Weird nicknames we give our pets

The names we give our pets can be strange enough, but what about the nicknames and endearments that branch off like multiple, increasingly batty, progeny? And don't say you don't know what I mean.

I asked you, constant blog readers, to write letters to your cats and to your dogs. The letters you wrote were funny, touching, harrowing, sweet, revealing - all the things that letters from the heart would be.

And one of the truths that they dug down to was a well hidden one - namely, that we love to shower eccentric endearments on our pets, and we love play variations on their "real" name.

Here are some of the ways that loving pet-owners addressed their multi-legged companions:

* Dear Goblin (Fluffkin, Thuddamiss, Trouble/Cuddle Monkey, Bunny)

* Dear Toskin (Bee, Mouse, Mr Minoo, Moominman and many other strange names that come and go)

* Dear Pav Blanc (Lova, missmoo, cow-puss)

* Dear Shellie (Wowie / Fatty / Fatisimo/ Kitty Barrell / Kitty Sausage / Baby - even though you are 13! ... the list goes on)

* Dear FluffyBum/DumbAss/Bella

* Dear Fitz/Fitzy/Fitzle-Face/Schmidt/Schmidty/Schmidy-Cent/Schmitzle/Pigeon (Full name: Fitz-Chivalry)

* Dear Jetty/Jetty-Cat/Snot-Cat/Poo-Bum (Full name: Adjective),

* To Worf (aka Podge, Monster Moo, Doofus)

* Dear Lui (Lou-dog, Muttly, Buddah, or whatever name I'm using at the time)

* Dear Lucy, Luce, Lucemeister and L Dogg

* Dear Dougal (AKA DingleMouse, Binky, Peanut Butter Cup)

* Dear Toby (Mr T, the Tobinator, Tobywankanobi, TRex, Woolly Monkey, Baby Bear)

* Dear Lucky (AKA Lux, Luxley, Señor Aldous Luxley the 1st, Big Boy, Mr Stinker)

I love the way that so many of us bestow multiple nicknames on our pets - some of which names are used at particular times or in certain moods, and some of which would mystify anyone who didn't know the circumstances behind the nicknaming.

So I hereby confess to being a member of the multiple-naming movement, and here are, uh, the less self-humiliating nicknames that have been lavished on my pets - and why.

Merrick: Merc, Murmur, Big Guy, Mud-guts, Poo-bum. Acually, all my pets get called Mud-guts at times, as it's the first name that leaks out when I suffer a senior moment and the pet's more proper title won't make its way briskly enough from the brain to the lips. And Poo-bum? Well, it's something that in my cohort of six-year-olds at school was the meanest, most monstrous, most unutterably secret and horrible thing you could call anyone. And somehow it has stayed with me, occupying a place at the front of my memory-shelf, alongside Mud-guts. The mind is a funny thing.

Phoebe: Feeb, Phoebster, Phloebling, Phloebag, Douchebaguette, Madam, Bitch-face. I think these are all self-explanatory, deriving from her name and depending on my level of goodwill toward Phoebe at the time.

Connor: Little Guy, Titch, Tiddler, Soldier, Weeness. He's so sweet-natured, no bad-mood name is required for him. However, Poo-bum is disappointingly apt, disappointingly often.

Please share your off-the-wall pet nicknames below. And to the companions of Fitz-Chivalry and Adjective, I think some explanation is called for...

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