We have a 6 year old adopted kitty that we named Yao Ming. When we picked him up from the shelter, his name was Vermont. See, the shelter named all of the cats after states and our cat got saddled with Vermont. Fortunately, the people at the shelter said the kitty didn't know his name was Vermont, and that we could name him anything we like. This was good, as Vermont is one of my least favorite states. I have never been there, but it seems like a stuffy, white bread kind of state. Plus, I imagine all the Vermont men wear turtlenecks, and nothing bugs me more than a man in a turtleneck.
When we got our kitty home we discussed what we should name him. I of course wanted Satan, the Markitty de Sade, or Chairman Meow. My husband suggested something less evil so we decided to name him after an NBA star. We started shouting at the poor kitty names like "Steve Nash" and "Charles Barkley" and "Baron Davis." The kitty just looked at us like we were crazy (a look to be repeated many, many times over the ensuing years.) Finally one of us said "Yao Ming." The kitty looked at us and meowed. Yao/Meow-it seemed to fit. Later we learned that our kitty was half Siamese and we felt very proud of ourselves for giving him such an appropriate name.