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Celebrity Cats

From Poe’s tortoiseshell beauty, Catarina, to Bill and Hilary Clinton’s bi-colored presidential pet, Socks, there have been famous felines behind famous celebrities for centuries.  Our cats are daily inspiration to us, and the fact that so many noteworthy names had cats reminds us that even celebrities are not immune to their charms. 

Cats and the Presidency
Cats have held seats in the Oval Office with United States presidents since the time of Abe Lincoln.  Abe brought his son’s cat, Tabby, with him when he was elected into office and began a great tradition that some presidents continue to this day.  Here are a few other notable presidents who owned cats during their term in office:

Rutherford B. Hayes
The first Siamese cat in the U.S., appropriately named Siam, was given to President Rutherford B. Hayes in 1878 by the American Consul in Bangkok.

Bill and Hilary Clinton
In the first term of Clinton’s presidency, Socks, a black and white tomcat, served as First Pet.  He was eventually usurped by the Labrador retriever, Buddy, and not happy about it.  Said President Clinton, "I did better with the Palestinians and the Israelis... than I've done with Socks and Buddy."  In an act that sparked controversy, the Clintons left Socks behind with Presidential Secretary Betty Currie when they moved out of the White House.

George W. Bush
Current President George W. Bush is no stranger to felines either.  He and Laura own two cats, Ernie and India “Willie” Bush.

Beverly Coney Heirich

Cats and Famous Literary Types
Many great authors, who penned the works that make up the classic literature section in our libraries, had furry felines beside them batting at their pens the whole time.  Author Mark Twain, a wise man who owned over a dozen cats, once said, “…If man could be crossed with a cat it would improve man, but it would deteriorate the cat.” 

Other cat-loving authors who would have probably agreed included:

T.S. Eliot
If you love the Broadway musical, Cats, you have the Nobel Prize-winning poet and playwright T.S. Eliot to thank.  Eliot penned a book of feline poems, titled “Old Possom’s Book of Practical Cats,” which was picked up by composer Andrew Lloyd Weber many years later and turned into the award-winning and much-loved musical.

Edgar Allen Poe
The broody master of suspense, Edgar Allen Poe, might have given cats sinister qualities in many of his stories, but he treasured his own tortie, Catarina.  If your read, and shivered, your way through 'The Black Cat,’ now you know who the inspiration was for that spine-tingling tale.

Ernest Hemingway
Between writing great literary works, like “The Sun Also Rises” and “For Whom the Bell Tolls,” 20th century American author Ernest Hemingway had time to keep several cats.  He was particularly found of polydactyls (cats with extra toes).  The Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum still houses over fifty descendants of his cats, with such lofty names as Ava Gardner, Emily Dickinson, and Pablo Picasso, as stipulated in his will.  As Hemingway said, “One cat just leads to another….”

Beverly Coney Heirich
Beverly Coney Heirich is the author of “Mornings with Fulton Sheen,” a book that achieved national bestseller status at Catholic bookstores across the country.  While working on her next book, “Guide for the Perplexed: The Right and Wrong Book,” Beverly enjoys the company of her blue-eyed white Persian named Perpetua.  She says that her adventurous Bou Baby is “…the smartest, prettiest,healthiest, and naughtiest kitten in the whole wide world,” and enjoys climbing tall bookcases and exploring dark places.

Blue Eyed White Tea Cup

Cats and Rock Stars
Numbering among the ranks of famous cat lovers are several celebrity musicians, including John Lennon, Paul McCartney, Janis Joplin, Carol King, Frank Zappa, Freddie Mercury, and Ian Anderson (Jethro Tull).   Here’s someone that you wouldn’t think of first, when making a list of famous cat lovers:

Snoop Dogg
Ironically, despite his canine-related moniker, Snoop Doggy Dog actually loves cats.  He has two Siamese beauties: one named Miles Davis and the other, Frank Sinatra.     

Cats and Movie Stars
There have been several actors and actresses throughout the years that made no secret of their love for cats, from the silent movie era to the present.  A few cats have even made their own fame on the silver screen, including Pepper, a grey cat who starred in films with Charlie Chaplin, and Orangey, the striped tabby who appeared as “Cat” in Audrey Hepburn’s timeless film, “Breakfast at Tiffany’s.”   

Listed below are a few other celebrity movie stars who love and have loved cats:

Ashley Peldon
Actress Ashley Peldon sings praises about her beautiful bi eyed boy Kabuki. "Kabuki has been fantastic, just super sweet, purrs a ton, loves cuddling and being held!  He is so bright, and has a wonderful gentle personality, and loves his toys!  He has been very easy to brush and purrs happily while I comb him.  His eyes have stayed bright and beautiful, his off color eye bounces between brown and green, so I think I'll call it hazel. :)

I take Kabuki out a lot, too, on little jaunts and he is so great in the car, when I'm not driving, he just sleeps upside down on my lap! I love it!!!

I also attached a few photos from the "14th Annual Lint Roller Party" I recently attended. It is a wonderful charity event that raises money for animal rescues. The red carpet event is always fun and draws a lot of celebrity guests! Charlize Theron is the event's spokeswoman. They always tell celebs we can bring our pets, so I had to bring little Kabuki along!   I put him in his little leopard print harness and attached him into my Louis Vuitton bag.

He did so well even with all the cameras flashing at him!  Everyone was in awe of his beauty and how calm and sweet he was!  He must have gotten a hundred pets and snuggles!  I later settled into the VIP lounge to let him relax, and he fell asleep on my lap!  Some of the celeb guests had to come and give him a pet, Chad Lowe (24, ER) even held him for awhile!  He was the hit of the event!!!

I just have to say again how wonderful Kabuki is!  He truly is everything I could have wanted and I love him so much!

Thank you for raising such an amazing and well adjusted kitten! [...] Kabuki sends you his love."

James Dean
James Dean was given a cat named Marcus by Elizabeth Taylor.  He sent Marcus to a girlfriend to watch the night before he was killed while driving his silver Porsche 550 Spyder in 1955.

Cameron Diaz
Actress Cameron Diaz has a cat named Little Man.  She has been spotted out and about, shopping for kitty outfits.  Her boyfriend, N’Sync’s Justin Timberlake, also owns a cat named Alley.

Gary Oldman
Actor Gary Oldman, who has had roles in several movies including the Harry Potter series, as well as “Hannibal” and “Dracula,” has a cat named Soymilk, whom he affectionately refers to as “Mook.”

Kim Bookout
Kim Bookout is a Colorado resident who also goes by the nickname “Kimmie” – but you might already know that if you’re a fan of reality TV.  Kimmie changed her life for the better on national television in the second season of “Starting Over,” the only reality TV show to ever win an Emmy award.  Kimmie also welcomed a tiny blue-eyed white Persian Bou Baby into her home and named her “Snowy.” 

Scott Ramp
Scott Ramp is an award-winning makeup artist who honed his talents in  creating horrific makeup effects in Hollywood and during his 14 years as a college-level makeup instructor.  In 1995, he created “The Scream Team,” to share tips, techniques and hand-made materials with individuals who want to “up the quality” and add scream factor to everyday Halloween costumes.  Scott and his wife Barbara adopted our playful, cream-and-white Ragaper Bou Baby, named Elliot.

The notables listed above treasure their cats because they know what we know: that there is no better pet for companionship, unconditional love, and intelligence.   The French critic and historian, Hippolyte Taine, said it best: "I have studied many philosophers and many cats. The wisdom of cats is infinitely superior."

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