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Three Literary Greats and Their Favorite Pets

You probably don't often think about which pets authors had in their lives, but just as you're attached to your favorite 2- or 4-legged friend, they were, too! Here are three of the most famous writers in history and the pets they loved:

Mark Twain

Long before electric pet fences, Mark Twain experienced losing (and thankfully, finding!) a cat. When his daughter Clara was sick, she smuggled in a black kitten they named Bambino, and Twain became buddies with the kitten.

One day, Bambino went missing, and Twain offered $5 to the person who found it. Although he eventually found it on his own, his servant wrote that people continued to bring cats to get a chance to meet him!

Ernest Hemingway

For all of the difficulty and tragedy in Hemingway's novels, he had a soft spot. He loved cats—in fact, he had 23 that he frequently called “purr factories” and “love sponges.”

He knew and loved each of his cats, and when one of them, Uncle Willie, was run over by a car and it was decided he needed to be euthanized, Hemingway refused to let anyone else do it. He wanted the responsibility of helping his faithful friend move on as gently as possible. Heartbroken, he wrote: “Had to shoot people, but never anyone I knew and loved for eleven years.”

Charles Dickens

Interestingly, Dickens wasn't a dog or a cat person. Instead, he had a pet raven he named Grip, and throughout his literary works, Grip makes several appearances.

It is even believed that Edgar Allen Poe was indirectly inspired by Grip when he wrote The Raven after reviewing one of Dickens' pieces that featured a talkative raven modeled after his own pet!

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