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6 Famous Cats (or Groups of Cats) in History

These cats have become famous beyond their own homes.

If you love cats, every tabby, calico, and tortie that comes your way is a star. They all have their own unique personalities and talents. Some cats, however, become more widely famous than others, and we've gathered some interesting examples here.

The Hemingway Cats

Ernest Hemingway was an American author who died in 1961. He kept a home in Key West, FL. There are currently more than 50 cats living on Hemingway's old property, which is now kept as a museum. About half of them exhibit polydactyly, a condition in which they have extra toes on their front and sometimes back feet.

Many sailors believed that polydactyl cats were lucky and often kept them on ships. Hemingway was given a polydactyl cat by a sailor friend in the 1930s; her name was Snow White. Many of the cats currently living at the Hemingway home are Snow White's descendent, and people love to visit them and see their adorable paws.

Tabby, the First Cat in the White House

Abraham Lincoln loved cats and would play with them for hours. He is the first president known to bring cats into the White House, and Tabby was his son, Tad's cat.

Tabby is given credit for being the first cat to live in the White House, and reports say that the president fed her from the table with a golden fork during a formal dinner.

Oscar the Nursing Home Cat

In 2005, several cats went to live at the Steere House Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Providence, Rhode Island as therapy cats. They are meant to aid patients and their families by providing companionship and comfort. However, Oscar has been described as a bit aloof, not usually seeking out people to cuddle.

About six months into his stay at the Steere House, staff began to notice that Oscar always seemed to sleep next to patients a few hours before they passed away. That behavior has continued through the years, and Oscar is now said to "predict" the deaths of patients. It's not known for sure how Oscar could be aware that a person will be dying soon, but there is a definite pattern of him showing up to curl in next to them before they do.


Morris is the mascot of the company 9Lives, and he is an orange tabby that is disdainful of other foods. The original Morris came from a Humane Society in Chicago in 1968, and all of the subsequent cats to play the role have also been rescued from shelters.

Morris is a well-known character in American advertising, and his slightly grumpy face makes many people smile.

Grumpy Cat

Speaking of grumpy cats, another famous cat simply goes by the name Grumpy Cat but her real name is Tardar Sauce. The way her face is formed makes her appear perpetually crabby, and she's become an internet celebrity because of it. She may look grumpy, but people's moods improve when they see her funny memes. Look her up on Facebook if you're feeling grumpy; you'll quickly feel better.

The Cheshire Cat

The Cheshire Cat from Alice in Wonderland might be fictional, but he is still famous. In fact, he's become a part of American culture and has been used in cartoons, ads, and other media. The Cheshire cat's main characteristic is that he disappears, but he does so body first so that the last thing you always see is his wide grin.

The term "grinning like a Cheshire cat" is older than Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland story, and it's not known for sure how it originally came to be, but most Americans think of the cartoon version when they hear the saying.

We'd love to hear about the famous cats you know stories of. We'd also be delighted to hear stories about your own cats and why they should be famous. Talk to us in the comments!

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