Hey! It’s Bette Davis, with a kitten! (Plus bonus cats.)


It occurs to me that I haven’t posted any pictures of cats for awhile. So here are some cats with famous owners. Above, as you’ve probably gathered, is Bette Davis with a kitten. Below: Man Ray, Carole Lombard, and a young Marlon Brando. And, more importantly, their cats.


About David Futrelle

I run the blog We Hunted the Mammoth, which tracks (and mocks) online misogyny. My writing has appeared in a wide variety of places, including Salon, Time.com, the Washington Post, the New York Times Book Review and Money magazine. I like cats.

Posted on April 7, 2013, in kitties, off topic and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 47 Comments.

  1. Man Ray, inventor of many innovative photographic techniques. Apparently getting a cat to hold still for a photo was not among them.

  2. SweetieDarling

    Too bad you didn’t include the pictures of James Dean with the cat that Elizabeth Taylor gave him!

  3. archaeoholmes

    That Marlon Brando one made my heart flutter

  4. That Bette Davis kitten does not look particularly sure of its footing. “Oh no, what have I gotten myself into, why does this thing under me keep moving, how do I get down??”

  5. The Kittehs' Unpaid Help

    Oh those kittieeeees!

    Hey, can I claim to be in the same photographic league as Man Ray now? Maddie totally photobombed me last night, jumping up just as I hit the shutter. Instead of a pic of her lying being Cute on my shoes, I have a picture of a tail with a sort of orange blur in front of it.

  6. That Caroel Lombard photo, wow.

    All I have to offer is Lenin petting his kitty:

  7. My vowels got a bit out of control there. Please mentally sort them into the right spots.

  8. The Kittehs' Unpaid Help

    Wow! I had no idea Lenin liked kitties.

  9. Men and their cats–a not so well-kept secret!

  10. I’ve posted this video before, but I love it too much to not post it again.

    They’re just giant housecats.

  11. The Kittehs' Unpaid Help

    Rats! Should have known all those links would send it into moderation. I found some gorgeous pics of kitties with famous people. I’ll just post this one again in the meantime:

    Queen Alexandra, when Princess of Wales

  12. The Kittehs' Unpaid Help

    And it’s a 19th century painting, so nowhere near contemporary, but I love the way M le Cardinal de Richelieu is being totally distracted by kitties in this painting.

  13. Cthulhu’s Intern I don’t think I’ve seen that before and I was totally xkcd’ing “Who’s a kitty?” at it the whole time. Thank you!

  14. http://xkcd.com/231/ This one, if you haven’t seen it.

  15. @kitteh

    And cats: sitting on important pieces of paper since always.

  16. Salvador Dali, with cats! http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_60-dfYCcUIw/TQ4YlGYWJSI/AAAAAAAAAiM/deOVBX2cpeI/s1600/5+Salvador+Dali%25282%2529.jpg

    I understand that the cats did not enjoy this process much, and Dali’s assistants were well aware of that fact.

  17. No cats were harmed in the making of that picture, by the way. They just weren’t happy.

  18. Marlon Brando… I’ll be in my bunk.

  19. I’m on okcupid these days and pictures of me cuddling my gorgeous kitty seem to work really well.


    Lenin’s two saving graces – liking kitties and doing rather a bit more to save Armenians than anyone else was trying to at the time. Overthrowing the Tsars, too, and simply not being Stalin probably didn’t hurt the perception of him.

  20. The Kittehs' Unpaid Help

    AmandaJane – I love that xkcd. It’s sooooo true and I laugh every time I see it.

    Kim – LOL ain’t that the truth!

    I wonder who were the first kitties to walk on a harpsichord, or piano, or typewriter, or computer keyboard? Who was the first kitty to walk on the first form of paper? Can’t you just see Egyptian kitties jumping into scribes’ laps just as they finished a scroll and smudging or tearing it?

    There must be a Hall of Fame known only to cats for these seminal felines.

  21. Cardinal Richelieu’s cats look almost as if they’re holograms or something there – some sort of stuffing-up of the perspective or something? I don’t really know my visual arts.

  22. @Kittehs

    And when was the first modern kitchen counter invented, and how long before a kitty refused to get off it?

  23. The Kittehs' Unpaid Help

    Maybe the way the light’s hitting them, or that they’re just not painted all that well? I don’t know enough about painting to say, either.

  24. The Kittehs' Unpaid Help

    Oooh, yes!

    There’s a scene carved on a box (I think) from Tutankhamun’s treasures, of Princess Sitamun presenting something to her mother, Queen Tiye. The Queen is sitting on a suitable chair/throne, and a tabby kitty is sitting underneath. I imagine it’s more to do with Bastet or some other appropriate protective goddess, but it looks soooo much like a kitty has just sat under the chair because kitty. Also probably because it’s not meant to be there, but is anyway, because kitty.

  25. archaeoholmes

    Just intruding on kitteh’s and lowquacks’ conversation – today I saw a dog riding fast along the highway in a car with his head out. He looked absolutely stoked. How have millenia of evolution prepared them for the combustion engine?

  26. Historophilia

    Oh dear lord Marlon Brando, why were you so beautiful?

  27. Thank you for the pics. Marlon Brando especially. The man was downright beautiful. The video of the man with the two big kitties always makes me smile. I would love to be in his spot but those babies would knock me over for sure. But just once to be able to pet. Am I the only one who wants to pet?

  28. archaeoholmes

    Thatcher’s died

  29. Also, Kitteh’s, I love that picture of Lovecraft and his cat. The way he has the Lovecraft face while holding the cat just looks comical.
    I don’t, however, like the name of that cat (I think it’s that one.) I’m not going to say it here.

  30. They’re just giant housecats.

    In that housecats have also been known to kill and eat people from time to time?

  31. When sufficiently desperate, probably? Granted it wouldn’t work as well as it does for lions, but house cats do hunt.

  32. The Kittehs' Unpaid Help

    @ArchaeoHolmes – they’re superdogs! Owly was right all along! :O

    @Tina – damn, no, you’re not the only one who’d love to pet a lion! Or a tiger. Or a leopard. Or a jaguar. Or … or …

    @MordsithJ – the link’s broken! :( Was it this pic of Klimt?

    @Pecunium, all those kitties in war! I’m always scared for the kitties (even the long-passed-over ones) when I see photos like that.

    But then I think of Oskar, aka Unsinkable Sam, who survived the sinking of the Bismarck, the Cossack, and the Ark Royal. There are questions about his story, but I hope it’s true.


  33. Not a cat, just a hand sized polar bear — http://twitter.com/BestEarthPix/status/321543062729916416/photo/1

    Now that will eat you for the hell of it…once big enough to gnaw on your fingers…

  34. The Kittehs' Unpaid Help

    OMG the paws! The eyes!

    ::dies of cute::

    Have you seen that footage of an adult polar bear having cuddle sessions with huskies? It’s extraordinary.

  35. Can’t you just see Egyptian kitties jumping into scribes’ laps just as they finished a scroll and smudging or tearing it?

    solar disk, falcon, snake, bent arm, squiggle, different squiggle, scarab beetle, reclining dog, PAWPRINT

  36. If “pawprint” meant “cat” that could explain a lot of the reverence:

    “And this scroll reminds us that when the CAT floods it is time to sacrifice to the CAT. May we long be blessed by the CAT CAT CAT.”

  37. Unfortunately, the hieroglyphic for cat was a cat. Further confusing the issue, sometimes the picture of a cat was a determinative, used to indicate that a cat is being discussed, and sometimes it’s just an illustration.

    Apparently the Land of the Pharaohs they just really liked cats. I have read that no papyrus or inscription has been found or translated that records the killing of a cat, although plenty record the killing of dogs.


  38. How dare you hide Brando with a kitty behind Bette Davis. MISTANDRY!!!

  39. The Kittehs' Unpaid Help

    Aaaand Falconer and Bagelsan between them win the thread, if not the entire internetz!

  40. The Kittehs' Unpaid Help

    Unfortunately, the hieroglyphic for cat was a cat. Further confusing the issue, sometimes the picture of a cat was a determinative, used to indicate that a cat is being discussed, and sometimes it’s just an illustration.

    I wonder how many of those illustrations are the Egyptian equivalent of this or this or this?

    Kittehs ruled teh interpapyri.

  41. Kitteh: Well, there’s this…

  42. The Kittehs' Unpaid Help

    How could I have forgotten the famous satirical papyrus? :D

    Though I don’t think the kitties would approve of the scenes where they’re acting as servants to mice.

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