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.”
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!