One of the things we do here at CatTail Studio Arts when we have the honor of selling a new pet dish to a customer is to ask for the story behind the name and a photo of the happy recipient to add to our blog roll. It is a fun way for us to see our handiwork in use and our customers can have the pleasure of seeing their pet posted on our blog. I can’t tell you how many times we receive a photo or a story and it puts an instant smile on our faces. Through ‘Customer Cat Tales’, we share some of our favorites with you.
Today, we bring you the tales of Jasper and Binx.
When I asked our customer how each got their name, I was not surprised at all to find out that Binx was named after the cat in the 1993 Disney Halloween movie, Hocus Pocus.
“When my cousin and I were little, we saw the Halloween movie, Hocus Pocus. At that time, we both said if either of us ever got our own cat, it had to be black and named Binx like the one in the movie. It took me 23 years, but I now have our Binx! ;-)”
As you have probably noticed by now, I generally do a little bit of research so that I can tie each cat story in with something relevant at the time. I posted the story of the two adorable cats, Edison and Tesla, on the day that Thomas Edison patented the light bulb. The first day of winter brought us the story of Haru (which is Japanese for ‘spring’ so you’ll have to reread that post if you don’t remember the tie-in.)
The story of Binx would have been the obvious story to post for Halloween but, by the time I learned Binx’s history, October had come and gone. So, off to find a clever link to the name Jasper.
To introduce Jasper, I figured I would post the story during whatever month used the gemstone jasper as its birthstone. I went to the Internet to do what I expected to be a really quick search and was rather shocked and perplexed to discover there were links backing up the use of jasper as the birthstone for January, February, March, August, September and October!
That sent me down the path of trying to figure out how the idea of birthstones came to be in the first place. It is a story with a few twists and turns but the general consensus seems to be that it ties back to a Bible story of Aaron’s breastplate in Exodus 28:17-20 that states, “There were twelve stones, one for each of the names of the sons of Israel, each engraved like a seal with the name of one of the twelve tribes.”
In the 1st and 5th centuries, respectively, Flavius Josephus and Saint Jerome wrote stories making the connection between the twelve stones in the breastplate and the twelve signs of the zodiac which evolved into the twelve months of the year. People would own all twelve stones and wear the appropriate stone during its respective month to gain its therapeutic benefits. A bit of medieval hocus pocus!
With time, this evolved again to the idea of wearing the single stone associated with your own birth month throughout the year.
As with the birthstones, the story of Jasper, the cat, also takes a few twists and turns before the name sticks.
“Well… I was told in advance that the kitten I was getting was a girl. I got a pretty collar and a pink blanket and picked out the name Georgia for her. When I got to the house to pick her up though, I found out the kitten was indeed a boy. I was soooooo set on it being a girl that I called him Kitty for something like two weeks because I had no clue what to call him!
Eventually, I put together a list of possible names that I showed to my Mom. She read down the list and, when she got to Jasper, he looked up at her. It was like he was answering to that name, so it stuck.”