Can you guess which Royals players these pets are named after?
Well, Kansas City. You spoke — and barked and purred and baahed and chirped and oinked and mooed — resoundingly.
In this town, “Royals pets” are definitely a thing.
Last week, after meeting a colleague’s pet pooch Salvy, honoring catcher Salvador Perez, The Star asked readers whether anyone else happened to own any pets named after our boys in blue. What we thought would be a minor pet project turned into a mammoth of a project. A little more than a week and over 500 submissions later, we’ve been introduced to Royals pets of all styles, sizes and species.
There were (literally) hundreds of Mooses, as well as a slew of Hosmers, Eskys and Cains. We met a few Sluggerrrs and Kauffmans. Even a Cookie Rojas, a blast from the past. The bulk of our submissions were pups, but things got wacky, too. Salamanders and hedgehogs. Beta fish, chickens, hamsters and rabbits. And, strangely, a Venus flytrap named after Yuniesky Betancourt from the more recent past.
Yeah, things got weird. But mostly just awesome. It was hard to choose, but we’re sharing photos of some of our favorites.
Speaking of awesome, want to meet a llama called Alex?
Chad Silvey of Belton bought the llama to protect his goats, chickens and ducks from coyotes.
“At first I was looking for a Middle Eastern name, so I had taken to calling him Alexander,” Silvey tells me as we walk a piece of his 20-acre Belton property, a vast patch of grassland that resembles a major league outfield.
“But then I saw he was kind of chill and kind of laid-back, and I switched it up. I said we’re just gonna call him Alex.”
After all, those are similar personality traits to Royals All-Star left fielder Alex Gordon, so Silvey decided to make the 1-year-old llama’s name kind of an homage to Gordo.
“He’s just super chill and hopefully will get the job done.”
About 15 minutes from Silvey’s rural plot of land sits a more refined animal house.
In Leawood on Roe Avenue sits Sydney’s Pet Spa, a facility “for the pampered pet” that provides day care, boarding, grooming, and pickup and delivery services. Sydney’s services cats and dogs almost exclusively, but for the store’s owner, Erin Dean, the rules are more flexible.
Added to the menagerie are her 10-year-old blue and gold macaw and the de facto celebs, Dean’s two potbelly pigs, Salvy and Cain.
Dean bought the pigs right after they were born, around the time of the Royals’ first World Series run. Soon after, she and Tricia Flaherty, a manager at Sydney’s, were brainstorming names:
“We were at dinner and thinking of famous duos and we were watching a Royals game and we both were like ‘Salvy and Cain!’” Flaherty says. “That’s the perfect pair.”
Ironically, the pigs’ personalities somewhat contrast that of their human namesakes. Flaherty says that in general Cain the pig is “definitely more social, and more snugly,” while Salvy is “kind of weird around people.” But once he gets used to you, Salvy is known to come out of his shell.
“When he’s with just us, Salvy’s louder; he’ll take food from Cain. He’s really dominant and mischievous.”