Do You Ever Call Your Cat The Wrong Name?

By Elisa Black-Taylor

Do you ever call your cat the wrong name? By this I mean do you get the cat you have now confused with a cat you had years ago? Not necessarily because they may look alike, but because you recognize the spirit of your previous cat in the new cat.

Wrong cat name?
Collage by Elisa
Until September 7th I will give 10 cents to an animal charity for every comment. It is a way to help animal welfare without much effort at no cost. Comments help this website too, which is about animal welfare.

The idea for this article is based on my experience as a cat caregiver for the past 32 years. Over the years I’ve had cats leave me for the Rainbow Bridge, only to return years later. The physical similarities have been there, but these “reincarnated cats” even chose the same favorite sleeping spots as before. A couple of them even had the same “meow.”

I know I’ve gotten on my daughter Laura’s last nerve over the years by calling a cat by its previous name. Mostly because she was so young when the cat was in our home that she had forgotten it.

My very first cat as an adult was Smoky. She met her end in the road, and returned a year later. Smoky spent a few weeks with us in January 2012. We fostered her as a cat named Dolly. I knew it was Smoky the first time Dolly followed me and started to climb my leg. She found her own family within a few weeks, and we made the decision to let her go. She was the first of my cats to return, but definitely not the last.

Then there was Tiger, now once again a gray tabby known as Sammy. Tiger died at nine months of age of a tumor wrapped around his intestines. The tumor was wrapped in a way that surgery was impossible. I had him euthanized before he woke up from exploratory surgery.

My sweetest cat Mandy was also with me for several years back in the late 1980’s. She was a beautiful calico/tortie in her past life too when her name was Scrappy. My beautiful Scrappy died after a neighbor placed mothballs under their home to ward off snakes and Scrappy drank water the mothballs had dissolved in after a rain. Mandy doesn’t look as identical to Scrappy as my other cats do, but I can see Scrappy in her eyes every single time I look at her.

I believe as I grow older and my memory slips at times, my daughter may have to accept I’ve been given a second chance with several of my cats. If I call them by their previous name, well, she’s just going to have to make some adjustments.

Do any of you do this? I know Michael has written about cats having souls. I’ve also research the subject of reincarnated cats, where I learned a lot of you also have your cats back. Take a look at my collage. If any of you have pictures of your cats returning in an almost identical form, I feel sure Michael would be glad to add them to this article. I’ve labeled everyone so you can compare.


20 thoughts on “Do You Ever Call Your Cat The Wrong Name?”

  1. I call Midnight “Middy” and Brinkley is “Brink” and MandyLane is “Mandy” or and Sealy is “Stinkybutt” because he still has the worst smelling poops ever. My dog Bama, who died in 2006 was “Bam Bam.”

    • Mult-names, multi-cats and multi-tasking…. I can’t resist calling my cats nicknames. They are often bizarre names but Charlie responds to them just fine. I convert Charlie to “Chags” or “Chaggers” that kind of stupid stuff. I like the sound of words.

      • The only cat I have who listens to me is Mandy. You’d think the rest of them were deaf for all the attention they pay me when called. Sealy does lay in my lap at night but it’s on his terms and not mine. Mandys the only one who really acts thrilled to see me.

        • Shortly after I moved to Turkey, I started feeding a young cat from across the road that no one could get near. Gradually he let me pet him and it wasn’t long before I could hold him upside down and comb his stomach to get the burrs out and he would just hang there and purr. I thought he had a lot of rag-doll charastics. He is a long haired, tabby, Turkish angora type cat. Big wide nose and ig soft paws. In the UK I had a giant tabby that was no doubt descended from a Scottish Wild Cat-domestic cross. I’m sure he was one or more of my previous cats. I just adored him and when he became diabetic, gave him his insulin for 7 years until he developed cancer of the pancreas and went shortly before I left the country. I called him Frodo Baggins. There was a bond there I will never forget. This Turkish version seemed to know me and I often slip and call him Frodo. I fell in the garden one day and couldn’t get up and I was yelling for help. He got this worried look on his face and came over to me, started chirping, and pulling at my shirt with his paws trying to help. He walks with me and the dog everyday and is very protective of his ‘baby’.
          When I brought the puppy home at about 5 weeks, Romeo jumped down from the wall, threw a paw around the puppy and started washing his face. He had attacked every dog in the neighbourhood that has come near the fence as he considered them a threat to Hoover the dog. Hoover is now 4 and as big as a setter, but Romeo still watches and occasionally goes after one although they are on a lead. He accepts the other 10 or 11 cats in the house, but left and moved down the road when I was in the hospital for a month and the dog was in a kennel. When I drove up and parked by a friend’s house well down the road, he rushed out of the garden next door, meowing and rubbing all over me. The dog went wild in the car, and the next day I walked the dog down there and Romeo walked back home with us, happy as could be.
          There are differences of course, but the feeling that I have known this cat for a long long time prevails.

  2. Do any of you call your cats by nicknames or vary the name that you have given your cat? In other words each cat might have two names: their real name and a nickname! For example: Charlie and Chas or something like that.

    If you are like Elisa with lots of cats that is going to get complicated.

    • Most my cats end up getting nicknames over time and I bet that is true for many of us that at least some of our cat ( or dog or other species) companions have nicknames. You could make a whole post about that if you haven’t already.

      Some of my cats have multiple names / nicknames.
      Louis had a whole bunch of names he acquired over the years. every thing from Schmou to Buddy
      names of course reminds me of the famous poem The Naming of Cats.

      • Interesting that other people do what I do. Makes me feel more normal 😉 You should list your nicknames. Nicknames can reveal something about the person!


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