For the sake of a name

Names define us.

We accord someone a half a name, and history the other half. And the combination of that reflection of our personality and our heritage is a story waiting to be unpacked, a life waiting to be lived.

I think that is one of the reasons a stroll round a churchyard is such a powerful experience. All that is left by the time we meet these people is a name on a stone.

Wandering round Norfolk we found Ann, the wife of Β this man, a book waiting to be written:


And an entirely different Norfolk community had a whole family based around this one:


Wondrous names.

We have been name choosing once again. One summer without a cat was enough; we miss Clive, and his catness. For her birthday, Maddie pleaded for a kitten. There were long involved debates before final approval: but on her birthday we put a deposit down on a timid quarter-Siamese tabbyish little creature.

Maddie named her Millificent. Millie for short.

Thing is, she was with her brother.

A ginger tom with huge ears and high cheekbones, he is a little bolder than she but they are inseparable. He chose us. We crumbled: he and his sister arrive, all being well, next Monday. If Clive strolls back in one day, the dog will not know what to do with himself.

Soon we will have to start calling ourselves Shrewsday Zoological Gardens.

This cat’s name came much more easily than Clive’s. Bernard Law Montgomery, the British Field Marshall who spearheaded the D Day operation and many other key moments of World War II crossed our screens as we watched television together.

This cat will be called Monty. We think the general and the cat look similar.

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51 thoughts on “For the sake of a name

  1. Beautiful cats with elegant names. Surely Monty will grow to both his ears and his exalted rank. Have you thought of boosting Macaulay a bit, perhaps to Prime Minister or Ruler of the Queen’s Navee? He won’t like being outranked by a kitten. Two kittens. Poor Macaulay.

    1. Alas, he is experienced in their ways, Kathy. Two could be interesting. We shall be showing our appreciation to Macaulay in divers ways. Promotion sounds an excellent idea.

    1. He’s a tolerant soul, Lou. And we’ll make a fuss of him. I can’t help thinking that no cat could be quite such a handful for Mac as Clive was. It wasn’t easy being ambushed and tackled like Clouseau and Cato.

  2. I am glad you are no longer catless. Rover looks forward to their exploits and ‘Dog Dog sends his commiserations to Mac.
    Moon Chaplin… mmm wonder if s/he sent letters to that well known politician… Praise-God Barebones ( puts ladies of letters into the shade me thinks)

  3. Macaulay, Millie and Monty – the 3M’s for short or is that too corporate sounding. Mac should definitely get his own recliner for this; a recliner he’ll likely have to share with a feline duo or just maybe – a trio.

  4. Brigadier General Macaulay? Operation Overlord Macaulay? They are cute kitties.
    I have a cream tabby named Maggie, so M is a good letter for cats’ names. Have fun with your new babies.

  5. Edward Silence & Moon Chaplin. Great names for title characters.

    Is it a coincidence that all the animals will be “M’s”? The 3 M’s . . . the 3 Musketeers!

  6. Mac will not lack for exercise. I’m sure the old Sgt. Major will put his old cat training to good use. Now all they need is a sand table, a couple of maps of the Western Desert and a willy fox to try and steal their treats. πŸ˜‰

  7. I very much like the look of those cats. I’m such a sucker for cats that I can’t look too long at the pictures. We’ve vowed not to have another….too much heartache when they go. I think we must have had about 20 of them, Enough for a small Norfolk graveyard.

  8. Dear Kate, Millie and Monty are adorable. You know me and cats–somehow their eyes draw me in to depths that are beyond my ken.

    As to graveyards. I lived close to one in New Hampshire that had graves of men and women going back to the Revolutionary War. And also graves of a whole family wiped out by the influenza epidemic after World War I–father, mother, children, and baby. Peace.

    1. That’s very sad, Dee: Norfolk churchyards are full of people who lived uneventfully to a ripe old age. It’s that kind of place….though I’m sure there are tragedies in among the stones.

  9. I wandered a Cambridgeshire graveyard today, and looked at the names, wondered about the stories, felt sorrow for the families of two of those buried there, children, pre-adolescents who died half a century apart. Different times, the same pain.
    As for Clive. No words would be enough. And for these two bat eared creatures who have joined you, I hope Mac will rejoice. Monty hated his mother. I know that’s a non sequitur, but I wanted to share.
    A drwoned cat by my boat has been removed. MasterB is allowed ashore strictly chaperoned and on his harness. More than an hour toinght (a v long pee in a flowerbed, hurrah!) and is now sparko. Catness and storiies of people past are good things to celebrate.

      1. Do you need the Mynwood address? It is the only harness I have found that has been tolerated by either of my cats. I have quite a collection…

  10. Mac, Monty, and MIllie. Magnificent! I’m so excited and happy to hear you’ll soon have a feline again. Two! So much more fun. I constantly fight the temptation to get a second kitty, or a third, or …

  11. I like the first stone. Ann Silence is an interesting name. I usually see Silence as a first name in my genealogy research. It is interesting to see it as a surname.

  12. Monty and Millie. Handsome names for such handsome (and pretty) kittens that they will certainly grow into. I wondered how long it would be before there were cats again at your manor.

  13. Bless you for adopting Monty and Millie. Five years ago, I went to the animal shelter with plans to adopt one and came home with two. They were brought in together and got along very well. Jean-Louis and Reggie wish you, your family and Macaulay (also part of your family) two the very best. πŸ™‚

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