T.S. Eliot was a big fan of cats, and Charles Dickens kept a beloved raven named Grip which he had taxidermied upon its death, so literary pet-owners are nothing new. However, a very clever someone over at AbeBooks’ blog put together a hilarious look at some possible pairings of author and animal that exemplify the commonly held belief (even by psychologists) that pets resemble their owners and vice versa. My personal favorite juxtaposition of the bunch is the white-maned and -bearded Walt Whitman with an Old English Sheepdog.
We liked this idea so much that we put together a couple of our own. Some pairings that I hoped for didn’t pan out. George Orwell’s face does not possess the porcine properties that would allow one to look from pig to man, and from man to pig, unable to say which is which. Jack London’s clean-shaven good looks aren’t particularly dog-like. But while Virginia Woolf’s features don’t evoke an actual wolf, she does uncannily resemble a greyhound, as you can see below. Next to them is the wall-eyed existentialist Jean-Paul Sartre and his equally erudite (you can tell by the glasses) pug.
What do you think, Shelf Lifers? Any other author/pet pairings you can think of? John Updike’s rabbit? Stephen King’s zombie cat? Sound off below!