Bob Dylan and Cats (photos)

You could argue that it would have been tricky for Bob Dylan to be a good cat guardian. On the face of it, it would have been impractical but apparently he was a cat caretaker and he made it work. And he loved animals.

He had a cat named Rollin’ Stone. He is pictured holding the cat on the album cover to “Bringing It All Back Home” (source: Eva DR Force – see comment).

Bob Dylan with cat
Bob Dylan with cat. I claim fair use in using the photo to illustrate the page.
Until September 7th I will give 10 cents to an animal charity for every comment written by visitors. It is a way visitors can contribute to animal welfare without much effort and no financial cost. Please comment. It helps this website too which at heart is about cat welfare.

In 1990 he released his album number 27 entitled Under the Sky, included a song about cats: Cat’s In The Well. It starts like this:

The cat’s in the well, the wolf is looking down
The cat’s in the well, the wolf is looking down
He got his big bushy tail dragging all over the ground

The cat’s in the well, the gentle lady is asleep
Cat’s in the well, the gentle lady is asleep
She ain’t hearing a thing, the silence is a-stickin’ her deep..

Bob Dylan is probably the most influential popular music artist ever (debatable, yes). His handwritten lyrics for his 1965 “Like a Rolling Stone” sold at auction for $2 million recently. The highest amount paid to date for lyrics which reflects their importance. The lyrics are considered to be a form of poetry by many.

Here are two photos, which I have to presume are now in the public domain as they are all over Pinterest and many other websites, of Bob Dylan in the company of two different cats.

The first one appears to have been taken in a restaurant or cafe while the other was taken at a home, perhaps his home but I don’t know. The cat in the first picture is a black and white and in the second the cat is a tabby.

Bob Dylan with cat 1

Bob dylan and cat


14 thoughts on “Bob Dylan and Cats (photos)”

  1. Cool. Dylan grew up in Galup, New Mexico, USA. About 90 miles from my hometown. I always felt he was a good person. He is a bit rough around the edges, but his music change the world. I hadn’t see either of these photos. Thanks Michael.

  2. His real name is Robert Zimmerman. He probably took his name from poet Dylan Thomas, be he has never confirmed this. He did confirm in his autobiography Chronicles, Volume I that he went with “Bob” instead of “Bobby” Tour group_names Karen O, Willie Nelson, Cat Power, Richie Havens, and Tom Verlaine. He had a cat named Rollin’ Stone. He is pictured holding the cat on his album cover____________ }… Dylan sits forward holding his cat (named Rolling Stone)

    Dylan’s summers are spent at his home in Malibu. … He once said: “I’m not the kind of cat that’s going to cut off an ear if I can’t do something.> Lyrics to “Like A Rolling Stone” song by BOB DYLAN: Once upon a time you dressed so fine You … To be without a home. Like a complete unknown. Like a rolling stone ? You’ve gone to the finest school all right, Miss Lonely … When they all come down and did tricks for you … Who carried on his shoulder a Siamese cat* I think Bob Dylan liked cats *After all he owned a cat named Rollin’ Stone.In my guess a free spirited cat at that! And a real genuine rolling stone. Eva D.R.Force

  3. Since my phone email seems to have been lost in cyberspace, I’ll try again from my PC.
    There are two famous photos of Dylan holding a cat in his lap that date from that amazing 15-month period c.1966 when he released his first three rock albums. One shows him in the back of a NYC taxi wearing sunglasses and holding a long-haired white. The cover of his first rock album (Bringing It All Back Home, 1965) shows him protectively holding a sweet-looking long-haired gray.

  4. There’s also a famous photo of Dylan taken c. 1966 during that amazing 15-month run when he released his first three rock albums. He’s in the back seat of a NY taxi wearing shades and holding a long-haired white cat in his lap.
    The cover of the first of these albums, Bringing It All Back Home (1965), shows Dylan holding a sweet long-haired gray. In both pics he clings to the cats protectively.

  5. Don’t like to be contrary (though of course I do), but Dylan admitted years ago that his lyrics were meaningless.

    Latest site: [Bob Dylan Acknowledges 50-year Hoax – ‘My Lyrics, Don’t Mean a Diddly-Squat, and Never Did, etc.’]

    To make matters worse, all his life he’s had moldy-cheese pipes. So did J. Cash and
    R. Charles on their deathbeds, but certainly not when they were young as Dylan used to be.

    Now Sir McCartney, the animal rights guy – what’s the name of his latest ditty…’When Shadows Fall?’ Wispy and senescent as his singing is, it oozes charm. He is GOOD!

    • It was The Global Edition that reported this, saying that Bob Dylan admitted to being a hoax in an interview with Rolling Stone Magazine. There was no such interview with RS. Global Edition made it up.

      Here is what Global Edition says about themselves:

      Posted By The Global Edition On Sunday, June 10th, 2012 is world’s most global news source. Information found on this website is so unique that it’s impossible to find it on any other website, unless someone copy-pastes it without our knowledge, in which case this sentence is totally unnecessary.

      Sometimes we do use real events and names of people and/or institutions in our stories but only for satirical or parodical purposes. If you are one of them and you don’t want your public persona to be exposed to the public sense of humor, please let us know at editor (at) and we will do our best to ignore it.

      We do our best not to provide you with factual and accurate information. If that by any chance happens, please let us know so we are able to correct the mistake and fire the author who allowed himself to think he is a journalist.

    • Dee has responded nicely. I would be surprised if Dylan thought his lyrics to be meaningless. Possible but unlikely. I remember reading the Times article about the $2m for the handwritten lyrics and the author thought the lyrics were a form of poetry. I don’t think you can write poetry if there is no meaning.

      • He never thought of his lyrics as meaningless.
        Especially, at the end of the 60’s and early 70’s, he wrote for the times and they were heartfelt.

        I remember that era well. There were protests for the bogus Vietnam War everywhere. We had sit-ins, carried signs, and attended concerts that had significance.
        Most of the songs were those written by the great Dylan. He wrote for many, many artists.

  6. Well, I’m going to speculate and say, “Yes”. I believe that Bob Dylan loves cats, because he loves all animals.

    I’m not basing this just on the times we lived in or the incredibly genious and sensitive music he wrote.

    But, rather, the books he wrote that were published:

    1. MAN GAVE NAMES TO ALL THE ANIMALS (appears on the cover of one of his albums)

    These two, in particular, may not be specific to cats; but, all of this is what I base my belief that he loves cats.

    • I am glad you know more about Dylan than I do. I wanted someone to tell me a bit more about his liking for animals and I guessed that he liked them. As you say, his poetic lyrics tell us he must be sensitive towards animals.


Leave a Comment

follow it link and logo