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Monday, 28 February 2011

Love and Hate, Cats and Dogs

Ailurophilia is a Greek word which means an abnormal fondness (= love) for cats.
Many famous people, particularly authors but also scientists and heads of state, are classified as genuine ailurophiles (= cat lovers). These include such notables as Charlotte Bronte and Emily Bronte, who wrote Wuthering Heights while her cat Tiger played at her feet. Other authors include Anne Frank, Charles Dickens, Ernest Hemingway, H.G. Wells and Mark Twain.
Even famous scientists like Albert Einstein and Issac Newton, who invented the cat flap (a cat door which allows cats to enter and exit a house on their own without needing a human to open the door), have not been able to resist the cat. In other fields such as entertainment, famous cat-lovers include Brigitte Bardot and Kim Basinger, who demanded custody of her cats in her divorce. Eccentric artist Andy Warhol had two famous cats: Sam and Hester, the latter was a gift from actress Gloria Swanson. Andy enjoyed Sam and Hester's company when he painted late at night in his studio. When it was bedtime, the cats' favourite spot (= place) was Uncle Andy's wig drawer. While in politics, President John F. Kennedy, Louis XV of France and Winston Churchill were all dedicated ailurophiles. Winston Churchill once famously said his cat Nelson was his best political advisor, insisting that he should be present during important meetings.
Ailurophobia is a Greek word which refers to a type of specific phobia - the persistent, irrational fear of cats. Other synonyms include felinophobia, elurophobia, and gatophobia. Famous people with ailurophobia include Napoleon Bonaparte, Julius Caesar, Alexander the Great, Adolf Hitler, Benito Mussolini and La Toya Jackson.
Cynophilia is a fondness for dogs or other canines. Cynophobia is the abnormal fear of dogs.

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