A Corehound Named Cingano
How I Convinced My Mom to Name Her WoW Pet After a UFC Fighter
Note this is not the exact picture of my mother’s core hound, but Cigano does look like it.
My mother has been playing World of Warcraft since the game came out in 2006.
Now, she’s not like most players, who have 10 characters who are above level 50. She still takes time to go play with her grandsons, her puppy, and work part-time at an assisted-living center. Still, if you manage to get her on a good day, she will tell you about her level 70—last time I checked anyways—tauern hunter named Tilamock. Yes, Tilamock, after the ice cream.
In Warcraft, hunters are characters who are similar to rangers seen in books like Lord of the Rings and games like Dungeons and Dragons. One quirk of hunters is they get a pet that assists them in combat. Some players —like myself when I played—will stick with one pet. Others will collect pets in order to get the different abilities granted by the pet. As for the number of pets my mother owns, I lost count a long time ago.
She has hunter pets, vanity pets, which are small companions that follow the player around and do nothing but get in the way, and mounts, which are good and riding from zone to zone and showing off to other players who will constantly bombard you with questions as to how you got your mount. I like to think the plethora of pets my mother owns comes from her affinity for animals.
What do Warcraft pets have to do with mixed martial arts? On the morning of Dec. 30—the day after Junior dos Santos dropped the UFC Heavyweight title to Cain Velasquez in their rematch, my mother messaged me on Facebook and showed me an image of her newest pet. It was a two-headed core hound that had a dark purple shade to its fur. While she was proud of her newest pet, she wasn’t sure what to name it.
I had been watching a short documentary on dos Santos when I messaged my mother back and suggested she give the hound the nickname “Cigano,” which is Portuguese for gypsy. This was to play off my mother’s love for all things spiritual and magical.
Cigano is also dos Santos’ nickname and I thought naming my mother’s pet after the former champion would take some of the sting away from his loss the night before. I’d like to say that when I told him on Twitter, he was ecstatic, but alas there was no response, not that there should be. After losing to Velasquez, I’m sure dos Santos’ Twitter feed was flooded with “well wishes” and “get well soon” from MMA fans—including myself—from around the world.
There is one positive outcome to this though. It gave me a chance to talk to my mother about my love for MMA. Although she tolerated the hundreds of football games and professional wrestling matches that were enjoyed by myself, my stepdad and sometimes my sister, my mother wasn’t really a fan of sports. She’d occasionally make a remark about Kevin Nash’s glorious hair, but for the most part, she would go on the computer as the men took over the television.
So when I explained the meaning of Cigano to her, I also took the opportunity to share with her dos Santos’ backstory and his beginnings in MMA. She sounded intrigued and I shared with her the link to the documentary. Whether or not she has watched it is still a mystery.
The same goes for her pet Cigano. I don’t know if she still plays him. However, one thing about my mother is that she would never abandon a pet on Warcraft. So even if she is not using him on a regular basis, Cigano has a good home with the rest of my mother’s pets.