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Redditor Called ‘Selfish’ For Refusing To Change Cat’s Name So Pregnant Cousin Can Use It

Mother breastfeeding baby with pet cat nearby
Abraham Gonzalez Fernandez/Getty Images

The naming of the future or a brand new baby is one of the biggest and most important early decisions that parents will make on behalf of their child.

And for some parents, the baby’s name is practically a sacred thing that shouldn’t be shared with anyone else, side-eyed the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.

Redditor RiverRiden had just recently adopted a cat from a rescue shelter, loved her, and found her name to be incredibly fitting for her.

When their cousin demanded they give up the cat’s name so she could use it for her baby instead, the Original Poster (OP) felt reluctant to oblige.

They asked the sub:

“AITA for not changing my cat’s name?”

The OP recently adopted a rescue cat they really loved.

“So I recently adopted a wonderful sweetie of a shelter cat named Millie. That’s the name that the shelter gave her, I thought it suited her and she responds to it, so I didn’t change it.”

“The other week, my pregnant cousin, ‘Carrie’ (who I’m moderately close to), posted a list of potential baby names on her social media and Millie was on the list.”

“I commented to remind her of my cat’s name.”

The OP’s cousin was not interested in sharing a name with a cat.

“She DMed me to ask me to change Millie’s name because she and her fiancé really liked that name for their daughter.”

“I refused because my cat had her name first, and Carrie called me selfish for valuing a ‘stupid cat’ over her daughter.”

“I told her that my cat is not stupid and that I wouldn’t mind if her baby shared a name with my cat, but if it was an issue for her, she could choose a different name.”

“She again called me selfish and said she had to go.”

The OP wasn’t sure what to do next.

“I was feeling a bit conflicted, so I went to my sister (a mother herself so I hoped she’d offer some perspective) and she said that she understands where I was coming from, but that babies should come before pets.”

“She said that it would be really kind of me to change my cat’s name and that she knows how important a couple’s ‘dream name’ is.”

“Now I’m feeling more confused than ever.”


Fellow Redditors weighed in:

  • NTA: Not the A**hole
  • YTA: You’re the A**hole
  • ESH: Everybody Sucks Here
  • NAH: No A**holes Here

Some took issue with the OP pointing out the issue in the first place.

“You kinda put your foot in it by telling her that. Why comment at all? YTA. Not for refusing to change your cat’s name, but for the daft decision to even say anything.” – oddessusss

“YTA. You slipped up by publicly informing the person that your cat had the same name, if you really didn’t think it mattered you wouldn’t have said anything at all, and if you do think it mattered then realistically you were telling them to make sure not to choose that name because it clashes with your cat which is ridiculous.”

“But feel free to tell me what your thoughts were in leaving such a comment.” – JurySecure

“A bit YTA. Why would you publicly comment that if she chooses the name Millie, she will share it with your cat? That definitely sounds like completely irrelevant information that you only shared so her social media circle would also know this, as otherwise this wouldn’t have been noticed by many, if anyone.”

“If you really thought it mattered, it should have been a private message, not public. You’re her cousin. The name of your cat really shouldn’t matter one iota.” – MagicCarpet5846

“ESH, sorry, a baby and a cat can have the same name.”

“YTA because why did you even feel the need to remind her your cat’s name was Millie? That implies you don’t want to call her child Millie because of your cat which is ridiculous.”

“Your cousin’s TA for making such a big deal over nothing and insisting you change the name.”

“Normalise name-sharing, people!” – FriendshipForeign145

“Uh, only a YTA, because why did you even bring it up?”

“Your cousin obviously doesn’t give a shit about your cat so why did you give her a reason to care about a theoretical name?”

“You likely just made her fixated on the name Millie now.” – DrunkThrowawayLife

But others thought the OP’s cousin was making something out of nothing. 

“My brother adopted a dog with the same name as our sister. He called her to make sure it was okay and asked if she’d prefer the dog had a different name, and she was like, ‘Why? My name is awesome, there should be more of us in the world!'”

“It’s pretty obvious when someone is talking about a person vs an animal.”

“NTA for sure.” – SquidLK


“My sister was pregnant, only immediate family knew, Daisy was on the girl list, before my sister announced my cousin bought a dog and called it Daisy; my niece is still called Daisy, nobody cares, nobody thinks she was named after the dog.”

“You were right they can either still use Millie or pick a new name, they might change their mind by the time the baby arrives. Also posts a list of potential names on social media, is she trying to reserve all the names until she picks??” – HP1029

“Millie is on a list of ‘potential’ baby names. It’s not their dream name. The OP’s cousin and sister are ridiculous for asking OP to change her cat’s name for this reason alone. It’s not like cousin said she’s naming her baby Millie & then OP named her cat Millie.”

“NTA, OP.” – Pixiedust027

“NTA. If it is in a list of potential names, calling Millie ‘the dream name’ is a bit of a stretch.”

“Also, Millie is super common and there is literally nothing stopping them from naming their daughter Millie. How much is this kid even going to be around this cat? How is this even an issue at all? The cat already had this name, why change?”

“Your cousin isn’t thinking about this with a clear head.” – smokin-bear

“When people say that babies matter more than pets, they mean that the safety of babies comes before the existence of pets, not whatever BS the sister was trying to insinuate.”

“The sister and cousin are both being weird about this.”

“Also, I’m a mom of four humans, and six fur babies, so OP, if you want a mom-perspective… I would never name my kiddo the same name as a pet of someone I know.”

“You bringing that up should be a good enough reason for your cousin to not name her baby Millie or to not care and do it anyway. You were kind to bring it to her attention, in my opinion. NTA.” – Efficient-Mastodons

“NTA. They’re seriously mad because a cat you adopted happened to have the same name that is a POTENTIAL name for their child that isn’t even here yet?”

“Don’t let them pressure you to change the name, keep the name Millie. If she’s so bothered that your cat is named Millie, she can choose another name or suck it up and deal with it.” – microwavedcorpse

“My grandparents rescued a dog that had the same name as my aunt (their only daughter). They thought it was funny. When that dog passed, they got another one and named it after my uncle. When my grandparents had to go into assisted living, my uncle took in their dog.”

“NTA. Tell your friend to lighten up.” – JoyTheStampede


“Not your baby, not your problem. She’s trying to control things that are not hers to control. No one gets to tell you what to name your pet. “Babies should come before pets”? Not really, no. Maybe in some circumstances, but over a name? Nah, names are fair game.” – pendemoneum

“NAH. Your cat was named first, if she wants it that badly she can use it too but there is no reason for you to change the cat’s name! Also if she has a list of potential baby names (plural) Millie can’t be that important if there are other options!”

“Also, I’m the kindest way possible cats don’t live as long as humans Millie the cat will be Millie for 15 years if you’re incredibly lucky Millie the human will be Millie for much longer after the cat’s gone so I can’t see any issue either way!”

“My mum and dad has a dog called Ben when I was a baby and my dad’s sister named her son Ben they were both called Ben.”

“I also have three Christophers on my dad’s side of the family and six James on the other. If you like a name, just have it. The only time I can see it being an issue is if you had three children and you gave them all the same name.” – aliibum

The subReddit was left shaking their collective head at the argument that had risen between the OP and their cousin. They collectively thought that the cousin was overthinking the situation and didn’t think the cat being named first would not take away from the bab’s furure.

Written by McKenzie Lynn Tozan

McKenzie Lynn Tozan has been a part of the George Takei family since 2019 when she wrote some of her favorite early pieces: Sesame Street introducing its first character who lived in foster care and Bruce Willis delivering a not-so-Die-Hard opening pitch at a Phillies game. She's gone on to write nearly 3,000 viral and trending stories for George Takei, Comic Sands, Percolately, and ÜberFacts. With an unstoppable love for the written word, she's also an avid reader, poet, and indie novelist.