Freddie Mercury, lead singer for Queen, loved cats and he adopted most of them from rescue centers. 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, Garden Lodge, North London.
The photo below was taken some months before in the spring of 1991. We are not absolutely sure it is the last photo but it is claimed to be. The cat at his feet is, I believe, Oscar, one of his cats and a ginger tabby and white random bred cat.
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 😉 . 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 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’ TO BRING IT FORWARD TO TODAY IN LINE WITH THE RELEASE OF A FILM ABOUT MERCURY.
“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 £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.