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Authors & their Pets

Posted by on August 12, 2013

A year or so ago, I was traveling through cyberspace and everywhere I looked I was seeing authors with their pets. I started wondering, do all authors have pets?

Monster & Anne Elisabeth Stengl

Anne Elisabeth Stengl & Monster

Anne Elisabeth Stengl, author of the Tales of Goldstone Wood series, has her gaggle of cats and one long suffering dog, we’ll hear more about that this Wednesday. J. K. Rowling has a Jack Russel and a Greyhound. Donita K. Paul & Evangeline Denmark, coauthors of Dragon and Turtle, have a pet turtle and a rabbit the last time I checked. C. S. Lewis had at least eight dogs throughout his life. Hemingway had his cat, or should I say cats. He had at one point up to 23. E. B. White had a dog named Minnie. Charles Dickens had a pet raven. Mark Twain had Bambino, a black cat.

There are plenty of articles all over cyberspace such as this one at Huffingting Post: Animal Muses: The Pets of Famous Writers and Authors. Archipelago Books had an article on Authors and Their Pets as well as  has Literary Pets: The Cats, Dogs, and Birds Famous Authors Loved. All of these come complete with pictures. Check it out. There was peacock in there somewhere.

writers and pets

The Atlantic: Portraits of Writers with Pets: The Humanizing Animal Connection
By Emily Temple November 28th 2012

I’m not the only one seeing the connection here. The Atlantic ran an article in 2012 about authors and their pets suggesting there might be a greater number of artist-pet relationships than regular folk. But don’t get your undies in a bunch. I’m sure it has more to do with just being human.

Still, I can’t help but wonder. Perhaps that is what I am missing in my writerly life. A pet! But then I am reminded of the movie 28 Days. I can’t even keep a plant alive, and don’t even ask me about the beta fish I’ve come in contact with. My track record does not look good. I probably shouldn’t even be married all things considered. Good thing my hubby’s sees my potential. 🙂 But hey, my kids are thriving!

Speaking of kids, pets never grow up. It’s like having perpetual toddlers in the house. That doesn’t sound inviting at this season of my life with the energizer bunny on steroids and the little spitfire of a tiger I have on my hands.

But the longing doesn’t go away. The desire for that special relationship between man and beast lingers. Maybe I watched Sheena one too many times as a kid, but I really wanted to talk, at least connect with animals as long as they didn’t lick me. Ha! It’s not like I didn’t have pets growing up. I grew up surrounded by animals. Cows, goats, chickens, ducks, horses, various dogs: a couple of Wolf/German Shepherds, a Border Collie cross, and a Pekinese just to name a few. Two cats: Sheena & Gizmo. And yes, the first was named after the movie, and no, the second one was not named after The Gremlins, but her antics would make you wonder.

So what say you? Do you think the need for companionship is heightened for the lonely writer pounding away at the computer keys? Someone to share in their madness, bounce ideas off, the unconditional love no matter our insanity. Whatever it is, it sounds delightful. Especially someone who is an introvert like me. Maybe one of these days we’ll get a pet or two, for the kids, you know. 😉

Do you think the majority of artistic types have pets? Or is it just a human thing?


Wondering what’s up with all this pet stuff? Check out the Pet Lovers Photo Contest and Giveaway!


4 Responses to Authors & their Pets

  1. katsrus

    I have read many a post from author telling about their pets and showing pictures. Not sure if it’s an artistic thing. I would opt more for it being a human thing. I would say that artistic people open up more and share. I love hearing about people’s pets as I am a pet lover.
    Sue B

    • jlmbewe

      Thanks for sharing Sue! I would agree. Artist seek to express themselves more maybe, or maybe we are fascinated by them, so we want to know more about them. Who knows, but I think it has more to do with being human. We either love pets, or we don’t.

  2. Rebecca Minor

    We’ve been a bit of a pet debate in our house of late. I don’t care for dogs and don’t like the way you have to cater to their needs–if we ever had the money, I would want to travel, and a dog would add logistical issues to that. I don’t like the dynamic of “we have to get home and let the dog out–or else!” But that’s just me. I also feel that if you don’t have 2 grand in the bank that you could drop at any moment when your pet gets a bowel obstruction, you probably shouldn’t be an animal owner.

    And hence, we remain petless.

    All that being said, though–if I could own horses, I probably would. How’s that for contradictory? I don’t want a dog to put a cramp in my lifestyle, but I’d want to own animals that are 4 times the work of any dog.

    • jlmbewe

      You had me chuckling! Beauty, or in this case, the desire for a pet, is all in the eye of the beholder. 🙂 You make a good point about being able to afford a pet, one of the reasons we haven’t invested in one yet. But one of these days… 🙂

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J.L Mbewe - Author