This is a guest contribution from Emily Parker
If you’re ever put down for owning too many cats, just remember that many figures throughout history were cat enthusiasts just like you! From modern-day figures to people in ancient times, everyone throughout history has been cat lovers. Here are some of the biggest cat lovers in history.
It’s no secret that Ancient Egyptians took cat loving to the next level. Cats were practically viewed as gods, with severe punishments happening should someone bring any harm upon a feline. There was even a cat goddess by the name of Bastet.
So it’s no surprise that many pharaohs were avid cat owners. One of the biggest cat loving pharaohs has to be Ramses II. He had a fair share of cats who ruled with him, and he made sure to take it to the next level. Not only did he own domesticated cats, but he was the proud owner of a lion, too. Big cats, small cats, tame cats, wild cats… Ramses II did not discriminate.
In a way, life hasn’t changed for cats. They still walk around like they’re gods, and we as the owners feed and pander to them.
For horror lovers, early-20th century writer HP Lovecraft is still one of the horror masterminds of all time. Lovecraft spun countless stories that still haunt readers to this day. Perhaps his most notable work is The Call of Cthulhu, with the iconic cult god still present in media today.
But despite writing some of the most nail-biting stories, Lovecraft had a soft, furry side. He loved cats! He once wrote about how cats are some of the greatest creatures to ever walk this earth. One of Lovecraft’s stories, The Cats of Ulthar, is about a town where no man will kill a cat. The opening paragraph reads as such.
“For the cat is cryptic, and close to strange things which men cannot see. He is the soul of antique Aegyptus, and bearer of tales from forgotten cities in Meroë and Ophir. He is the kin of the jungle’s lords, and heir to the secrets of hoary and sinister Africa. The Sphinx is his cousin, and he speaks her language; but he is more ancient than the Sphinx, and remembers that which she hath forgotten.”
Best known for formulating the theory of gravity, Isaac Newton was also a cat guy. He never cared too much for humans, and instead surrounded himself with the company of cats.
In fact, Isaac Newton has a persistent urban legend surrounding him that he invented the pet door. The legend goes that Newton, after his cat gave birth to kittens, cut two holes in his door: a big one for the cat, and the little one for the kittens. Newton did not realize the little hole was useless, however, as the kittens would follow the mother through the big door.
Of course, the story is fishy at best. Many historical figures have been romanticized and have urban legends surrounding them, such as George Washington’s cherry tree. But Isaac Newton’s love for cats is completely true. The man who discovered gravity loved creatures that seem to defy gravity.
Lincoln owned many cats, and even took care of strays. Lincoln’s most famous cats include Tabby and Dixie, who were given to him after Lincoln left his dog back in his Springfield home after being elected President. He would spend hours talking to his cats, and was once heard saying, “Dixie is smarter than my whole cabinet! And furthermore she doesn’t talk back!”
Robert E. Lee
As you should know, Lincoln was the President during the Civil War, where the North and the South were feuding. Both sides had one thing in common, though: they loved cats!
Robert E. Lee, a famous Confederate general, was said to be a cat lover. Lee owned his fair share of cats, and in a letter, he went into detail about a cat he saw:
“I saw in San Antonio a cat dressed up for company. He had two holes bored in each ear, & in each were two bows of pink & blue ribbon. His round face set in pink & blue looked like a big owl in a full blooming ivy bush. He was snow white, & wore the golden fetters of his inamorata around his neck in the form of a collar. His tail & feet were tipped with black. And his eyes of green & stealthy face were truly cat like!”
He even made songs devoted to his cats. Queen’s 1991 album Innuendo, which was the last album before his tragic death, had a song called Delilah. Delilah was no woman, but instead Mercury’s tortoiseshell cat. A sample of some of the lyrics describe to a T what it’s like to be a cat owner.
Delilah, Delilah, oh my, oh my, oh my – you’re unpredictable – ooh ooh ooh ooh
You make me so very happy
When you cuddle up and go to sleep beside me
And then you make me slightly mad
When you pee all over my Chippendale suite
OK, we had to throw in a couple of women to round this out!
Florence Nightingale was the pioneer of modern nursing. If you’ve ever been in the need of a nurse, you have Florence Nightingale to thank.
Besides nursing humans, however, Nightingale was a caretaker of felines. It has been said that in her lifetime, she owned over 60 cats! Some of us have trouble just owning one! So not only was Florence Nightingale the founder of modern nursing, she was also the original cat lady.
The ultimate sex symbol of the 1950s, Marilyn Monroe was the proud owner of a cat as well. While she owned many pets, perhaps her most beautiful pet had to be Mitsou. Mitsou was a gorgeous white Persian owned by Monroe during the peak of her career.
As you can see, some of the biggest people of all time loved cats. So don’t be afraid to be a cat owner. Be proud!
Emily Parker is a proud cat parent of 2 lovely black cats – Gus and Louis. She writes on her website Catological, and helps cat parents love their kitties better.
Images via Pinterest and Wikipedia