Sidonie-Gabrielle Colette (January 28, 1873 to August 3, 1954), the author of books like Gigi (1944) is also famous for her love of cats. We have an early picture of Colette below. Here is the context.
After divorcing her husband, a cruel and dissolute man, in 1906, Colette, already a published author, turned to the stage as a steady means of income. She "began dancing and singing in Parisian music halls, from La Chatte Amoureuse toL'Oiseau de Nuit."
"[The solitude and]... freedom, of my pleasant and painful work as mime and dancer,” Colette wrote years later, "[was] by way of a change from.... the new anxiety about earning my meals, my clothes, and my rent -- [as] such, all of a sudden, was my lot. But with it too went a savage defiance, a disgust for the milieu where I had lived and suffered, a stupid fear of man, of men, and of women too.”
We got this picture from Flavorwire. It is from her "nightclub mime show in which she portrayed her favorite animal."