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NAME THAT DOG & NAME THAT CAT! Will Your Pets Star in New Thriller?

by | Jun 10, 2015 | Writing Advice & More | 59 comments

close-up puppy and cat, isolated on white

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Those who have followed the September Day suspense thriller series know that with each book I’ve held a contest to NAME THAT DOG and NAME THAT CAT character in the stories. In fact, the winning canine or feline not only gets named, but often the pet’s foibles are incorporated in the story.

Lost_Found(2)In the first book LOST AND FOUND, the winning dog name was Dakota–meaning “trusted friend”–and came from Caren Gittleman and her lovely Sheltie boy. Raelyn Barclay suggested Bruno and took the second dog name. Patricia suggested the winning cat name Macy for the main character’s pet, and this character has become a mainstay of the series! Finally, Karyl Cunningham’s suggested cat name Simba took the final spot.

Hide_Seek(2)The second book HIDE AND SEEK also included four pet names. Marci DeLisle’s winning cat name was Pinkerton (named for his pink nose); Patricia won the second cat name suggestion with Hope–incredibly appropriate, once you’ve read the book! And for the dog names, Patricia was a double winner by suggesting Rocky. And finally, Kristi Brashier won the final dog name with an incredible 805 votes for Trixie, the Golden Retriever therapy dog in the books’ Alzheimer’s unit.

Now it’s your turn to NAME THAT DOG and NAME THAT CAT!

Show_Tell(1)SHOW AND TELL: An animal behaviorist and her service dog race a deadly storm to expose a treacherous secret others will kill to protect.

I’ve just sent out my Pet Peeves newsletter announcing this to my subscribers (they will always get the news first! have YOU subscribed yet?), but always share on my blog, too.

SHOW AND TELL again takes place in the fictional town of Heartland, Texas. When September Day figures out missing pets aren’t lost, but instead stolen to be training bait for dog fights linked to a drug distribution ring, she has 24 hours to save the victims (furry and human). For those who have read the first two books, you’ll be pleased that SHOW AND TELL brings the story full circle. (Okay, that’s enough of a hint!).

For those who have NOT read my thrillers, rest assured that I hate stories where animals are killed for shock value. While my books are suspenseful and thrilling, that is a line I don’t ever cross.


I’d like to begin collecting preliminary cat and dog names to include in the future polls where YOU get to vote and choose the furry stars. You can list a single dog or cat name (please indicate which it is!) or several. I’d love to hear what the pet(s) look like, why they were given that name, and any unique characteristics, behaviors, or history that make them even more special.

Here are the pet characters in the story. But who knows, your suggestions may inspire an added kitty or doggy (or other critter) character to leap into the story, so don’t hold back.


I need FOUR DOG NAMES, as follows:

Two “hog hunting” dogs that belong to BeeBo (from the HIDE AND SEEK book). They are adult Pit Bull (or pit mix). These dogs (one girl, one boy) adore each other and I’ve currently named them “Beggar” and “Dizzy” for their behaviors. That may changed, if your suggestions work better!

The third dog is a 200-pound Mastiff, lovely docile but powerful dog (and a drooler).

The fourth dog belongs to Willie Combs, the young son of Detective Jeff Combs. The dog loves to dig and is a fence escape artist addicted to chasing rabbits and squirrels. I’ve imagined him as a Beagle but am open to breed and looks. He needs to be of a size that September can carry for a short distance.


I need THREE CAT NAMES, as follows:

A young rescue kitten, found with a murder victim. It has typical kitten antics and can be any breed or look, and will be the key to catching the bad guy.

The second is one of the stolen pets, small enough to fit inside Willie’s jacket and be carried—so could be a small adult or an older kitten, any look/breed.

The third is an adult stolen pet cat, a shoulder perching, Tarzan-leaping, rope climbing maniac cat and can be any age, any breed/look. This kitty will help September and Shadow escape a trap.


Just post your name suggestions in the comments and I’ll add them to the pot. Share this post with anyone else you think might want to include their pet’s name for consideration. I’ll let you know if your suggestions make the poll list, so you can share with your friends and family to get as many votes as possible.

The winning names not only will be included in the book, but your name and real pet’s description will be added to the “fact or fiction” acknowledgements in the book, and I’ll send you a paw-tographed copy of the book as soon as it comes out.



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I love hearing from you, so please share comments and questions. Do you have an ASK AMY question you’d like answered? Do you have a new kitten and need answers? Stay up to date on all the latest just subscribe the blog, “like” me on Facebook, and sign up for Pet Peeves newsletter. Stay up to date with the latest book give aways and appearances related to my September Day pet-centric THRILLERS WITH BITE!


  1. Robbi Hess

    I’d love to “name that cat!” The second, small cat/kitten would perfectly be my Lucy kitty. She is a mostly white calico with an orange heart on her chest. She is full grown but only weighs 6 pounds. Loves to be carried and is a little troublemaker!

    • Amy Shojai

      A little trouble maker? That’ sounds perfect! Thanks Robbi, love the name and added to the list. Stay tuned!

  2. Heather Lynn

    I’m sorry to say that I haven’t read the first two books, but this is such an amazing idea! To get people involved in your writing and have that type of engagement with fans is wonderful.

    • Amy Shojai

      Thanks Heather! It’s fun, and I get to learn more about folks and their special pets, too. Win-win for me! Oh…and never too late to read the first two books, either (hint-hint *s*)

  3. Moggy

    I used to have a cat, a big male cat, who was always a little crazy, with a crazed look in his eyes. He would have climbed ropes if there’d been any to climb. He was a stripey cat. His name was Acorn because he was born prematurely and was really teeny as a kitten. He grew into a mighty oak!

    • Amy Shojai

      Ooooh, I like that–“Acorn.” Thanks so much, it’s added to the list!

  4. Vanessa and Avalon

    This is SO great. A wonderful opportunity for pet owners. Of course, I would love to add my own cat to the list of possible names: AVALON. Actually, he had important parts of several of my own novels, acted in movies, and has his own memoir now as well. Being included in your novel would be such a great addition to his CV 😉 Fingers and paws crossed.

    • Amy Shojai

      Love it, so Avalon is already a star! Cats know they’re stars anyway, right? Thanks so much for adding his name to the list!

  5. Sweet Purrfections

    Sure – I’d love to have either Truffle or Brulee featured. Truffle is a petite silver shaded Persian who is always getting into trouble. She only weighs 7 pounds and she is 4 years old. Brulee is a stocky silver shaded Persian, who loves to play with feather toys. She has the cutest little meow and uses it to get what she wants. Their blog is Sweet Purrfections at

    • Amy Shojai

      So glad you nominated their names…love it! Stay tuned, this is going to be a hard choice I think, so many great nominations!

  6. Theresa Littlefield

    I would love to enter my dog Kinsler as the last dog you described. He is an amazing dog. He is a champion squirrel chaser, almost caught a couple, and he is extremely smart. I forgot to mention that he has an amazing personality and is adorable, he also has an exceptionally loud bark.

    • Amy Shojai

      Hey Theresa, so glad you nominated Kinsler! He’s super photogenic, too–I’ve seen your posts on FB!

  7. judyalter

    I nominate Sophie four the fourth mischievous dog–she’s a deliberate cross between a mini poodle and a border collie. Irresistibly cute and wildly enthusiastic about life and the world. Given an open door or gate, she’ll take off for Canada. She loves visitors, both human and canine, not so sure about cats. She is absolutely indignant about squirrels but rarely catches them. Weighs 30 lbs so could be carried for a bit.

    • Amy Shojai

      Hi Judy–thanks so much for stopping by! A poodle/BC cross…now that sounds interesting, a dog that hunts and retrieves and herds all at the same timte, LOL! Sophie sounds wonderful.

  8. judyalter

    also has endless energy and can run faster than the wind. I’d love to send a picture. Someone told me that what you name a puppy determines their disposition–this was when was at that most mischievous puppy stage. I said, “I goofed naming her Sophie, didn’t I?” and they said yes. Don’t know where the name came from, but she is a non-sedate four now.

    • Amy Shojai

      LOL! Yes, naming can influence attitude probably in part because it changes OUR perception/expectations of them.

  9. kestreltandersen

    though this is not an original name — I have a cat which we picked up at a shelter at about 7 or 8 weeks of age. He was a long haired ginger with a bottle brush tail … so we named him Crookshanks … my kids have held him like a baby since we got him 8 years ago and so he will allow himself to be laid upon his back and held like that even today. When we got him — he could have easily fit inside a big pocket (like a trench coat).

    I do have a cat who is a shoulder percher — he is a short hair orangy red … he is Eomer (think JRR Tolkein – Two Towers). Eomer will jump from the floor to the back/shoulder so you need to be very careful when bending over to look in the fridge or you could get some claws in the back … to be honest, I have never seen him swing from a rope … but I wouldn’t deny he could (at least not in his younger days … he is also a shelter cat and we think he is around 8 or 9)

    • Amy Shojai

      These are great! Thanks for sharing–Crookshanks and Eomer are unique names, and that always resonates with readers, I think.

  10. Elaine Dalke

    Hi Amy! I would love for you to name that cat Albert and have his trusty sidekick brother Einstein. ☺ We adopted 2 brothers that are tuxedo cats, and they are so funny. Albert really is the smart, wise one, and Einstein is the calm thinker. Together they make a GREAT pair.

    • Amy Shojai

      Hah! That’s a great combo, Elaine, thanks so much for sharing! Bet they can get into lots of fun (and trouble) together. 🙂

  11. amyJo

    While he was neither cat or dog I want to submit Manchester aka Manny to the cat category . He was a dark sable (Black with white trim) ferret and he was a mischief maker as well as a lover. He knew when someone was feeling down and needed to laugh. He was also a master thief nothing was safe from his little paws.

    • Amy Shojai

      Hi Amy, I remember Manny from your blogs and am delighted to include his name in the list. Thanks so much for sharing…and good luck! Maybe the story needs a ferret…hmnnn.

  12. Kitty Cat Chronicles

    I’d like to suggest the name Caster – it is one of my cat’s names. He looks to be part Maine coon with a big bushy tail. He is our resident wild child – he climbs the door frames and breaks into the kitchen cabinets. He would be a good fit for the “Tarzan-leaping, rope climbing maniac cat!” That describes him pretty well actually! MOL!

  13. Kit Goodwin

    The stolen cat should be a Turkish Angora. They are well known for being athletic and active, and they love to climb to great heights. For the name of this cat I would suggest “Wizard”. See

    Wizard is the 3rd photo on the page, airborne.

    The stolen pocket kitten can be a Persian named Hala, Arabic for “sweetness”.

    The rescue kitten can be a tabby and white shorthair named Abby. (Abby the tabby) Her name means Joy.

    The rescue kitten can also be a tortoiseshell or calico named “Scribbles”.

    For the Beagle, I like “Archie”.

  14. As the World Purrs

    One of my foster kittens would be great for the rescue kitten role. Their names are Otto, Giovanni, Cosette, Asha, and Liam.

    • Amy Shojai

      Sweet! Four little kittens…thanks so much, and good luck! We’re getting some GREAT nominations!

  15. Pawesome Cats

    I’d like to add the name ‘Max’ to the list for the Tarzan-leaping, rope climbing maniac. In Latin, Max means ‘the greatest’, and our boy is strong, athletic, and dare-devlish. He loves heights and the ‘Cat Trapeze’ that I just brought home from the US for him… Max is your guy! PS. Lovely to meet you at BlogPaws, it was a highlight!

    • Amy Shojai

      I didn’t know that’s what Max meant, how neat! Thanks for the suggestion–and great meeting you, too!

  16. Jill Gibbs

    I think Henry aka Hank, for my rabbit loving Golden, would be a great name for one of the dogs. I was thinking Navarre, but since gate stewards at agility trials can’t pronounce it, I decided Henry would be good.

    • Amy Shojai

      Hank has such a solid, trustworthy sound to it, too. Thanks a bunch, Jill!

  17. Carol Bryant

    Amy – such a good idea to toss this out to your fans – and there are many. I gotta say that Dexter the Dog has such a mysterious ring to it. I am sharing this to BlogPaws Facebook now.

    • Amy Shojai

      Dexter, of course! Always loved that name. 🙂 Thanks for sharing, too!

  18. amanda guckes

    I would suggest Alle for the mastiff even though I think you should change it to a Boxer. Alle the boxer is a droller, loyal, extremely smart, full of mischief, 60 pound lap dog.

    • Amy Shojai

      LOL! I can just image that 60 pounds of love on your lap! Thanks a bunch, this is a great addition!

  19. n. smith

    The fourth dog should be a west highland white terrier. I have two. Shiloh is a worrier and is well behaved unless my other one, Rufus, decides to run and go exploring. Then even tho he is torn, he chooses to go with Rufus. If Rufus, the happy go lucky one, gets out alone, he will return home right away if we go in the house and close the door. After all, it’s no fun to run, if you are not being chased.

    • Amy Shojai

      I love Westies! They are such fun dogs–but your description of the pair and their attitudes is priceless. Every dog is such an individual. Thanks a bunch, added to the list!

  20. Leonie

    Nosey (aka The Monster Kitten) would be a nice match for the Tarzan-leaping, rope climbing cat. He’s a large silver tabby with an extra long tail, who loves being a ‘cat scarf’ and believes he can leap onto, or climb, anything. He’s obsessed with chasing ‘the red dot’ and also any kind of torchlight or reflection. He also enjoys paddling in running water and water bowls, and slurping taps. He has his own cuddly toy ‘the little lion’ that he carries around in his mouth and chirps to.

    • Amy Shojai

      Nosey’s antics do sound like a great match, thanks a bunch! Love your description. When our 18 year old cat was a baby, my husband called her “the monster” and “the devil” too, cuz she was always into everything. 🙂

  21. Anne Louise Bannon

    Have to offer up my dear, dear little Fred. He was a pug mix (probably with Martian). Chomped on everything he could get his teeth on. And funny. But not very attractive. He had an under bite. His face wasn’t as smooshed in as it should have been. Big, old barrel chest, scrawney little legs. Okay, the dog was ugly. But that’s absolutely what we loved about him. We lost him last summer to old age. Such a sweet, silly little guy, about 20 pounds.

    • Amy Shojai

      Fred sounds like a wonderful doggy character. Thanks so much for sharing. It’s not the outside of the package–and from your description I can tell that Fred was a stunningly gorgeous boy on the inside where it counts most.

  22. Dawn

    My pug has a unique name of Pia Pia (P’ia is Chinese for Pug).

  23. Belle

    I am auditioning our Rescue Doxie Mojo (left picture on Twitter) a handsome, energetic guy Who would be a perfect boy companion. He loves to chase bunnies..

    • Amy Shojai

      Hi Belle, I think you’re the 2nd or 3rd to suggest a Doxi. Love the name Mojo, that’s kewl! Thanks so much.

  24. Cathy Keisha

    For sure I’m Cat #3. I’m a rescue cat named Keisha or CK for short. I’m a dare devil who’s not scared of nothing. A Russian Blue mix tuxie from da hood, I was involved in gang warfare before being caged and finally adopted into my furever home.

    • Amy Shojai

      The book really needs a dare devil kitteh, thanks for the suggestion, Keisha!

  25. Boris Kitty

    Boris Kitty here. I hereby nominates myself. I would fit the bill for the third kitteh, but my younger self could big the young rescue kitty too. I have two archenemies (my sisfurs) Da Destroyer and Captain CrazyPants also known as Piper and Phoebe.

    My full name is Boris Asin Karloff (im sure you can figure out who im named after), but I sometimes go by Boris K. Twankenberger or just plain old BK.

    I’m a white and brown tabby with gorgeous green eyes (just check my site to see how pawsum I am).

    I am a big boy with a big purrsonality. I some times act more like a dog than a kitty, but Im all cat! I was rescued by my humans at 3 weeks old and Human2 and I have had a very special connection since day one. We communicate with each other in a special way. We just understand each other.

    And guess what? I even like riding on my humans shoulders, but I hang over them like a sack of potatoes. How do I get there? Sometimes I will jump from the ground up! Usually I take the easy way up and jump from the bed or table.

    • Amy Shojai

      Wow, Boris I’m so glad you nominated yourself! You are indeed a cat to be reckoned with, full of purr-sonality plus!

  26. catlanna

    I’d like to nominate Lady Asti Spumante for the second cat name. That is my kitty’s name and she fits right in with the description. Asti is small, about 6 lbs, petite and a manx. She definitely could fit inside someone’s jacket. She is mostly white, with cute orange fur shaped like a bonnet on her head, and a heart on her bum. She looks a bit like a bunny rabbit, actually. She is sweet & bubbly, just like the sparking wine – Asti Spumante.

    I’d like to nominate Captain Jack Sparrow for the third cat name. This is the name for my chocolate point siamese mix. He is bold, captivating and a bit crazy with his antics. He is a rescue from a disgusting hoarder’s home, and proof that love can conquer all fears. He is a perfect companion now. He loves to jump all over the house and on top of me. Enthusiastic headbutts are his favorite way of showing affection. If he could embody a pirate cat, this would be him. He’s full of life & spunk.

    • Amy Shojai

      A bunny cat and a pirate cat…perfect! Thanks for the great suggestions

  27. Alison Majeau

    I’d like to nominate my Lynx-point Balinese furball, Itoshii Mouko Himacat (Itoshii mouko means beloved fierce tiger in Japanese). He’s highly intelligent, fearless, and will climb anything when not sleeping around my neck. Favorite games include chasing and killing flies, or chasing Pyewackette, our female Siamese.

    • Amy Shojai

      Thanks a bunch Alison, love the meaning of his name. He’s got to sleep around your neck to store up energy to attach those ferocious flies, LOL!

  28. Kristina Lotz

    “The fourth dog belongs to Willie Combs, the young son of Detective Jeff Combs. The dog loves to dig and is a fence escape artist addicted to chasing rabbits and squirrels. I’ve imagined him as a Beagle but am open to breed and looks. He needs to be of a size that September can carry for a short distance.”

    I would like to submit my two-year-old blue merle shetland sheepdog named Merlin. He is JUST like this dog! He goal in life is to chase anything that moves – hawks, airplanes, rabbits, deer, sheep – you name it, he chases it! As his name implies, he is definitely a magician that can easily find his way out of things. He has a cute “naughty” face that makes it impossible for you to be mad at him, even when he does completely ignore you to chase after something. At 20 lbs, he is easy to carry, but spunky and too smart for his own good. Looking for a problem-solver? Merlin is it! 🙂

  29. Patricia H.

    Can’t wait for this book. My suggestions are as follows:

    Hog hunting dogs – Duke and Duchess

    Mastiff = Hercules

    4th dog = Bella

    1st cat = Mittens

    2nd cat = Princess

    3rd cat = Termite/fits my cat perfectly

    I’m hoping Karma shows up in the book. Some great names suggested this time. Thanks for the opportunity.

  30. Stu

    I expect I am too late for this one but incase I’m not… My 3 cats are called King Arthur, Henry Tudor and Empress Matilda ….


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