Posted by: standing_baba | June 25, 2011

Turks & Brazilians. Guns. War. And a Cute Kitten.

Right now, a silent war is taking place….
Two countries are engaged in an epic battle….
Two ideologies push against one another for dominance….
Two languages clash with ferocious sounds….

Who are these titans and what do they want?

I’ll tell you….

But first, a video of a cute spotted kitten.

This war of all wars began with an e-mail from my friend Colleen, a veterinarian at the Cincinnati Zoo who helped bring this ocelot into the world through artificial insemination:

My boss is attempting to name our most recent creation. The zoo keeps referring to her as a miracle kitten, which is what they named the first one we produced for them, but my boss finds it offensive (I think its hilarious and threaten to call him Saint William if he performs a 3rd miracle)…Anyway, thoughts on how to say ‘nasty little package’ or something to that effect in Portuguese? She is spunky to say the least…Hope you can offer some naming expertise!

Like Einstein picking up the phone when The Manhattan Project called, I responded casually, naively, unaware of my words’ far-reaching consequences:

Chispa (pronounced sh-is-pa): spark, flash, and apparently ‘genius’ according to an online dictionary but I’ve never heard it used in Portuguese that way. To sweeten the pie, 1) it’s used as a word to shoo cats when they’re naughty and 2) it sounds like a Brazilian Simba, and Disney already did the marketing for you. It’s the perfect name, in my humble Portuguese third-language opinion.

I soon learned that all was not tecnocolor Disney. Chispa had another meaning I failed to predict in that first fateful message. Where there are sparks, there are fires, and this tiny spark is now ablaze with violent competition.

Whhhhhhaaaaatttttt?!? Whyyyyyy?!?!? Whhhoooo?!?

I’ll tell you….

But first, look into the eyes of this rare baby Brazilian ocelot.

This is Chispa...well, not yet....

It’s the Turks. And the Brazilians. They’re fighting. Right now. War. Guns. Name calling. Bad stuff. Real bad. They want this little baby ocelot…dead…no, no, no, wait…sorry…they want…this little baby ocelot…named in their respective native language.

The Brazilians want this ocelot to be named Chispa. This makes sense: she’s a Brazilian ocelot, and she should have a Brazilian Portuguese name.

The Turks want this ocelot to be named “Ayla,” which means moonlight in Turkish. Poetics aside, Chispa is Brazilian. The Turks have no business here.

Until July 1st, 2011 the Bridgeport Beardsley Zoo is conducting an online vote to officially name this baby ocelot. My recommendation, Chispa, is on the ballot. And so is Ayla, the name with the most votes thus far.




  1. But moonlight is very nice. Guzel in fact.

    • Yeah, truth be known, nothing against the name Moonlight (or Turks)—I just want to say I named an endangered Brazilian ocelot:)

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