Tag Archives: Caligula

Valentine’s Day Cats

Apollo and Caligula
Apollo and Caligula love eachother
I walked into the bedroom, and Apollo and Caligula were lying on the bed, Apollo’s arm over Caligula’s neck. Thinking it might be a pause in one of their play-fighting sessions, I waited, but they didn’t move. They were sleeping that way!
Apollo and Caligula Happy Valentine's Day
Apollo and Caligula Happy Valentine's Day
I was even able to grab the camera, load it with a battery and card and shoot them.

I’ve never had a cat pair that loves eachother more than these guys.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Click them for a larger view.


After being a pet owner for many years, one of the questions I start asking myself as soon as I get a new animal and name it is: “what will its nicknames be?” Nicknaming is an organic process that just evolves. It’s not like naming your animal, which has been a much more thought-out process, usually dependent on the many interests and activities in our lives, like with the dogs. Hieronymus: art (after Bosch); Plato: philosophy; Lucifer Sam: Pink Floyd (the song); and Jasper: decorative stones.

The cats’ given names had stranger beginnings. We got a small iguana shortly before we got our first cat. We named it “Boris.” I don’t know why. So we named our cat “Natasha.” To go along with the Russian name theme, our next cat that we got six months later we named “Vladimir.” After we lost Vladimir, we ditched the Russian theme in favor of classical antiquity. But we stuck with the brutal bloody ruler theme with our next cat, because it makes for a sweet cat. Go figure. And it did, hence, Caligula. Well, we also chose that name because of the little boots. Then came Apollo, again classical antiquity, and we chose the name for his bright sunny yellow color and Leonine sun sign (born August 1), like a sun god of the same name. Nothing to do with 1960s space flights.

But nicks just happen. We usually can’t control them, because some of the nicks are almost embarrassing. Or downright odd. Some nicks get applied to all animals, like “Nutty Buddy.” And some nicks are sacred–like Pappit.

Pappit was Plato’s nickname. Sometimes we referred to him as “The Pappit” when talking about him. Other times we addressed him by “nickname” and called him “Pappit-dog.” Plato also had other nicks like “Pippy” or “Bunny Monkey.” I’ve called Jasper those. But no matter how much Jasper will sometimes remind me of Plato, I will never intentionally call him Pappit. There was only one Pappit, and he is gone. Jasper will probably be the only “Little Boing Boing…but I don’t know. Maybe another Boston in the future (if there is one…if Jasper doesn’t outlive me) might be bouncy too, and inherit the Boing Boing nick.

Here are a few of the other strange nicknames we call our current animals:

Caligula: Bootcake (keeping the “Little Boots” theme, and adding a “cake” at the end because he’s so sweet), Bootcake-Fruitcake (because it rhymes), Fruity Boots

Lucifer Sam: Snoft (contraction of SNuggly and sOFT), The Snoft, Pug (well, I guess that one isn’t so odd), Pug Doodle, Wiggy (I think we also called Hieronymus the latter names as well, but definitely not The Snoft, as there is only ONE Snoft), Wiggly (pronounced “wig-o-wee”), Silly Willy, Snoftages

Apollo: Iddy Bee, Itsy Pids, Itsy Pidders, Itsy Pitsy Kitsy (those sound awful, don’t they?), Appy Pollo Wollow (I think I got this one from Alex of A Clockwork Orange who said “appy polly logies” instead of “apologies”), Wee Kitten

Jasper: Boing Boing, Little Boing Boing, Goofball, Puppin’ Stuff, Puppin’ Wee, Wee Puppy, Puppy, Puppy Puppy Nut or Puppy Pup Peanut

Collective Cats: Fruits and Boots

Collective Dogs: Nuts and Butts, Nutty Buddies, Nutty Butts

The Cycle of Life

Sleeping Jasper
Sleeping Jasper
After Vladimir our 2nd cat died in November of 1998, I couldn’t bear being without a grey kitty. We adopted Caligula only a few days later. After Hieronymus our fawn pug died, we got Lucifer Sam 3 weeks later, which I thought was pretty soon to find a black Pug. After Persephone, our 3rd cat died, we waited over a month to get Apollo, timing it conveniently with Stan’s time off for a “Kitten vacation.” I was fearing it would be much longer before we could get a Boston Terrier due to our plans to be away in August. I knew we either had to get one soon, or we would have to wait until September. The thought of being without a Boston was tearing me up inside. I was so depressed every day. Our other animals were sad and missing him too.

I know that getting another animal does not replace the animal that precedes it. It is silly to think such. Each animal is unique and has its own personality. But what it does do is bring our focus from depressed to engaged again. It continues the cycle of life, of our life together with our animals…cat, pug, cat, boston, cat, pug, cat, boston, and so on.

I feel it is important that there are 2 of each. Having not had one like myself growing up, I know how much it sucks. Even though Lucifer Sam is a little freaked out by Jasper right now, soon they will be couch snuggle buddies together…a little pack of two. Caligula was a hiss-monster with Apollo at first, but now they sleep in touching symmetrical shapes on the bed together. Plato grrrred at Lucifer Sam when we brought him home and snapped at his head. We had to keep them separated for several days until Plato acclimated to him. But after that, they were buddies until Plato died.

When I have my 2 sets of 2, I feel much more balanced, like life is normal. And I can remember all my other animals that have moved on fondly, but not have to cry myself sick about it.

Not Sure What to Think

Apollo Watches Jasper Sleep
Apollo Watches Jasper Sleep
Apollo (yellow creamy cat in picture) is not sure what to think of the Puppy. Puppies are totally new to him. Caligula has seen it all before. His first new puppy was Lucifer Sam back in 2003. And his new kitty was Apollo not even 3 years ago. Lucifer Sam is reacting the same way toward Jasper as he did Apollo…running away from him when he chases him. Lucifer Sam is a little shy. I don’t know why. He’s always by my side.