Famous Cat Lovers


Cats have captured the imagination of ordinary and extraordinary people worldwide ever since they were domesticated in pre-history. Following are a few examples of famous people who shared their lives with, and were inspired by, their feline companions. Of course there were many more. . .





Thanks

Jenniffer G


Rownea C Fay
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Stuff of Dreams c.1940, Rowen C. Fry (1895-1989)



CAT LOVERS & THEIR CATS



Dans un incendie, entre un Rembrandt, et un chat, .. je.
In a fire, between a Rembrandt, and a cat, I would save the cat

Alberto Giacometti

 

 


 

• INTRODUCTION:
History of Cats as Pets


• Confucius founder of Confucianism   cn flag   China   551 - 479 BC


• Plato philosopher    greek flag   Greece   424/423 BC - 348/347 BC


• St. Agatha of Sicily martyr saint   it flag   Sicily   d. 251


Saint Agatha of Sicily was a martyr saint from Catania, Sicily whose five-day festival each year in early February remains one of the highlights of civic life in the city and whose climax comes when the priests pass among the people to let them kiss Agatha' s relics including her foot, her breasts (removed by Roman torturers) and her veil.

pink ribbon St. Agatha is the patron saint of women with breast cancer and those who must undergo a mastectomy for any reason. She also helps those who have been raped or suffered sexual assault and been forced into sexual slavery. She is the patron saint of the cities of Catania and Palermo, Sicily, and it is said that Catania's lucky escape from fire during a volcanic eruption of flame and lava from Mount Etna was was due to her protection. For this reason she is also petitioned to protect homes from house fires, wild fires, lightning, volcanic eruptions, and earthquakes. Because of these works, she became the patron saint of bell-makers, because bells used to be used as fire alarms. Her feast day is February 5th. - source

St. Agatha is still known as Santo Gato (Saint Cat) in parts of the Pyrénées mountain range of southwestern France. She is said to appear in the form of a cat on her day, February 5th, to punish women who have angered her.



• St. Jerome saint  Roman province of Dalmati   340-420

St. Jerome was famous for owning a cat and is frequently depicted in paintings and prints accompanied by a lion mascot instead of his domestic cat.



• St. Molig of Ireland saint   ie flag   Ireland   ND

According to legend, St. Moling saw a sparrow (othes say a wren) eat a fly and then a cat ate the wren. Out of pity, he ordered the cat and then the wren to disgorge their prey. . . another account "provides the earliest literary reference to the Wren Hunt (Elizabeth Atwood Lawrence) where St. Moling allegedly cursed a wren for eating his pet fly. The bird's punishment was that it must henceforth well in empty houses, live in damp areas, and be subject to destruction at the hands of young people in an annual Wren Hunt.


• St. Gregory the Great saint   it flag   Italy   540-604

St. Gregory possessed no worldly goods except a cat, which he liked to stroke and hold in his arms while meditating. . .


• Mohammed religious   Saudi   Mecca (Saudi Arabia)   ca. 570/571-632

FAVORITE FELINE: Muezza
Mohammed approved of cats but felt dogs were unclean. Once he cut his sleeve off rather than disturb, his cat, Muezza, who'd fallen asleep on it.


• St. Gertrude martyr saint   be flag   Belgium   626-659

Saint Gertrude of Nivelles was abbess of the Benedictine monastery of Nivelles, in present-day Belgium. Her patronage of cats is most likely because water from her well and bread baked in her oven was believed to repel rodents. St. Gertrude is generally represented as an abbess, with rats and mice at her feet or running up her cloak or pastoral staff.



• St. Ives patron saint of lawyers     ?     ND

St. Ives appears in portraits with a cat by his side, and is sometimes depicted as a cat. . .


• St. Francis of Assisi saint   it flag   Italy   1182-1226

According to an Italian legend, St. Francis of Assisi was saved from a plague of mice by a cat which sprang miraculously out of his sleeve. . .


• Francesco Petrarch poet & humanist  flag   Italy   1304-1374

When the poet died, his cat was put to death and mummified; it wad buried with Petrarch.


• Leonardo da Vinci artist, inventor, etc.   flag   Italy   1452-1519
Italian Renaissance artist, writer, mathematician, engineer, architect, botanist, musician, and inventor! da Vinci was an animal lover with a particular fondness for cats. He once wrote The time will come when men such as I will look upon the murder of animals as they now look on the murder of men and asserted that The smallest feline is a masterpiece.* Many of da Vinci's works feature cats, including his painting Madonna with the Cat.

Study for 'Madonna with the Cat'
Study of Cat Movements   (another image)
Sketches of a child playing with a cat
Univeral Leonardo
* Favourite Cat Quotes Through Time

• Nostradamus astrologer/seer   French flag   France  1503-1566

FAVORITE FELINE: Grimalkin


• Michel de Montaigne author  flag  France   1533-1592  
When I play with my cat, who knows whether she is not amusing herself with me more than I with her? - Montaigne

• Cardinal Richelieu cleryman & statesman  flag  France   1585-1642  
Cardinal Richelieu reserved one of his rooms for cats, where overssers fed them chicken pates twice a day. He built a cattery at Versailles for his wards and when he died the overseers and cats were provided for after his death.

• Sir Isaac Newton scientist  flag   England   1642-1727  
Newton invented the cat-flap so his cats could wander freely indoors and outdoors when the door of his lab was closed.

• Dr Samuel Johnson poet, essayist, etc.  flag  England   1709-1784

FAVORITE FELINE: Hodge
Samuel Johnson, the compiler of the first dictionary, had a pet cat named Hodge whom Johnson fed oysters and other luxurious treats. Hodge was immortalized in a characteristically whimsical passage in James Boswell's Life of Johnson.

"Although Hodge was not Johnson's only cat, it was Hodge whom he considered his favourite. Hodge was remembered in various forms, from biographical mentions during Johnson's life to poems written about the cat. On his death, Hodge's life was celebrated by an elegy by Percival Stockdale: "...Who, by his master when caressed, warmly his gratitude expressed, and never failed his thanks to purr, whene'er he stroked his sable fur." - Wikipedia

• Thomas Jefferson 3rd President of USA   us flag   USA   1743-1826


• Marie Antoinette Queen of France   fr flag   France   1755-1793


• William Wordsworth poet  flag   England   1770-1850
Many of Wordsworth's poems were about cats:

See the Kitten on the Wall
Loving and Liking
Kittens! Kittens!
The Kitten and the Falling Leaves

• Sir Walter Scott poet & novelist   flag   France   1771-1832

FAVORITE FELINE: Hinx or Hinse


• Heinrich Heine poet/essayist   de flag   Germany   1779-1856


• E. T. A. Hoffmann Romantic author   de flag   Germany   1776-1822


• Lord Byron Romantic poet   flag   England   1788-1824

FAVORITE FELINE: Beppo


• Honoré de Balzac novelist   flag   France   1799-1850


• Frederic Chopin musician  flag   Poland   1810- 1849


• Alexandre Dumas author  flag   France   1802-1870

FAVORITE FELINE: Mysouff
Dumas' pet cat, Mysouff, was known for his extrasensory perception of time. It has been said he could predict what time Alexandre would finish work, even when he was working late.

• Victor Hugo writer   flag   France   1802-1885

FAVORITE FELINES: Chanoine, Gavroche, etc.


• Georges Sand novelist   flag   France   1804-1876

FAVORITE FELINE: Minou


• Robert E. Lee Confederate military officer   us flag   USA   1807-1870


• Edgar Allan Poe author  flag   USA   1809-1849

FAVORITE FELINE: Catarina

poe

I wish I could write as mysterious as a cat.   Edgar Allen Poe
"Poe used cats as symbols of the sinister in several of his stories, although he himself owned and loved cats. He used his tortoiseshell cat "Catarina" as the inspiration for his story 'The Black Cat'. Catarina was a house cat and during the winter of 1846 when Poe was destitute and his wife dying of tuberculosis, Catarina would curl up on the bed with the dying woman and provide warmth."


• Abraham Lincoln statesman   flag   USA   1809-1865

FAVORITE FELINE: Tabby
The sixteenth U.S. president spent so many hours playing with his pets (orphaned kittens) that when Mary Todd Lincoln was asked if her husband had any hobbies,she said "cats." His cat, Tabby, was the first recorded White House cats. On the subject of felines, Lincoln is quoted as saying: No matter how much the cats fight, there always seem to be plenty of kittens.

• Harriet Beecher Stowe author  flag   USA   1811-1896

FAVORITE FELINE: Calvin
Harriet had a large Maltese cat called Calvin, who arrived on Harriet's doorstep one day, moved in and took over the household. Calvin enjoyed sitting on Harriet's shoulder as she wrote.

• Charles Dickens author  flag   England   1812-1870


• Edward Lear author  flag   England   1812-1888

FAVORITE FELINE: Foss
"Lear's cat Foss was introduced to the household as a kitten in 1873. He was a tabby cat, and had a shortened tail because a superstitious servant cut it off thinking this would stop the cat from straying. Foss was reportedly not an attractive cat, but he became well known because of the cartoons drawn by Lear. Mr. Lear loved the cat so much that when he moved to a different home he instructed the architects to design it as an exact replica of his previous one. This was supposedly to make the move to the new place as easy as possible for Foss."

Foss died in November of 1887, and was buried under a large tombstone in Mr. Lear's Italian garden. Lear himself died only two months later, in January of 1888.


Images of Foss: I | II | III| IV | V | VI

• Emily Bronte novelist   flag   England   1818-1848

FAVORITE FELINE: Tiger


• Queen Victoria monarch   uk flag   United Kingdom   1819-1901


• Florence Nightingale nurse & writer   flag   England   1820-1910

FAVORITE FELINE: Bismarck (a large Persian)
Florence Nightingale owned more than 60 cats in her lifetime. She often complained of mysterious "stains" on her paperwork and believed that "cats possessed more feeling and sympathy than people." She kept as many as 17 cats at a time and had a strong interest in improving veterinary care. Nightingale carefully chose what she considered to be high-quality mates for her cats only to discover that they often preferred lowly tomcats from the local mews.

• Charles Pierre Baudelaire poet & critic  flag   France   1821-1867
"The French poet, Charles Baudelaire was so obsessed with cats that he paid more attention to them than he did his own friends and family. He would often enter a house, pick up the cat, kiss and stroke the animal, being completely occupied by it, and to the annoyance of the people in the house, ignore anything being said to him." - Paws Online

Poem: "Le Chat" (The Cat)
Wikipedia: Carles Baudelaire

• Rutherford B. Hayes 19th USA President (1877-1881)  flag   USA   1822-1893

FAVORITE FELINE: Siam
"The first known Siamese cat was imported from Bangkok as a gift from the consul of Siam to the wife of President Rutherford B. Hayes and lived in the White House." - Siamese Breeders

Famous People with Siamese cats
YouTube: Liz Taylor with her Siamese

• Louis Pasteur chemist   fr flag   France   1822-1895


• Samuel Butler novelist   uk flag   UK   1835-1902


• Mark Twain author/humorist  flag   USA   November 30, 1835 - 1910



"I simply can't resist a cat,
particularly a purring one.
They are the cleanest,
cunnigest, and most
intelligent things I know,
outside of the girl
you love ofcourse."
Mark Twain

Mark Twain, the pen name of Samuel Langhorne Clemens, had several pet cats with fabulous names such as Sour Mash, Blaherskite, Trray Kit, Sin, Satan, Appollinaris, Bmbino, and Zoroaster

Twain once wrote: Of all God's creatures, there is only one that cannot be made slave of the leash. That one is the cat. If man could be crossed with the cat, it would improve man but deteriorate the cat.

When there was room on the ledge outside of the pots and boxes for a cat, the cat was there - in sunny weather - stretched at full length, asleep and blissfull, with her furry belly to the sun and a paw curved over her nose. Then the house was complete, and its contentment and peace were made manifest to the world by this symbol, whose testimony is infallible. A home without a cat - and a well-fed, well-petted and properly revered cat - may be a perfect home, perhaps, but how can it prove title? - from Twain's Pudd'nead Wilson

That's the way with a cat, you know - any cat; they don't give a damn for discipline. And they can't help it, they're made so. But it ain't really insubordination, when you come to look at it right and fair - it's a word that don't apply to a cat. A cat ain't ever anybody's slave or serf or servant, and can't be - it ain't in him to be. And so, he don't have to obey anybody. He is the only creature in heaven or earth or anywhere that don't have to obey somebody or other, including the angels. It sets him above the whole ruck, it puts him in a class by himself. He is independent. You understand the size of it? He is the only independent person there is. In heaven or anywhere else. There's always somebody a king has to obey - a trollop, or a priest, or a ring, or a nation, or a deity or what not - but it ain't so with a cat. A cat ain't servant nor slave to anybody at all. He's got all the independence there is, in Heaven or anywhere else, there ain't any left over for anybody else. He's your friend, if you like, but that's the limit - equal terms, too, be you king or be you cobbler; you can't play any I'm-better-than-you on a cat - no, sir! Yes, he's your friend, if you like, but you got to treat him like a gentleman, there ain't any other terms. The minute you don't, he pulls freight. - from "The Refuge of the Derelicts"

Mark Twain, Cats and Commusium
Mark Twain and Kitten
Quotations about Cats from Renowned Ailurophiles
a i l u r o p h i l e = a cat fancier : a lover of cats

• Claude Monet Impressionist artist  flag   France   1840-1926
This famous artist of the impressionist era began his career drawing pastels of cats.


• Thomas Hardy novelist   flag   UK   1840-1928

FAVORITE FELINE: Cobby


• Pierre Auguste Renoir artist  flag   France   1841-1919

renior

Sleeping Cat 1862
Sleeping Cat, 1862, oil painting



• Théophile Alexandre Steinlen artist  flag   Switzerland   1859-1923

steinlen
poster

Theophile Steinlen had great affection for cats as can be surmised from the many paintings, posters and sculptures he created. His Paris home was known as 'catscorner' because of the large number cats there. Here are some of Steinlen's art containing cats:

Clinique Cheron
Lait Pur, 1894
La Chat, painting
es Chats
Tournee du Chat Noir
sculpture of cat
sculpture of cat III

Links:
wikipedia
Steinlen Advertising Prints
Japanese Print of Cats
Feline Cats & Kittens Fine Art


• Louis Wain artist  flag   UK   1860-1939
FAVORITE FELINE: Peter

wain
cat drawing
Early cat drawing by Louis Wain before schizophrenia

Louis Wain was born on 5 August 1860 in London, England. He studied art and became an illustrator specializing in animal subjects. A large black-and-white cat named 'Peter' was companion of Wain's wife Emily. Louis taught Peter tricks and began to draw extensive sketches of the cat to amuse his wife when she was sick and dying of breast cancer. Louis sent his drawings of Peter to newspapers for publication; his comics and drawings of cats appeared in several newspapers in Britain and America. He wrote the book 'In Animal Land with Louis Wain' in 1904. Around the age of 57, Wain reached a personal crisis, fall into poverty and was affected by schizophrenia. In 1924, he was certified insane and admitted to the pauper's wing of a mental hospital.

        The following drawings of cats illustrate Wain's progression
        into schizophrenia:

wain catswain cats
wain catswain cats


• Gustav Klimpt   artist   flag   Austria   1862-1918
klimpt
klimpt
contemporary cat painting by Suzanne Frie
in the style of Gustav Klimpt


• Ruyard Kipling author  flag   UK   1865-1936
"He is the Cat who walks by Himself, and all places are alike to him." Ruyard Kipling 'Just So Stories' 1902

illustration   -   source
Ruyard Kipling
He is the Cat. . . video


• Beatrix Potter English author/artist/illustrator  flag   UK   1866-1943

potter cats
illustration from "The Tale of Tom Kitten"
The Project Gutenberg eBook


cat and mice
sketch of cat and mice

• Beatrix Potter, wrote about and painted many of her cats:

    • Ginger The Tale of Ginger and Pickles
    • Susan The Tale of Little Pig Robinson
    • Tom Kitten The Tale of Tom Kitten
        Tom's mom Mrs. Tabitha Twitchit
        Tom's siblings Miss Moppet and Mittens

Victoria & Albert Museum:
    "Peter and Benjamin see the cat."
    Beatrix Potter & Edward Lear
    Beatrix Potter: Beauty in Detail
The National Trust
Beatrix Potter Rarities
    Squintina Tabby
    Sketchbook entry: 'The Cats Meat Man'
Peter and white cat staring at goldfish
"Pussy-Cat Sits by the Fire"
Sketchbook entry: 'The Cats Meat Man'
Childhook Sketchbooks


• H.G. Welles writer   flag   England   1866-1946

FAVORITE FELINE: Mr. Peter Wells


• George Gurdjieff Armenian mystic   am flag   Armenia   1866?-1949

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• Pierre Bonnard artist   fr flag   France   1867-1947




• Henri Matisse   artist   flag   France   1869-1954


• Vladimir Llyich Lenin Marxist/founder USSR   flag   Soviet Union   1870-1924

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• Calvin Coolidge 30th President of USA   us flag   USA   1872-1933


• Paul Loautaud author   fr flag   France   1872-1956

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Colette author  flag   France   1873-1954


There are no ordinary cats!   Colette


• Sir Winston Churchill statesman  flag   UK   November 30, 1874 - 1965

FAVORITE FELINE: Jock

"A ginger cat with white chest and paws was an 88th birthday present for Churchill in November 1962, and was promptly named Jock, after the private secretary Sir John Colville, known as Jock, who gave it to him. This cat was such a favorite that he was seen sitting on Churchill's knee in his grandson's wedding photographs. Jock was only two when Churchill died in 1965, but lived on until 1974 at Winston's estate, Chartwell, and is now buried in the pet cemetery there.

Winston commissioned a painting of Jock, who slept in his bed every night and was even taken to all the wartime cabinet meetings. In compliance with Churchill's wishes, the National Trust - which inherited Chartwell on his death - has since acquired ginger cats called Jocks II and III." - Flippy's Cat Page

Churchill often sent servants to find Jock and refused to start eating until his cat was present at the table.


• Count Mihaly Karoly Hungarian President   hu flag   Hungary   1875-1955

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• Albert Schweitzer doctor   flag   USA   1875-1965

FAVORITE FELINES: Sizi and Piccolo


Although left-handed, Dr. Schweitzer would often write prescriptions with his right hand because his cat "Sizi" liked to sleep on his left arm and could not be disturbed. "...cats played an important role in his life -- even a domineering one. Sizi sat on his desk as he wrote, often falling asleep on his left arm, which, of course, he dared not move. This went on for 23 years. Sizi had been rescued by Dr. Schweitzer when she was a kitten after he heard her plaintive "meow" under the floor of a building under construction. Another cat, Piccolo, took her siestas on papers piled on Dr. Schweitzer's desk. Should they be in urgent need of his signature for immediate dispatch, well, too bad..."   from Albert Schweitzer, Chapter 5


• Gwendolen Mary John Welsh artist   uk flag   Wales   1876-1939

cat cleaning itself
"Cat Cleaning Itself" watercolor

sleeping cat
"Study of Sleeping cat" ink

The Welsh artist who worked in France for most of her career. In Meudon she lived in solitude, except for her cats. In an undated letter she wrote, "I should like to go and live somewhere where I met nobody I know till I am so strong that people and things could not effect me beyond reason."



• Albert Einstein theoretical physicist   German flag   Germany & USA   1879-1955

FAVORITE FELINE: Tiger
"Since he was fond of all animals, especially cats, Einstein adopted a male cat, Tiger, who would get depressed whenever it rained. Einstein would talk to his cat during rainy days. . ."
Einstein said, "A man has to work so hard so that something of his personality stays alive. A tomcat has it so easy, he has only to spray and his presence is there for years on rainy days." Cats and Coffee: Cat-Lovers


• Wanda Landowska harpsichordist   pl flag fr flag   Poland & France   1879-1959

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• Paul Klee   artist   flagswiss flag   Germany & Switzerland   1879-1940
Matisse
Matisse
Cat and Bird 1928 oil & ink on canvas


• Ernst Kirchner   artist   flag   Germany   1880-1938

kirchner kirchner
Girl on Sofa with Cat, 1910                   Self Portrait with Cat, 1919/20

Kirchner was a painter, sculptor, draftsman and a photographer. In 1904 he studied architecture in Dresden and began painting with Erich Heckel. These two artists joined with Fritz Bleyl, Karl Schmidt-Rottluff and Emil Nolde to form Die Brucke. This association continued until 1913. Between 1913 and 1915 Kirchner completed his famous series of works which capture the pulsating life of a modern Berlin. In 1914 Kirchner voluntarily joined the military service, but he was medically discharged at the end of 1915 following a nervous breakdown. In 1918 he moved to a farm house in Davos in the Alps and remained there until his death. In 1937 The Nazis confiscated all of his paintings on display in public museums, declaring his work 'degenerate'. Kirchner committed suicide on July 15, 1938.



• Pablo Picasso Spanish artist  flag   Spain   1881-1973


cat
Cat Devoouring a Bird, oil painting, 1939



• Franklin D. Roosevelt 32nd President of USA   us flag   USA   1882-1945


• Igor Stravinsky composer/conductor   ru flag fr flag   Russia & France   1882-1971

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• William Carlos Williams poet/physician   us flag   USA   1883-1963

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• Leonard Tsuguoharu Foujita   Japanese artist   flag   Japan   1886-1968



• T. S. (Thomas Stearns) Eliot poet/playwright  flag   England   1888-1965

FAVORITE FELINE: Tantomile and Wiscus
T.S. Eliot, who wrote his famous cat poem Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats which became the source and inspiration for the Broadway musical "Cats" with music by Andrew Lloyd Weber. The poem was inspired by his own cats: Tantomile and Wiscus.



• Raymond Chandler novelist/screenwriter   us flag   1888-1959

FAVORITE FELINE: Taki (a black Persian)

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Chandler enjoyed talking to his cat, Taki, as though she were human; he called her his secretary because she sat on his manuscripts. . .


• Wanda Hazel Gag author/illustrator   us flag   USA   1893-1947

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• Louis-Ferdinand Celine doctor/author   fr flag   France   1894-1961

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• Aldous Huxley writer   uk flag   England   1894-1963

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• Jean Cocteau poet/film-maker  flag   France   1889-1963

"Jean Maurice Eugene Clement Cocteau... Visionary, playwright, opium addict, painter, sculptor, potter, poet, film director, novelist, theatrical designer, exuberant homosexual and all round inspiration... How's that for an introduction?" - Boy Musing





• Robert Graves novelist/poet   uk flag   England   1895-1985

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• F. Scott Fitzgerald writer   flag   USA   1896-1940

FAVORITE FELINE: Chopin


• Ernest Hemingway writer  flag   USA   1899-1961

FAVORITE FELINES: Thruster and Snowball

The Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum in Key West, Florida is home to approximately sixty cats. They are protected and taken care of by the terms of Hemingway's will and have full run of the place and go where and when they please. They are taken care of by the staff of the museum and a full time vet.

Hemingway was given a six-toed cat ("Snowball") by a ship's captain and some of the cats who live on the museum grounds are descendants of that original cat.

Normal cats have five front toes and four back toes. About half of the cats at the museum are polydactyl, which means they have extra toes. Most cats have extra toes on their front feet and sometimes on their back feet as well...


    • Hemingway Home & Museum, Key West, Florida
    • Farewell to Paws  •  paws in cememnt
    • Ernest Heminway Home & Museum Reviews
    • Cat Watering Bowl at Fickr
    • Hemingway's Cats
    • Heminway and Cats photograph | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5


• Jorge Luis Borges writer  flag   Argentina  1899-1986

FAVORITE FELINE: Beppo




• Jacques Prevert poet/screenwriter   fr flag   France   1900-1977

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• Charles Lindbergh aviator/author   US flag   USA   1902-1974

FAVORITE FELINE: Patsy

stamp

Charles Lindbergh's cat, Patsy, sometimes accompanied him on flights - though not on his famous flight. The very first stamp showing a domestic cat dates back to 1930, from a Spanish set picturing famous aviators of the period. The 1-peseta value shows Charles Lindbergh's departing plane Spirit of St Louis, with his black kitten Patsy sitting in the lower right corner wistfully watching it leave. The stamp has been reprinted many times, but it's difficult to find an original. - source



• Diego Giacometti sculptor & designer   ch flag   Switzerland   1902-1985




• Jean-Paul Sartre philosopher/playwright/novelist   fr flag   France   1905-1980

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• Greta Garbo Swedish/American actress   flag   USA   1905-1990



• Dmitri Shostakovich composer   flag   Soviet Union   1906-1975

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• Samuel Beckett Irish writer, dramatist & poet   flag   Ireland   1906-1989




• Robert Heinlein science fiction writer  flag   USA   1907-1988

"How you behave toward cats here below determines your status in Heaven"
"If you would know a man, observe how he treats a cat."


• Balthus artist  flag flag   France & Switzerland   1908-2001


Balthus at the Chateau de Chassy, 1956 © LIFE

Balthus avec son chat á Rossiniére en 1999
Photograph by Martine Franck © 1999
In 1921, at the age of thirteen, Balthus (Count Balthasar Klossowski de Rola) published a book of 40 drawings called "Mitsou," about a boy and his cat, with a preface by the poet Rainer Maria Rilke. Balthus remained obsessed with the cats for the rest of his life..." based on Art Observed

mediterranee
Cat of the Mediterranean aka King of Cat 1935

"Balthus liked to think of himself as the "King of the Cats," and after an impressive lunch at "La Mediterranée," a restaurant at the Odeon in Paris, Balthus painted the Cat of the Mediterranean aka The King of Cats (1935). The surrealistic painting shows a mischievous cat, with a knife and fork at a table by the seaside. A rainbow arcs on to his plate, gradually morphing into a succession of fish offered for the cat's dinner. There is little doubt that the cat is intended to portray Balthus." - Balthus at Martigny

cat with mirror III
Cat with Mirror III, oil, 1989-94
detail
detail: Cat with Mirror III



• Carole Lombard actress   us flag   USA   1908-1942

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• Tennessee Williams playwrite   flag   1911-1983

FAVORITE FELINE: Topaz


• Albert Camus author/philosopher/journalist   frflag   France  1913-1960

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• William Burroughs author  flag   USA   1914-1997

FAVORITE FELINE: Ruski

Burroughs credits his little cat, Ruski, with restoring his humanity.

My relationships with my cats, has saved me from a deadly,
pervasive ignorance...
William S. Burroughs in The Cat Inside



• Saul Steinberg cartoonist/illustrator   flag   USA   1914-1999


steinberg


• Edith Piaf singer   fr flag   France   1915-1963

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• "Moondog" composter/poet/street musician   us flag   USA   1916-1999
   Louis Thomas Hardin
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• Jean-Pierre Melville film director   fr flag   France   1917-1973

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• Thelonious Monk jass pianist/composer   us flag   USA   1917-1982

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• Ida Lupino actress/film director   us flag   USA   1918-1995

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• Robert Duncan poet   us   USA   1919-1988

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• Doris May Lessing British author   uk flag   Rhodesia & England   b. 1919

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• Charles Bukowski poet/novelist   us flag   1920-1994

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• Pope John Paul II religious  flag   Poland   1920-2005
      • The Pose & the Homeless Cats
      • Animals Too Have Souls


• Piero Piccioni lawyer/film score composer   it flag   Italy   1921-2004

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• Henry Lawerance Faulkner painter & poet   flag   USA   1924-1981



Cat with Doll, oil, © The Settle Collection

Henry Faulkner was an eccentric crossdressing painter and poet, who was born in Holland, Kentucky in 1924 - a cousin of the writer William Faulkner. After his mother's death in 1926, he and his ten brothers and sisters were placed in a children's home in Louisville, Kentucky. By 1930, Henry had been placed in several foster homes, but eventually settled in Falling Timber, in Clay County.

He was a lover of Tennessee Williams (author of the play 'Cat On A Hot Tin Roof') and was incarcerated in a mental ward with Ezra Pound... Henry's niece, Michelle (who cuts my hair at Biyoshi Salon) told me, that when Tennessee and Henry fought, Henry would often pack up all his cats and drive back to Kentucky. Henry loved his many cats, as well as his chickens and goats. . .

"Faulkner's behavior may have seemed bizarre to many, but he lived life to the fullest without the shackles of social convention." He died on December 3, 1981 as a result of an automobile accident.



• Truman Capote author  flag   USA   1924-1984
Truman Capote

She was still hugging the cat. "Poor slob," she said, tickling his head, "poor slob without a name. It's a little inconvenient, his not having a name. But I haven't any right to give him one: he'll have to wait until he belongs to somebody. We just sort of took up by the river one day, we don't belong to each other: he's an independent, and so am I. I don't want to own anything until I know I've found the place where me and things belong together. I'm not quite sure where that is just yet. But I know what it's like." She smiled, and let the cat drop to the floor. "It's like Tiffany's," she said.   Breakfast at Tiffany's

Truman Capote cuddles kitty 1967


• Edward Gorey writer/artist/illustrator   us flag   USA   1925-2000




• Allen Ginsberg American poet & activist flag   USA   1926-1997  
Allen Ginsberg



• Pope Benedict XVI religious  flag   Germany   b. 1927      

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Pope Benedict and his love of cats


• Stanley Kubrick film director   us flag uk flag   USA & UK   date

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• Agnes Varda film director   fr flag   France   b. 1928

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• Edward Albee playwright   us flag   USA   b. 1928

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• Anne Frank writer & holocaust victim flag   Germany   1929-1945

FAVORITE FELINE: Boche and Tommy
Anne Frank

In 1942, the thirteen year old German Jewish girl, Anne Frank, and her family fled to Amsterdam to escape persecution by the Nazis. When they arrived at their hiding place in the loft of a warehouse, they discovered two cats. One of the cats was more aggressive, so Anne called it Boche. The other was less aggressive, but always won in the end, so she called it Tommy. A third cat was the pet of a young man who, with his family, later joined the Franks in hiding. His cat was called Mouchi.


• Claude Chabrol film director   fr flag   France   1930-2010
  Stefane Audran French actress   France        b. 1932

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• Jacques Derrida philosopher   fr flag   France   1930-2004

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• Tippi Hedren actress   flag   USA   b. 1930       image in slideshow
Ms. Hedren is the founder of Shambala Preserve and Roar Foundation
and the author of "Cats of Shambala."


• James Dean actor   us flag   USA   1931-1955

FAVORITE FELINE: Marcus   (gift of Liz Taylor)

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• Elizabeth "Liz" Taylor actress/AIDS activist   us flag   USA   1932-2011

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• Jane Mansfield actress/pin-up girl   us flag   USA   1933-1967

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• Nina Simone singer/civil rights activist   us flag   USA   1933-2003

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• Brigitte Bardot actress  flag   France   born 1934


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The French film actress once compared herself to the slinky cat:
"I really am a cat transformed into a woman... I purr. I scratch.
And sometimes I bite."  Brigitte Bardot and Cat


• Gloria Steinem feminist/journalist   us flag   USA   b. 1934

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• The 14th Dalai Lama of Tibet spiritual leader   tibet flag   b. 1935

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• Francoise Sagan playwright/novelist   fr flag   France   1935-2004

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• Hunter S. Thompson author/journalist/actor   us flag   USA   1937-2005

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When Ralph Steadman visited his friend Hunter S. Thompson in Woody Creek, Colorado, he fell completely under the spell of Hunter's cat, Jones. He decided to buy a brand new sketchbook, and this became the book "Jone of Colorado." Jones was a master of manipulation, full of manic energy. When he wanted something he could be imploring, yet enviably serene when absorbed in his private world. When content, his fur would swell impressibly from his cheeks, but if crossed, a swift and savage claw put the offender in his place. The drawings bring Jones vividly to life. His anarchic sense of fun mirrored Steadman's own, leading to an extraordinary and intimate understanding between them. In this book Steadman has caught the special grace cats have, and the strange power they have over humans. - Amazon



• John Lennon musician   flag   England   1940-1980


John Lennon with Siamese Kitten
Lennon drawing
drawing of two cats by John Lennnon


• Frank Zappa musician  us flag   USA   1940-1993


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• Joseph Brodsky Russian/American poet   us flag   USA   1940-1996

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• Scattergood-Moore artist  us flag   USA   born November 30, 1940

FAVORITE FELINES: The Maine Coon Cat and The Studio Cat
scattergood
Self Portrait with My Maine Coon Cat

pencil drawing, where-abouts unknown

cat and scatt
The Studio Cat & Scattergood-Moore, 2011
Formally in the collection of Emily D. Scattergood, Dr. Emily Scattergood, Emily Shidlow


• Janis Joplin 1943-1970   us flag   USA   1943-1970

FAVORITE FELINE: Kitty Cat


• Freddie Mercury Queen vocalist, singer-songwriter  flag   UK 1946-1991

FAVORITE FELINE: Dorothy

Freddie Mercury (right) & Jim Hutton (left) and their cat, Dorothy

Queen's legendary frontman, Freddie Mercury, was a feline fancier who loved his cats more than his countless fans. According to Jacky Smith, who has run the Official Queen Fan Club, "Most of them were from rescue centers. . . We have a charity [in the United Kingdom] called The Blue Cross, which takes care of sick animals. Freddie got at least two from them, if not more." Mercury dedicate his solo album, "Mr. Bad Guy," to his cat Jerry, as well as the rest of his brood at the time, and extended the note to "all the cat lovers across the universe."

Lyrics to "Mr. Bad Guy" - recorded in May 1984 . . .                 You're trespassing, this is not OK           Wrong invitation, better not stick around my alley way           I'm Mr Bad Guy           Yes, I'm everybody's Mr Bad Guy           Defend yourself, I bring catastrophe           Oh, oh, it's the only way to live from day to day             You're big daddy, he big business man           No recommendation           Feel like the president of the USA            I'm Mr Bad Guy           Yes I'm everybody's Mr Bad Guy           Defend yourself, I bring catastrophe           Oh, oh, it's the only way to live from day to day                     I'm Mr Bad Guy   They're all afraid of me           I can ruin people's lives, yeah, yeah           Mr Bad Guy, don't go upsetting me           I can make you lose your mind           Possess you any time           I'm Mr Bad Guy, Mr Bad Guy, Bad Guy           Everyone's afraid of me           Everyone's afraid of me                     Yes, I'm Mr Bad Guy           Yes, I'm everybody's Mr Bad Guy           Defend yourself, I bring catastrophe           Oh, oh, it's the only way to live from day to day                                

Mercury's first cats were Tom and Jerry, who he and his girlfriend Mary Austin had during the early days of Queen. When their relationship ended in the late 1970s, Mary kept Tom and Jerry but gave Mercury a lovely longhaired bluepoint he named Tiffany. Oscar was an orange-and-white tom, a bit of a loner, who came to live with him via a boyfriend. The most famous feline of the Mercury clan was Delilah, a large male tri-colored (tortoiseshell) tabby who was adopted in late 1987; Mercury paid tribute to Delilah, on the Queen album, Innuendo - the album's dedication states: "To all cat lovers everywhere - screw everyone else." On the same day that Delilah arrived, a tiny black cat named Goliath arrived. Miko, another tabby, came just after a trip to Japan thus inspiration for her name. A white-faced tabby called Romeo was found by his boyfriend Jim Hutton and turned out to be quite a fighter. Finally, Lilly came home - Mercury had mentioned that he always wanted a white cat.

"No one except for his closest friends knows how long Mercury was aware he was HIV-positive, although both Peter Freestone, Mercury's personal assistant and cook and Smith believe that his cats knew. Their unconditional love gave him great comfort and company in his final days, and Mercury would never deny them admittance to his bedroom. Said Jacky Smith, 'Cats have that fantastic sixth sense. . . I imagine that they knew he wasn't well and spent more time with him. It's just the thing cats would do.'" Before Mercury passed away on Nov. 24, 1991, he made sure all of his loved ones would be taken care of. "They all stayed at Garden Lodge with Mary, which is where they still are today,' said Smith." - Queen Interviews

AIDS ribbon Prince of the Universe
Fanpop: Freddie's Cats
Freddie Mercury and His Cats
Oscar and Tiffany
Queen Interviews
Interesting People and their PetsCelebrity Cats
Wikipedia


• Patti Smith singer-songwriter, poet & visual artist  flag   USA   b. 1946

photo of Patti Smith

Patti Smith with Cat, photo by Robert Mapplethorpe, 1978
Patti Smith sings to her cat
Patti Smith sings to her Cat

   LINKS:
      • The Cultural Cat
      • Cool People Love Cats
      • Crunchykey blog  |  lyrics
      • www.pattismith.net  |  news
      • For the Love of Patti


• Bill Clinton 42nd President of USA   us flag   USA   b. 1946

FAVORITE FELINES: Socks

socks

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• Tom Waits singer/songwriter   us flag   USA   b. 1949

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• Morrissey lyricist/singer   uk flag   United Kingdom   b. 1959

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• Jean-Michel Basquiat American/Haitian artist   us flag   USA   1960-1988
cat shit
sans titre (cat-shit), 1985

photo of Basquiat with cat on his lap


• Jethro Tull Band rock band   uk flag   UK  1967


"OLD BLACK CAT"
Jethro Tull

My old black cat passed away this morning
He never knew what a hard day was.
Woke up late and danced on tin roofs.
If questioned "Why?" - answered, "Just because."
He never spoke much, preferring silence:
eight lost lives was all he had.
Occasionally sneaked some Sunday dinner.
He wasn't good and he wasn't bad.
My old black cat wasn't much of a looker.
You could pass him by - just a quiet shadow.
Got pushed around by all the other little guys.
Didn't seem to mind much - just the way life goes.
Padded about in furry slippers.
Didn't make any special friends.
He played it cool with wide-eyed innocence,
Receiving gladly what the good Lord sends.
Forgot to give his Christmas present.
Black cat collar, nice and new.
Thought he'd make it through to New Year.
I guess this song will have to do.
My old black cat. . . . .
Old black cat. . . . .


• Max Abeles American artist   us flag   USA   b. 1983
max
Sigmund Abeles, left: (detail)         right: My Son Max and His Cat, pastel




ArtSlant - Max Abeles











Tina Fey



  • "Artists like cats; soldiers like dogs." Desmond Morris
  • "Authors like cats because they are such quiet, lovable, wise creatures, and cats like authors for the same reasons." Robertson Davies
  • "Cats have it all - admiration, an endless sleep, and company only when they want it." Rod McKuen
  • "I believe cats to be spirits come to earth. A cat, I am sure, could walk on a cloud without coming through." Jules Verne
  • "I love cats because I enjoy my home; and little by little, they become its visible soul." Jean Cocteau
  • "If you call a cat, he may not come. Which doesn't happen with dogs. They're different types of animals. Cats are very sexy I think too in the way they move." Antonio Banderas
  • "Like all pure creatures, cats are practical." William S. Burroughs
  • "No matter how much cats fight, there always seem to be plenty of kittens." Abraham Lincoln
  • "Perhaps it is because cats do not live by human patterns, do not fit themselves into prescribed behavior, that they are so united to creative people." Andre Norton
  • "There are two means of refuge from the miseries of life: music and cats." Albert Schweitzer
  • "Those who'll play with cats must expect to be scratched." Miguel de Cervantes
  • "Time spent with cats is never wasted." Sigmund Freud
  • "When my cats aren't happy, I'm not happy. Not because I care about their mood but because I know they're just sitting there thinking up ways to get even." Percy Bysshe Shelley
  • "They're an enigma, cats. They contain so many epitomes of maleness and femaleness all wrapped up in the one little furry bundle." PIan Anderson
  • "Women and cats will do as they please, and men and dogs should relax and get used to the idea." Robert A. Heinlein




LINKS:

      • MBTI of Cats (personality types)
      • Famous Cat-Lovers
      • The Cat Lady (blog)
      • Famous People & Cats
      • CatStuff: A Few Famous Cat Lovers
      • The Year in: Cats I Dig
      • More Famous Cat Lovers
      • List of Cats: famous pets & famous cats
      • The Thing About Cats
      • The Catalyst: Famous People with their Cats
      • Quoits about Cat from Renowned Ailurophiles
      • Index of Famous People's Cats
      • Celebrities and Cats: LIFE
      • CatQuotes.com: Famous Cat Lovers
      • Ertha Kitt and kittens Mishak & Willow, 1956
      • LITERARY CATS
      • A Blurb About Cats
      • pawsonline.com
      • Gatopoder (people and cats)


PAINTINGS/ARTWORKS OF PEOPLE WITH CATS:

      • David Hockneyy, Mr and Mrs Clark and Percy 1970
      •


PHOTOGRAPHS OF FAMOUS PEOPLE WITH CATS:   (The Catalyst)

      • Gustav Klimt
      • Jayne Mansfield with Kitten
      • Frank Zappa with his cat 1987
      • Mark Twain with Kitten
      • Truman Capote, 1967

 

 


 

 

NOT EVERYONE IS A CAT LOVER!



self portrait with cats

Sigmund Abeles, Self Portrait with Cats, 1965, etching, 12" X 17.5" Edition of 30

sigmundabeles.net

 

 

Famous Cat Haters


ARE DICTATORS CAT-HATERS
and/or
AILUROPHOBICS?
(the persistent irrational fear of cats)

Believe it or not, not everyone loves cats. Genghis Kahn was a famous cat-hater and so were Alexander the Great, Julius Caesar, Nero and Stalin. It may be that men with dreams of dominating the world can't get used to the idea that independent creatures like cats won't submit to them and must be destroyed. A similar streak of ailurophobia (irrational fear of cats) affected the personalities of Napoleon Bonaparte, Benito Mussolini, and Adolph Hitler.

"Cats may be our pets, but no person really owns one. Cats have been calling their own shots for a long time; they were a symbol of liberty in ancient Rome. Cat lovers and cat haters have been around for a long time too. Ancient Egypt worshiped famous cats, and Middle Age Europe persecuted them as evil. Cats are still with us today. They are the most popular pet in the United States." - famous-cats.com


Here are a few famous cat haters:

  • Alexander the Great (356-323BC) suffered from ailurophobia - the fear of cats.
  • Julius Caesar (100-44BC) the Roman general and dictator suffered from ailurophobia.
  • Wu-Chao, Empress of China (625-705) the Chinese empress feared cats because her lady-in-waiting told the Empress she would become a rat in the afterlife and the lady-in-waiting would become a cat and hunt and kill the empress.
  • Genghis Khan (c.1162-1227) the Mongol emperor suffered from ailurophobia.
  • Pope Gregory IX (1143-1241) during his rule Christians began persecuting cats - millions of cats were tortured and burned because they were believed to be representatives of Satan. :-(
    These practices continued under:
    Pope Innocent VII (1336-1415) :-(
    Pope Innocent VIII (1432-1492) :-(
    Queen Elizabeth I of England (1533-1603) :-(
  • Ivan the Terrible (1530-1584) the Russian ruler as a child throw cats out of windows of his palace to amuse himself. :-(
  • Henri III of France (1551-1589) this French monarch would faint if a cat came near him - he was responsible for the death of at least 30,000 cats during his reign. :-(
  • William Shakespeare (1564-1616) the play writer and poet referred to cats about 40 times in his plays; his references to cats were always negative - sometime calling them "vile." :-(
    • During Shakespeare's time, people linked cats to witches. The first of the Chelmsford Witch trials in 1566 was against Elizabeth Frances. She confessed to using a cat named Sathan, as a familiar to harm various people. The cat was given to Agnes Waterhouse, and her daughter Joan. Elizabeth Frances was sentenced to one year in prison, Agnes Waterhouse was hung, and her daughter Joan was found not guilty.
  • King Louis XIV of France (1638-1715) this French monarch at 19 years old, ordered hundreds of cats burned alive for his pleasure. :-(
  • Georges Louis Leclerc de Buffon (1707-1788) the French naturalist claimed that cats possess "an innate malice and perverse disposition which increasers as they grow up." :-(
  • Noah Webster (1758-1843) the American educator, lexicographer, and textbook pioneer described cats as a "deceitful animal and when enraged, extremely spiteful." :-(
  • Napoleon Bonaparte (1769-1821) the French emperor had an irrational fear cats. . .
  • Johannes Brahms (1833-1897) the composer enjoyed shooting neighborhood cats with a bow and arrow :-(
  • Hilaire Belloc (1870-1953)
  • Isadora Duncan (1878-1927) the dancer & choreographer had cats that came onto her property captured and hanged :-(
  • Benito Mussolini Il Duce (1883-1945) the Italian Fascist dictator suffered from ailurophobia.
  • Rockwell Sayre (1885-1930) the Chicago banker hated cats and said they were "filthy and useless." He wanted to see every cat in the world destroyed and in the 1920s offered rewards to cat killers - fortunately he was not successful :-(
  • Adolf Hitler (1889-1945) the German dictator suffered from ailurophobia.
  • Dwight D. Eisenhower (1890-1969) the 34th US President had his staff shoot any cats seen on the grounds of his home :-(


    A Cat-Hater's Handbook
    by William Cole, Illustrated by Tomi Underer




    LINKS:
    A Cat-Hater's Handbook
    Ruling Cats and Dogs
    Celebrity Cats
    • see: Planet Cat: A CAT-alog by Sandra
       and Harry Choron, and Arden Moore
    Famous Cat Haters | Cats & Co
    Cotton Mather on Witches 1689
    Witchcraft in Elizabethan Englnd
    The Cat as a Witch's Familiar Sprit
    The Cat Hater's Guide to Cat Breeds
    Cats for Obama '08
    Obama Snowball

 

witches broom
Cat as Witches' Familiar Spirit

The image above shows one Witch astride her broom, whip in hand and a somewhat lighter-than-air Cat trying to stay aside her broom. This image provides a rich field for interpellation. Is the Witch who is reclining on the ground with more cats, dreaming of her nocturnal flight? The house in this image, with its home-fires burning, reinforces this message as if to say, "While others are tucked up warm in bed, the Witches (like cats) are abroad at night." All the action happens beneath the gaze of the Moon, the principal symbol of the Unconscious and dreaming. Totemic emblems such as Cats have come to represent Witches not only as a whole, but as a type of psychic power sent out to do the Witch's bidding. This illustration seems to suggest the instinctual powers are at the forefront during the hours of the night.

 

 

Okey the Kitty
Long Live Chairman Meow!

 

 

 

kipping
"He is the Cat who walks by Himself,
and all places are alike to him."
Ruyard Kipling - 'Just So Stories' 1902

 



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