What’s in a name?

Daily writing prompt
Where did your name come from?

My name is a family name that goes back generations. But I’ve discussed that in previous blog entries. But if you’ve read some of my posts, you may have run across my posts on cats. One cat stands out, Clancy J Bümps – AKA The Grey Menace. He came into my life one August day in 1969, and this is part of his story.

When he wished to, he bulked up. That mass of grey fur made him look bigger than the twenty pounds of heft he already had. He had the knack of intimidating other cats and terrorizing large dogs. He loved hunting vermin like mice and even rats. He was a gourmand of rare cuts of beef, and in the lap of my wife, an absolute pussy cat.  Some people called him the Grey Menace and moved well clear when they saw him. If he liked you, you were OK, but if he disliked you, better stay away. His goals in life seemed to be sleeping, eating beef, and having fights. 
He came from Lyons Street in Ottawa, Ontario. He’d been kicked out of the family early and had been terrorizing older cats in the neighborhood. One day, he walked up my leg over my back to my shoulder and claimed me as his human. What choice did I have? I took him home with me.
We named him Clancy after the old song, “Clancy Lowered the Boom,” because he loved to fight. He’d fight with the vacuum cleaner, the broom, you, or anything that offended him. And many things did offend him.

 We gradually developed his backstory. He was of Irish/Prussian descent. His Junker ancestors, the impressive Von Dinks Bümps* family, were forced to flee after disagreements with the Kaiser’s cats. They went to Ireland, where they soon intermarried with local dairy farm cats descended from the Royal cat families of Ireland. Forced to flee Ireland after stealing too much cream, they eventually immigrated to Canada, where the family thrived. So Clancy Bumps (immigration simplified the name) was from an ancient and prestigious family brought low by cruel circumstances.
When we explained his background to our friends, it boggled their minds, but they knew Clancy well enough by then to exclaim that they knew he was from nobility all the time.

Clancy sat there preening; having humans recognize his innate superiority was good. Tonight, he would defer the beatings.

  • I’ve been informed that this is German for thingamajig.
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