I like knowing the names of the animals in the neighborhood, and when I don’t know their names– I make them up. Simon, the cat, trots when I call out Seee-moan. He will throw himself on the walkway for pets all over.

By contrast, Sparky’s name is not Sparky. Although I call out these two syllables to him four days out of the week, he does not recognize the noise. No matter what I call him, Sparky just wants me to toss a squeaky toy or a pinecone into his yard or pretend as though I could race him along his fence line.

My names aren’t creative; they’re mostly just labels. The orange cat is Pumpkin. The white bunny is Fluffy.

And, the names for the people, I have those, too.


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