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As you can probably tell, I had a lot of fun making this.
In which John combs through literary and scientific history in search of absolute, top-drawer cat names to help Hank and his family name their adorable new kitten.

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Good morning, Hank, it's Tuesday.

You have just acquired possibly the cutest kitten I have seen in my life and now all that remains is the extremely fraught work of naming that kitten. Fortunately, I am here to help.

Now Hank, your kid has already suggested several cat names, including Kirker, Kacker, and Gaberker; all of which are excellent cat names because 1) they are unique; I don't think there are a lot of cats out there named "Gaberker", and 2) they capture both the cuteness of the cat and the cuteness of the namer.

But also, any pet name must pass the test of imagining saying it to the veterinary clinic, and I love the idea of you calling the vet and being like, "Hello, yes, I'd like to schedule a follow-up appointment for my kitten, Gaberker Green."

Now Hank, far be it from me to try to improve upon your son's near perfect ear for cat names, but I do have some opinions on this matter and, like all opinions valued by the social internet, they are strongly held and of dubious quality. 

Now Hank, your late, great cat, Cameo, had a perfect cat name, and I'm sure you're going to come up with something good, but I'm a little nervous because you once, on our podcast, told someone to name their kitten, like, "Manhole Cover", and that's not a good cat name. So yeah, I do have some advice.

I guess the first question is whether to pick a common human name, which in general I think is a risky strategy. Like, what if you name your cat "Christopher" and later develop a best friendship with someone named "Christopher". But if you do pick a common human name, I think it should be as regal and fancy as possibly. Like instead of just calling your cat "Philip", you could call it "Philip the Seventh Sovereign of Bavaria and god-king of the lesser realms Green". That's a fun one to say to the vet.

I also think there are lots of good apparel-based names for cats; like "Pants" is a great name. "Socks" is excellent. "Cardigan" ain't bad. Of course you can take this too far, like "Ballgown Green" is not a good name for a cat. Nor is "Ralph Lauren Polo Shirts But I get them at the Outlet so they're 60% off Green".

It just occurred to me (this is slightly off topic) that Ralph Lauren's first name is Ralph. Like, the "Lauren" gets so much emphasis. His name is Ralph. What a great name! 

But right, back to cat names. Of course, Hank, you will consider some pun-y names, like "Holden Clawfield", "Catnip Everdeen", and, you know, those are high-risk, high-reward for me. Like, if you miss, it's very eyeroll-ey but if you get it just right, it's brilliant. Like, Edward Allan Poe had a cat named "Katarina". That's a great cat name.

Speaking of writers, quite a few of them have named their cats after their work. Like, Sylvia Plath had a famous poem called, "Daddy" and a cat called "Daddy". George Bernard Shaw had a cat called "Pygmalion". And I cannot recommend that strategy. Like, "An Absolutely Remarkable Thing" is a good name for a book, but not for a cat.

On the other hand, I do think you can get inspiration from writers. Like, Ursula K. Le Guin had a cat called "Mother Courage", which is phenomenal. Doris Lessing had one called "El Magnifico", which is also top drawer. But don't follow along with all the writers. Like Mark Twain who, to be fair, was never great at titles, called his cats names like "Satan" and "Beelzebub" and "Pestilence". I don't think you should call your cat "Pestilence", Hank.

But I do think it's worth considering a historically resonant name, like "Flicette", which was the name of the French cat who was the first catstronaut. It went to space and then came back. And then there's my all-time favorite historical cat: Macak, who was Nikola Tesla's childhood cat. As a very small child, Tesla was petting Macak and felt a shock and saw a spark and asked his father what was going on, and his father said, "Well, that's electricity; just like the lightning that comes in storms". And little tiny Tesla was like, "Woah, the same thing that happened with my cat is happening in the sky!" And then he asked himself-- these are his words, "Is nature a giant cat?" And in some ways, he spent the rest of his life trying to examine that question.

So to summarize, Hank:
Number 1) name your cat whatever you want, and number 2) nature is a gigantic cat.

I will see you on Friday.