Who is Monterey?

mon'-tuhr-rey ]

Meet Monterey, the California Cat.

Monterey (name spelled like the coastal city but accentuated more like the fish) -- he is charming. Monterey is handsome. (On this, all the girls agree, according to my inbox.) At 3 1/2 months old (as I write this), Monterey is already pretty popular around here. And I think he knows it... He's maintaining his privacy during the day: tucked, snuggled, in quiet quarters (as seen in one of his photographs here). But at night -- watch out! I've only spent a little over 24 hours with him here at home (plus the several hours I spent getting to know him at the Animal Shelter). But Mr. Privacy-by-Day decided on his own terms that his homecoming party would be long after the street lights came on. By 11pm on his first night at his new (my) home, Monty was quite literally all over the place. He'd climb up on the bed, curl up next to me and purr, get restless, move to the other side of me, explore, curl up and purr, get up again, perch squarely on my chest and stare at me without blinking for a few minutes, curl up in my lap, purr, get up again, check the opposite corner of the bed, jump off, jump back on the bed again, curl up, get up, and so forth.

Monterey's heritage is unknown; he was found by a homeowner in Los Altos, a city neighboring mine. He was picked up and cared for by the excellent Palo Alto Animal Service & Shelter (part of the P.A.P.D.). He "roomed" in a large comfy cage with two virtual siblings -- a 'brother' (Joey) and 'sister' (Domino) of strikingly similar age and physical appearance. 'Virtual' because they were not actual litter-mates or blood-relations in any way, but you could never tell that. They were snuggled up in a big ball (is that 3 kittens or 4?! it's a menagerie of cuteness!) when I first saw them at the Shelter. Domino was adopted the same day I took Monty home; you can see her snuggled with him in one of the photographs.

Why "Monterey"? Why any name? Actually, there are several reasons, for me. The last time I picked a name for a living creature was 21 years ago, and that was because my last feline friend lived almost 21 years. So I do now as I did then: See what the little guy's personality is like, do a little reading, a little research... and, eventually, come up with a name that fits. What's required in the Naming Of A Cat? Among other things, it should:

  • be pleasant-sounding
  • be evocative of the little guy's personality (charming, respectable, playful, and lots else)
  • have plenty of room for whatever he'll be like when he's grown (who knows what that'll be?!)
  • pay certain homage, as names often do. To What? If you're clever, you'll see the answers are here in this article for you to find.

Monterey, the California Cat ("Monty" for short) is all these things and more.

And that's Monterey... so far! He's resting and sizing up his new home right now, so you can be sure there will be much to tell about him and his adventures in times to come.

Jeremy Isaac

To what does the name pay homage? Among other things/places/people: the coastal city of Monterey, California, replete with beauty both natural and man-made; the great Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary, which is the federally protected area of land & sea covering the entire coast of Northern California; the film Sneakers; Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home; beloved actor James Montgomery Doohan, best known as Captain Montgomery "Scotty" Scott; legendary author Douglas Adams; seminal comedy troupe Monty Python (of course); "James Bond" theme composer Monty Norman... and several other bits of wordplay, permutation, and juxtaposition that you may not "get". But that's perfectly normal. :)