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Feline Fans


Surnames L-Z


Feline Fans is devoted to mentioning well-known or famous people, from both historical and more recent times, who have been noted for their liking of cats. For most the name of at least one of their pets is given, although some people had more than one cat, or a succession of them (like Ernest Hemingway, who remarked, 'One cat leads to another.'). Thumbnail portraits of the people are included where possible, in a few cases with cat.

Of course these are only some of the celebrated personages throughout history and right up to the present day who have taken a liking to cats — in some cases a real love of them. Over time we hope to add more names to the roster.



Edward Lear

Lear, Edward

(1812-1888)

Foss

The English writer and humorist was devoted to Foss, so much so that when the cat was quite old and Lear had to move house, he had the new house built just like the old one, so Foss would know his way around.

Robert E. Lee

Lee, Robert E.

(1807-1870)

Unknown

The general was a cat lover, and during his campaigns in the Mexican-American war wrote to his daughter asking her to send a kitten to keep him company.

Vivien Leigh

Leigh, Vivien

(1913-1967)

Poo Jones

Acclaimed English actress Leigh had several cats. Her Siamese Poo Jones was said to have been with her when she died.

Vladimir Ilyich Lenin

Lenin, Vladimir Ilyich

(1870-1924)

Unknown

Unlike other dictators, the leader of the Russian Revolution was quite fond of cats.

John Lennon

Lennon, John

(1940-1980)

Mimi, Pepper

The famous Beatle had a great love of cats and he and his first wife Cynthia had up to ten. The first one he had was called Mimi after his cat-loving aunt. He often sketched the animals and taught son Sean to do the same. As a boy he is said to have cycled to the fishmonger's to buy hake for his cat. A later cat that he and Yoko had was called Pepper. There is an excellent page on John Lennon and the many felines in his life here.

Pope Leo XII

Leo XII

(1760-1829)

Micetto

This pope had a large tabby, born in the Vatican; the pope was said sometimes to give audiences with the cat concealed in his robes.

Abraham Lincoln

Lincoln, Abraham

(1809-1865)

Tabby

On a visit to General Grant's headquarters in the middle of winter Lincoln found three half-frozen kittens there, adopted them on the spot and took them back to the White House. They joined Tabby, the pet of the president's son Tad and the earliest recorded White House feline.

Charles Lindbergh

Lindbergh, Charles

(1902-1974)

Patsy

Famous American aviator Lindbergh's black kitten accompanied him on many of his flights, but he decided it would be best not to take her on his epic transatlantic journey.
See images of Lindbergh with Patsy in May 1927:
Corbis 1 | Corbis 2

Andrew Lloyd Webber

Lloyd Webber, Andrew

(b. 1948)

Mica, Ozzie

The musician's cat once accidentally wiped out the score to his sequel to Phantom of the Opera by stepping on the keyboard. 'I think he was right, though' said Andrew. 'The score I had written up till then was rubbish.' Currently he has two Turkish Van cats.

Emperor Louis XV of France

Louis XV of France

(1710-1774)

Unknown

The Emperor had a favourite white cat that went to his bed each morning, and during Councils of State was allowed to play on the table.

Edouard Manet

Manet, Edouard

(1832-1883)

Zizi

The famous French painter would often use watercolours to sketch his cat Zizi.

Marie Antoinette

Marie Antoinette

(1755-1793)

Unknown

The Viennese-born Queen of France kept Angora cats. Legend has it that after the French Revolution some of her beloved cats were taken to safety in America, where they became the ancestors of the Maine Coon breed.

James Mason

Mason, James

(1909-1984)

Sadie

The well-known English actor and film star and his wife Pamela had many cats and wrote a book about them, The Cats in Our Lives, which was illustrated by Mason himself. Sadie was one that featured in the book and she was a Siamese.

Henri Matisse

Matisse, Henri

(1869-1954)

Unknown

The French artist loved the company of cats, and when ill health forced him to remain in bed he would be joined there by his favourite black one.

Freddie Mercury

Mercury, Freddie

(1946-1991)

Delilah, Tiffany
+ several others

Delilah was the favoured pet of the rock-star founder of the group Queen; she was a tortoiseshell and immortalised in the group's song of the same name. The photo shows him with Tiffany. There are a number of photos of Freddie and his cats here.

John Mills

Mills, John

(1909-2005)

Unknown

The famous English star appeared in more than 120 films over seven decades. In Cats he gave a memorable performance as Gus, the theatre cat.

No image available

Mohammed

(c570-632)

Muezza

The prophet had a favourite cat called Muezza that he would hold in his arms when he preached; and he is said once to have cut off the sleeve of his robe rather than disturb her sleep. Because of his love for the animals, cats are free to enter mosques and Islamic law forbids killing them.

Marilyn Monroe

Monroe, Marilyn

(1926-1962)

Mitsou

Mitsou was a white Persian that lived with the American actress and singer in New York during the 1950s. Marilyn was fond of animals.

Sir Patrick Moore

Moore, Sir Patrick

(1923-2012)

Ptolemy, Jeannie

The famous veteran British astronomer had cats throughout his life; he said, 'Cats have been a constant love. I don't know what I would do without a cat.' Ptolemy's companion Jeannie died of kidney failure in 2011. In 2012, Sir Patrick wrote a book called Miaow! — Cats really are nicer than people, with many photos of Ptolemy and Jeannie; and when Sir Patrick died in December of that year, Ptolemy was with him.

Iris Murdoch

Murdoch, Iris

(1919-1999)

General Butchkin

Dame Iris, Irish-born novelist and philosopher, adored this cat with the unusual name.

Sir Isaac Newton

Newton, Sir Isaac

(1643-1727)

Unknown

The story has it that one of Newton's cats, with its constant wish to be let in or out, inspired him to create the 'cat flap', or 'pet door'.

Florence Nightingale

Nightingale, Florence

(1820-1910)

Mr Bismarck

Florence, best known for her nursing work during the Crimean War, probably owned 60 felines during her lifetime, but her favourite was this large Persian — 'the most sensitively affectionate of cats, very gentle .... who never makes a mistake'.

Nostradamus

Nostradamus

(1503-1566)

Grimalkin

Celebrated pet of the French astrologer.

Edgar Allen Poe

Poe, Edgar Allan

(1809-1849)

Cattarina

A tortoiseshell cat that was a devoted companion of author Poe and his sickly wife, and might have been part of the inspiration for his horror tale, The Black Cat.

Maurice Ravel

Ravel, Maurice

(1875-1937)

Unknown

French classical composer who had many cats. His opera L'Enfant et les Sortilèges ('The Child and the Magic Spells') has a bravura cat duet sung by the Tom Cat and the She Cat in an authentic-sounding feline 'language' invented by Colette.

Cardinal Richelieu

Richelieu, Cardinal

(1585-1642)

Soumise

One of the most powerful men in seventeenth-century France presided over the burning of witches and their familiars, but was devoted to his own cats, of which he had 14; two servants were appointed to look after them. Each cat received a 'pension' in the cardinal's will. Soumise was one of his favourites and often slept on his lap. Two others were Racan and Perruque, born in a wig!

Theodore Roosevelt

Roosevelt, Theodore

(1858-1919)

Slippers

Slippers was a six-toed cat who caused the guests at a state banquet to detour around her when she went to sleep in a hallway. The Roosevelts also had a feisty youngster called Tom Quartz.

George Sand

Sand, George

(1804-1876)

Minou

Pseudonym of French writer and feminist whose cat was said to be so close to her that they ate breakfast from the same bowl.

Dorothy Sayers

Sayers, Dorothy

(1893-1957)

Timothy

She was an English writer, poet, essayist and playwright renowned particularly for her mystery and crime novels. She had a white cat called Timothy, mentioned in two of her poems: For Timothy and War Cat.

Domenico Scarlatti

Scarlatti, Domenico

(1685-1757)

Pulcinella

The prolific Italian composer (1685-1757) wrote many works, including the Cat's Fugue, which was based on a sequence of notes said to have been produced by the cat as she walked along the harpsichord keyboard one day.

Albert Schweitzer

Schweitzer, Albert

(1875-1965)

Sizi

When he lived at his clinic in Gabon he was captivated by his cat. Unfortunately she liked to curl up and sleep on his left arm; but rather than disturb her the naturally left-handed Schweitzer struggled on with his work using his right hand.

Sir Walter Scott

Scott, Sir Walter

(1771-1832)

Hinse

Novelist Scott's bad-tempered cat regularly attacked his hunting dogs, but was eventually killed by one.

Dusty Springfield

Springfield, Dusty

(1939-1999)

Nicholas

Real name Mary O'Brien, Dusty adored cats. In her will she made provision for Nicholas to be taken care of by a friend.

Theophile Steinlen

Steinlen, Théophile

(1859-1923)

Unknown

A master of cat drawings, Steinlen was a Swiss who lived in Paris and would take his sketchbook into the streets of Montmartre to capture images of the street cats. He also painted people's cats more conventionally; his home had many feline inhabitants and was known as 'Cats' Corner'.

No image available

Sultan El Daher Beybars

(13th century)

Unknown

This ruler of Egypt and Syria was devoted to cats, and in his will he left a garden known as Gheyt-el-Quoltah ('the cats' orchard') in Cairo for the support of homeless cats. The rent of the field was used to provide a daily meal of butchers' scraps for the neighbourhood cats, served at the time of afternoon prayer, a tradition which continues to this day.

Elizabeth Taylor

Taylor, Elizabeth

(1932-2011)

Jeepers Creepers

The famous film star liked cats; this photo dates from the 1940s. As well as her own Jeepers Creepers, she gave a Siamese cat to James Dean.

Nikola Tesla

Tesla, Nikola

(1856-1943)

Macek

The cat's coat became charged with static electricity during a thunderstorm and inspired Tesla to investigate the phenomenon, leading to his later scientific discoveries.

Simon Tofield

Tofield, Simon

(b. 1973)

Teddy, Hugh, Jess, Maisie

Simon is the illustrator behind the hugely successful Simon's Cat series of short animations and now two books. He has four cats, all rescue 'moggies', and bases the cartoons on observations of their behaviour. The main inspiration for the first ones was Hugh.

Carl Van Vechten

Van Vechten, Carl

(1880-1964)

Ariel

Cats do not necessarily hate water, and can swim instinctively, but they don't like unexpected wetness. Ariel would join American writer and photographer van Vechten for a swim in his bath each morning!

Ralph Vaughan Williams

Vaughan Williams, Ralph

(1872-1958)

Foxy

The well-known English composer of classical music liked cats and is shown with his favourite.

Queen Victoria

Victoria, Queen

(1819-1901)

White Heather

The large Angora that was the queen's favourite outlived her and was inherited by her son and successor King Edward VII.

Louis Wain

Wain, Louis

(1860-1939)

Peter

The black-and-white cat was the beloved companion of Wain's wife, and he taught Peter tricks to amuse her. She later died of cancer, but Peter appeared in many of Wain's early drawings.

Horace Walpole

Walpole, Horace

(1717-1797)

Selima

The beloved tortoiseshell belonging to writer and historian Walpole accidentally drowned in a bowl of goldfish in 1747, an event immortalised in Walpole's poet friend Thomas Gray's Elegy to a Favourite Cat, Drowned in a Tub of Gold Fishes.

Charles Dudley Warner

Warner, Charles Dudley

(1829-1900)

Calvin

Originally belonging to Harriet Beecher Stowe, Calvin went to live with the essayist and novelist Warner when Stowe moved. Warner became devoted to him and wrote about him.

Emma Watson

Watson, Emma

(b. 1990)

Bubbles, Domino

Like her character Hermione Granger, the young heroine of the Harry Potter movies is a cat fan and has two of them.

Bill Watterson

Watterson, Bill

(b. 1958)

Sprite

Bill is the creator of the famous American cartoon characters Calvin and Hobbes. Sprite, a female, was used as a model for some of Calvin's features and behaviour.

H. G. Wells

Wells, H. G.

(1866-1946)

Mr Peter Wells

The English author Wells insisted the 'Mr' was always used in his catís name. Apparently it had the habit, if a Wells guest talked too long or too loudly, of getting up from its chair, protesting loudly and stalking out of the room.

Ann Widdecombe

Widdecombe, Ann

(b. 1947)

Pugwash, Pugwash II, Carruthers, Arbuthnot

The well-known British former politician and MP, now an author and TV and radio personality, has had cats almost throughout her life; those named here are the most recent. She has written an account of her cats since childhood at her site.

Frank Zappa

Zappa, Frank

(1940-1993)

Marshmoff

Guitarist Frank was known as a 'cat guy'. Two of the songs he wrote are called 'Yo cat' and 'Alley cat'.



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Our featured feline at the head of the page is Freddy, pictured in 1996. As can be seen from his photo, Freddy was a very handsome cat. He and four other cats lived next door to me in North Wales in the mid-1990s. For various reasons I was unable to have a cat of my own, and he was a frequent and welcome visitor for a few biscuits. He even brought one of his housemates along sometimes, and the two of them would curl up and sleep on the spare bed. When I moved back to the area permanently in 1999, I still saw him occasionally. He died in 2006 at a good age.


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