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Fans of Felines
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This section 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, 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. A number of American presidents have had cats in the White House, and you will find them mentioned near the beginning of our page about Socks, the Clintons' cat.
It's interesting to note also people who definitely did not like our feline friends, although so far we have come across fewer ailurophobes than ailurophiles. But is it significant that some of the most feared and ruthless conquerors in history are said to have detested cats? Alexander the Great, Genghis Khan, Josef Stalin, Adolf Hitler and Napoléon Bonaparte were all apparently cat-haters, as were Julius Caesar, Kaiser Wilhelm of Germany and General (later US President) Dwight D. Eisenhower. Perhaps there is something in many military minds that leads them to dislike the cat's independence and the fact that it is practically impossible to make a cat do what it doesn't want to.
Other ailurophobes include Henri II, Henri III and Charles IX of France, the French biologist Comte de Buffon, writer Rudyard Kipling, and the famous dancer of the early twentieth century, Isadore Duncan. William Shakespeare is also said to have disliked the animals.
Feline Fans 1
Feline Fans 2
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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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Page created September 2008, with later additions