A dog may be man’s best friend, but some men make better friends than others. To us, it’s always seemed as though pets attach themselves to artists (and vice versa, of course) in greater numbers than to regular folks — or at least that almost every artist we know needs a furry friend to talk to. Maybe it’s the pull of a constant, silent listener to bounce ideas against, maybe it’s because of the boundless soul of the writer, maybe it’s a coincidence. Either way, we think pictures of famous authors and their pets are pretty adorable, so we’ve collected a few of them here. See some of our favorite writers with their dogs and cats (and peacocks, guess who) after the jump, and if we missed your favorite literary pair of man and beast, add them in the comments.
Virginia Woolf and her dog Pinka.
“This you’ll call sentimental — perhaps — but then a dog somehow represents — no I can’t think of the word — the private side of life — the play side.”
Photo by Gisele Freund, via.
Flannery O’Connor with one of her many beloved peacocks.
“When the peacock has presented his back, the spectator will usually begin to walk around him to get a front view; but the peacock will continue to turn so that no front view is possible. The thing to do then is to stand still and wait until it pleases him to turn. When it suits him, the peacock will face you. Then you will see in a green-bronze arch around him a galaxy of gazing haloed suns. This is the moment when most people are silent.”
Edith Wharton with double pups.
“My little dog — a heartbeat at my feet.”
John Steinbeck and Charley.
“I’ve seen a look in dogs’ eyes, a quickly vanishing look of amazed contempt, and I am convinced that basically dogs think humans are nuts.”
William S. Burroughs and Ginger.
“Like all pure creatures, cats are practical.”
Dorothy Parker and her dog Misty.
“Why, that dog is practically a Phi Beta Kappa. She can sit up and beg, and she can give her paw — I don’t say she will but she can.” See also: “Verse For a Certain Dog.”
Photo by Roy Schatt, via.
E.L. Doctorow out for a swim with Becky. Photo by Jill Krementz, via.
Maurice Sendak with Herman (after Melville).
“I hate people.”
Photo by Tim Knox, via.
Donna Tartt with her Pug, Pongo.
“My dog has a number of acquaintances of his own species — as do I — but it is abundantly clear to both of us that there is little company in all the world which we enjoy so much as each other’s.”
Photo by Jill Krementz, via.
Ernest Hemingway with one of his many cats.
“A cat has absolute emotional honesty: human beings, for one reason or another, may hide their feelings, but a cat does not.”
Kurt Vonnegut frolicking with Pumpkin. Image via.
Mark Twain and shoulder kitty.
“Some people scorn a cat and think it not an essential; but the Clemens tribe are not of these.”
William Faulkner and his equally distinguished canine friends. Photo by Henri Cartier-Bresson, via.
Colette with kitty.
“There are no ordinary cats.”
Tennessee Williams and his cat Sabbath.
“What is the victory of a cat on a hot tin roof? — I wish I knew… Just staying on it, I guess, as long as she can…”