Ever since the Middle Ages, Catholic Europe celebrates fatherhood every March 19th, the feast day observed in honor of Saint Joseph, the Nutritor Domini (“Nourisher of the Lord”). Today this celebration is common in many parts of the world, but the dates greatly vary. In the US, we spoil our dads with just a little extra love and attention every third Sunday of June. And here at Basepaws, we, of course, we give some extra cuddles to our pawsome fur daddies too!
Despite the “cat lady” myth still circling, it turns out that anyone, no matter the age or gender, can be a bit crazy about cats. As Mark Twain once explained, cats were the standard that humanity just needed to attain. “If a man could be crossed with the cat it would improve man, but it would deteriorate the cat.” – wrote Twain. Whether we can reach this ideal or not, the truth is that being a cat lover has never felt better. In honor of (often overlooked) fur fathers out there, let’s talk a little bit about our favorite famous men who are just as crazy about cats as all of us here at Basepaws!
1. Abraham Lincoln
Abraham Lincoln was the first known president to bring cats into the White House. The president had two cats, Tabby and Dixie, whom he loved very much. On one occasion, he even fed Tabby from the table with a gold fork during a formal dinner at the White House. Reportedly, when his wife expressed embarrassment over this behavior, Lincoln simply explained that: “If the gold fork was good enough for former President James Buchanan, I think it is good enough for Tabby.”
The president also often brought stray cats to the White House. According to Meowingtons, on a wintery visit to a Civil War battlefield in March 1865, Lincoln rescued three half-frozen kittens. Lincoln pet the cats and quietly told them: “Kitties, thank God you are cats, and can’t understand this terrible strife that is going on.” Before leaving a meeting in the officers’ tent that day, Lincoln turned to a colonel and said: “I hope you will see that these poor little motherless waifs are given plenty of milk and treated kindly.”
2. Mark Twain
“I simply can’t resist a cat, particularly a purring one. They are the cleanest, cunningest, and most intelligent things I know.” – Mark Twain.
Samuel Langhorne Clemens, aka Mark Twain, was an American writer, humorist, entrepreneur, publisher and lecturer. Best known for his novels The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Twain was also infamous for his love for cats. Twain owned up to 19 cats at one point, and he gave them fantastical names such as Apollinaris, Blatherskite, Buffalo Bin, Satan and Soapy Sal.
An odd ad from 1940s about Mark Twain’s love for cats and pool
“Perhaps Twain’s greatest cat love was Bambino, a cat who had originally been owned by his daughter Clara. After Bambino went missing, Twain used his pen in an attempt to find him. He took out an advertisement in the New York American offering a $5 reward to return the missing cat to his house at 21 5th Avenue in New York City.” – writes Smithsonian.
3. Cardinal Richelieu
Arman Jean du Plessis, or better known as Cardinal Richelieu, was the chief minister of France’s King Louis XIII. Apparently, this historical icon had a very soft spot for cats, especially his black angora named Lucifer (fitting name, it seems!). Richelieu didn’t have any known children and he left most of his vast wealth to no other but his cats. Despite his efforts to continue care of his cats after his death, because he made a lot of enemies throughout his life, his beloved cats were massacred by Swiss soldiers after he was gone.
4. Ricky Gervais
Ricky Dene Gervais is an English stand-up comedian, actor, writer, producer, director and a singer. And in his own words, he loves animals more than humans. Gervais has repeatedly mentioned in his interviews that he loves both cats and dogs. He currently has a Siamese called “Ollie”, who has her own Twitter profile. A while ago, Gervais talked about his love for animals, but Ollie in particular, in an interview with Ellen DeGeneres. On this occasion he also mentioned that he can even differentiate and understand Ollie’s meows quite well. He explained to Ellen: “I love all animals and I wish I could have a dog. But I travel a lot. A cat – you can leave it. You’re going and it goes like “whatever”. But a dog says “well, am I coming?”, and they have that look “what have I done wrong?”. I could not do it. It’s a big difference (between the two).”.
5. Ian Somerhalder
Ian Joseph Somerhalder, is an American actor, model and director. He is best known for his roles in TV Dramas Lost and The Vampire Diaries. Somerhalder is a ma-a-a-aajor animal lover! He has several cats and often posts photos with dogs and horses too. His fans are in love with his cat Moke and they often gush about the occasions when he brought his fur baby to his People’s Sexiest Man Alive shoot and to “The Vampire Diaries” shoot. His love for animals doesn’t stop here though. He started The Ian Somerhalder foundation, dedicated to rescuing stray animals.
“Do you want to live in a world with no stray animals? Me too… That’s what I intend to do with The Ian Somerhalder Foundation and you all… […] Imagine a world without stray animals. Imagine a world where all of that money used to capture and kill millions of animals is used for education, for medicine-for anything else other than the senseless destruction of these incredible creatures! What do you think? Is it possible?” – Ian Somerhalder.
Sommerhalder is also involved in raising the awareness of pollution and he is on a mission to help make our oceans clean again. “Watching millions of gallons of crude oil destroy one of the most beautiful bodies of water, in my own backyard, changed me forever”, explain the actor.
6. James Franco
James Franco is an American actor, filmmaker and college instructor. He is very famous for his roles in numerous movies such as the Spider Man trilogy, Rise of the Planet of the Apes, Eat, Pray, Love and many more. Both James and his younger brother Dave are unapologetic cat lovers. “[We] always had cats,” explained Dave Franco to Vanity Fair. “We are the strange family where, like, over Christmas, if we all bring home the cats . . . we’d have like eight cats in the house at once, which we found out was illegal in Palo Alto where we grew up. So we’re actually the weird cat family. I have two enormous cats right now. I’m the weird cat guy, and I’ve realized over the years that that is one of the quirkier things about me, but I’ve embraced it. I can’t hide ’em anymore.”
7. Antonio Banderas
Banderas starred in many popular movies and he is often featured on ‘sexiest men alive’ lists. But when fans approach him, they seem to care only about Puss in Boots, the cat character he voiced in the 3 movies of the franchise. “Women and men and children will say, ‘I love that cat; do the cat!” Banderas says. “I get more questions about that cat than I do about Zorro.”. And apparently, Banderas is just as crazy about cats as are his fans. He loves working on these films and puts a lot of thought into voicing his feline character. “I think the eyes are the most powerful weapon for a cat,” Banderas says. “It always seems as if cats are just observing and taking it all in while planning their next move. I like to make the voice sound as if Puss has just observed the whole situation and has taken it in before he comments.”
8. Snoop Dogg
The famous American rapper was somewhat named after a cartoon beagle. His whole career was built on the background of the doggy theme. At the moment, Snoop Dogg has 11 dogs. You read that right! But, did you know he was a cat man too? According to Kreayshawn, “Snoop actually has two of the cutest little cats I have ever seen. I think their names were Rick James and Teena Marie” – reported LAWeekly.
9. Michael Hall
Best known for his role of Dexter Morgan, a serial killer and a blood spatter analyst, Michael Hall is very popular in the kitty world. The last we know is that Hall has two cats who helped him go through his divorce from Jennifer Carpenter, back in 2009. “I spend a lot of time with my cats,” the actor told PEOPLE, “They’re both boys, they’re both very affectionate. Their names are Preacher and Ford. They’re my four-legged friends.”
Basepaws team wishes happy Father’s Day to all the amazing fathers out there. Is your father also a cat man? Use the code
“lovedad18” at the checkout to get a discount to treat him for this special occasion!
Are you a fan of any male cat lovers you would like to add to our list? Share with us, we’d love to hear it!