Mark Twain’s The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn has been called the “great American novel,” and William Faulkner gave the author and humorist the lofty title of “father of American literature.” Behind the scenes, though, Samuel Langhorne Clemens -- his real name -- was a quirky man devoted to his cats. Clemens always kept cats around the house -- as many as 19 at a time. And when the writer went on vacation, he would even rent kittens so that he would never be without a feline companion -- or three.
Cats, comets, and creativity:
- Clemens once said, “If man could be crossed with the cat, it would improve man but it would deteriorate the cat.”
- Twain gave his cats unusual names, including: Apollinaris, Beelzebub, Blatherskite, Buffalo Bill, Satan, Sin, Sour Mash, Tammany, Zoroaster, Soapy Sal, Pestilence and Bambino.
- Clemens was born in 1835, shortly after Halley’s Comet streaked through the sky. The author always said that he would die when the comet returned, and he did -- the day after the comet returned in 1910.