I only recently learned that Nabokov's mastery of English was not the feat often presented: the author learned it in his cradle, and it was perhaps even his first language. And I would not have described Vladimir Nabokov (April 22, 1899 to July 2,1977) as a cat lover, but one source presents that picture:
[H]e doted on...May Sarton’s [cat], a tom named Tom Jones whom he renamed Tomski. According to Sarton, when the Nabokovs sublet her house and kept the cat one year:
Tom Jones soon learned that he was welcome to install himself at the very heart of genius on Nabokov’s chest, there to make starfish paws, purr ecstatically, and sometimes — rather painfully for the object of his pleasure — knead.
The Nabokovs became so attached to him that they later arranged for a reunion tea in a hotel suite. Unfortunately, the guest of honor spent the hour hiding under the sofa.
Not that this makes up for the butterflies.