Q: I just read that John Lennon was a big cat lover and there is a story about him in your book Cat Calls? Is this true?
A: Yes! John Lennon used to come into a store I owned in Manhattan back in the 1970s. The store was called Cat Cottage and it was the first one in Manhattan dedicated to kittens, cats and their loving owners. Today, there are all sorts of stores for pet people but back then it was a novelty.
John Lennon used to visit Cat Cottage with his family. They liked to come in to pet the cats that I allowed to roam free in the store — with the door securely locked of course! He was very nice and I remember being a bit sorry for him (if you can say that about one of the most famous people in the world) because the street would soon be filled with people hoping for a glimpse.
My favorite story about John Lennon is in my book Cat Calls. One day, a limo pulled up in front of the store and John Lennon jumped out, ran up the stairs and pointed to a huge carpeted cat tree he must have been admiring in the window. It was well-used and full of cat hair, but before I knew it he had it over his shoulder!
I would have been happy to order him a new one but this was the one he wanted. With a smile he handed me some cash saying “Keep the change!” Down the steps he bounded to the waiting limo with his prize. Sadly I did not see him again, but will always remember his kindness and genuine affection for our feline friends.
I always say cats are loving companions and have a way of touching all of us in wonderful ways. I would like to think John Lennon’s cats also acted as a muse or creative inspiration. I certainly know they had a fun cat tree to play with.
This year let’s remember all the ways our cats make us happy and make sure they get plenty of TLC in return. As always I welcome your comments and stories.
Good News! My new book, “Cat Calls: Wonderful Stories and Practical Advice from a Veteran Cat Sitter” with CAT FANCY editor Susan Logan is now available in stores and online. Please click here for more information.