Last Of The Cat People (Part 3, In Other Words)

- August 17th, 2014

So, after a few side excursions, we’re bumping our way into the last room containing famous (and semi-famous) folks who are cat lovers, or at least have an affinity to cats.

We’ve already looked at movie cat people here and music cat people here if you want to go back and nuzzle felines with them.

Macklemore-and-Cairo-Instagram

Speaking of music and cats, I just found out rapper Macklemore loves cats so much he has created an Instagram account in which he chronicles the doings of his cat Cairo (as well as having released a goofy 50-second 2013 “instructional” video entitled How To Hold A Cat.)

Cairo-and-Macklemore-bling

 

Now here’s Everybody Else:

 

ARTISTS

Warhol-cat

Andy Warhol

YoungAndyWarholwithSam

chat-Georgia-O-Keeffe

Georgia O’Keeffe (one of the few photos in which you will see O’Keeffe smiling; the other smiling O’Keeffe photos I’ve seen have involved either animals or  motorcycles.)

 

picasso-minou

Pablo Picasso loved cats. And dogs too. But he considered himself more a cat person.

Young-Pablo-Picasso-and-cat

Picasso-and-another-cat

 

Frida-Kahlo

Frida Kahlo

Edward-Gorey-and-some-of-his-six-cats

Edward Gorey

Edward-Gorey

Ai-Weiwei-and-one-of-his-40-cats

Ai Weiwei with one of his more than 40 cats

 

klimt-the-kiss

I think everybody knows Gustav Klimt’s work. I’m pretty sure I’ve slept in more bedrooms  containing a copy of The Kiss, above, than any other piece of reproduction art. And Klimt’s Adele Bloch-Bauer I, below, is the fifth most expensive painting in the world.

Gustav_Klimt_Adele-Bloch-Bauer-1-fifth-most-expens-painting-in-world

Gustav-Klimt-and-Katze

Klimt loved women. And cats. He seems to have slept with most of the women he painted (although he, like his siblings, had inherited congenital syphilis from their parents). As for the cats, I’m not sure — but he kept a lot of them around his studio, in part because he was convinced cat urine was the best fixative for his paintings. Which may account for the distinctly pungent, animal-like odour he exuded, according to many of his portraits subjects. Klimt never painted a self-portrait and (as far as I know) never painted a picture of a cat. You’ll see plenty of Klimt-like cat paintings around, but they’re all homages.

Kandinsky-and-Vaske

Kandinsky and his beloved cat Vaske

Balthus

Balthus

Matisse-cat

Henri Matisse was another lionized artist who loved to be surrounded by cats.

Matisse-and-cat-by-Robert-Capra

The above photo of Matisse working in bed was made by legendary war photog Robert Capa in 1949 for a photo essay in Look magazine. Capa is best known for his 1936 Spanish Civil War photo known as Falling Soldier.

Matisse-Capa-Look-mag-1949

Falling-soldier-1936-robert_capa

 

young-paul-klee

Above, young Paul Klee. Below, older Paul Klee, wife Lily Stomph and cat Bimbo.

Paul-Klee-and-Bimbo

nell-brinkley-queen-of-comics

Nell Brinkley, known as Queen of the Comics, was one of the most famous and successful American newspaper and magazine illustrators of the early 20th Century. Her vision of modern young American women, the Brinkley Girl, superseded the Gibson Girl as an iconic model and set the tone for hair styles and fashions in the decade before World War I.

Diego-Giacometti

Diego Giacommeti 

Man-Ray

Man Ray

dali-ocelot-Babou

And then there’s Dali … who had a strange relationship with cats (as he did with most other aspects of the real world). For years his pet ocelot Babou travelled everywhere with him. And, of course, there was the famous stop-motion photo of Dali, below, with the flying (as in “thrown”) cats.

dali-freeze-motion

younger-dali-cat

But Dali did seem to have a genuine affection for cats. Maybe.

Dali-cat

 

 

ODDS & SODS

 Dalai-Lama

Dalai Lama

Albert-Schweitzer

Albert Schweitzer

 Gates-cat

Bill Gates

gordon-ramsay

 Gordon Ramsay

Julia-Child

Julia Child

martha-stewart-and-cats

Martha Stewart

Le-Corbusier-modern-architecture-urban-planning-pioneer

Le Courbusier, pioneer of modern architecture

groucho-marx

Groucho Marx

chico-marx

Chico Marx

 

 

PMs & PRESIDENTS

 bill-clinton-favorite-cat-socks-photo-1

Bill Clinton with Socks, who travelled to the White House from Arkansas with the Clintons. Below, you know who again with you know who else.

hillary_clinton

Cat-attacks-George-W-Bush-but-heowned-one-called-India

This particular cat seems to be giving George W. Bush a hard time. But Dubya did have a White House cat named India.

calvin-coolidge-cat

 Calvin Coolidge, cat lover. Coolidge also grazed a couple of cows on the White House back lawn so he could have fresh milk.

Jackie-Kennedy-cat

 The Kennedys were surrounded by cats and dogs. And Caroline Kennedy’s pony also grazed on the White House lawn.

Blackie_and_Churchill

Winston Churchill pets a ship’s cat named Blackie on the HMS Prince of Wales during a mid-Atlantic meeting with Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1941. Churchill is also credited with introducing the first “official mouser” to 10 Downing Street during the war, a cat he named Nelson (although he had had an unofficial feline named Yellow Cat in residence earlier). Churchill had many cats at his Chartwell estate, his favourite being an orange cat named Jock. In his will, Churchill stated that a “marmalade cat named Jock” should always be in residence at Chartwell. Britain’s National Trust now runs the estate — and, yes, a new marmalade cat adopted from an animal shelter took up residence at Chartwell a few months ago as Jock VI. Below is the original Jock on a statue of Churchill at Chartwell.

Original-Jock

cherie-blair-with-humphrey

Cherie Blair, wife of then-PM Tony Blair, holds a 10 Downing Street “official mouser” named Humphrey for a photo op, which became necessary when word spread that Cherie hated the cat and wanted to get rid of it. In the end, Humphrey outlasted the Blairs in residence at 10 Downing Street.

harper

 And, of course, there’s Canada’s own Stephen Harper, who seems to have a genuine liking for cats but (it seems to me) has a genuine fear of dogs.

 

 

SPORTS FIGURES

 Bobby-Ryan-and-cats-Prince-and-Pelle

Bobby Ryan and his cats Prince and Pelle

Jaromir-Jagr-cat-not-his

Jaromir Jagr

Marty-Turco-and-cat

Marty Turco

Teemu-Selanne-kitten

Teemu Selanne

 

TYRANTS & DICTATORS

 hitler-with-goering-lion-cub

Hitler was very definitely a dog person, but seems quite attracted to Herman Goering’s pet lion cub. Below, Benito Mussolini also gets the Goering lion cub treatment — although he seems ready to take a quick step back.

goering-mussolini-lion

 Mussolini-and-cat

But Mussolini really was a cat person, it seems.

Vladimir-Lenin

Who would have thought Lenin was a cat guy.

Vlad-Lenin-and-cat

lenin-kittens-stalin

Stalin, too, apparently liked cats but — to the best of my knowledge — never allowed a photo be taken of him with one. He did, however, allow photos to be taken of him putting a child in a headlock, in this case his daughter Svetlana.

Stalin_Svetlana1 

trotsky-rabbits

And who would have thought Trotsky liked rabbits — as pets, not for eating.

 

 

WRITERS

 hemingwayscats1

Hemingway, of course.

Hemingway-and-cat-Boise-in-Cuba

hemingway-again

cat_and_ernest_hemingway

Aldous-Huxley

Aldous Huxley

George-Bernard-Shaw

George Bernard Shaw

Jorge-luis-borges

Jorge Luis Borges

Kerouack-and-tyke

Jack Kerouack

Margartet-Mitchell-Gone-With-The-Wind

Margaret Mitchell

cat-truman-capote

Truman Capote

Gore-Vidal

Gore Vidal

Colette

Colette

hunter-s-thompson

Hunter S. Thompson

mark-twain-and-cat

Mark Twain

mark-twain-kitten

P-G-Wodehouse-cat

P.G. Wodehouse

patricia-highsmith

Patricia Highsmith

Philip-K-Dick

Philip K. Dick

ray-bradbury

Ray Bradbury

Stephen-King-and-Kitty-King

Stephen King

Raymond-Chandler

Raymond Chandler

TS-Eliot

T.S. Eliot

w-b-yeats

W.B. Yeats

WH-Auden

W.H. Auden

 

And that’s the end of the cat’s tale. 

Can’t get enough photos of famous and semi-famous people with cats? Want more? Poor you. Luckily, there’s a website with thousands — thousands, I tell you! — more such photos called Almost Famous Cats. Here’s a link to it. Enjoy.


 

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The Cop Who Shot Missouri Teen Michael Brown

- August 14th, 2014

Anonymous-twitter-post

The Anonymous posting identifying the man they say shot and killed Michael Brown. The Xs are mine. This is not the man formally identified as the shooter.

UPDATE: The officer in the shooting death of 18-year-old Michael Brown was identified as Darren Wilson. Ferguson Police Chief Tom Jackson told reporters that Wilson is 28 years old, white and a six-year veteran of the police force with no disciplinary record.

xxx

Someone or some group claiming to be affiliated with the Anonymous hacker collective earlier today identified the Missouri cop he/she/they say shot and killed 18-year-old Michael Brown while he had his hands in the air on Saturday night in Ferguson, Missouri.

The St. Louis County Police Department immediately tweeted this response: “(The person named) is not even an officer with Ferguson or St. Louis County PD. Do not release more info on this random citizen.”

Well, I don’t know whether or not the person Anonymous identified pulled the trigger or not — so I’m not going to identify him here at the moment. (Although, if you’re interested, you can read his name in an image of the SLCPD tweet attached to many current news stories on the shooting and its aftermath. Just saying.)

What I do know is that the person who sent out that St. Louis County Police Department tweet is playing games with words (at best) or outright lying (at worst).

How do I know?

Because — although I am basically computer illiterate — it took me less than 15 minutes online to run up a pretty good profile of the “random citizen” named by Anonymous. The Facebook and Linked-in pages for “random citizen” are no longer accessible to the public but there are plenty of other search engines and databases out there that still contain a wealth of information on you, me and other “random citizens.”

Here’s what I found:

“Random citizen” lives in St. Ann, Missouri, another suburban St. Louis community about a 15-minute drive from Ferguson.

He’s approximately 32 years old and was a member of the St. Ann Police Department from July 2005 to August 2013, where he rose to the position of “communications director.”

Now why did “random citizen” leave the SAPD in August 2013?

I do not know for sure, but I know this: The post of police chief in St. Ann is an elected position. In April 2013, a smart, youngish (mid-30s) cop named Aaron Jimenez was elected chief of police for St. Ann. Jimenez was born in St. Ann and had been a full-time member of the SAPD for 16 years — most recently as detective lieutenant in charge of the detective bureau — when he was elected chief, replacing the retiring long-time chief, Robert Schrader.

det-lt-aaron_jimenez-2011

St. Ann Police Chief Aaron Jimenez in 2011 when he was the SAPD’s lead detective.

 

The St. Ann Police Department only has about 40 full-time cops, so they would all know each other pretty well and have well-formed opinions about one another — including Jimenez, who joined the force in 1997, and “random citizen,” who joined in 2005.

I know organizations and office politics well enough to know that there is a very strong possibility — a likelihood, I would say — that the rising of a progressive, popular, young “new broom” to the powerful position of police chief and the departure of another not-so-upwardly-mobile cop (known as Scooby) within a few months are somehow related. Whether “random citizen” was pushed out the door or left of his volition, I do not know.

And I also know this: There is a very good chance that “random citizen” hooked up with another police force in the St. Louis area when he left the SAPD. Again, I don’t know whether or not that new force was the aforementioned Ferguson Police Department.

So — with that little bit of cursory investigation I did — it’s obvious that the person who wrote the St. Louis County Police Department tweet saying “random citizen” was not “an officer with Ferguson or St. Louis County PD” was playing silly buggers to some degree with his or her choice of words.

“Random citizen” has a strong recent connection to a police force within the metropolitan St. Louis area. I’d say, in the end, it will come out that he still has a connection — even if he is currently suspended pending investigation — to the Ferguson Police Department.

We’ll see.

But what if Anonymous got it wrong? What if “random citizen” is a cop in the St. Louis area — even Ferguson — but isn’t the cop who gunned down an unarmed teenager with his hands in the air on the streets of Ferguson Saturday night?

Well, if that’s the case, I think the Ferguson Police Department is the cause of that problem — and a lot of other ones — as much as Anonymous.

I hate to break it to you, kids, but it is not unknown for cops to lie — especially when it comes to protecting their own.

In this day and age of social media and interconnectedness, the ID of the shooter cop would come out very soon, no matter how Ferguson PD tried to cover it up. If they’re worried about the safety of their fellow officer who pulled the trigger repeatedly, get him and his family out of Ferguson immediately, out of the state of Missouri, in fact.

If the shooter is not “random citizen,” the Ferguson police and SLCPD now have two area cops whose safety is threatened and who have to be protected. This thing is out of control and growing worse with every passing hour.

The actions of the Ferguson PD since the shooting are fairly indicative that theirs is a culture of power and dominance.

Hopefully, the governor of Missouri is going to push the Ferguson PD to the sidelines in the next few hours, as it has been touted he will soon do. And hopefully somebody who doesn’t think they’re going to make peace through the barrel of a gun will deal with the homicide of Michael Brown properly.

And hopefully, “random citizen” will receive the justice he truly deserves. It’s the most any “random citizen” — myself included — can hope for. And far more than Michael Brown seemingly got.

UPDATE:  ”Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon on Thursday named a Missouri Highway Patrol captain to oversee security in Ferguson, where protesters have clashed with police officers following the police killing of an unarmed black teenager last weekend.

“Nixon named Capt. Ronald Johnson, who is black, to direct security in the racially charged St. Louis suburb, announcing “operational shifts” and a “different tone” for law enforcement that he hopes will lower the intensity of confrontations between demonstrators and police.”

 

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Life And Death And A Birthday

- August 12th, 2014

 

William_Goldman

Note: I wrote this about 10 hours ago on my Facebook page. I decided to share it 10 minutes ago. What the hell.

While we mourn the death of Robin Williams today, I also want to celebrate the life — and longevity and vitality — of another great American … William Goldman, who turns 83 today. Bill Goldman published his first novel, the best-selling The Temple of Gold, in 1957 and since then has written more than 20 books, mostly fiction but also some wonderful memoirs. A few of the Goldman titles you might recognize — The Princess Bride, Marathon Man, Magic, Adventures in the Screen Trade.
In the mid-1960s he also started writing for the movies. More than 30 films have been made based on his screenplays, including Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, The Stepford Wives, Marathon Man, All the President’s Men, A Bridge Too Far, The Princess Bride, Misery, Chaplin, Maverick, Absolute Power. The film from his most recent screenplay, Wild Card, (based on his 1980s book Heat) stars Jason Stratham and is going into release this month.
Goldman won screenwriting Oscars for Butch Cassidy and All the President’s Men.
In a recent profile, Goldman said: “I (don’t) like my writing. I wrote a movie called Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid and I wrote a novel called The Princess Bride and those are the only two things I’ve ever written, not that I’m proud of, but that I can look at without humiliation.”
I’d have to agree with Bill that Princess Bride and Butch Cassidy are my two favourites of all his works, but I’ve enjoyed and appreciated dozens of other books and screenplays he’s written over the years.
So on this, William Goldman’s 83rd birthday, I’d just like to thank him for hanging in there and sharing the wonderful things he’s created, especially over the past 20 years — the two decades we never would have had if Bill Goldman had died at the age Robin Williams died.
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Cat People, Part 2

- August 10th, 2014

John-Lennon

So, we’ve been talking about — and looking at photos of — famous cat lovers. (Dog lovers too, but we aren’t there quite yet.)

Cat People, Part 1 focused on actors and film directors who have or had a particular affinity for cats. If you haven’t seen it already, here’s a link.

Now we’re on to Part 2, which was initially going to be “all the other famous cat  people” — but there were just too damn many of them. So Part 2 will stick to famous musician cat lovers and we’ll get to “everybody else” in Part 3 in a couple of days.

Let’s roll:

THE BEATLES

All the Beatles seem to have liked cats, but John Lennon was just crazy wild about them. At one point he had more than a dozen cats. George Harrison was also a big cat fancier (although not as over-the-top as John), while Paul and Ringo quite like them but are really more dog people (I think, based on the evidence). I hate to bring it up, but that division sort of flies in the face of cats having nine lives, seeing as how the dog Beatles are the ones surviving into old age.

John-Lennon-and-another-cat

John-Lennon-Yoko-Ono

george-harrison

george

McCartney-cat

ringo-cat

 

 

BOB DYLAN

Dylan’s another guy who swings both ways — in terms of cats and dogs, I mean. Both species have always been important parts of his life (he’s said on more than one occasion that he prefers the company of animals to that of humans). Although you’d probably describe Dylan’s personality as more cat-like than dog-like, I do find it a little surprising that he likes cats so much. I don’t know why that surprises me, but it does.

Bob-Dylan

dylan-caffe-lena-NYC-1961

Bob-Dylan-Australia

bob-dylan-cats-on-tour

Dylan-and-son-Jesse-with-cat-1968

dylan-and-cat

Tom Baker AKA “the 4th Dr. Who” (see comment below)

 

THE REST OF THE MUSIC WORLD

Igor-Stravinsky
Igor Stravinsky
thelononius-monk-cat
Thelonious Monk
etta-james
Etta James
Janis-Joplin
Janis Joplin
iggy-pop-cat
Iggy Pop
Freddie-Mercury-many-cats
Freddie Mercury
Ceelo-Green
CeeLo Green
Johnny-Cash
Johnny Cash
katyperry-and-cat-kitty-purry
Katy Perry
Keith-Moon-1972
Keith Moon
Keith-Richards-cat
Keith Richards
David-Bowie
David Bowie
isaac-hayes-withcat
Isaac Hayes
madonna-and-cat
Madonna
Cher
Cher
JoanBaez
Joan Baez
patti-smith-cat
Patti Smith
Morrissey
Morrissey
Kurt-Cobain
Kurt Cobain
young-michael-jackson-cat
 Michael Jackson
bieber-cat
Justin Bieber (hmmm, I hate it when this guy gets any new pet)
Snoop-Dogg
Snoop Dogg
Zappa-cat
Frank Zappa
Cat ciao for now.
——————————————————————————
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Cat People, Part 1

- August 6th, 2014

Marlon-Brando-cat

Some folks divide the world into three groups — cat people, dog people and losers.

I find that a tad narrow-minded and doctrinaire myself (especially since I consider myself both a cat person and a dog person and currently don’t live with either). But many people do tend to be strongly associated with one camp or the other (forgetting the loser category for the moment).

For some now-forgotten reason, I became curious the other day about who some of the world’s famous cat people and dog people are or were. It became a bit of a quest and I ended up collecting dozens and dozens of photos of various recognizable (or at least noteworthy) achievers interacting with cats.

(I admit I actually got a little obsessive about it — we could have been talking about hundreds of photos here — but was able to rein in my enthusiasm to a simple representative sample, although not without some degree of lingering regret.

(And speaking of obsessions and regret, here’s a link to a fascinating opinion piece from last weekend’s New York Times written by Tim Kreider, whose cat of 19 years recently died. It’s worth the read, whether you’re a cat person or not.)

Some of the photos we’ll see here are very revealing, indeed, and all of them are interesting (to my way of thinking, at least).

I’m not one to promote the idea that people get pets that reflect their own personalities (often they’re the complete opposite, but complementary, like other forms of life mates).

And I don’t really believe that cat people have cat-like tendencies and dog people have dog-like tendencies. After all, even the general cat-and-dog categorizations — cunning versus straight-forward, smart versus dumb, aloof versus friendly, cuddly versus slobbery and so on — are all just a load of stereotyping hogwash anyway. I know plenty of friendly cats and cunning dogs.

But people do tend to adopt animals that most appropriately fit their emotional and psychological curves. Most cats are not going to go jogging with you, for example, or look sad-eyed when they know your heart is broken — unless you’ve forgotten to feed them as a result. And dogs do, for the most part, need a lot more care and attention than cats (more than children, in some cases).

Whatever the hypothesis, whatever the theory, it’s clear that people do have very strong bonds to their cats and dogs, and some people are definitely more cat people and some people are definitely more dog people. Some people are both and some people are neither. Like I said, it’s much the same as choosing human life mates.

But enough with the blather — let’s get on to the photos of famous cat people. For this first part, we’re going to stick to (mostly film) actors and directors, just because of numbers. In a few days, we’ll get to Part 2 with a bunch of other categories of famous cat people. I’ve tried to stay away from gimmicky publicity shots and avoided, as much as I could, including complete jerks — although a few will inevitably sneak in.

(We’ll deal with famous dog people another time soon.)

Here goes:

ACTORS AND DIRECTORS

Brando-another-cat

Marlon Brando

Brando-cat

Bette-Davis-cat

Bette Davis

Young-Robert-Downey-Jr

Young Robert Downey Jr. 

Jane-Fonda

Jane Fonda

Another-side-of-Jane-Fonda

Anthony-Hopkins

Anthony Hopkins

Anthony-Perkins

Anthony Perkins

Astaire-and-cat-Carlyle-1962

Fred Astaire

Betty-White

Betty White

Brigitte-Bardot-1956

Brigitte Bardot

Buster-Keaton

Buster Keaton

Morgan-Freeman

Morgan Freeman

Morgan-Freeman-and-cat

De-Niro

Robert De Niro

cat_and_clark_gable

Clark Gable with (below) Carole Lombard

clark-gable-carole-lombard-cats

walken-cat

Christopher Walken

Viggo-Mortensen

Viggo Mortensen

Diane-Keaton

Diane Keaton

Woody-Allen-whats-new-pussycat-1965

Woody Allen

Fellini-kitten

Federico Fellini

Kubrick-cat

Stanley Kubrick

Kubrick

Sigourney-Weaver-and-Jones-the-cat-from-Alien

Sigourney Weaver

emilia-clarke-khaleesi

Emilia Clarke (Khaleesi)

charlie-chaplain-with-cat-young

Charlie Chaplin, young (above) and old (below)

Charlie-Chaplin-again

Stan-Laurel

Stan Laurel

Steve-Martin-cat

Steve Martin

Stephen-Colbert

Stephen Colbert

Whoopi-Goldberg

Whoopi Goldberg

Nicolas-Cage-1989

Nicolas Cage

Leonard-Nimoy

Leonard Nimoy

Jennifer-Lawrence-and-cat-Cleopatra

Jennifer Lawrence

Ingrid-Bergman

Ingrid Bergman

James-Mason

James Mason

James-Dean-cat-Marcus-gift-from-Eliz-Taylor

James Dean (with Marcus, the cat given to him by Elizabeth Taylor), speaking of which …

Liz-Taylor-Siamese

Elizabeth Taylor

Elizabeth-Taylor

Marilyn-Monroe

Marilyn Monroe

Mary-Tyler-Moore

Mary Tyler Moore

Travolta

John Travolta

Kelsey-Grammer-1999

Kelsey Grammer

Jim-Henson

 Jim Henson

Maryl-Streep

Meryl Streep

Sean Connery

Sean Connery

paulnewman

Paul Newman

paul-newman

Steve-McQueen-hugs-cat

Steve McQueen

 

Had to end with some cool cats.

That’s all for now, cat folks. See you soon.

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