Freddie Mercury: his ten cats and Bohemian Rhapsody the film

Bohemian Rhapsody, the film, is doing great at the box office. Some critics say that the script sucks and is too wooden. The Times (UK newspaper) gave the film a three star rating but it is doing very well because of Freddie (taking $50m over the weekend) – and his cats!

Freddie Mercury with one of his cats: Tiffany
Freddie Mercury with one of his cats: Tiffany (1988). Photo in public domain.
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Freddie is a fascinating character and one aspect of this is his genuine and abiding love of cats. As a cat lover I have a duty to emphasis a major part of Mercury’s life: his ten cats.

They feature substantially in the movie I am told. Freddie, played by Rami Malek (a fabulous actor – e.g. in Mr. Robot) is seen chatting to his cats before travelling to a gig. Each one of his cats had their own bedroom. I believe that the last known photograph of Freddie is of him in his garden in North London, with Oscar, a ginger tabby and white cat.

Last known photo of Freddie Mercury was with his cat Oscar (updated 2022)

I have learned that Freddie died stroking Delilah, a tabby cat and his favourite. He adopted her in 1987 and dedicated a song in Innuendo to her. Innuendo was the band’s last album before his death.

Note: he sings that Delilah peed all over his sofa. I wonder whether this was due to separation anxiety when he was away touring. It could be.

His cats were integral to his life. He may have been one of those who preferred four legs to two. Apparently he was quite a shy guy when not performing but transformed himself into an amazing showman when on stage. I can see him spending many happy hours at home with his beloved cats. They were very important to him (Bustle).

Freddie Mercury’s personal live-in assistant, Peter Freestone, wrote about how much the cats meant to Freddie.

When Mercury was away from home he’d talk to his cats on the phone. Mercury’s girlfriend at the time, Mary Austin, would hold Tom and Jerry (two of his ten cats) up to the phone while Mercury talked to them. This happened year after year with different cats. Mary would often be the cat sitter while Mercury was away.

Mercury dedicated his album Mr Bad Guy to Jerry and mentioned the other cats:

“This album is dedicated to my cat Jerry — also Tom, Oscar, and Tiffany and all the cat lovers across the universe — screw everybody else!”

According to Elite Daily, the ten cats that he cared for during his life were: Tom, Jerry, Dorothy, Tiffany, Delilah, Goliath, Lily, Miko, Oscar and Romeo. It seems that at one time they all occupied the same home with Freddie. Tom and Jerry were given to him by Mary Austin. Later on she gifted him Tiffany (see photo above). Tiffany appears to have been a blue point Himalayan (long haired Persian – doll faced) or a Ragdoll.

Like a true cat lover, he adopted some of the cats from a local shelter: Blue Cross Shelter. Miko, Romeo, Lily and Goliath were adopted from this shelter. Today, Blue Cross have a shelter at Lewisham. This is not local to N. London at the time of this post.

The film should attract a lot of cat lovers as well as Freddie’s admirers (we should not forget the other Queen band members who were great too). The trailer on YouTube briefly shows us the cats. The stars of the film are the cats! Not really because Malek’s performance is said to be superb.

NOTE: sometimes videos fail to play because they are deleted on YouTube. If that happens I am sorry but it ain’t my fault.

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