Sunday, 6 October 2013

Pets and their names

This is Dot, our girl cat: 

Dot being casual

Or, as the vet knows her, Dorothy. Also known as Dolly, DotDot and DollyDotDot. I quite often call her Beautiful Girl and she responds to that. I daresay that Man has a few choice names for the Cat which he uses when I’m out of earshot ...

Pet names in our home are normal, like finding milk tops behind the toaster, that's normal. Or everyone asking where their uniforms are on a Monday morning - normal. So, for instance, I NEVER call Man by his name. He is always Marin (history: typo in an email). He’s also known as Marleen and Bradders.

Now that The Big One is of a very sensitive age, and liable to cast a mega dark cloud of stropness around the house if the proverbial piss is taken, Luke is now pretty much just Luke. He used to be called Lukey-Boy, but death stares from him as this was called out from the touch line ended that. He is Luke Oliver when he’s being cheeky or is winding someone up. When I say someone I mean either of his brothers. Winding them up involves changing their TV channel, hiding their mobiles/chargers/loo roll, eating their secret stash of sweets, the usual. He does that a lot. “Luke Oliver, give it back!!” My sister used to call him Spooks, for the rhyming effect, however she dropped that once he surpassed her in height (when he was about 8, haha).

Ellis used to be known as Eli but he doesn’t like that so much. One day my mate N and I were trying to think of a word that rhymes with ‘Ellis’. Pretty much nothing does, like month, purple and orange. Unique, through and through. Except that N and I decided that Lettuce was pretty close and so that has stuck and he is often referred to as Lettuce.

Max has a grand nick name: Maximum Spastication. Not very PC, I know, but it suits him. It’s taken straight out of the film Gladiator, or, more accurately, the brilliant Jon Culshaw’s parody:

“My name is Maximus Decimus Meridius. Father to a murdered son, husband to a murdered wife... and that's when I called Claims Direct!”  

My Max also answers to Massimo and is referred to as Maxi-Moo by my girlfriends. He does not, however, like being called Maxi.

I am Mum, obviously but also Minty (of old marriage fame), sometimes shortened to Mint. Oldest friends call me Clairey and I like that, work colleagues call me Butters, some friends call me Utters. Students call me Miss Butterfly. My sister never calls me by anything but Sis.

And I love that we have this familial affection for each other, and in that I include the monikers that Man and made up for our brood of five sons, one year on holiday in France. If you can picture the scene: seven people, sharing a two bedroomed mobile home with one loo and two gas rings = Tempers frayed. Of course, we were in polite company most of the time so their nick names were abbreviated (LF, NF etc): we proudly introduce, in age order, Lazy Fucker, Contrary Fucker, Stressy Fucker, Cheeky Little Fucker and Spazzy Fucker.

Sometimes, when the red wine and patience are low, in the middle of a French forest with no Wi-Wi, nick names can encapsulate the character perfectly. 

Here's DollyDotDot in a bag:

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