SOME PEOPLE... possess such a knack for naming animals that they take their talent out into the wider world. You know the naming namers we're talking about, the people who adopt a kitten and immediately conjure a dozen names of import, all to do with the kitten's personality and fur type and birthday month and level of cuteness. Of course, those families who continue to name new pets after dearly departed pets, with a numeral on the end -- Fluffy II, Fluffy the Third -- charm as well, but we must tip our hat to those of you who were born with a talent of putting moniker to monkey. Oh, did we just say "moniker to monkey" there? In fact we did, which tips our own hand here: Safari West, that expansive animal preserve in Santa Rosa, has a new bundle of joy in its vast house. He's a Patas monkey, born to Safari West residents Izzie and Maurice, and he needs a name, one that is as great as the names his parents rock. (C'mon, Izzie and Maurice are kind of major, as is the name of the daughter Izzie and Maurice birthed last year, Jasmine.) So are you good at naming? Do you dig animals and helping animals? Do you have a heartwarming handle for Baby Cutie Monkey that'll work well with Izzie, Maurice, and Jasmine?
THEN THROW YOUR NAME IN THE RING... and see if your idea doesn't suit this little loveball the best. You've got through Monday, Aug. 24 to dream up the perfect title, and you won't have to wait long to see if your name -- and your name for the Patas monkey -- is chosen: They'll announce the winner on the final day of August. A free Safari West Safari Tour will go to the victor, as well as the knowledge that your beastie-naming abilities are keen. The only thing to worry about is, if you win, how you'll top yourself when it comes to naming future pets. Want to know more about where to send your suggestion and the beautiful Patas monkey, which is a savannah roamer known for "foraging and socializing" (and capturing our human hearts)? You can, right here, monkey mavens.