Tuesday, September 06, 2005

What's a Cat Bastet?

A couple people have asked about my screen name, The Cat Bastet. It's the name of the Emersons' first cat in Elizabeth Peters' Amelia Peabody mysteries. Bastet is a distinct character in the early stories (which is no surprise to cat "owners").

The Cat Bastet is also my screen name or Nom de Clavier (Keyboard Name) on DorothyL, a discussion and idea mailing list for mystery lovers. Since one's nom is related to mystery stories, it adds an air of fun. According to the rules:
the nom may represent a person, either fictional or real, or an animal (e.g., Giant Rat of Sumatra) or a thing (e.g., Tailor Paul, a bell in Dorothy L. Sayers' The Nine Tailors) or a concept (e.g., The daughter of time, i.e., Truth from Elizabeth Tey's novel Daughter of Time) or even a word (e.g., the Latin word 'placet' by which Harriet Vane accepts Lord Peter Wimsey's proposal of marriage in Dorothy L. Sayers' Gaudy Night).

The name of a living person may NOT be chosen as a nom. You can choose to be known as Sir Arthur Conan Doyle or Dorothy L. Sayers or Ellis Peters, but NOT as Elizabeth Peters or Jan Burke or Sue Grafton or Sara Paretsky or Parnell Hall or Nancy Atherton. Only they are entitled to use their names, whether or not they are subscribed to DorothyL.

Those who know I wrote my Master's Thesis on Ellery Queen are probably wondering why I didn't use that as my screen name! Noms are limited to one person and someone already had Ellery Queen, so I had to choose another favorite character.

In case you don't know, Bastet was the cat-headed Egyptian goddess. So The Cat Bastet combines two of my hobbies: mysteries and Egyptology.

For those wondering why I didn't choose a Titanic-related name... come on, now. Would you want a screen name that means huge? I didn't think so!

5 comments:

chisa said...

Hi.I think The Cat Bastet is very interesting name.
Actually, I'm thinking about changing my screen name right now. I'm a new to this blogger thing. And I noticed that everyone using unique name. But I'm using half-real name now. So it's not much fun. I didn't know I can even use the real authors name. Interesting.

The Cat Bastet said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
The Cat Bastet said...

Hi Chisa,

Thanks for visiting my blog!

I need to clarify one thing: when I said "You can even use the names of real authors, if they are dead," I was referring to using the author's name as your sceen name ***in the DorothyL mailing list.*** I don't recommend using a real author's name anywhere else, not even if that person is dead.

I will revise post so this is clear.

Anonymous said...

Hi, I recognized the icon that you used from the game Tomb Raider-"temple of the Cat" level.You study Egypt as an Archeologist?

The Cat Bastet said...

I've never played Tomb Raider, so I have no idea where the designers got their graphics. This statue is typical of those associated with the Egyptian goddess Bastet.

I teach college writing. Archeology, especially Egyptology, is just one of my hobbies.

Thanks for asking and for visiting my blog!