The Book, Cat, & Cat Book Lovers Almanac

of historical trivia regarding books, cats, and other animals. Actually this blog has evolved so that it is described better as a blog about cats in history and culture. And we take as a theme the advice of Aldous Huxley: If you want to be a writer, get some cats. Don't forget to see the archived articles linked at the bottom of the page.

April 22, 2017

April 22, 1899

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.

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