Our family's cats fall into three groups:Pre-1969:
We had a series of three outdoor kitties (we didn't know any better then), and they all vanished quite young:
Whizzie -- grey tabby, named by my mother and me, after her first cat when she was a child.
April -- another grey tabby, named by mom and me for the month in which she came to us.
Nikki (for Nicole) -- grey tabby number three, named by me in that pre-teen time where I was desperately searching for sophistication. :-)1975 through 1989:
Chavela -- brown tabby, named by me for the diminutive nickname by which Tevye called his third daughter, Chava, in a song from "Fiddler On The Roof." Chavela was with us for fourteen years, which I now realize was astonishing for an outdoor cat who only saw the vet three times in her whole life. Again, we just didn't know any better at the time.
Tribble -- part Russian Blue, named by me for the little furball creatures on a very funny Star Trek episode (original series -- the true Trek!). Tribble was with us only a short time, and Chavela raised her kittens for her.
From 1989 until 2001, we chose not to have any cats, because we had learned at last how wrong we were to keep our cats outside. My father didn't want cats indoors, and my mom and I were determined not to have any more cats in the family until we could make an absolute commitment to give them the most wonderful lives possible. And then came the day when I persuaded my father to relent, so my mom could have a little one to love...2001 to Present:
Dylan Ishmael -- grey tabby again, named by me. I asked Dylan what he'd like to be called, and he mewed at me, so I joked that he had said, "Call me Ishmael." Being big readers, we all liked that reference, and since we also love music, it was natural to put Dylan in front of it... we consider it to come equally from Bob Dylan and from Dylan Thomas, whose "do not go gentle" attitude we all share in this family. :-)
Sassy Lane -- longhaired dark calico, named by my mother and me. Mom chose Sassy because she loves the cat by that name in "Homeward Bound", and I added Lane because it's my mother's maiden name and flows well with Sassy, giving it a little more class.
Clyde Lee -- white with black splotches, named by me for my father's middle name (which is from the great shipbuilding river in Scotland). When I came up with the name, I THOUGHT I was getting the Lee from a great-great-great-great uncle Lee Neal who helped draft the 14th Amendment to the Constitution -- but I've since found out that his name was STEPHEN Neal! So the Lee ends up standing for my father's grandfather's first name, and for my airname when I was a radio DJ years ago -- Lee Carroll. :-)
Abby Helen -- the reformed feral mother of my Clyde, adopted by my mother. She looks virtually identical to Clyde, and we named her for my mother's grandmother, Abby, because the black splotches on her head give the impression of the parted-in-the-middle hairdo Great-Grandma always wore. The Helen comes from my mom's middle name, which comes from her mother's first name.
Pearl Noelle -- longhaired blue/lilac tabby, named by me. I've always loved the name Pearl, ever since we had a wonderful babysitter by that name when I was a kid. I didn't really name Pearl AFTER her, but it's a nice side benefit. :-) And Noelle comes from my brother, Noel.
Yes, I've named a lot of kitties for family, the way I would name children -- because I don't have any of those! No Fluffies or Sparkies for me! :-)