Saturday, January 5, 2013

Name that cat!

For Project #6, I need to decide on a name for Kell's cat. One of her parents is from the Middle East, so I have narrowed my choices down to these two:

Qarin (qarīn)/Quareen: Arabic for 'companion'

Has two further meanings. The first is a 'constant companion', the Muslim version of a guardian angel, which is unique to each person, the second is a good household spirit that takes the form of cats (or dogs) when the sun is down.

Muezza (Muʿizza): Turkish for 'caring for someone'

This is said to be the name of the prophet Muhammad's favourite cat and there are several tales about her in historical texts, though none in the Quran or the Hadith.

Personally, I think Muezza looks/reads better/easier on the page, since I don't have any intention of including a pronunciation guide... but I like the idea/meaning of Qarin better.

What do you think?

Either name would work, in context of the story, and since it's an insignificant character, but since the names are different genders, I need to pick one and stick with it to keep the he's/she's consistent... no more genderless characters for me :p

...and yes, even I think it's strange that I put way more thought into a cat's name than I do into my main character's names. the way, Kell's appearance was 100% inspired by this very famous photo.


  1. I'm for Muezza myself. It seems to flow better as a name for a cat. Somehow. In my head.

    1. I'm still undecided :)

      ...might google other Arabic/cat connections... like, if there's a cat in any of the 1001 Nights stories.

  2. I don't think that strange at all; I do the same with all my characters as I want each name to have meaning for the personality of the character. Sometimes it helps me keep the character profiles on track.

    I like the essence of Qarin; but if this is an insignificant character, such a lofty connotation as "guardian angel" is misleading. Muezza also has highborn associations as Muhammad's cat and all the tales surrounding her. Muslims reading your story may have some high expectations.

    Do you have any plans of making the "companion" cat an essential (pardon the pun) catalyst in any of your scenes that could hint at the "guardian angel" aspect. Only a couple scenes would need tweaking to show a small way the cat intervenes at just the right moment - a well timed hissing, an escape out of the fray that startles a would be assassin. He wouldn't have to pull off anything heroic, just timely and saves the day by coincidence.

    Anyway, I like Qarin. Sounds kinda mischievous, and cats are quirky by nature :)


    1. Honestly, since I'm a complete pantser, I have no idea how important the cat will be... but, judging by how I *sense* the story to be... probably Jay will never go to Kell's house, which would obviously make the cat less important.

      I like the second meaning of Qarin, the house spirit that takes the form of a cat after the sun goes down ;) Just a little off-beat, creepy, and deliciously overflowing with possibilities... the idea may even prompt an entirely new story at some point in time ;)

  3. i\m in egypt but can't help with name


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