It turns out that ‘aki’ is not a cool name for a Shropshire cat. ‘Aki’ in Shropshire-ease is an adjective to describe something that is germy and most likely found abandoned on the ground. For example, in the sentence: ‘Don’t pick up that, it’s aki’. (I’m not sure that it the correct spelling of the Shropshire ‘aki’.) I am asked this question a lot: ‘Why did you call your cat Aki?’

Aki the cat

Aki the cat

The cat we had before Aki (in fact there was an overlap but that’s not important to this weird thought) was called Liquorice. We didn’t name her. She came pre-named. She wasn’t black. I liked the fact that we had a non-black cat named after a very black sweet derived from a root. I also liked her name because for me personally it was ironic. I hate Liquorice. So every time I declared ‘Yuch, I hate liquorice’ I would be met with the cry of ‘Awww, what has she ever done to you?’

The lovely Liquorice

The lovely Liquorice

We’ve already decided on the names of our next two cats (yes, before we’ve even met them). I’ve decided that naming future cats is more fun than naming future babies (not that there will be any of those now).

The first next cat is going to be called Fire. This name came from the fact that whenever the children trail a piece of string in front of the cat (Aki) I tell them ‘Stop playing with fire’. With the next cat, my sentence will have a literal interpretation.

The second next cat is going to be called Temptation. Every night when I put my dinner plate on the carpet (I know, eating in front of the TV is so late 20th century) I tell my husband ‘I really shouldn’t put this in front of temptation’. Temptation, of course, refers to the cat (Aki). Again, I like the idea of my oft-used phrase becoming literal.

The third cat I suspect will be named ‘Get Down’. Again, for the humour factor derived from a mutation from a command to a literal meaning. As in ‘Get Down!’ This is what my husband says to Aki daily.

The fourth cat? I don’t know yet. I’ll be lucky if we get that far.

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