Amy Winehouse - photo by Viernest (Flickr) - nice pic.
13th February 2010: This is a short post about celebrities and their cats, in this case prompted by the Amy Winehouse story. She had to give up her 9, or is it 11, cats because she is going to Jamaica for a long time to work on her new album.
Apparently she loved her cats but we are told by the press they were unneutered. The Sun says that they were "breeding". I am not sure if that is true.
But some thoughts immediately come to mind about Amy Winehouse's cat keeping techniques and about celebrities and their cats generally.
I don't wish to knock Amy Winehouse. This is just a critique from what I have heard. She didn't have to have 11 cats in the first place. If her lifestyle is a bit disjointed or lacks stability it is not a suitable lifestyle for cats. The best cat keepers are people over 55 years of age because they are at home and have a routine and cats need that.
Also, she does not, it would seem, have to go to Jamaica to prepare an album. Sure, it is nice and warm and the winter this year in Britain has been awful and we all want out of it but there are plenty of places in England where she could record her album. It is just a matter or priorities and choices and Amy Winehouse seems to have put herself before her cats at a fundamental level. That points to her unsuitability to keep cats, I think, but I am setting a standard here. Keeping a cat is for the life of the cat and that should be an immutable standard.
I would have thought in a better world she could have cared for say one or two cats and gone for a working holiday in Jamaica for say 3 weeks, got a professional cat sitter in to look after the cats over that period and done most of the recording work on her new album in Britain, specifically, London, which as far as I am aware is where she lives. Or alternatively, she could have taken the cats with her (if she only had one or two). A lot of people these days travel with their cats.
There are ways to fit one's lifestyle around our cats. But to simply dump them on a cat shelter which appears to be the case (bar two of the cats) seems cavalier, heartless and wrong.
That said she is no doubt upset by doing what she is doing but as I said she doesn't have to do it. I think that Amy Winehouse's biggest problem was allowing herself to keep too many cats. It got out of hand. Perhaps they were breeding and if that is true it is very careless of her.
As for celebs and cats generally, celebs are people like anyone else and a good percentage like cats. A good many American celebs have kept Siamese cats. This was when they were considered as exotic in the 1950s or around that time. Siamese cats nowadays are more mainstream. See Modern Siamese Cats
I recently posted an article about Susan Boyle and her devotion to her cat Peebles. Then I read that Peebles was being looked after on an indefinite basis by the neighbour of a friend of Simon Cowell. She succumbed to the pressure of her career in the music business and no one can blame her.
In the modern world of celebrities where the business, be it movies or music, is a worldwide industry, travel is essential and that does not translate to a stable environment for domestic cats.
Update: see Taylor Swift and her cats. She loves cats.