Has a really loud deep purr and throws herself on the floor at the sight of the brush, I think she has furgasms when I brush her she likes it so much. She likes to talk a bit and makes these noises that just ... *sigh*

Out of focus obligatory photos of one frantic furball on her second day here. Pt 1 and Pt 2.
posted by squeak to Pets & Animals (37 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
That is a stunning cat. Congrats!

Amatino is "beloved" in Esperanto. Ama for short if you need that.
posted by Tomorrowful at 7:04 PM on August 21, 2014 [3 favorites]

Linda means pretty/beautiful in Spanish, and it is a nice respectable name (I prefer human names for cats).
posted by gatorae at 7:14 PM on August 21, 2014 [2 favorites]

I would call her Lila. She is extremely pretty and I extend many hugs and kisses to her lovely self.
posted by Hermione Granger at 7:17 PM on August 21, 2014 [1 favorite]

Fofa means cute, soft and cuddly in Portuguese. The diminutive is fofinha, pronounced fōFEENya. Pardon my atrocious phonetic spelling.
posted by msali at 7:19 PM on August 21, 2014 [18 favorites]

Does she know her name? Since she's five, you might want to consider keeping it or at least working off the first syllable, e.g., Bella -> Belle.
posted by carmicha at 7:24 PM on August 21, 2014 [4 favorites]

Chou or ChouChou

As in mon petit chou, or my little cabbage.
posted by phunniemee at 7:24 PM on August 21, 2014 [2 favorites]

Tesoro, which is Spanish for treasure. Tess for short.
posted by jesourie at 7:29 PM on August 21, 2014 [1 favorite]

I also came here to suggest Linda. (Leenda)
posted by bleep at 7:34 PM on August 21, 2014

Leeba is "beloved" in Yiddish. Yiddish is great for endearments - you might roll your mouth around "Leebaluh" as an extra-endearing version.
posted by Mizu at 7:35 PM on August 21, 2014 [3 favorites]

I know a ragdoll kitteh who looks just like yours whose name is Madeleine. She was named for Albright, but you could use it for the sweet cake...according for Wikipedia: In Aramaic, "magdala" means "tower" or "elevated, great, magnificent".

OK, I guess it's not sweet or beloved. But Madeleine is a pretty good name!
posted by clone boulevard at 7:38 PM on August 21, 2014

"Dragä" is Romanian for a beloved of the female persuasion, both of which fit. I like it particularlyly because you roll the r like you're purring "Drrrrrrrrrrraga"....

(My tablet doesn't have the correct punctuation for that last a, but it's easily looked up)
posted by theweasel at 7:40 PM on August 21, 2014

Victoria according to Urban Dictionary

A name given to the most ridiculously amazing, beautiful, sweet, gorgeous, incredible, cute, all around perfect girl in the whole Universe. She is just stunning, she can light up the darkest rooms with her smile, and bring up anyone's day with her voice, there is nothing wrong with her at all, she just never ceases to amaze anyone, her beauty is hypnotic and her eyes are mesmerizing, she herself is so magnetic, on a scale of 1 to 10 she is an Eleventy Fortyfour,she may seem like a good girl but have a night with her and you'll discover her total bad girl side, she is into pink fuzzy handcuffs and leather,but you still cant help but remain in love with her,even though she is incredibly kinky.

Sounds perfect!
posted by JujuB at 7:42 PM on August 21, 2014

Mio? from O Solo Mio

Desiree (desired) Desi
Esme (loved)
Cherie (sweetie, dear)
posted by St. Peepsburg at 7:44 PM on August 21, 2014

Mpenzi (Swahili) - my love
Habibi (Arabic) - my beloved
Copine (French) - girlfriend

(pretty kitty!)
posted by ChuraChura at 7:48 PM on August 21, 2014

Amanda was originally Latin for "worthy of being loved" or "loveable."
posted by showbiz_liz at 7:49 PM on August 21, 2014

Priya is Sanskrit for "dear, beloved". I think it has an appropriately purry sound.
posted by hoist with his own pet aardvark at 8:00 PM on August 21, 2014 [6 favorites]

I know neither one is particularly original, but that luxury model cat looks like a Parisian Cherie or Chouchou to me. Mignon or Mignonette would also look good on her.

To get a little more creative with the French, you could elide "ma mie" into "Mamie." "Ma mie" is a corruption of "my (female) friend" (mon amie -> m'amie -> ma mie) that is often used in a poetic vein as something like "my dear."
posted by The Underpants Monster at 8:08 PM on August 21, 2014

Preciosa - precious in Spanish.

Cia would be the nickname I'd use for that lovely ball of fur.
posted by 26.2 at 8:09 PM on August 21, 2014

My friend had a cat named Jumoke, which he said meant "beloved by all" in an African language. Turned out the cat lived up to his name by adopting every family on the block.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 8:11 PM on August 21, 2014

Zou Bisou!
posted by juliplease at 8:41 PM on August 21, 2014

Carmicha, I don't know what she's responding too, the sound or my tone when saying it? I've always wondered that about them. I just came in and tried Bella! Bella! Bella! and she continued to rub her cheek on the door jamb like I hadn't spoken a word. I'll definitely keep it in mind as I try new names for her.
posted by squeak at 9:08 PM on August 21, 2014

That cat is a Baby. She just is. Nina short for Menina (baby girl in Portuguese) if you must, but I feel sort of shockingly strongly that this cat I have never met is just Baby straight up.
posted by peachfuzz at 9:37 PM on August 21, 2014

I have to go all Crazy Cat Lady here and say that you have to wait for the cat to tell you her name. It never works when you force it, or go looking for a name. Sometimes it happens right away, and sometimes it takes a couple of weeks, but eventually, you look at her and you *know* what her name is - and has always been.

(I did warn you about the crazy.)
posted by ereshkigal45 at 11:09 PM on August 21, 2014 [5 favorites]

Amasa means sweetness in Japanese.
posted by SLC Mom at 11:27 PM on August 21, 2014 [1 favorite]

Oh, I came here to say that Manis (MAH-niss) means 'sweet' in Indonesian. Perfect!
posted by Salamander at 11:58 PM on August 21, 2014

maČji - Serbian for cat, kitty, feline. Same syllables as Bella and unique just like your kitty.
posted by Lil Bit of Pepper at 12:24 AM on August 22, 2014

My mom calls me 甜 甜, which in Cantonese sounds like "teem teem" (there's more emphasis on the first one, and the second follows quickly after as if they're one word), which literally means "sweet sweet." It's a wonderful endearment!
posted by spelunkingplato at 1:05 AM on August 22, 2014

Whatever you do don't name her "mamie" because that means "grandma" in French :)

Mignonne (the feminine form) is very cute, and means "cute". A lot of people call their cats "mimi" for that reason. You also hear people saying that little kids are "mimi" (roughly equivalent to saying "what a cutie-pie!").

"Belle" is a beautiful one too!

I call my little black firecracker "pitchoune" and "pitchounette", which are Provençal endearments meaning "little one".

Nevertheless, I have to go along with the crazy and say that all of my cats have let me know their names. Ma pichounette was originally named Susu, which she answers to, but "pitchounette" was her after day five. My big fluffball is likewise named Kanoko, but also answers to "MON BEAU CHAT" in all-caps because he is frickin' gorgeous and knows it.
posted by fraula at 3:48 AM on August 22, 2014

Jumoke (joomohKEH) Yoruba, everybody pets her.

Oh, link.
posted by glasseyes at 6:13 AM on August 22, 2014

What a baby!

I would name her Babiana because that's a blue flower and her eyes are blue.
posted by spunweb at 9:30 AM on August 22, 2014

I'm with ereshkigal45 all the way - cats tell you their names (though you have to say them first!). I'd had a fantastic cat's name picked out for years before I got a cat (for a boy), and then when I adopted my fuzzball it just wasn't his name. Alas. I spent about a week trying to come up with something and the day I looked at him and said "Gatsby?" he perked up immediately and made direct eye contact with me and I thought, "... well. That's it! Finally!" But I love your idea of finding a word that means something truly affectionate, especially since you seem so besotted with your very, VERY pretty girl. I came in here to suggest Tesoro - which is also 'treasure' in Italian but is a very common term of endearment, as we use 'baby' - but see I was beaten to the punch. Vote #2, anyway, if she responds to it!
posted by AthenaPolias at 10:50 AM on August 22, 2014

Thanks for all the wonderful suggestions and if anyone has more I'm listening.

Right now the only thing she is responding to is the sound of food tins being opened, crinkle bags of treats and me digging out more kibble from her kibble bag. She isn't responding to Bella at all.

And she is a Baby. I want to squeeze the ever luvin life outta her and kiss her head, but she doesn't like to be held. Not yet anyway, but I'm working on it. She was a gift that was passed about within the family from the sounds of things. I'm not sure anyone really loved her, or took really good care of her till now.

Food names ... hmmm: Jeera, Mirch, Nori ...

TUM, That's 'cause tha' sweet lookin Butterbean and this one have the same great great great great ... x? grandaddy, Daddy Warbucks.
posted by squeak at 7:47 PM on August 22, 2014 [1 favorite]

One of many endearments I call my cats is Querida (spanish for darling).
posted by Deodand at 8:15 PM on August 24, 2014

Nthing "let the cat tell you her name". They usually do within a week or so. I remember when I was about 10 and we'd recently adopted a kitten from the shelter and were trying to figure out his name. One evening my mom was walking through the living room to somewhere else and suddenly stopped in her tracks, looking at the kitten. "Boothby?" she asked. "Is your name… Boothby?" And it was! Boothby was a delightful member of the family for years.

Bella is a lovely name for a cat, btw. (But then, I'm biased.)

Cats of Metafilter group, yo. Go add your furfaces, pls and thank you.

posted by Lexica at 9:25 PM on August 27, 2014

I tried a bunch noticing that several could be shortened to Ama, which I really really liked, though nothing caused her to perk up, she'd just blink with that cross eyed look of hers and continued doing cat like things.

I tried Samsara, "who names their cat that?" My partner asked. "But it can be shortened to Sam, Sammy or Sara!" I tried Nigella, but he quickly ruined that one ... I like how Mirch sounds, but got bupkis from her when I tried.

"Kali!" Her head swiveled and eyes brightened the first time she heard it. Though some days she gets called, Miss Kali with a poor attempt at a southern drawl thrown in for good measure.

Thanks everyone for trying to help.

What cute kitties, Lexica!
posted by squeak at 8:37 PM on September 19, 2014

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