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

Freddie Mercury with cat waistcoat
Freddie Mercury with cat waistcoat. I believe the cats were his and therefore he must have had it tailor made.
Two useful tags. Click either to see the articles:- Toxic to cats | Dangers to cats

Freddie Mercury with Oscar in one of the final pictures of him

This is the story of one of the last known photos of Freddie Mercury in his garden with his cat Oscar. Freddie Mercury, lead singer for Queen, loved cats and he adopted most of them from rescue centres. One devout fan believes he loved his cats more than his fans. Some people say that he was the best pop star of them all. He died of bronchial pneumonia from AIDS on November 24th 1991 at his home, One Garden Lodge, West Kensington, North London, UK.

The photograph below was taken a few months earlier on August 28th, 1991 by his partner Jim Hutton. It is claimed to be one of the last photos. It is one of a series by Hutton taken at that particular moment. The cat at his feet is, I believe, Oscar, one of his cats and a ginger tabby and white random bred cat. It was taken three months before Freddie passed away.

Oscar with Freddie Mercury spring 1991
Oscar with Freddie Mercury spring 1991

Below is a clearer photo of Oscar:

Freddie Mercury loved cats
Oscar

The Express newspaper has some useful information today about this photo as Jim Hutton explains how it occurred. At the time Mercury was gravely ill spending most of the time in bed. He made a special effort to go into the garden for the photo session Hutton said:

“That summer Freddie posed for a camera for the very last time – mine. It happened like this. I was out in the garden photographing some of the flowers in full bloom and Freddie walked towards me. I trained the lens on – he wanted to move back a bit, so it wasn’t a close-up. Then he posed while I took four pictures, and he managed a smile for each.”

Hutton remarked that “He was so pale and drawn that he knew he didn’t look his best, but it didn’t matter a bit; of all the pictures I have of Freddie, those are the ones I love most.

Mercury had made a big effort to look good for the photos in wearing nice clothes as he preferred to wear casual clothes around the home. He chose the clothes we see in the photo above carefully: patterned floral shirt and blue trousers. He or Hutton did not want his fans to remember him as frail and looking ill. Although he said: “It’s up to them. When I’m dead, who cares? I don’t”, regarding how people would remember him.

Note: this was the era of film cameras. The image quality is poor. The originals would have been of decent quality but over the years of being digitally republished the quality has been diminished. I believe that the photographs are now in the public domain. The Express credits them as from “INSTA”.

Delilah

Freddie Mercury dedicated the album Mr Bad Guy and the song Delilah to cats. At the time a cat named Jerry was big in his life. Delilah was a large calico cat he adopted in 1987. He favoured her we are told. She slept at the foot of his bed.

People think Delilah is about a woman but there is a line which goes: “peeing all over [his] Chippendale Suite” – gotta be a cat πŸ˜‰ . What happened? Why was his cat indulging in “inappropriate elimination” – perhaps he was just joking in the song. I wonder whether he could have incorporated that well know phrase into his song?!

Other cats he cared for were: Goliath, a small black cat who liked to sleep in the bathroom washbasin or at least he did when they couldn’t find him once; Miko (black and white – mainly black), Romeo (tabby and white) and Lilly (black and white – mainly white. A Turkish Van type cat).

Freddie Mercury's cats
From the inside cover of the “Classic Queen” CD insert
Freddie Mercury loved cats
Tiffany – a Himalayan cat?

Freddie spoiled his cats by giving cooked chicken or fish. He genuinely loved his cats, I sense. At Christmas each of his cats had their own stocking filled with presents.

The lyrics of Bohemian Rhapsody

Bohemian Rhapsody is the third bestselling British single of all time. The lyrics are mystifying. A lot of people have tried to find meaning in them. I’m told that Freddie Mercury scribbled the lyrics down on scraps of paper before showing them to his bandmates. He refused to explain the meaning except to say that the song was about relationships.

“I think people should just listen to it, think about it and then make up their own minds as to what it says to them. I did a bit of research, although it was tongue in cheek”.

When he was asked to clarify what the song was about at a party he said:

“Oh, you know, dear – this and that, this and that.”

We’re not sure whether the other band members understood what the song is about either. Everyone has their theory as to what it is indeed about. When he wrote the lyrics, Mercury had just started his first homosexual relationship. The lyrics may refer to coming out about his homosexuality to his mother.

“Mama.. Didn’t mean to make you cry.. gotta leave you all behind and face the truth.. just gonna get right out of here..”

Ben Macintyre of The Times newspaper writes that before Mercury’s death of an aids-related illness he spoke to Kenny Everett. Everett claimed that Mercury had told him that the lyrics were simply “random rhyming nonsense”.

Macintyre believes that this assessment makes sense. He writes that the song is pregnant with symbolism leaving people searching for a meaning. The irony of it is that his greatest song was “a cheerful joke entirely devoid of profundity”.

NOTE: THIS PAGE HAS BEEN ‘REPUBLISHED’ TWICE TO BRING IT FORWARD TO TODAY IN LINE WITH THE RELEASE OF A FILM ABOUT MERCURY (FIRST TIME) AND THE SECOND TIME ON RECEIVING INFO FROM JIM HUTTON HIS PARTNER.

“Nothing really matters, anyone can see, nothing really matters…to me.”

Update 21st Feb 2019 – I heard on the radio (LBC) this morning at about 4 am that Freddie left half his Β£75 million estate to his cats. I have not been able to confirm this but am passing it on for the record. If anyone can confirm this or provide more accurate information please do so in a comment. Thanks.

13 thoughts on “Last known photo of Freddie Mercury was with his cat Oscar (updated 2022)”

  1. When our last cat passed over when he was 20, we knew we were too old to get a kitten so we took a 10 yr old rescue cat. The love of our lives. Had her 2 years now.

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  2. pleased to see so many loved cats. And, yes, a rescue cat/dog is so more rewarding, as they came from unwanted families or just running loose, so good homes.

    guess his cats are being cared for, and that is lovely indeed.

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    • Does anyone know what really happened to his sweet kitties after he left? I read a blog written by Phoebe that one took off and the others scattered to the neighborhood. I believe Delilah might have been the only one who stayed in the houdse. If this true it is heartbreaking.

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  3. I’d like to think so too (that he left instructions for the care of them in case anything happened) … I enjoyed his music as well and it is a shame he died so young. He was a very decent person not just to animals but people as well; From what I heard. It’s a shame that “those” who are decent to animals pass away .. when there are those that are not .. are allowed to still live.

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  4. I liked Freddie Mercury, always loved Queen songs, it’s such a shame he died so young. I wonder what happened to his cats, I expect like every true cat lover he made arrangements and left instructions and money for their care. I hope so anyway.

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    • I’d like to think so as well Ruth I bet his fans would be clamouring to get their hands on his cats. I would imagine they would have money left so they could be cared for until the ends of their lives. The Cinnamon Trust does that they are based in Cornwall they do a fantastic job.

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      • Yes we were volunteers for the Cinnamon Trust until a few years back, to walk dogs or go and see to cats whose owners were ill. We didn’t have any cats to care for, just a few dogs, then they started asking us to go too far away, as there wasn’t much to do locally. Expecting us to go 10 miles twice a day to walk an out of control alsation x was asking too much with Babz working and me getting past my sell by date lol

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