It’s no surprise that some of history’s most famous writers have had a thing for cats. But who was the most obsessed with the furry beasts? To answer this extremely important question, we combed the archives to discover which literary giant was most devoted to felines.
Honorable Mention: Jean-Paul Sartre:
Fittingly for an existentialist, Sartre’s fluffy cat was named “Nothing.”
Honorable Mention: W.H. Auden:
According to the W.H. Auden Encyclopedia, “Auden loved cats, giving them free reign to walk on the dinner table, to the dismay of some dinner guests.”
Honorable Mention: William S. Burroughs:
In a journal entry written near the end of his life, the countercultural icon wrote,
“Only thing can resolve conflict is love, like I felt for Fletch and Ruski, Spooner, and Calico. Pure love. What I feel for my cats present and past.
Love? What is it?
Most natural painkiller what there is.
He wasn’t kidding: Burroughs apparently subscribed to Cat Fancy magazine “for many years.”
Honorable Mention: Truman Capote
Capote didn’t just love cats—he also loved posing with them.
Second runner-up: Mark Twain
Twain was a huge fan of cats, and (among his many witty observations about the creatures) once said, “I simply can’t resist a cat, particularly a purring one.” This series of adorable photographs from close to the end of Twain’s life shows him chilling with his many cat friends at home.
First runner-up: Ernest Hemingway
Hemingway’s love for felines is no secret. His first cat Snow White, probably a Maine Coon, was, according to legend, a gift from a sea captain. Hemingway’s house in Key West, which is now a museum, is home to over 40 cats descended from Hemingway’s pets.
And the winner is… Edward Gorey
Sorry, Hemingway. Your home may host more cats now, but writer and illustrator Edward Gorey had you beat during his lifetime, which he apparently spent draped in cats at all times. When Gorey passed away in 2000, he left the bulk of his estate to animal welfare organizations in honor of his furry friends.
In this interview with Gorey, one of his cats totally steals the show.
Featured image: Gorey/Capote/Hemingway