“When a man loves cats, I am his friend and comrade, without further introduction.” —Mark Twain
From Isaac Newton to Freddie Mercury, iconic men throughout history have adored cats. So illustrator Sam Kalda decided to celebrate 30 of these men and their feline companions in his new book, Of Cats and Men. Featuring historic profiles and beautiful illustrations, the book charmingly argues that cats are “man’s true best friend.”
Check out the gallery to view some of Kalda’s art paired with excerpts about cat-loving writers.
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"While living in Key West, Hemingway was given a cat by a ship's captain. Snow White was a six-toed feline, the first of Hemingway's famous brood of polydactyl cats in Key West…As Papa Ernest not so famously said, 'One cat just leads to another.'"
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"Throughout his writing career, Chandler was never far from his beloved cat, Taki, a black Persian whom he referred to as his secretary…As Chandler wrote to a friend, she was a constant presence on his desk, 'usually sitting on the paper [he] wanted to use.'"
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William S. Burroughs
"In many ways, Burroughs connected with cats more than people…Burroughs was once asked by poet and fellow Beat Allen Ginsberg if he ever wanted to be loved. 'It depends. By who or what,' he said. 'By my cats, certainly.'"
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"Eliot is one of modernist poetry's beloved grandfathers…In particular, Eliot created a fanciful collection of poems about cats entitled Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats.* Originally written for his godchildren, these poems regale the reader with tales of eccentrically named cats: Mr. Mistoffelees, Skimbleshanks, Bustopher Jones, and Rum Tum Tugger, to name a few."
*Andrew Lloyd Webber based the musical Cats on this book.
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Of Cats and Men is available now from Ten Speed Press.