Sep 13, 2011

The Power of the Mascot

by Michelle Douglas

Reading: The Fire in Fiction by Donald Maas

Watching: Pillow Talk (Doris Day)

Listening to: Cher (don't ask)

Making me smile: the jasmine in my backyard

Ever since I was a little girl and accompanied my dad to watch the local footy team, I have been aware of the power of a mascot. My local football team’s mascot was a Goanna. I had a stuffed goanna that duly came along to every football game and was waved madly in the air whenever my team scored. I became very superstitious of my mascot. If he was ever forgotten and left at home, I was convinced my team would lose the game.

But mascots aren’t just for sporting teams. Let’s fast forward many years to when I started working in a call centre for a bank. My husband made me my very own mascot. Here’s a photo:

We called these guys The Complaints Department. They sat on my desk at work, and during challenging phone calls they could usually make me smile. Some of my work colleagues took to borrowing The Complaints Department when they were having a bad day. See? The power of the mascot.

It appears that man has used mascots since the dawn of time. Ancient tribal people would dress up in the likeness of animals to incite goodwill from them in the hope of ensuring successful hunts and good harvests. And there’s no denying that mascots have personality. There is even a Mascot Hall of Fame for US sporting teams – created to honour mascots who have positively impacted their communities.

So it only seems right and reasonable that I should eventually find my very own LoveCats’ mascot. This is his picture:

He’s perfect! Orange is my favourite colour, plus he’s carrying a book bag. I took him all the way to the Melbourne conference to sit on the table during our LoveCats’ panel. Unfortunately, I forgot to take him out of my room—oops. But he was there in spirit. :-)

Although he has personality, my LoveCat mascot doesn’t yet have a name and he most certainly needs one. So I’m throwing it out to you, gentle reader. What do you think would be the perfect name for my LoveCat? And just to entice you all to play, I’m offering one of my backlist books to whoever comes up with the best name.


  1. oh I LOVE him! What about BOOKIE *g* or PATCH. or maybe FELIX. wow, my names suck!! Sure their will be lots of other great ones =)

  2. I know, isn't he gorgeous, Mel! The DH suggested Patch too. Now, from memory, wasn't there a character from one of the daytime soaps (Days of Our Lives, maybe) who was called Patch? I seem to remember that he was pretty cute. :-)

  3. That cat so suits you, Michelle =) With the patch, what about Pirate...Pirate Puss. Yeah, it needs work lol
    Love the idea of having mascots to make us smile when we need one most. Must look into creating one for my desk!

  4. What an adorable cat!

    I would name him...Tangerine. Because of the backpack. And because it's kind of funny. You can call him Tang for short.

  5. Ooh, Robbie, Pirate Patch has some very nice potential!

    Hope you find a mascot to make you smile. :-)

  6. Hi, Marlena, I think it's the goofy smile that makes him so cute. :-)

    Ooh,Tangerine, huh? With Tang as the the nickname --I like it!

  7. I think he needs a name with character. What about Dougal? Or Amadeus? Or Finnegan?

    When naming stuffed cats in my house, we usually use TS Elliot's O'd Poss's Book of Practical Cats (later turned into Cats the musical). Skimbleshanks? Mr Mistofles? (Probably spelling these wrong, btw, coz doing from memory - no pun intended.) Mungojerry? Rumpleteaser? Gumby Cat? Jellicle Cat?

  8. Ooh, some interesting options here, Rach! Now I know you have a Dougal of your own (so I can't steal that), and my cat is not musical... but he could be smart (there's that book bag after all). So, Da Vinci would fit, or Newton, or Copernicus. Or, he could be a writer -- Shakespeare... Chaucer... Elliot :-)

    Oh, dear, my list is growing, but I just love the name Rumpleteaser.

  9. Ellen, he does look a bit like a bandit, doesn't he?

  10. Hmmmm i'm really bad at this but i will give it a go. Meow, Ralphie, Morris are some i could think off just off-hand. I love Rachel's suggestions. They are so cute.

  11. You know, Sonali, I quite like Morris Meow as a name. :-)

    Oh, and yes, Rachel came up with a whole host of fabulous names! I think we'll have to dub her the Naming Maestro. And she's inspired me to play around with some different options too... with Pirate Patch Blackshanks currently topping my list. :-)

  12. Hey Michelle, Your new cat mascot is so cute :) I'm not that great with names but the one that sprang to my mind is Jess - from Postman Pat ("Postman Pat, Postman Pat, Postman Pat with his black and white cat...") He goes with Postman Pat everywhere - kinda like a mascot. The little satchel fits for a postal cat too!

  13. LOL, Anita, he does look a bit like a postman. I just need to find him a bicycle now. :-)

  14. He's just lovely.

    He looks like a :

    Thomas A. Moggie

    (Tom Cat)


  15. Your mascot is gorgeous Michelle. And what a brilliant list of names you have already.

    I thought I'd play on the LoveCat's L & C and so I thought Liber Candidus, which according to some Latin website (real high tech here!) Liber = book and Candidus = shining white beautiful. That's the extent of creativity :-)

    Good luck finding him a gorgeous name!

  16. Well I looked at him and the first thing I thought of was the phantom of the opera so Phantom is my suggestion.

  17. I have no idea why, but he looks like a Horatio to me, Michelle. Horatio Morris Meow?

    He's a great mascot!!

  18. He's so adorable. My suggestions are Shadow or Domino.

  19. Oh, Catherine, how clever you are with the Latin! I love Liber... but Candidus makes me think of a fungal infection -- LOL.

    Hmm... had to investigate further. Love in Latin is Amor or Diligo, and Cat is Cattus. Diligo Cattus?

  20. Ooh, a phantom, Kaelee. I didn't think of that one! Now I want to get him a cape. :-)

  21. Emily, I love the name Horatio. Shakespeare is brilliant for inspiration.

    I have this silly idea of giving one of my heroines a big black cat called Othello (or Hamlet) who keeps her two ginormous rottweilers -- called Rosencrantz and Guildenstern -- in line. Though, perhaps the animals would take over the book. :-)

  22. Ooh, Jane, nice options there. I especially love Domino!

  23. Everyone gave me such fabulous inspiration that's it just wasn't possible to choose one winner. So, everyone's name went into my trust trifle dish, and the name my dh pulled out...


    Marybelle if you email me at michelle @ michelle - douglas . com (minus the spaces) with which of my backlist books you'd prefer, I'll get it out in the mail asap.

    And the name that I choose for my LoveCat mascot...

    Patch Blackshanks (don't ask me why, it just stuck).

    Thanks for joining in everyone!

  24. You LoveCat Kitty mascot's seriously cute, Michelle! I'm into mascots, too - especially for exams. I used to have a little army of "things" that had to go with me whenever had to sit an exam.

    Thanks goodness they've been retired!

    Patch Blackshanks - awesome name...sounds a bit wicked actually!


  25. Glad you like the name, Sharon -- I think there's something of the swashbuckler about it. :-)

    Oh, and you made me smile at your mascots for exams. I swear I'd need a whole army load to get me through an exam these days.