Start the Presses: The name is the game

We asked, and you delivered. More than 100 people submitted nearly 200 possible names for the two mountain lion cubs rescued last month.

Now it's your turn. If you haven't had a chance to vote in our online poll, you have until Monday to submit your choice. Since putting hundreds of names online would be a tad unwieldy, our staff narrowed the choices down to six pairs of favorites. These are:

- Lucy and Ethel. Submitted by Michael Hasz.

- Itchy and Scratchy. Submitted by Lisa Hawley Markou.

- Olive and Magnolia. Submitted by Lynn Bernard Maddox.

- LaserFur and the Fangster. Submitted by Mialka Bonadonna Morano.

- Willow and Laurel. Submitted by Kimberly Barnhart Posly.

- Hope and Carson. Submitted by Linda Simeone.

I seriously love these names. Olive and Magnolia are main Burbank thoroughfares, Willow and Laurel relate to the local flora, and Hope and Carson are an homage to local celebrities.

Lucy and Ethel as well as Itchy and Scratchy bring to mind our entertainment background, if not Burbank specifically, and LaserFur and the Fangster are beautifully random. (A comic book reference of some kind?)

The winner of our poll will receive $20 in gift cards to either Starbucks or iTunes. In addition, if Zoo to You, the Paso Robles-based outfit that is taking care of the cubs, chooses a name we submit, that person will also get a $20 gift card.

We did get a bunch of duplicate names — Olive and Magnolia being the most popular. In those cases, the first person to submit the name got credit for it.

Mind you, we'll be submitting all of the names we received, so even if your name wasn't chosen for our poll, you still have a chance. David Jackson, the executive director of Zoo to You, has asked for something “Burbank-y or urban.” Jackson certainly has a bunch of options, a testament to the creativity of the people who live here.

To briefly recap how we got here: On Dec. 20, a pair of female mountain lion cubs were found, cowering and starving, underneath a parked car near downtown Burbank. The cubs, between 2 and 3 months old, were so small that they were initially reported as being baby bobcats. Their mother, who may have been killed or scared away, was nowhere to be found.

After a quick stop in at a facility in Calabasas, Zoo to You agreed to become the kitties' permanent guardians. Part of the organization's mission is to present the animals under their care at schools and universities.

Since it is unwise — and illegal — to release animals back into the wild, organizations like Jackson's focus on an educational mission after the wild ones in their care complete their rehabilitation.

The idea, Jackson said, was to make it clear to people that we really and truly live among these animals. We share our space and, to some degree, our lives with these creatures. We need to give them our respect.

But the cubs need names. Their current monikers are No. 1 and No. 2, hardly catchy enough for their coming lives in the spotlight. Our reporter, Megan O'Neil, suggested the name contest to Jackson, and away we went.

My thanks to Megan, David Jackson and to all who submitted. I'm looking forward to seeing whose idea wins out, so don't forget to vote!

DAN EVANS is the editor. When he's not Googling what in the world “LaserFur” might mean, he can be reached at (818) 637-3234 and

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