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What's in a Pet's Name?

Sleepy "Sirius," as he was then called.

In January, we added a pet to our family. Our son, who was 6 at the time, had been asking for a cat for a solid year. Finally, we headed to a local animal shelter and found Minnie, short for Minerva McGonagall, Professor at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry whose animagus is a cat. (We’re Harry Potter fans.) It’s worth noting that our son had suggested “Minnie” and we jumped on it because we immediately associated it with Minerva. You can imagine the professor in her youth being called “Minnie,” too, right?

Fast-forward a few months. “I wish Minnie had a brother or a sister or a baby” became our son’s newest passionate wish. Well, we wanted that, too. We accidentally wound up with a teeny, tiny, totally black, baby kitty person from the same shelter where we found Minnie. Diving back into our naming source, my husband and I agreed that we would have to call the little guy “Sirius Black,” Harry Potter’s godfather, who also has an animagus; it’s actually a big, black dog, but we figured it held to the spirit of the thing and didn’t have to be literal.

On our drive home from picking my son up from camp the next day, we talked excitedly of getting home to Sirius and Minnie… until my son said, “You know, Mom, I don’t think that’s his name.” What? Yeah, um, what? He proceeds through a list of options that include things like the inevitable “Chicken Head” and even included “Cray-Cray” before finally settling… on Steve. “Yep, that’s it, Mom!”

So, we called Daddy and told him. The new, teeny, tiny, totally black, baby kitty has been Steve for a solid week now. And the kid was right; Steve is totally a Steve.