Song or Surname? What Shall It Be?

The gardener doesn’t like how Slupe’s name is spelled. Not that she’s our cat (yet). She’s still a foster, but as time moves along, things are looking more and more hopeful that we can keep her. She roams the house outside her bedroom for about 5 hours a day and then sometimes an hour later on. But she doesn’t want to stay out longer yet, as she gets a little stressed and hasn’t found her own safe spots yet.

I don’t know where the name Slupe comes from, but since some jerk  her previous owner turned her into County (where they usually kill cats so they don’t have to find a cage and food for them) I will assume that they turned in her name along with her body.

Now the sound of Slupe–which is pronounced just like Sloopy or Slupey–is kind of cute, but if you didn’t see it spelled out you might think it was spelled Sloopy, which can’t help but remind me of these old song lyrics:

Hang on, Sloopy
Sloopy, hang on
Hang on, Sloopy
Sloopy, hang on

Sloopy lives in a very bad part of town (Ooh, ooh, ooh, ooh)
And everybody, yeah, tries to put my Sloopy down (Ooh, ooh, ooh, ooh)
Sloopy, I don’t care what your daddy do (Ooh, ooh, ooh, ooh)
‘Cause you know, Sloopy, girl, I’m in love with you (Ooh, ooh, ooh, ooh)

And so I sing out
Hang on, Sloopy
Sloopy, hang on
Hang on, Sloopy
Sloopy, hang on

Kind of chilling lyrics (“tries to put my Sloopy down”), considering the circumstances of Slupe’s life.  Here is the whole song:

Slupe has been hanging on at the no-kill shelter for two years now, so she definitely followed the song’s advice.

What’s your opinion? Slupe or Sloopy? Will she care? Is it better to make the gardener happy by changing the spelling? What IS a Slupe/Sloopy anyway?

According to the internet, there are all kinds of negatives associated with the word sloopy–and usually likened to sloppy. Some people say the inspiration for the song was a 51-year-old Columbus, Ohio, singer named Dorothy Sloop, but this is really stretching things.

There is a Project Sloopy that helps people around the world get medical supplies. People use Sloopy as a nickname or term of endearment.

The song itself has become unofficially tied to the Ohio State Buckeyes. Here is info about that phenomenon.

Then I looked up Slupe. I found this link! Thasssssss my girl!

Apparently Slupe is a surname. It could be related to Sloop, which definitely comes from the Dutch Sloep. A sloep/sloop is a type of sailboat. I’m glad that Slupe found this Dutch girl’s house!

I took her to the vet the other day for a checkup, and I warned them how at the shelter they found her to be so difficult to handle. Hahaha, she was angelic. She even let them cut all her nails. I think the carrier I used was very helpful. While we waited, she could feel my hand and leg against her body through the mesh.

Another thought . . .

Sometimes I get random thoughts about a subject and spend some time wondering or even researching said subject. Today it was privacy. It is an important topic today since we are increasingly losing our privacy because of technology like cell phones, the internet, and now drones.

But I have actually been contemplating cat privacy. Since Slupe was two years in the shelter, she hadn’t had a moment of privacy in all that time. You know how cats like to find little private places every once in a while? How does it feel to a cat who can’t find any place private for years? No, I don’t believe cats really need privacy in the litter box–just safety. Or even mating. But I do think they like “alone time” every so often.

Bottom line:

Song (Sloopy) or Surname (Slupe): what shall it be? Whichever it is, you know that she will never let us know her secret name.

And that is the name that you never will guess;
The name that no human research can discover –
But THE CAT HIMSELF KNOWS, and will never confess.
When you notice a cat in profound meditation,
The reason, I tell you, is always the same:
His mind is engaged in a rapt contemplation
Of the thought, of the thought, of the thought of his name:
His ineffable effable
Deep and inscrutable singular Name.”
T.S. Eliot, Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats


Filed under Art and Music, Cats and Other Animals, Nonfiction, Vintage American culture, Writing

61 responses to “Song or Surname? What Shall It Be?

  1. I love that song, Luanne! I used to think they were singing, “Hang on Snoopy.” Well, I think the gardener should MYOB. 🙂

    • I really had to laugh at this. There are probably 40 times a day I could tell the gardener to MYOB. This one, however, is maybe not one of them. It’s clear that he views himself as Slupe’s daddy, and erego (is that a word?) he probably should have a say. Especially since with Kana, I immediately started calling her Kana instead of Nakana. Sometimes he still slips and calls her that. He had no say in the changing of her name . . . .

    • Funny you say, Jill, because I used to think the same thing, that it was “Snoopy,” not “Sloopy.” I couldn’t get my head around Sloopy but Peanuts was very popular then and I loved Snoopy so … I fit the song to my liking 😉

  2. Nice. I like Slupe just fine. If you call her Sloopy, you’ll undoubtedly get people asking you “Snoopy? Like the dog?” I always liked the Sloopy song, maybe Sloopy is worth the dog bother. 🙂 Maybe she’s a drunk Lupe, you don’t know 😉 Anyway, yes, I understand how cats like to go off and hide away, revel in isolation, and yes, I feel sad that shelter cats don’t much get that. Glad you have her still.

    • It’s obvious that I made a mistake not clarifying in this post that Slupe is pronounced Sloopy. So it’s only the spelling the hubster is requesting to change. It sounds the same either way.
      She’s so adorable that I keep holding my breath, hoping nobody (as in one of the cats) gives her a hard time here. Kana chased her a few minutes ago, but it seemed to be in fun and she wasn’t intimidated like Tiger gets. And besides she knows how to make Kana hug the wall when she walks past her ;).

  3. Slupe is good. Not as likely to be mistaken for a dog.

  4. Oops! Haha! That’s Snoopy, isn’t it?

  5. This cat needs lots of privacy and down time. Why shouldn’t other cats too? After all, they aren’t dogs.

    Does she need the name Slupe? If she has a private name, does it matter what you call her? Could you ease her into a better public name?

    • That’s right, they do need that down time.
      Well, I wouldn’t want to change the sound of her name, just because she’s already gone through so much. And she does know her name. Either she did come to the shelter with it or just being there with that name for so long, she absolutely knows who she is.

  6. I love her name and think she will be happy with any name you call her because you are her savior. And I agree about the privacy thing. I don’t have cats, but our dog Bell has times when she just wants to be by herself and will find a room where no one else is. Doesn’t everyone need this and are cats really that different from people?

    • That’s amazing to think that dogs need privacy, too, because they are even more social than cats and humans. But I can see that. When I had my dogs, sometimes they used to mope and wanted to be alone to do so!
      No, they are not that different from people at all!

  7. I don’t think her name is as important as consistency. The shelter had to be stressful for a cat like her. You can call her anything you (or the gardener) wants. Eventually she will pick up on it.

  8. As soon as you mentioned that a sloop is a boat I immediately thought of the Beach Boys song “Sloop John-B”. I think the name Sloopy suits a cat. It sounds kind of slinky and loopy, the way cats can get into funny, tight spaces to find a safe place. I had a cat that somehow got behind my dresser and slipped into the bottom drawer. Scared the bejeepers out of me when I opened it and found her curled up asleep. I like Slupe.

    • THAT’S the other song I had in the back of mind. I kept thinking Beach Boys, but it didn’t come to me–and I began to think I imagined it. Aw, poor kitty. To have you open the drawer and scare her like that ;)!!! To clarify, Slupe is pronounced Sloopy. Slupey. The long E sound at the end. So only the spelling would be different. Sloopy or Slupe?

  9. I love the name Slupe 😀

    • Slupe is pronounced Slupey. Did you realize that? I think I should have clarified that. It sounds just like Sloopy, so hubby is only talking about changing the spelling not her actual name.

  10. In our family, everyone, people and pets, get nicknames. So even if she’s Slupe, she’d probably be called Slupey. I’m no help. 🙂

    In any case, I’m glad she’s settling in and feeling loved.

    • I probably should have clarified that we pronounce her name Slupey. We have from the beginning and so, too, do most of the people at the shelter. I think that’s why hubby doesn’t like the spelling. He’d like it to be spelled like the song. One of her nicknames is the Slupster. One is Sloopy Doopy (we refrain from the P word). She doesn’t have all her nicknames yet. they will come with time. Like Tiger being Tiger Queenie Princess Mimi Josefina. And Mac was so many names including monkeybunnyratowlpig.

      • Ahhh–so it’s just the spelling. Then I’d say let your hubby have his way. It’s just a formality.
        Kindred spirits with the names, Luanne. 🙂

        • And in doubt with nicknames, go with a jingle. The current one is “Slupe, slupe, slupe is a cutie, cutie, cutie.” An off rhyme . . . . hahaha

          • Hahaha. Yes, we have songs, too. 😉

            • In addition to their individual songs, I have a generic cat song that when I sing it to one, any other cat in listening distance gets that jealous shocked look: “I love you and you love me; we love each other, don’t you see.” Yes, some people do think I’m certifiable.

              • When the girls were young, they imagined that our cats at the time, had “residence parties” when we were out of the house. We would pretend call the house, and get an answering message that the cat “sang.” Each cat had a different message and song. “Come to Michael’s residence party. Par-TEE!. . .” We’re all crazy here, too. 🙂

              • Oh my gosh, I love it!!! hahaha, yup, sounds like home! My son and daughter and I have a text thread where we mainly talk about our cats and it gets pretty silly.

              • It’s possible that we might text pet photos. 🙂 (Younger daughter and her husband have a dog and a cat; older daughter and her wife have a cat.)

              • You might, huh? Hahaha!

  11. Interesting … I was pronouncing her name with the one syllable as in Sloop, not Sloopy. I’d say if it makes the gardener happy, go ahead and change the spelling. Slupe, I mean, Sloopy won’t know the difference.
    All but one of our cats came to us nameless; that is, we didn’t know what (if anything) they had been called before they showed up at our door. Except for Maxine. She showed up one cold January night in 2009 and never left. We had recently tried to save a dying Manx kitten who, if he had lived, would have been called Max as in Max the Manx. He was black and white so when this Tuxedo started hanging around, we called her Maxine. After a few days we took her to the vet and they found a chip. She had been adopted from a shelter in Miami FIVE years before and named “Pink.” Pink??????? I don’t know if the previous owner(s) was thinking of the singer Pink or just like the color Pink or what but we turned up our noses at that. And she never responded to Pink. Max, Maxine, Maxie–she responds to those names, but not (thank goodness) Pink 😉

    • I was like others thinking Slupe rhymes with Loop. I like just changing her name to Sloppy. Glad I never knew the lyrics to the song either!
      Hey, July 11, 2016, I have your Doll God poetic review or summary “pre-scheduled.” I tried to write a review on Amazon with a brilliant three sentences but unfortunately, they won’t allow it due to I never order or put things in a cart there. So sorry. If you know someone who would like to put a mention of my review on Amazon I could give you my sentences. . . Let me know! Hugs, Robin

      • “Sloopy” not sloppy. Silly cell phone! <3
        Your Slupe is well loved and since she now will have a Daddy who prefers the other spelling, I would go with the master gardener's wishes. . . 🙂

        • Her new daddy likes to walk past her in the house and say, “Hi, Sloopy, how are you?” like he’s getting acquainted with her haha.

      • I never even thought of pronouncing Slupe like Loop, but now I can see why most people would think so. I guess I just thought she was a Sloopy from the beginning!!!
        Thank you again for the gorgeous review, Robin. You ladies did a fabulous job. Please thank your mother for me!

    • Haha, maybe I know why she was called Pink? Just a thought. Our Pear is a tuxedo, and she has that cute little pink tongue that is so noticeable with the black and white. I never notice pink tongues on the other cats. So maybe. Maxine is such a sophisticated name, which is befitting a tuxedo! I think we will change her name to Sloopy when we sign the papers. The only reason we haven’t at this point is I don’t want to jinx anything between and the other cats!

      • You might be right about Pink. But whoever named her Pink is likely the same person who abandoned her so we had no qualms about changing her name. That’s something else to think about. If the spelling of Slupe’s name came from the original owner, then there’s another good reason to change it, at least the spelling.

  12. She won’t care 🙂

  13. I’m good with either version – the important thing is that Slupe or Sloopy did hang on – and so did you. Bless both of your hearts. 🙂

  14. I was calling her ‘slupe’, without the ‘y’, so I guess it might help to change it when it’s written down – I suppose if you aren’t too bothered about the spelling and the gardener is you could change it. The song certainly does seem appropriate for her life – but although there is a chilling aspect to it, it’s kind of hopeful, because she’s overcoming all of that with your help.

    • It really gave me pause when I thought about the lyrics! Yes, she’s always been pronounced Slupey, so spelling it Sloopy would prevent mispronounciations!

  15. I conferred with my grey and white charmer, Mr. Chapman (who frequently appears on Twitter as he gracefully poses around the house) and he agreed with me that “Sloopy” was the cuter name. Never mind the song, the name has a nice ring. He told me that “Slupe” (to him) sounded too close to “slurp.” A cat’s opinion (for what it’s worth!)

  16. Friends of mine had a daughter with the nickname of Kailie, who they found out was a porn goddess. They changed the spelling. You can too. I don’t think Slupe/Sloopy will care.

    When I first read this i thought “the gardener?!?” I felt better when it was revealed in another comment that you were referring to your husband! Bwahahahaha!

    • Oh, don’t tell me that. That is the name of a friend’s daughter, an absolutely gorgeous and wonderful young lady. I think we’re going to do Sloopy. Same sounds, just different spelling. I don’t think she’ll notice ;).
      Hahahahahaha, yup, that gardener.

  17. I need to get one of those carriers! <3

    • I really love it, and I know Sloopy Anne does, too! Eventually I would love one for each cat, but Tiger could never use one. Sometimes she has accidents when she gets scared away from home.

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