Last but not least among the virtual cats, born by chance and become a VIP (or VIC?) between the web, books and gadgets, is the adorable bungler Simon’s Cat.
Turning to reality, from Queen Victoria to Pope Leo XII, from Lenin to Rosa Luxembourg, from Lincoln to Churchill, many cats have become famous through their human friends: in recent times we remember Socks, the four-legged tenant of the White House at the time of Bill Clinton, and among U.S. presidents only three – Millard Fillmore, Franklin Pierce and Chester Arthur – had no feline friends. Even Mussolini had a beloved cat, whose portrait was in the Globe Hall of the Palazzo Venezia. Until 1997, Downing Street hosted Humphrey: adopted in the 80s, the little stray black and white had established his residence receiving numerous awards for its performances and the prestigious title of “Rat Catcher Head of The Cabinet”. After all, it was not the only one: others before and after him have dealt with state… rats.
Instead, Oscar, the cat of the nursing home Rhode Island Steere, is known for its predictive capabilities: it seems that roams the palace stopping to visit patients who have very little time to live. Truth or legend? Then in the list is to mention the fascinating Hank, big cat in Star and Stripes: it stole six thousand votes to its two challengers in the election race in the State of Virginia, the enterprise has been possible thanks to an animal rights group that after saving it from the street named it as their candidate for «Jobs, Animal Rescue/Spay & Neuter programs, and Positive Campaign Reform».
Finally, there are cats outside cataloging. As the Maneki Neko, the Japanese lucky cat, Henri le Chat Noir, the existentialist philosopher, or as Schroedinger’s cat: it is a theoretical entity much loved in quantum mechanics and star of the paradox said “Schroedinger’s cat”, according to which the animal is alive and dead at the same time (it exists simultaneously in the two states).
If you want to visit a place where friends of domestic felines confront each other in the absence of the socializing walks the dogs enjoy, here is the Internet Cat Video Festival in Oakland, California, true repository of unwitting actors. On Facebook there is even to point out the pages Gatti famosi (Famous cats), with portraits of famous human with their cats, and Gatti d’arte (cats in the art), with images from the world of painting and illustration.
Famous felines omitted (the space is running out) or forgotten? You can integrate with your comments…