We Love Celebrities and They Love….Cats

Behind every great person is an even greater cat. Okay, that’s not really how the expression goes, but all feline fanciers know that they wouldn’t be anything without their kitty companion. Some celebrities wear their love of their cats on their sleeves, or their T-shirts, or other types of garments. But, some other celebrity cat lovers may surprise you. Judging from Internet search results, not many people are surprised to find that hot starlets are actually crazy cat ladies, but there’s a big hullabaloo over guys who like cats; as if that’s somehow a big deal. Of course, we all know that real men are into cats as much as women, but what would you expect of an audience that may be uninitiated to the pleasures and rituals of cat ownership.

One of the most visible and outspoken celebrity cat lovers is Taylor Swift. She has an abundance of photographs on social media of her and her cats. She is often seen carrying her kitty in one arm on the street, or even in her purse, taking selfies with it while drinking a bottle of Diet Coke, or sitting around in her apartment. There are numerous articles on websites devoted to describing Taylor Swift’s love of cats. She has two cats named Olivia Benson and Meredith Grey. Swift says that she often photographs herself with her cats when she is taking a break between writing and practicing new songs.

Swift has given credit to her adorable felines for her 50 million followers and feels that they are the key to her popularity. That isn’t too far off actually because one picture Taylor Swift took with Olivia Benson was voted one of the most popular photographs of 2016. In one picture, the cat is seen sitting upright with a rather confused expression on her face, and the caption is that she often forgets that she’s the cat. One enthusiastic fan actually baked a pumpkin pie and placed two doll versions of her cats on top of it with a ribbon that said Happy Thanksgiving Birthday, since Taylor Swift’s birthday falls on the traditional American holiday. The cats travel with Taylor Swift and even have their own luggage with the embroidered label Dr. Meredith gray.  Fans not only talk of their love of the singer/songwriter but have also expressed their longing to be one of her cats.

Who would have ever thought that Don Draper, of the hit show Mad Men, loves cats?  But, on Comedy Central Jon Hamm expressed his love of felines with a T-shirt that read “Live in the Meow.” On the shirt was a cat with a pair of sunglasses. It’s hard to understand why so many people were surprised that Don Draper likes cats because cats come in all shapes, sizes, and personalities, from the cynical and reserved to the outgoing and friendly. Hamm was exuding so much enthusiasm about cats that people found the segment a bit random, but if your kitties were watching it’s likely they appreciated the tribute to their species.

Vampires are creatures of the night and so are cats. However, cats are hardly parasitic and are mostly harmless. The nightlife aspect might just be the common thread between The Vampire Diaries actor Ian Somerhalder and his feline friends. Somerhalder has a cat named Somalia who he adopted. Even though the cat was not considered particularly outgoing and was feral, there is no wonder why this cat warmed up to such a handsome celebrity.

There are a number of cat fancying websites, such as Catster, that like to feature articles about sexy guys who like cats as if that is somehow surprising. In 2013 they did a review of sexiest cat guys with amusing and brilliant cat fashion photography. Ian Somerhalder was photographed wearing his big orange cat over his shoulder. The article also featured Norman Reedus of The Walking Dead making “bunny ears” behind the head of a charcoal black cat with brooding green eyes. Ricky Gervais posed with an enthusiastic smile supporting prominent canine teeth as his Siamese cat displayed her lower feline teeth. Gervais is tolerant of Ollie’s foibles and confesses that he actually likes it when the cat bites him because he feels it’s her way of letting him know that she is the “Tribe of the Tiger”.

Other hot male cat owners way back in 2013 included James Franco, who spoke to Ellen generously of his love of felines and how his entire family was devoted to raising cats. He adopted two black cats he calls Lux and Max from the set of Home Products. On social media, he has shown them eccentrically costumed and not seeming to mind at all. To get into the holiday spirit Franco posed in tight red underwear with a Santa’s hat with an orange cat draped behind him wearing a matching hat. John Boyer showed his soft side when he posed with his cats and was part of an awareness campaign to stop cruelty to animals and raise money for animal shelters.

If your cat is a perfectionist and meticulously neat, she might just fit in well with Martha Stewart and her cats, Empress Tang and Princess Peony who are dominant, co-Persian. They were born in 2009 and started living with Martha Stewart a few months later. On Martha Stewart’s website, you can see their scrunched faces and their orange and black markings as they sit contentedly with closed eyes rapt in slumber. There is another photo of Pam Rutan of the Top Shelf Persians kissing the sisters goodbye before giving them to Martha Stewart. You can see the affection and care with which Ms. Rutan embraces the cats she raised from birth, although she must be certain that her darlings are in good hands in the dwelling of the most impeccable hostess in the country. Martha, who is always scrupulous about her brands and manner of selection, decided to adopt from Top Shelf Persians on the advice of Grace Codding, creative director of Vogue. Empress Tang and Princess Peony joined Elektra and Sirius, who are also Persians in Martha’s heavenly home. Every cat lover knows that Persians require maximum maintenance, but no one ever said Martha Stewart was not a high maintenance lady. She also has other cats named Verdi and Vivaldi, and she throws lavish birthday parties for them. Martha Stewart’s cat beds, cat trees, baskets, and baby sock toys are the epitome of simplicity and elegance. Not surprisingly, there are photos of her serving her cats on a tray with ceramic dishware.

Elegant Spanish actress Penelope Cruz has a deep love of cats and fills her kitchen with them. Some people worry about having cats literally underfoot while they are trying to make an omelet, or tripping over them on the way to get a midnight snack, but for Penelope Cruz, her kitchen is a haven for feline companions. She is a long time cat fancier who took in cats for comfort when she first arrived in Los Angeles as a struggling actress who was trying to cope with the new culture, the big city, and the language. Cats became her companions and she would often find strays on the street who were willing to follow her. After rescuing the strays and giving them the medical care they needed, she would raise them and give them away to good homes. Penelope Cruz is hardly what you would imagine when you think of an eccentric cat lady; she is an elegant version of a cat lover who understands how felines can be the perfect salve for loneliness.

Kate Perry has two cats that she calls Kitty Purry and Monkey. Perry’s acts took on a decidedly feline dimension with her “Hello Katy” tour when the head of a large “Kitty Purry” adorned the stage. Fans were allowed to go backstage and have a picture taken with Kitty Purry.  The cat, who is considered to be Perry’s mascot was seen in the video for her hit song “I Kissed a Girl”. The cat was also featured in the California Dreams video and appeared onstage in a purple cat suit with jewelry. The choice was appropriate since Kate Perry has a distinctively catlike name.

Cameron Diaz also has an intriguing cat like look with her dreamy feline blue eyes. Her cat’s eyes are a similar shade. The cat is named Little Man and is known for the flashy outfits Cameron buys for him. She is often seen taking him out to the mall and she makes every effort ensure that he looks his best. This A-list actress may be known for her famous breakups, but her bond with her kitty is unbreakable. Little Man is even on tummy rubbing terms with Diaz. Not many kitties let their owners go there, but Little Man is very demonstrative with Cameron.

When people aren’t fighting about religion or politics on Facebook, they are busy sharing pictures of their dog and cats. How appropriate that Jesse Eisenberg, a dedicated cat lover, played Mark Zuckerberg in The Social Network; a movie about the man who created the platform for a massive sharing of cat photos. Eisenberg described his love of cats and his devotion to his cat Mr. Trunkles, who was his companion on a vacation to Hawaii. As part of the New Yorker Festival, Eisenberg made the case for cats in his video “Team Cats” in which he praised the feline species and held up signs to indicate through photos that it was the cat that was controlling his behavior. Eisenberg talked about Mr. Trunkles’ rough life dining from the garbage cans of the best Greek restaurant, Queens.

Morrissey, who was listed by Rolling Stone magazine as one of the best all-time singers, has long been not only a lover of cats, but also an advocate for their welfare. Morrissey was a PETA spokesman and dedicated an entire Tumblr page to himself with cats.  One involves the singer feeding the cat something that appears to be doughnuts and then using a teabag as a makeshift toy to entertain the friendly striped kitty. In a black and white photo, Morrissey looks down pensively at his feline companion with hands cuffs in admiration.  Prior to Tumblr, the British rocker had other striking photos with cats. He told the Daily Telegraph that he had a fascination with felines and even found them superior to humans. He confesses to feeling entranced by them and feels drawn to cats even if he doesn’t know them and simply sees them on the street. Morrissey tells the Telegraph that singer Chrissie Hynde, has told him that she feels exactly the same way about cats as he does. When Morrissey was asked whether he prefers the company of people or the company of cats he replied, “Well, I don’t have much choice because people don’t like me.”  Some would argue that if people dislike Morrissey, it’s because he tends to cancel his concerts. Maybe the reason for his canceled concerts aren’t the management in the United States or elsewhere, it’s because he wants to stay home with his cats.

Morrissey has advocated on behalf of cats for many years and publicly spoke out against the decision of the Australian Government to cull 2 million feral cats. He asked why people were so quick to shed tears over the killing of Cecil the lion, shot by an American, yet they don’t mind killing millions of felines who do Australia a service by keeping down the rodent population. Foregoing their usefulness, the cats would be killed in an inhumane manner; by eating poison that causes intense suffering. Morrissey is against the killing of animals and even released an album entitled “Meat is Murder.” The Australian Government has justified the move because they consider feral cats a substantial danger to the country’s native wildlife, which is disappearing rapidly.

Speaking of Morrissey, British comedian and film star Russell Brand has a black and white cat named Morrissey in a video that was screened during his interview with Ellen DeGeneres. Brand says he knows Morrissey in real life and enjoys talking to his cat Morrissey about his friend addition Morrissey and enjoys the irony of it all. In the video, Brand is wearing a towel and not much else and runs from a framed picture of his cat around his apartment to a sofa where Morrissey the cat is sitting. He talked to the cat in his regular voice and answers in a deeper voice which show the kind of excellent rapport he has with his feline companion.

Cher has been photographed with cats since the 1970s; this timeless rock legend and actress had been very public about her love of felines. She spoke about how she rescued a cat in Detroit; the cat was almost dead according to Cher, but she cared for him until his health was restored and named him Mr. Big. A few years ago, Mr. Big fell ill and Cher was very public about her concern over her beloved pet. Her Twitter feed was filled with well-wishers who were hoping and praying for Mr. Big’s speedy recovery. The cause of the trouble was a heart condition that required surgery. The illness was unexpected as Cher reported that he had never been sick since she had adopted him. During the ordeal, she posted pictures of Mr. Big in an oxygen tent where he was given IV fluids and meds. He was wrapped in a blanket and the nurses were feeding him and giving him his medication through an IV. All the well wishes and healing thoughts must’ve paid off because Mr. Big eventually got better.

Funky celebrity personality and entertainment maverick Kesha doesn’t just want to be a pop star, she wants to lead a special cult devoted to felines. Kesha confesses that when she is not busy working she spends her time at home dyeing her hair according to her outfits and playing with her cats. She told E! News that she would like to start a cult devoted to cats and be the leader. The group is open to anyone who spends a good deal of time interacting with and thinking about cats, even if it’s only those who watch cat videos on social media. Though the initiation ritual is rather demanding; it involves eating glitter and cat litter. During the interview, she didn’t indicate whether the cat litter was used or unused, and that is likely to make a difference in the number of people who are willing to join the cult.

Kesha and Taylor Swift are known to be celebrities who are super devoted to their cats. They like to take their feline friends everywhere, which isn’t necessarily a problem, but some have criticized their tendency to take their cats out without a leash or a box and simply carry them in their arms. What if they should trip and fall and the cat falls onto the floor? The two starlets have been called out on social media and comments sections of articles for this practice, but they don’t seem to be stopping. One could make the argument that cats tend to land on their feet and are resistant to injury, but still to mere mortals, the practice of carrying your cat without any kind of device seems careless. Kesha was seen hugging her kitty while going through security and Taylor Swift often is photographed stepping out of her New York apartment with Olivia Benson. Some people commented that Kesha was mimicking Taylor Swift and was throwing shade in her direction. However, this theory was dismissed because the two haven’t had any public conflicts. It might just be that they enjoy sharing their cat’s al fresco.

Everyone has heard of eccentric cat ladies, but the formidably versatile actor Al Pacino played an eccentric cat man in the film Manglehorn. The film is a rare tribute to the local post office, which is often an ignored institution amid all of the emails, messages, and tweets people receive every day. Pacino played a locksmith who lives alone and is obsessed with the woman he loves named Clara. The film is old-fashioned in the sense that it focuses on a man who writes love letters and is constantly waiting for a reply. Pacino’s only comfort is his cat companions and a woman named Dawn who is a teller at a bank. It is hard to imagine how an actor known for being so appealing could portray a lonely eccentric, at least he has his cats to get him through.

Speaking of Pacino, you may remember the famous scene in the Godfather in which Marlon Brando is gently stroking a cat. The cat was not planned; as usual, Brando was adding improvisation to his role. Director Francis Ford Coppola said that the cat was not scripted; he had seen it running around the studio and placed it in Marlon Brando’s hands. Coppola knew that Brando had a tender love for children and animals. Because of this love, the cat became immortalized as part of a legendary scene. The cat was purring so loudly, obviously pleased to be stroked by Brando, the crew thought they might have to use subtitles so that Brando’s words could be understood.

It’s no mystery why so many artists love cats; felines have a kind of independence and a lack of concern for pettiness. Every gesture and pose made by cats are photogenic, similar to that of a celebrity, and cats always seem poised to be adored by the public. It is no accident that cats were adored and worshiped in ancient Egypt because they still act as if they were born to be venerated. Just as all fans do, people suffer from the illusion that they own a cat; they are sorely mistaken. Cats tend to be a testament to the creative and independent spirit; it’s no wonder why they have such a following among artists.


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