Once upon a time, ancient Greeks and Romans held festivals in honor of the mother goddesses Rhea and Cybele. In the years to come, Christians followed in the footsteps with celebrations known as "Mothering Sunday". This custom eventually faded in popularity until Anna Jarvis, daughter of Ann Reeves Jarvis, conceived the modern Mother’s Day in the 1900s. Today in the US, we honor motherhood every year on the second Sundays of May. This is a very special day of the year when mommies get just a little bit extra of the well-deserved love, attention and care. And here at Basepaws, we share this love with our darling moewmies too!
In honor of all the pawsome fur-mothers out there, we picked and chose our top 8 most favorite female cat lovers of all times! Being a cat lady is cool. And these great women prove us right!
1. Vivien Leigh. Vivien was a gorgeous actress who had the whole world under her heels when she brought Scarlett O’Hara to life. This inspirational woman was a huge cat lover with a special place in heart reserved for Siamese felines. “Once you have kept a Siamese cat you would never have any other kind” – said Leigh. Her first Siamese was New Boy, a gift from her husband Laurence Olivier in 1946. New Boy was named after London’s New Theatre and wore an elegant collar ornamented with bells. New passed away in 1948 when he was run over by a car. After this unfortunate and painful incident, Leigh got a new Siamese and called him Poo Jones. Named after Jones Harris, he was a sharp-looking smoky-white cat with striking violet eyes. Both of her cats traveled with Vivien everywhere she went. With their luggage, of course.
Vivien with New Boy
2. Clara Barton. Often referred to as “the Angel of the Battlefield”, Barton was a nurse and a founder of the American Red Cross. Nursing education wasn’t formalized in her time, so she provided self-taught care. She worked as a hospital nurse in the American Civil War, a teacher, and patent clerk. In 1873, she started a movement to gain recognition for the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) by the United States government. When she finally succeeded in her mission, Barton became President of the American branch which held its first official meeting at her I Street apartment in Washington, DC, May 21, 1881. Although known for her humanitarian work, Baron was also as crazy about cats as we are! Tommy, a black and white feline, was Barton’s favorite companion for 17 years. A portrait of Tommy painted by Barton’s friend and fellow nurse Antoinette Margot still hangs in the Barton house in Glen Echo, Maryland.
Barton’s feline Tommy
3. Florence Nightingale. Nightingale was a prolific British writer of plainspoken medical literature and a founder of modern nursing. And she was truly a cat purrson! She had 60 felines throughout her life. Nightingale is often quoted to have said that cats possess more sympathy and feeling than human beings. She is best known for her lasting contribution to founding the modern nursing profession. She set an example of compassion, commitment to patient care and diligent and thoughtful hospital administration.
4. Marie Antoinette. Born in Austria and married in France, the wife of France’s King Louis XVI was a royal cat lover, Antoinette was the last French Queen before the French Revolution. And she was infamous for her love of dogs and cats. In one occasion, The Austrian ambassador Mercy-d’Argenteau wrote back to Empress Marie Theresia that Marie Antoinette was very fond of dogs and had requested that another pug (tawny with a black nose) be sent from Vienna. The castle was always filled with dogs, cats and parrots and many complained about how unclean Antoinette’s apartments sometimes were. Antoinette supposedly also allowed her six white Turkish Angoras to roam the tables during court gatherings. Many family portraits of this animal-loving royal family include their pets.
5. Taylor Swift. Taylor Swift is a modern American singer and songwriter. And she is just as crazy about her cats as we are about ours. Her fur babies Olivia Benson and Meredith Grey probably get just as much attention as their meowmy. “Men get me in trouble, and so, I go home to the cats” – says the popular singer. We feel you Taylor!
Taylor’s baby Meredith
6. Miley Cyrus. Now, Miley, a modern American singer, songwriter and actress, is a proud caretaker of 15 pets! She has five kitties, ten doggies and a pig enriching her life. And she is not shy about her enormous love for animals. Social media is filled with pictures of her little babies.
7. Martha Stewart.“Anyone who knows me knows how much I love my animals. My dogs, cats, birds, and horses – they are all very special to me and are such wonderful companions.” – wrote Martha on her blog. Stewart is an American businesswoman, writer, and television personality. She is an avid animal lover. There are three kitties in Martha’s life: Princess Peony, Empress Tang and Blackie. Her pets also include champion show Chow Chow dogs, French Bulldogs and Friesian horses. Martha also created a video on behalf of fur-bearing animals after being approached by PETA while she was serving her sentence in jail. She declared: “I used to wear real fur, but, like many others, I had a change of heart when I learned what actually happens to the animals.”
Blackie, Stewart’s baby
8. Hannah Shaw. Hanna is truly a big deal in the cat world. She is a professional kitten rescue and a humane educator “on a mission to change the world for the tiniest felines!”. Her project, Kitten Lady provides educational media, training resources, and instructional workshops and consulting services that help individuals and animal shelters learn how to save the lives of kittens–in a fun and engaging format. Shaw was awarded the 2017 Advocate of the Year award by CatCon Worldwide.
Dear moms, motherhood is the most beautiful and powerful profession of all times. Basepaws team sincerely wishes all the moms in the world to have the most wonderful Mother’s day this Sunday. To share the attention of this important time of year with our pawsome meowmies, we created a special discount for this occasion – use “iluvmymum” at checkout to get Basepaws Cat DNA Test for only $65! The offer is valid before May 12th. Make sure not to miss it! ;)