Celebrity cat fanciers
The well known Bronte sister who wrote many wonderful books usually had a pet cat – or even two. Emily Bronte devoted one of a series of essays she wrote to the cat “I can say with great sincerity that I like cats” she wrote very seriously. “A cat is an animal which has more human feelings than almost any other…”
Edgar Allan Poe, a well-known American author, poet, editor and literary critic, often worked with his cat sitting on his shoulder – comfortable for the cat, I am sure, but probably not so comfortable for him.
Sir Walter Scott, Scottish historical novelist, playwright and poet, had his portrait painted with his cat Hinx beside him.
So devoted to the cat was the French writer Colette that she was frequently photographed with a cat in her arms or sitting among the work on her desk. She once said that “a perfect companion never has less than four feet!!”
The left handed Albert Schweitzer often chose to struggle on with the pen in his right hand rather than disturb his cat Sizi who liked to sleep on his left arm. Albert was theologian, organist, philosopher, physician and medical missionary in Africa, also known for his interpretive life of Jesus.
Pope Leo XII often had his cherished cat Michetto by his side when he addressed people.
Theodore Roosevelt had a much-loved cat named Slippers who once took up a position between the State dining room and drawing room in the White House and important guests at a special evening dinner had to walk around him as Theodore would not disturb his cat.
Winston Churchill, who always had ginger cats, had a special friend named Jock and this particular cat very often slept on Churchill’s bed and also accompanied him to many Cabinet meetings during war time. He was a British politician who was also the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. He is the only British Prime Minister to have received the Nobel Prize in Literature, and was the first person to be made an honorary citizen of the United States.
Princess Michael of Kent owned a Siamese cat and she was the only member of the Royal family whose official photographs often included her cat.
Prophet Mohammed once cut off the bottom part of his robe rather than disturbing his sleeping pet cat, Muessa. Mohammed’s favourite animal was the cat and he proclaimed a law for pet protection.
Admiral Nelson was known to care more about his cat than his young bride from the West Indies and she was so jealous of the attention he gave to the cat that she finally got a divorce.
Pablo Picasso once wrote “Cats are the most concerned and attentive companions anyone could wish for!” He could not understand why anyone would not want to have a cat of their own.
If you view many of the paintings of
Leonardo da Vinci you will see that he included many studies of the Madonna and Child with a cat in the painting.
The English physicist and mathematician, Isaac Newton, was believed to have invented the cat door. He wanted his pets to have the freedom to enter or leave a room whenever they wished so they did not disturb him when he was working.
(Joan E Henderson is based in Australia and she has judged furry felines in many other countries including USA, Bermuda, Malaysia, South Africa, Hong Kong,Philippines and New Zealand).