‘In ancient times cats were worshipped as Gods; they have not forgotten this.’ – Terry Pratchett.
Cats and men have almost always been a taboo subject; men are associated with dogs. Man and dog have bonded through the ages through the masculine-centric hobby of hunting – dogs are, after all, man’s best friend. For some men at least. This post presents a contradiction to the idea that masculinity relies upon love for dogs.
To name but a few male literary figures who were inspired by their cats:
Ernest Hemmingway – Pictured Above. Hemmingway was famously known for his love of cats, and coined the saying ‘one cat just leads to another’.
William S Burroughs – His house was littered with cats, similarly to Hemmingway. His last recorded diary entry before he died expressed the pure love he felt for his cats: ‘Pure love. What I feel for my cats present and past.’
Edgar Allan Poe – He adored his tortoiseshell cat, Catterina, who used to sit on his shoulder and watch him write. Catterina also kept Poe’s wife, Virginia, company whilst she was dying of tuberculosis.
T.S. Elliot – Having written an entire book of poetry on cats, Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats, he owned many felines himself. Those most notable were called Jellylorum, Wiscus, and George Pushdragon.
Jack Kerouac – Aside from being a free-spirited Beat pioneer, Kerouac was also a self-proclaimed cat lover. The death of his favourite feline, Tyke, was documented in his 1962 novel Big sur.
Charles Bukowski – Bukowski famously declared ‘In my next life I want to be a cat.’ The gentler side of his personality is revealed through the book On Cats, which offers his musings upon these beloved felines.
More men should be able to embrace their inner ‘cat-man’ like the writers above, whether for personal reasons or purely to spite gender normativity and the constraints of masculinity. I leave you with a final quote:
‘What greater gift than the love of a cat?’ – Charles Dickens