Cold War-influenced, all-gender cat name
May 18, 2016 12:43 PM   Subscribe

I'm looking for a name for our new cat, who is fluffy and has white boots on all of her feet.

We are fans of the Diefenbunker Cold War museum and would like to name the new cat with a Cold War-influenced, preferably all-gender name (this is negotiable, and of course, technically all names can be all-gender). I know that's a tall order. If it helps, the new arrival has a simultaneously sweet and don't-mess-with-me personality. Any ideas?
posted by analog to Pets & Animals (54 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Maybe Natasha, from the 1960's cartoon character/Russian spy Natasha Fatale? (not an all gender name, but might work anyway?)
posted by gudrun at 12:53 PM on May 18, 2016 [1 favorite]

FYI - the picture of your cat just links to the generic "camera roll" for each individual Flickr user's own accounts.

This page links to several translations for the word "Cat" in Russian, depending on whether you're referring to a boy cat, a girl cat, or you're saying "kitty" or you're referring to a kitten. "Kotyonok" is the gender-neutral word for "kitten", and for "kitty", you would say 'koshechka' (кошечка) for female and 'kotik' (котик) for male. And honestly, "Kotik" or "Koshechka" sound cool.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 12:55 PM on May 18, 2016 [3 favorites]

posted by 23skidoo at 12:59 PM on May 18, 2016 [1 favorite]

posted by misseva at 1:01 PM on May 18, 2016 [4 favorites]

Checkpoint Charlie, Charlie for short.

Nikita is gendered male in Russia, but has been used as a female name in the Anglophone world.

Marx would be a pretty rad name for a cat.
posted by Sara C. at 1:02 PM on May 18, 2016

Sputnik? Nikki for short?
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 1:02 PM on May 18, 2016 [5 favorites]

posted by Flannery Culp at 1:03 PM on May 18, 2016

Philby maybe?
posted by kindall at 1:03 PM on May 18, 2016 [1 favorite]

Sputnik, or possibly Catnik.
posted by Faint of Butt at 1:11 PM on May 18, 2016 [18 favorites]

Kitka (this is what I would guess if you asked me to say "cat" in Russian, which I do not speak)
Laika (space dog)
Myshka (little mouse)
Zaichik (bunny)
Tender Words in Russian has pronunciations for these, and some other choices.

Here are some Clockwork Orange Russiany words that might be cute cat names: Bolshy (big), Droogie (friend), Chellovek (person), Gulliver (head), Jeezny (life), Otchkies (spectacles), Rooker (hand), Schlapa (hat), Sladky (sweet), Sneety (to be seen in a dream!), Spatchka (sleepy), Nochy (night), Tolchok (smack),

Or, best of all...

TOOFLES! (slippers! from туфли túfli, "shoes")

posted by pseudostrabismus at 1:17 PM on May 18, 2016 [4 favorites]

Laika gets my vote.
posted by DGStieber at 1:22 PM on May 18, 2016 [2 favorites]

Airlift! Or “Berlin Airlift” for formal occasions. Good if the cat jumps at all.

Relatedly: Vittles, for Operation Little Vittles.

Westminster is the college where Churchill gave the “Iron Curtain” speech; kind of a mouthful for a cat name but it shortens to Minnie or Min.

Also: NATO; Kremlin; Glasnost; Perestroika-in-Boots...
posted by miles per flower at 1:23 PM on May 18, 2016 [2 favorites]

I knew an orange cat named красный (krasnyy), which is "Red."
posted by PussKillian at 1:25 PM on May 18, 2016 [1 favorite]

The Iron Curtain.
posted by mcduff at 1:32 PM on May 18, 2016

Link to cat pic is fixed thanks to our great mods!
posted by analog at 1:32 PM on May 18, 2016 [1 favorite]

posted by praemunire at 1:37 PM on May 18, 2016 [2 favorites]

posted by argonauta at 1:41 PM on May 18, 2016 [3 favorites]

Karl Manx!
posted by chesty_a_arthur at 1:49 PM on May 18, 2016 [3 favorites]

WWII, not Cold War, but if you have an opportunity to name your cat Das Boots and you don't, I weep for you.
posted by Shepherd at 1:51 PM on May 18, 2016 [17 favorites]


After Dean Rusk, long-time cold war Secretary of State:
As Secretary of State he believed in the use of military action to combat communism. Despite private misgivings about the Bay of Pigs invasion, he remained noncommittal during the Executive Council meetings leading up to the attack and never opposed it outright. During the Cuban Missile Crisis he supported diplomatic efforts. A careful review by Sheldon Stern, Head of the JFK Library, of Kennedy's audio recordings of the EXCOMM meetings suggests that Rusk's contributions to the discussions probably averted a nuclear war.[11] Early in his tenure, he had strong doubts about US intervention in Vietnam,[12] but later his vigorous public defense of US actions in the Vietnam War made him a frequent target of anti-war protests.
With bonus diminutive of 'Ruskie.'
posted by jamjam at 1:54 PM on May 18, 2016


Arrow, or Avro?

Maybe Mr/Ms Kittenger?
posted by hackwolf at 2:03 PM on May 18, 2016 [1 favorite]

posted by argonauta at 2:09 PM on May 18, 2016

Smiley (after George Smiley - fictional cold war spy) or Karla (his nemesis).
Philby after Kim Philby
Ames after Aldrich Ames
posted by brookeb at 2:12 PM on May 18, 2016

'Katfirnikova,' a/k/a 'Kat.' :P
posted by easement1 at 2:18 PM on May 18, 2016

White feet you say? How about Bunny Boots. Sounds cutesy, but is actually military-grade.
posted by Kabanos at 2:19 PM on May 18, 2016


As in, "Give me a ping, Vasili. One ping only, please."
posted by Kabanos at 2:27 PM on May 18, 2016

Crazy Ivan (Russian submarine manoeuvre).
Fidel for the Cuban Missile crisis.
posted by SemiSalt at 2:27 PM on May 18, 2016

posted by Cool Papa Bell at 2:48 PM on May 18, 2016 [2 favorites]

Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 2:50 PM on May 18, 2016

My sister suggested Berlin, like the Berlin Wall.
posted by stray thoughts at 3:02 PM on May 18, 2016

Belka or Strelka -- Laika's successors in space, who were the first animals to be returned alive.
posted by chimpsonfilm at 3:19 PM on May 18, 2016 [1 favorite]

Seconding Petrov, seems like a great fellow and moment to memorialize. Also seconding Smiley, but that would depend on the cat's personality. The original Smiley seems very cat-like to me.

Beautiful kitty!
posted by you're a kitty! at 3:36 PM on May 18, 2016

Comrade. Commie for short.

(This was the name of one of our previous cats -- he and a number of other animals were rescued from a seized Russian fishing trawler off the coast of Washington state. Only cat we've ever had who came with letters from a law firm.)
posted by themissy at 3:55 PM on May 18, 2016 [4 favorites]

The Eiger, T.Eiger for short.
posted by under_petticoat_rule at 4:02 PM on May 18, 2016

posted by zombiedance at 4:25 PM on May 18, 2016

Something derived from Igor Gouzenko? Goozie or Gussy (I like pet names that end in an "eee" sound) or Zenko?

Especially since she's a Canadian cat.
posted by angiep at 4:33 PM on May 18, 2016

posted by ctmf at 5:37 PM on May 18, 2016

Acoustic Kitty, after the CIA's short-lived and notably unsuccessful project to use cats to spy on Soviet embassies.

Mourka, after the battle cat of Stalingrad (I have no idea how historically sound that story is, but the photo shows a similar degree of fluff).
posted by karayel at 5:38 PM on May 18, 2016

Whoops, wrong war.
posted by ctmf at 5:42 PM on May 18, 2016

posted by jaksemas at 5:51 PM on May 18, 2016

Still, Gato.

"On 15 November 1969, Gato collided with the Soviet submarine K-19 in the Barents Sea at a depth of some 200 feet (61 m). The impact completely destroyed the K-19's bow sonar systems and mangled the covers of its forward torpedo tubes. K-19 returned to port for repair but the Gato was relatively undamaged and continued her patrol."
posted by ctmf at 5:51 PM on May 18, 2016

Now that I have seen the picture I am trying to think of something suitably floofy.

How about Zhivago? I keep seeing, like, Omar Sharif's hat here.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 5:58 PM on May 18, 2016

Instead of comrade, maybe its Russian equivalent - Tovarish.
posted by wotsac at 6:25 PM on May 18, 2016 [2 favorites]

You could just call her Dief.
posted by zadcat at 7:07 PM on May 18, 2016

I'll add that thanks to researching the question, I have some new Russian variations on Kate to apply to my often ill-behaved tortie. Katya turned out to be very satisfying to exclaim across the room.
posted by wotsac at 7:50 PM on May 18, 2016

posted by honey-barbara at 7:51 PM on May 18, 2016

Pershing (Purrshing?) as in the missile.
posted by The Deej at 3:51 AM on May 19, 2016

Dr. Strangelove
Tsar (Tsarina) Bomba
The Big One
Nuke Test
Fallout Shelter
posted by Jane the Brown at 3:57 AM on May 19, 2016

posted by wilful at 4:41 AM on May 19, 2016

Boots Wall.
posted by I-baLL at 5:51 AM on May 19, 2016

posted by lecorbeau at 12:29 PM on May 19, 2016

Masha. My half-Russian niece has a kitty with that name.
posted by mermayd at 4:16 PM on May 19, 2016

Thanks so much everyone! Those are really helpful suggestions that I wouldn't have thought of. We are spending the weekend with the cat and will decide the name during that time. I will be sure to provide an update!

For now, here are two more pics of the floofy beast!
posted by analog at 9:09 AM on May 20, 2016 [1 favorite]

Hi everyone. Thank you so much for your replies! So after some hanging out, the cat's name morphed into Beatrice, which is at least the 166th most popular girl's name in the 1940s. I do find myself calling her Comrade Bea, and sometimes Tovarish when I'm giving her a good scritch.

And wow, I forgot what it is like to have a long-haired cat - the brushing and the dingleberries... but she is so cute. She seems to get fluffier every day. Thanks again for your input.
posted by analog at 8:45 AM on May 25, 2016

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