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Saturday, April 9, 2016

Friends of the Famous - H

In the 1959 movie Green Mansions, Audrey Hepburn’s portrayal of the fey and mysterious woman from the jungle captivates the heart of the leading man, but his wouldn’t be the only heart lost to love. While filming the movie in the Amazon jungle, Hepburn’s own heart was stolen by a fawn; given to her by the animal trainer during filming. The fawn, which she called Pippin, would remain her cherished pet for years to come; allowed to freely roam her estate, accompany her on shopping sprees and sleep in her bathtub.

America’s 23rd president, Benjamin Harrison did not win the election by popular vote but by electoral vote; beating out incumbent president Grover Cleveland. Harrison then moved into the White House with seven family members, a cook, a goat named “Old Whiskers”, two opossums and a dog named Dash, who adored the ‘human iceberg’ president.  Although Harrison claimed no pet as his own, lest it tarnish his image, Dash had certainly made up his mind, and followed the man everywhere J Limited funding for renovations aside, the Harrisons were the first to install electricity in the White House, but fear of electrocution had them sleeping with the lights on until the contractor returned and turned them off. Harrison became the first incumbent to lose to a former president when Cleveland regained the presidency in 1892. Interestingly, neither Harrison nor Cleveland campaigned during the election; relying instead on surrogates. 

It’s almost a foregone conclusion that a writer has pets, but Ernest Hemingway took it to a whole new level with not just one, but dozens of cats! And not just any cats, the majority of them were (and are) six-toed. At last count there were an estimated fifty-some still roaming the grounds of Hemingway’s home-turned-museum in Key West. Florida.

One of the first cats to roam around the White House was a six-toed cat named Slippers; owned by Theodore Roosevelt.

With Alfred Hitchcock’s penchant for cameos, it’s no surprise that two of his treasured Sealyham terriers also did one, leaving the pet shop with Hitchcock at the beginning of the Birds in 1963.

Have you ever kept a pet in the bathtub?  How many animals have you ever had at one time? Have you seen Alfred Hitchcock’s movie The Birds?


  1. I've never really had many pets. Kang and Kruge my pet goldfish were with me for probably a few months, then a stray cat we took in, again, for a few weeks till it never came back.

    I have seen the Birds. It was scary when I originally saw it. Now, I'm not so sure, I'll have to watch it again.

    1. Hi Jeffrey!
      I thought many of Alfred Hitchcock's films were pretty cool, but the Birds scared me half to death as a kid so I never looked at them in quite the same way;-) I've had a few cats wander in and then out of my life - usually due to resident dogs or other cats.

  2. Hi, dear Diedre!

    I continue to be amazed at the variety of pets kept at the White House over the years. (Some say all of Washington has become a zoo :) Benjamin Harrison might not have been a warm and fuzzy kind of guy, but his dog's loyal companionship, regardless, illustrates why so many of us adore canines.

    I remember Audrey Hepburn's cherished fawn. Mrs. Shady and I visited the Hemingway Museum in Key West a few years ago. Whenever I watch Hitchcock films I keep my eyes peeled for his cameo appearances. I remember him emerging from the pet store with his dogs in The Birds.

    Have a fine weekend, dear friend Diedre!

    1. Hi Shady!
      I'm glad you're amazed and not bored yet, by all the White House 'animals' ;-) I tend to agree with the current zoo theory.
      I think the dog clearly saw something in Harrison that the public was not allowed to. Kind of his saving grace, I guess;-)
      I'd dearly love to see the Hemingway museum! Was it as fascinating as I imagine?
      I always look for Hitchcock cameos too!
      Have a wonderful weekend, dear Shady:-)

  3. "This finite existence is only a test, son," God Almighty sed to me in my coma. "Beyond thy earthly tempest is where you'll find corpulent eloquence" (paraphrased). Lemme tella youse without d'New Joisey accent...

    I actually saw Seventh-Heaven when we died: you couldn't GET any moe curly, extravagantly-surplus-lush Upstairs when my beautifull, brilliant, bombastic girl passed-away at 17.

    Find-out where we went on our journey far, far away like the symbiotically, synonyMOUSEs which creep across thy brain bringing U.S. together done in sardonic satires.

    "Those who are wise will shine as brightly as the expanse of the Heavens, and those who have instructed many in uprightousness as bright as stars for all eternity" -Daniel 12:3

    Here's also what the prolific, exquisite GODy sed: 'the more you shall honor Me, the more I shall bless you' -the Infant Jesus of Prague.

    Go git'm, girl. You're incredible.
    See you Upstairs...
    I won't be joining'm in the nasty Abyss where Isis prowls

    PS Need some uncommon, unique, uncivilized names? Lemme gonna gitcha started:

    Oak Woods, Athena Noble, Autumn Rose, Faith Bishop, Dolly Martin, Willow Rhodes, Cocoa Major, China Stone, Bullwark Burnhart, Magnus Wilde, Kardiak Arrest, Will Wright, Goldy Silvers, Sophie Sharp, Gloria Hood, Violet Snow, Lizzy Roach, BoxxaRoxx, Aunty Dotey, Romero Stark, Zachariah Neptoon, Turkey Yankee, Mercurio Morrissey, Fritz & Felix Yates, Mortimer Victor, Isabella Kennedy, Redding Rust...

    God blessa youse
    -Fr. Sarducci, ol SNL

  4. My mother kept cats as pets, never in a bathtub though. Enjoyed your post. Haven't watched The Birds, but have read the story by du Maurier several times. A favourite author.

    Ninja Minion, A-Z 2016

    1. Hi Nilanjana Bose!
      I had a few cats who loved to sleep in the sink - we had to hide the toothbrushes!
      Thanks for coming by:-)

  5. I do think sometimes we are owned by our pets. I adopted a dog who was in the family way with full intent on giving her babies away. Tom kitty got depressed and did not eat for about a week. He knew what I did not acknowledge. We weren't giving any away. Each of those pups picked one of us and that is how they were divied up.
    I've seen descendants of Hemingway's six toe cats at his home on Key West.

    1. Hi Ann!
      Thanks for sharing such a sweet story of the babies!
      You've been to Hemingway's? Fabulous! I so want to go one day.
      Have a lovely weekend, dear Ann:-)

  6. What fascinating trivia! I'm going to pull "The Birds" out and watch it this weekend.
    Impromptu Promptlings

    1. I'm glad you enjoyed;-) I sneaked over to your blog and found it quite impressive! I've seen the movie a couple of times and have to remind myself it's only a movie:-)

  7. REALLY? She actually took a fawn with her shopping? You'd have to be a celebrity to get away with that!

    1. Ha! No kidding, Stephanie, she really did:-) Her celebrity status had to be the reason she was allowed to bring an animal into the grocery store. I've seen wild birds in stores occasionally, but I guess that can't be helped;-)
      Have a terrific weekend, Stephanie!

  8. I can honestly say that I have never kept a pet in a bathtub! And I have seen The Birds. It actually freaked me out and had me giving all birds the side-eye for quite some time. And I also meant to tell you that I LOVE the new look of your blog! Looks great:)

    1. Hi there, Quanie!
      Ha! I can't hardly get a pet to get into the tub, let alone keep one there:-)
      I do alright until the birds all get together on a wire...
      Thanks for the compliment, I kinda like it too;-)
      Miss you dear one, enjoy those munchkins!

  9. I've seen The Birds many times--Hitchcock is one of my favorite directors so I try to catch his films whenever they're on TV. Never had more than one pet that I can remember unless you count pets that had litters and when that happened I gave the babies away as soon as I could.

    Have not kept a pet in a bathtub. I think I slept in a bathtub once though, but not quite sure about that.

    Arlee Bird
    A to Z Challenge Co-host
    Tossing It Out

    1. Hi Arlee!
      I too, love the films. Twilight Zone as well, but they play them on TV between midnight and 3:am so I rarely get to see them anymore.
      I fell asleep under the bathroom sink once while playing hide-and-seek, but that's as close I've ever come to sleeping in a bathtub;-)
      Thanks for coming by, Arlee!


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