I am told that Andy Warhol had two cats, Hester and Sam. That, however, is not the full story, far from it. Although it is worth stating at the outset that Andy Warhol was very much a cat and dog lover. It is said that he took his love for cats from his mother.
When Warhol was living with his mother, Julia, at Warhol’s Carnegie Hill townhouse during the 1950s and 60s they had many cats all of whom were named Sam except for one who was named Hester. So Sam and Hester were not two cats, but many. The picture above shows a Siamese cat. Was Sam or Hester a Siamese cat? I don’t know.
They gave many of their kittens away to friends. It would seem that Sam and Hester were male and female but the names don’t support this supposition. I say this because they had lots of kittens and a straightforward reason for this would be that the two cats that they owned were breeding because there were unneutered. However, I’m guessing.
During this time Warhol self-published a book called: 25 Cats Name Sam and One Blue Pussy. The word “Name” is missing the letter “d” because his mother made a mistake which Warhol embraced.
At the start of the 1970s Warhol’s pet-owning habits changed and he was persuaded to adopt a dog by his boyfriend Jed Johnson. He adopted a dark brown, shorthaired dachshund puppy called Archie with whom he became besotted. He took him everywhere including press conferences and referred to him as his alter ego. Later on he acquired another dachshund who he named Amos to keep Archie company. He left them at home together when he was out.
In 1976 he was encouraged to create a series of cat and dog portraits by his manager Fred Hughes. He liked the idea because it might, he thought, bring in portrait commissions. One of his paintings of Archie dated 1976 is presented on this page. Andy Warhol is one of many artists and authors who were cat lovers.
I am indebted to anothermag.com (excellent article) as the major source of this article together with Dr Desmond Morris (Cat World A Feline Encyclopedia).