Life Lessons in the Kitchen
May the Overlords Have Mercy


I'm having a minor-to-possibly-fatal case of writer's block this week. After tackling a Real Grown-Up Type Article (That Required Me To Read Science-y Stuff And Talk To A Fellow Grown-Up On The Phone And Everything) for AlphaMom on Tuesday, I was left with an unjustified sense of AND MY WORK HERE IS DONE-style accomplishment, and decided to spend the rest of my day staring merrily into space, mostly thinking about cats.

The CATS. I also blame the CATS. Who are not here yet, but are almost all I can think about, along all the cat-related accessories that I can't stop buying. 

(I bought one of those freaking cat scratching post/condo/tower things, people. For my living room. And I purposely picked the one that was the most IKEA-ish, as if that makes it any less embarrassing.) 

This morning I pulled over to the side of the road to rescue what I thought was a tiny injured black kitten. It was a bag of dog poop. 

If you're wondering about our cats-to-be's names, GET IN LINE. Jason is passive-aggressively avoiding the discussion with me. Me and my long list of name possibilities I have typed up on my phone. I've sent it to him, read it out loud to him, and he remains firm in his refusal to make any final decision. I think he wants to wait until they're here and we get to know them a little better, which okay I GUESS, but it's driving me crazy. (He did this EXACT THING during each of my pregnancies, by the way.) Plus I'm afraid that without the grown-ups making an executive, preemptive decision, the kids will claim naming rights and we'll end up with Spooky Girl Cat and StevefromMinecraft.

And that's all I've got. And probably all I'll have until Monday, when we officially bring Spooky and Steve the cats home. Now if you'll excuse me, I have a ridiculous cat tower to build using nothing but a hex key. 



Wouldn't Star Wars names keep everyone at your house happy? Luke and Leia seem like an obvious option -- maybe too obvious?


Oh, the cat tower. I used to have one that was a castle. It was a cat castle. Three carpeted turrets! Man, my cats loved that thing. I finally had to throw it away (it was THAT RATTY.

These soon-to-be-yours-kitties are two lucky little furbabies! Can't wait for ALL THE CAT PHOTOS. Hooray!


Grown-ups doing the naming doesn't assure clever, intelligent names. My french bf named our 2 cats Miau (miaw) and Chacha (chat=cat). The names stuck before I could think of something better!


My deeply antisocial black cat is called Zorro - it fits amazingly well (given how he's impossible to catch) but we didn't know that when we gave him the name. Less imaginatively, our grey cuddle cat is called Smoky...
Doubt that's any help.
My ex wanted to call my first cat "Fuck" but (unsurprisingly) I refused, so we ended up with Tom. Yeah, I'm original like that.

Isabel Kallman

Can I just say that you totally earned your IM-GOING-TO-STARE-INTO-SPACE Tuesday afternoon. I basically pinged you in the early morning and asked you to please chase the news cycle and look into what we both thought deserved a deep dive: panicked headlines about swaddling.

You and I have worked together for 10 years and we never chase the news cycle. So, there was a bit of a race to beat the clock and thus an adrenaline rush.
And you did an AMAZING job. Also, whenever you shift gears you need to prepare yourself that you will probably feel a bit exhausted bc you're using a different muscle. Kind of like working out.

It was fun and look here, even Buzzfeed linked to your work:


Our kitties were white girl and black boy. They were foster cats (I can hear you laughing here, you know!!) so we gave them quick names - Boo and Inky. But the kids were determined to name them after Greek Gods and My Little Ponies. Perseus and Sparkles, I think it was.

(I regularly remind the cats of this. "You were going to be SPARKLES!!!" I hiss, as I unwind ALL THE THREAD from around the livingroom. They are unimpressed.)


I gotta say, your piece on the swaddling study was the sanest one I saw out there, far outshining, oh, say, the NY Time's irritating coverage. I was pleased as punch to see you write about it.

Welcome soon, Spooky and Steve or whatever your names will be! Enjoy your tower! (Our cats sure do.)


My husband came with a ton of cats (three) and I buy and try a lot of products. I cannot recommend this scratching post enough:
It has SAVED my furniture, carpet, and sanity. It's magic.


(Spooky and Steve are kind of awesome names for cats)


I LOVE Spooky & Steve. It'll be grand.


We got two English Springer Spaniel rescue sisters last summer, litter mates, also a bonded pair, they would not separate them. That bonding is a real thing, it's pretty awesome. They just turned three in March. They already had names, so we were spared that dilemma. I might not have picked Lily and Roxy, but it fits them, so all is fine. So much fun for your family!

Steph B

Where's the picture of the cat tower????


You know the cats are going to ignore the cat tower and just sit in a cardboard box, right?

Can't wait to see them take over your Instagram with Beau! Have FUN! :-)


Your concern about the names is well founded. In the 80s my cousins had a dog named Reebok for her high-top white sneaker markings. So naturally when we got an all-black dog, my brother insisted on naming her British Knights, because those were all black. Fast forward to the dog living forever and explaining that name in the late 90s when I went to college.


Oh! Change Beau to Poe, (sounds similar enough, right? He'll never know the difference, I swear!), then you have a built-in start to the naming trifecta of Poe, Rey, and Finn.

Or! You could name them what you want. They're your pets...I GUESS.

(OR! BB & R2!)

(Mutt and Jeff!)

(Arm and Hammer!)

(Pork and Beans!)

I'm done.


Oscar and Felix


Salt n peppa (boy/girl) black/white
Hunter and Thompson (girl/boy)


I once got a black kitten and didn't name him right away because I wanted the perfect name. While I was trying to come up with that perfect name, I had to call him something so I called him bud or buddy. His name was Bud. I think Steve is a great name.


Steve the cat is a pretty awesome name, honestly.

My 7 year old has plans to name a cat Bob Washington someday. For some reason.


Steve the cat is a pretty awesome name, honestly.

My 7 year old has plans to name a cat Bob Washington someday. For some reason.


It doesn't matter if your kids name them something else. That was the standard at my house growing up. It started because my father wanted to name a kitten "Siam" but my brother wanted to name him "Peeve"...naturally so we could have a pet Peeve. Both names stuck, so it'll work out. :)

Jessica V

I had a cat named Spooky when I was a child. :-)

Currently we have an old, cranky (possibly part Russian Blue) female named Sascha(or Saucy because she is)and a 6 month old male named Alex P. Kitten. We thought that Sascha needed a friend, but she does not agree so there is much hissing and yowling. But it entertains me to no end- cats are awesome. Can't wait to meet Spooky and Steve. ;-)


Your swaddling article was great. I appreciate all the work you put into that full-fledged grown-up writing!

Our pets all have at least 2 names. Oscar J "The Guff" McGuffin, Sally "shut up cat" Jupiter, Stewie "is that a pillow or the cat" Studabaker... I kind of side with your husband, though, in waiting until you meet them to decide final name. We needed time to understand personalities before deciding forever names.

Sue W.

Savannah comes to Savannah, Priss, Your Highness, Hey You, I Have Treats! Her brother who has gone to the Rainbow Bridge was Orleans and also Son, Moose (because he WAS)
A$$hole (also because he was!) I don't think they much care so long as you love them!


Pick those names pre-arrival. I cast my vote for "Boaty McBoatface"!


I adopted 2 cats last September (solid gray litter mates) with the idea to name them something super cute, nerdy, and matchy. Started calling them "BoyCat and GirlCat" while I narrowed down the list of names. Buffy references, Harry Potter, literary names...

9 months later, their names are still BoyCat and Girl Cat. I have commitment issues.


I have a wonderful black cat named Spooky. Previously we had a black cat named Zodiac and Munyeca. Time to crack out the T.S. Elliott!


Name them quickly! I had a black stray cat show up years ago that I just called The Black Cat as we were NOT keeping him (I had five cats already). Fast forward five years, and he was still here and still called Black Cat.


If I'm not too late, this thing has been the best. cat. thing. ever. for our persnickety little princess:

Expensive, but it's been over a year & still going strong. With a little sprinkle of catnip here & there, of course!

Good luck!! :) :) :)


I love black cats. Our last one was named Vixen. She was pretty spunky and it fit her well.


I fully intend on naming our next set of pets Link and Zelda and encourage similar geekiness. Maybe let the boys geek out and name them Steve and Creeper. Or Kylo Ren and Rey. Or Leela and Fry (my Futurama fan flag waves high here) I'm quickly coming to the conclusion I'm going to need a farm to use all my animal names


I am loving all the cat names.

Our little black kitten rescued from the school shrubbery before the coyote got her (rest of the kittens and momma cat not so lucky).

Well we named her Cee Cee (for crazy cat) because she was just a bit feral when we picked her up at 4 weeks old.

No one calls her Cee Cee. I call her Kitten and my partner calls her squeak. She doesn't respond to any of the names however.

Looking forward to all the kitty, Beau and boy blogs!


My mom holds pet naming contests between her 5 ADULT children. The last one was around for so long before he got named that even though his official name is Burton, everyone still calls him kitten!

The bee

Orion and Apollo?


Following in the Star Wars theme mentioned by an earlier poster:

Rey and Finn?
R2 and BB?
Maz and Yoda?


My sister's cats are Steve and Stampia. The kids named them. And I believe Steve from minecraft was the inspiration.


I like Spooky and Steve!

Judi Wofsy

always wanted to have 2 cats and name them Gaia and Nyx


Steve is an awesome name for a cat. That might be b/c I have a Jack.

Amy A

Just a thought for middle names (yes, I went there) if you're so inclined. We got our English bulldog five years ago and of course the family weighed in on names. I wanted something English and was leaning toward Poppy but my husband wasn't on board. Our at the time 12 year daughter Would Not Let It Go and was relentless in her vote for Poppy. To the point where my husband declared the puppy could be anything, but not Poppy. Her official name? Ella Not Poppy G. My daughter still will not forgive us ;)


Jessica V - Alex P. Kitten? HAHAHAHAHAHAHA


We have a fabulous cat named Daisy, but we have already picked out names for when we get new cats: Tinka, Mrs. Landingham, and Houseboat Bob.

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