With all eyes on the Gulf right now, and COVID-19 concerns still with us, it seemed to me the right time for a totally silly subject.

So here are a couple of "strange name" stories involving pets:

  • Dees Veca, of Kenner, says, "When a cute little black Pomeranian dog found his way to our house, we tried, without success, to find his owners.

"Every night when my husband came home from work, his first words were, 'Is he still here?'

"One night my daughter-in-law was at the house and heard Ken's greeting as he came in the door.

"Without missing a beat she told him, 'He's not here; he's just a figment of your imagination.'

"That's the night 'Figment' got his name and his forever home."

  • Robin Roshto, of Baton Rouge, says, "We have a cat we struggled to name when she was given to us as a kitten.

"One day while watching her eat, the name came to us: 'Piggy.'

"Now she is 6 years old, and loves to lie down on the threshold of the doorway between the living room and hall, or between the hallway and bathroom.

"We are both old and decrepit, and have trouble stepping over her.

"So I have given her a new nickname. I call her 'Innaway.’ ”

Beauty close by

Readers are still discussing a topic we brought up a few weeks ago — scenic Louisiana drives for those wanting to take a break from pandemic quarantines. (Although the next few days probably won't be good times for such outings.)

  • Karen Yochim says, "I am partial to driving as far as we can along the western levee of the Atchafalaya — from Krotz Springs up to Simmesport, or on the other side of the river from Butte La Rose all the way to Morgan City. So much to see for nature lovers.

"Also, the drive into Morgan City on the highway is spectacular because of the magnificent bridges and harbor.

"And I always get a thrill coming back to Cajunland and driving Interstate 10 over the Mississippi River bridge and the 20-minute-long Atchafalaya Basin bridge. Gives me frissons every time."

  • "BR Proud" says, "My favorite drive is Baton Rouge's beautiful Highland Road.

"My father drove me down Highland from the new bridge to my LSU freshman dorm in 1973. My eyes were huge soaking it all in.

"Then, a year or so later, with a group of new friends, we drove south from LSU to visit family in Mayfair. A canopy of all kinds of beautiful green trees absolutely astounded me.

"l still love Highland Road, even with the continuing suburbanization, when l drive on it on the way to New Orleans to visit my daughters."

Happy returns

Donna D. offers "a big thank you to the person who found my driver's license after I voted at the Kenilworth polling station in Baton Rouge, and delivered the license to my front door."

Tee time

After I mentioned the St. Charles Parish community of Boutte, I received this note about its pronunciation from Coleen Perilloux Landry:

"The locals pronounce the word 'Bou Tee,' not 'Bou Tay.' I have never heard anyone say 'Bou Tay' and, if so, they are surely not local."

Special People Dept.

  • LeRee Bateman, of Williamsburg Retirement Community in Baton Rouge, celebrates her 95th birthday Tuesday, Aug. 25. 
  • Teddie B. Perere, former resident of Plaquemine now in Baton Rouge, celebrates her 90th birthday Tuesday, Aug. 25.

Cutting remarks

Ernie Gremillion, of Baton Rouge, offers this lesson in problem-solving:

"For many years an individual suffered from delusions that there was a villain under his bed who meant to do him harm.

"He spent thousands of dollars with psychiatrists to cure this problem, with no success.

"He finally cured the problem with the advice of a bartender, for the price of a beer. His advice was to cut off the legs of his bed."

Stormy and silly 

Note to Faye Feig: No, dear, the National Hurricane Center should NOT have named the first storm after Marco "Polo" instead of "Laura."

Write Smiley at Smiley@theadvocate.com. He can also be reached by mail at P.O. Box 588, Baton Rouge, LA 70821. Follow Smiley Anders on Twitter, @SmileyAndersAdv.