Tag Archives: pop culture

Don Corleone with cat

Marlon Brando’s Cat in The Godfather: A Brief History

Dear Chairman Meow,

“Can you tell me about the history of the cat in the movie, The Godfather?” – Connie C., Staten Island, N.Y.

Yes, Connie, Chairman Meow knows all things. Allow me to educate you about the kitty that steals the famous opening scene from Marlon Brando in The Godfather movie:

History of The Cat in “The Godfather” Movie:

godfather cat

Godfather cat

chairman meowThe gray and white cat held in the opening scene of the Godfather (1972) was actually a stray that director, Francis Ford Coppola, found on the Paramount movie lot during filming.

He added the cat himself, believing that it would help show the Godfather, Don Vito Corleone‘s, soft side. (during the movie, The Godfather strokes the cat while deciding who should live or die)

There was no cat in the actual script, and conspiracy theories suggest that, wishing to be famous, the cat manipulated Marlon Brando into being featured in the movie. In fact, the cat purred so loudly during filming that it overpowered some of Marlon Brando‘s lines, which later had to be edited and looped.

*Theory: Could it be possible that the cat pooped in Francis Ford Coppola’s food, infecting him with toxoplasmosis, which turns the human brain into putty?

Cat Scene from The Godfather

As you can see, the cat steals this famous scene from Marlon Brando. It also appears obvious that the cat is the real power behind the Corleone family.

Marlon Brando Was a Cat-Servant

marlon brando cat owner

Did Marlon Brando’s cat teach him how to act and write?

Marlon Brando himself was known to live a life of cat-servitude, obeying his cat’s every command. In fact, Marlon Brando once was quoted as saying, I live in my cat’s house.” 

marlon brando kissing cat

So, you see, Kelly… even in movies the kitty is the power behind the throne. I believe it is what you humans might call, art imitating life? 

Chairman Meow haz spoken.

Trivia: What was the name of Marlon Brando’s cat? 

Coupon: Vistaprint: 500 business cards for $10!

by missy

Did Martha Washington Name Her Cat After Alexander Hamilton?

chairman meow facebookDear Chairman Meow, is it true that Martha Washington named her cat after Alexander Hamilton? – Peggy, New York, NY

Yes, Peggy, rumor has it that Founding Father Alexander Hamilton was a bit of a dog when it came to the ladies.

Actually, you could say he was more of a tomcat; and George Washington’s wife, Martha, seemed to agree.

That’s apparently why Martha Washington named their feral tomcat “Hamilton,” after Alexander due to his reputation as a scoundrel and womanizer.

This rumor is mentioned in “Hamilton” the musical

Actually, this historical rumor is mentioned in the Broadway show Hamilton, and explained in a tweet by creator Lin Manuel Miranda:

If you are a fan of the Hamilton Soundtrack, you’ll know that Lin Manuel Miranda mentions this fact in the song, A Winter’s Ball:

Aaron Burr
“(Ladies) They delighted and distracted him,

Martha Washington named her feral tomcat after him!”

“That’s true!”

They also refer to Alexander Hamilton as, “The Tomcat” in the song, “The Story of Tonight”:

“I’ve seen wonders great and small, 
‘Cause if the tomcat can get married,
There’s hope for our ass, after all!”

Curiosity killed The Tomcat’s political career

“When the sword is once drawn, the passions of men observe no bounds of moderation.” – Alexander Hamilton

(Ummm… double entendre?)  Anyway, it was apparently Hamilton’s curiosity with the ladies (and not observing the “bounds of moderation”) that killed his political career, specifically when he admitted to a lengthy affair with a married woman in the 95-page Reynold’s Pamphlet of 1797.

In fact, John Adams wife, Abigail, once wrote that Hamilton represented “lasciviousness itself.”

“A well-adjusted person is one who makes the same mistake twice without getting nervous” – Alexander Hamilton

Hmmm… Sounds like Hamilton’s reputation of being a tomcat is well-deserved.

Although Hamilton did seem to always land on his feet, the last of his nine lives ended in 1804 when he was mortally wounded in a famous duel with Aaron Burr.

Did Martha Washington name her cat after Alexander Hamilton?

Because there is no written records about the Washington’s cats, it would be hard to prove the rumor definitively either way.

However, the story seems to have credibility, and bones found around Mt. Vernon confirm that feral cats were present while the Washington’s lived there.

So, Peggy, the rumor that Martha Washington named her cat after Alexander Hamilton is probably true.

As you can imagine, having a cat named after you is the highest of honors for any human, so Hamilton’s eponymous kitty at Mt. Vernon is surely his most significant legacy.

So, What is a “feral tomcat” anyway?

feral tomcat

feral tomcat

A “feral” cat is a free-roaming feline that lives in the wild and is untamed.  A feral cat uses its hunting skills and wild ways to survive.

A tomcat is a male cat. It’s also defined as, “one who pursues women (Mariah Reynolds, etc.) promiscuously for sexual gratification.” (Alexander Hamilton?) 

Chairman Meow haz spoken.